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ABC_Terasa_Amended(2)

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Teresa welcome. Thank you for coming round this afternoon. You work for the Bishops Conference centrally - the bishops of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. And in that work you lead on the ‘evangelisation of peoples’ as it’s called. [That's right] And your, the Catholic church, is so involved in Thy Kingdom Come, this 11 days of prayer, between Ascension and Pentecost. But when you pray it, what are you expecting, what’s in your mind? What are you thinking will happen as a result of people praying like this? Oh, maybe I am bit ambitious but I am kind of hoping for a fresh, new Pentecost if you like. Nothing less. And it comes from a promise I made when I was 17, I had watched ‘the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ - now I am an East end girl and I don’t cry easily. But I found myself crying when Aslan died. And I spoke to a friend afterwards and I said to, I don’t get it. What - why did that move me to tears? And she said to me: ‘Don’t you get it Teresa? Aslan’s Jesus’. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d been a cradle catholic all my life, I had learnt all about Jesus, attended mass every Sunday, gone to all kinds of things and my faith was in my head and in that moment, it dropped into my heart and I was both frustrated and at the same time, exhilarated because I didn’t have to be perfect. Jesus wasn’t someone that I was going to seek approval from, he was someone who had saved me from all the stuff I had done wrong. In the greatest way he possibly could – he died for me. But that’s not the end of story, it is the beginning, isn’t it? The beginning is the new life that comes out of that love. When we pray Thy Kingdom Come, it is a chance for us to come outside of our own little bubbles – of looking at my world, my kingdom, my will, what I want to do - and to say to God – do you know what, I think I can trust you more than I can trust myself. So let me pray Thy Kingdom Come. That is an extraordinary story, it’s actually a beautiful story. What can we do to prepare to pray that prayer? Because if, you know, God is at work, I mean, you’ve talked about the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, there is this fabulous scene isn’t there, when the children are travelling through Narnia and the thaw begins. Spring is on the way. And, the snow begins to go and that tells people that something is happening, that Aslan is coming. So we are praying Thy Kingdom Come, What do we do to prepare? I think it is maybe to look for those signs of hope, like the thaw. You know, in that story, for ages people had lived in the snow and they knew nothing else: they’d heard of something else. And we have heard of something else – whether we are people of faith or just people who hope for something better. And when we prepare to pray, it’s to start to open our imagination to the possibility that God can be on the move in our lives. And one of the things I found very striking, is that people of all sorts of churches pray together on this. We don’t all go into, as you said, we don’t all go into our own little bubble. It seems that, this time of prayer, is one that brings the church together. Do you think that makes a difference to what God does? Oh hugely. I mean, there is the physical being together, but also the being together in solidarity with each other wherever we are. Last year I prayed Thy Kingdom Come but I was in Rome at the time, and was using a podcast to pray through the Novena. So I was physically one my own, but I wasn’t on my own because I knew people all over the world was praying. But it’s also a little bit difficult to say I am definitely going to pray for 11 days of prayer, particularly if that kind of prayer is not our regular thing. So we can pray in relays or we can come together and encourage each other to pray. If I choose to pray on the Ascension and then I pass the baton on to my friend and say to pray the next day, then we are together praying Thy Kingdom Come. So, don’t get too tied up with beating yourself up because it is a struggle to do it every day. Share, take part but above all, expect to see Pentecost coming afresh. I hope so. Teresa one other thing that is just on my mind. You came along to the launch of Thy Kingdom Come and you had just taken on your current job hadn’t you and you were thinking – what I am going to do? And, just tell me what happened. Well I mean, you know, sometimes you are sent along to stuff. And it was one those moments for me, in this beautiful place, here in Lambeth Palace, and I was thinking what I am doing representing the Catholic Church at this event? [laughs] And I had just shot up a little prayer to the Lord in that moment, sat at the table not knowing anyone. And I said ‘Lord I feel like I am being asked to make bricks without straw - how and where do I start?’ And then the event started. And your good self arrived - and the first thing you said was; ‘have you ever felt like you are being asked to make bricks without straw?' Then you went on to describe what Thy Kingdom Come was about. And I knew in that moment - that this was the Holy Spirit answering the prayer I had just made. That is fantastic. And it's... I was not consciously – you know, I wasn’t being hyper spiritual – it was just the words that came out and God just put them all together. That’s why we pray. Amen. Thank you. Thank you.

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Duration: 6 minutes and 40 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: annafjmorris on Apr 24, 2018

ABC_Terasa_Amended(2)

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