Abbot Hugh Allan, o.praem.
Apostolic Administrator of the Falkland Islands, Ecclesial Superior of the Mission sui juris to St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Island
Pastoral Letter for Easter Sunday 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The health professionals used to say that we should eat at least five pieces of fruit a day. I cover this quite adequately by eating a bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut each day – plenty of fruit in that! Recently I heard they now recommend ten pieces of fruit a day. This does not worry me too much. It simply means two bars of Fruit and Nut each day. In writing to you, it strikes me that the good doctors have not pondered the difficulties of getting fresh fruit on the islands of the South Atlantic.
Obviously it is important we all try to eat a healthy diet (well, most of the time….), but of greater importance is a healthy soul. Just like a bar of chocolate might be more tempting than a good healthy salad, so there are choices we make every day where we go for the easy option, or the one that seems more pleasurable instead of the right option, the good option.
Every day we are tempted to think we know better than God. We think we know what’s best, we know what to do, and we know it all! Trouble is, we really do not. We need God to help us to do what is best, we need God to help us know what to do and really only God knows it all.
At Easter, we can return to real life, to a true life with God. Easter tells us that life is worth living. The unique and wonderful soul you have now is who you will be forever. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s promise of eternity and so we believe that life will change not end. Who you are now is who you will be for all eternity. So it is important to take care of your soul, to keep spiritually healthy. As we celebrate the joy of Easter, remember that we need God, that we cannot do it all on our own – we need His love and friendship. Christ asks us to love God and our neighbour – this is what makes life worth living.
Today the world has changed. Death is destroyed by life. Today we celebrate Jesus Christ, God who was made man, who suffered, died, was buried and rose again. We celebrate the definitive victory of the Creator and of his creation. Today we celebrate that love is stronger than death. Today we can truly say “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Christ is Risen – alleluia!
So go home, eat as much chocolate as you can (!) – celebrate this wonderful day of new life and thank God for redeeming His creation, for saving our souls, through the resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ.
In our prayers this Easter day, we entrust our beloved friend Mgr. Michael McPartland to the mercy and love of God. May he rest in peace and one day rise in glory. Amen!
Dear friends, please be assured of my daily prayers for all of you, your families and all those you love.
God love you and bless you! Your friend in Christ,
+ Hugh Allan, o.praem.