On Thursday Our 40 Hours Devotion came to end with a beautiful Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This was followed by a Mass of Thanksgiving for all the graces poured out on our parish during the 40 Hours. I have no doubt that these are many and we shall see their impact in the days, weeks, months and even, years to come.
After the parish Mass, many of those present came together in our parish meeting room to celebrate and reflect on their experiences whilst enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake.
It was wonderful to see the excitement and joy on people's faces as they talked about the recent 40 Hours Devotion. All the comments I heard were very positive. People were very moved by the beautiful Solemn Mass of Exposition on Tuesday evening.
I was delighted that Fr James Bradley of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was able to accept my invitation to preside at the Mass and also to preach. I know many people were impressed with the beautiful liturgy and gained a lot from Fr James' homily.
Another very encouraging 'fruit' of the devotion was the number of people who came for Confession over the three days. A great blessing.
Several people commented that they felt sad that it was all over and many asked, 'when can we do it again?'
Of course we will do it again - next year, God-willing.
The 40 Hours Devotion provides a wonderful opportunity for us all to grow in holiness individually and for the spiritual growth of our parish as a whole.
In our world today, where we are see evil all around us, where there is a decline in devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament, and where many no longer see the need for Confession, this is even more important than ever.