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Pentecost 2020

1 June 2020

In this extraordinary time of pestilence, we pray for eternal life for those who have died, consolation for those who mourn, courage and serenity for the isolated, healing for the sick, courage and strength for all those who are helping the sick and fighting the disease, continued health for those who are well, and all help and courage and hope for all of us who are affected by the corona virus – directly or indirectly.

What does it mean for all of us on the annual celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit? And what does it mean for the Library? Our beautiful Library has been restricted ... so what next?

For almost all members of the Catholic Church, and certainly for all of us in Australia, this year’s celebration of Lent and Easter tide has been much restricted. Our churches have been closed, the liturgy has been celebrated behind closed doors, we have been able to participate for months only by remote electronic means. If we have been mostly at home we have found it hard to keep track of the days without the usual routine of going out and about.

Yet, perhaps we can thus place ourselves – with our anxieties and fears - in company with our Lady and the apostles, secluded and praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are worth recalling – knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, fortitude, piety (or reverence) and fear of the Lord. The Library especially gives resources to develop the first four of those gifts at least. And all of us need all the gifts at present, especially fortitude.

The fruits of the holy Spirit also are worth recalling – charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity (Galatians 5. 22-23; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1832) – and by our fruits are we known!

Next steps

From 1st June the Victorian government allows some relaxation of restrictions, but still requiring social distancing, limits on the number of persons at some activities and places, and restrictions on the density of gatherings in enclosed spaces, cleaning of surfaces. The committee is considering how best to restore the Library to operation. It is possible that we may allow some of the groups that meet at the Library to resume experimentally before we open to members at large. We shall keep the individual groups and the members of the Library family informed of our plans for reopening.

We continue to need support – prayer and material – and as we approach the end of financial year, if you can, please support us with a tax deductible gift. Or please arrange a regular monthly donation by direct debit. We already have a number of generous monthly donors. We have even a couple of donors giving $100 per month. Perhaps calculate what you could give in cups of coffee. $5 a week or $20 a month would mean we would need only 150 donors to cover our costs. And it is all tax-deductible, so your gift costs you less than you give! You can set up a small monthly donation on this website.

Please also consider leaving the Library a gift in your will. It is a good thing to express this as a proportion of your estate (e.g. 1%, 3%, etc.) rather than a fixed sum (which will fall in value by inflation).

Isolation, and deprivation of the sacraments and of our access to our churches, should make us prize our human community, the community of saints, and the community of our Library all the more. This should lead us to look forward from Pentecost to next Sunday – Trinity Sunday, as this is the special Feast which celebrates God’s revelation of the divine life as essentially a life of community – of the fruitful love between the Persons.

Mosaic of three angels

And this is the origin, the model and the destiny of our call as human beings, as brothers and sisters, and as baptized. At the offertory we pray in company with the priest that we made sharers in the divine life – that we be drawn into God’s life – as God took on our human life in Christ.  

So, let us live, read, think, talk, with an ever livelier sense that even in these hard and irritating times we are already called to live God’s life of love.

Anthony Krohn, President