Relax with the Gospels
The Mayo Clinic suggests relaxation techniques for stress management. Relaxation isn't only about peace of mind or enjoying an interest. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as heart disease and pain.
Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you've already got it tamed, you can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy. Relaxation techniques also are often free or low cost, pose little risk, and can be done nearly anywhere.
One of the most fundamental relaxation techniques is prayer. In prayer we let go of this world and connect with what we know the source of love to be.
One of the easiest ways to pray is with the Gospels.
Sr Stephanie Kitching is resident in our parish as part of the Mercy community in Miramar. She reflects on the Sunday Gospels in a series weekly videos. These videos are available on our parish website. You are warmly invited to play the video for the week at: http://www.holytrinity.parish.nz/gospels.html . On listening to the video drift into prayer, think about what you have heard and it is saying to you in your own life.
The following are brief summaries of the weekly Sunday Gospels for this month, to get you started.
Sunday 8 Oct – Mt 21:33-43
God has trusted each of us with a vineyard. We have a job to do and we must bring all our talents to this work. We can’t turn a cold shoulder to those we come in contact with in our work. Our good work and our generosity will be signs of the Kingdom of Heaven. We can bring peace.
Sunday 15 Oct – Mt 22:1-14
Many are invited to church, not all take up the invitation. Some don’t know that they have a standing invitation. These people are as loved by God as anyone. Let’s be generous in how we help people to know that they are invited. We need to be able to listen to them, to be open to what they say and their ways, best of all we can tell them just how much they are loved and yearned for.
Sunday 22 Oct – Mt 22:15-21
We want to use our time for good. We want to use the things we have for good. In the busyness of life it is easy to overlook what we have been given and how we might seek out those most in need of what we have.
Sunday 29 Oct – Mt 22:34-40
Do we go to church because we have to? Probably not. We go to church because we get to hear what love is and get opportunities to show it.
Last month Holy Cross school and community welcoming Father Paul Nag to Holy Trinity. We would like to acknowledge and thank the students and families who came to the Mass to support with the pōwhiri, providing a meaningful and authentic introduction to New Zealand culture. A special thanks to Hēnare Walmsley who, despite being unwell, travelled from the Wairarapa on Sunday morning to be present and lead the welcome and blessing. Thank you to the students who willingly stepped into leadership roles when others were unwell. Thanks too, to the teachers who made themselves available to support our students and our parish.
At the start of Term 3 St Anthony's School ran the Keeping Ourselves Safe (KOS) programme. Each class chose their KOS focus and discussed ways they could keep themselves safe in lots of situations, including online safety. The Year 5 to 6 students (Kea Class) were given an egg to care for as part of the KOS programme at the Year 4 to 6 level.
The purpose of the egg sitting activity was outlined by the KOS programme: The students were responsible for the egg for four days and had to care for the egg at all times. They named their egg and created a bed (bassinet) for it. If the students wanted to leave their egg, they had to engage another person to egg-sit! If the student's egg breaks, they were not allowed to replace it.
The aim of the activity was for students to learn to look after themselves and others – a theme that is woven through the KOS programme. The added hope was that the students would gain an appreciation of the hard work that parents do!
Kea took their egg sitting responsibility very seriously and showed amazing care and commitment to their precious yet vulnerable cargo. Egg holders of all varieties were created and egg sitting became a full-time activity during morning breaks and lunchtimes in the first week of the term. The children quickly came to realise just how precious their eggs were and how they were responsible for the well being of their egg at every minute of the day and night.
"For a week, we had to look after an egg and no one knew why to begin with. I think it was because we have been learning about keeping ourselves safe. We learnt that when having something to look after you need to show responsibility. I put my egg in a small box so it would not roll around and I also put lots of soft things in it to make him stay in one spot. To keep my egg safe I took it everywhere so I would not lose it. Lots of people made homes for their eggs." - Charlotte Badger, Yr 6 Kea class
This term in Week One my class did the egg challenge for Keeping Ourselves Safe. The egg challenge is when you are given an egg and you need to look after it for one week without breaking it. The egg challenge is really, really hard because only 12 of the 23 eggs survived. The egg challenge is also very hard because you need to give up your morning tea to look after your egg. On day one of looking after our eggs, some people were nice enough to look after not just their eggs but other people's eggs. You need to be sure that the person is trustworthy. This is the reason why we did the egg challenge. We did it because we needed to learn how hard it is to look after another person or something precious and vulnerable. - Fraser Lindsay, Year 5 Kea class.
The following quote from Laudato Si by Pope Francis shows us just how we must not only protect ourselves but also be responsible for and aware of our own actions and how they impact on the world around us - our common home.
“Human beings too are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So, we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture.” Quote 43. Pope Francis
Attendees were broken into small groups that prayed about each issue. Rather than a discussion there were three rounds. In the first round everybody got to say what had been important to them in prayer. In the second round they got to comment on what had impressed them in what others had said. Then in the final round recommendations were formed. With 26 groups working on recommendations a small committee then tried to pull what had been recorded into final Synod wide recommendations to Cardinal John. For most people at the Synod this was a new and novel approach.
Did it work? Ultimately, you as a member of the parish and diocese will be the judge. Synod recommendations matching into our parish vision included:
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