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'The progress of the soul consists

not in thinking much of God

but in loving Him ardently.'

~ St. Teresa of Jesus

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel 2021

Posted on 16th July, 2021

 

 
 
 
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
as we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Your Word filled her heart
and inspired all her actions,
making her constant in prayer with the Apostles,
and, through her share in our salvation,
constituting her the spiritual mother of all mankind.
She watches unceasingly with a mother’s loving care
over the brethren of her Son,
and lights us along our pilgrim way
to the Mount of your Glory,
our beacon of comfort,
and the embodiment of all our hopes
as members of the Church.
 
May her prayers protect us always,
help us to follow her example more faithfully and
conform us ever more closely to the image of her Son,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Father's Day 2021

Posted on 20th June, 2021

 

We give You thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives.

Father reading to his children

Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others fail. We ask, Lord, for Your blessings for them all and forgiveness where it is needed.

This Father's Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways--both big and small--they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.

So too, we remember all those who have helped fill the void when fathers pass early or are absent; grandfathers and uncles, brothers and cousins, teachers, pastors and coaches and the women of our families.

For those who are fathers, we ask for wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting. Give them the strength to do well by their children and by You. In Your Holy name, O God, we pray.


Amen.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi 2021

Posted on 6th June, 2021

 

Second Reading

 

"On the feast of Corpus Christi", by St Thomas Aquinas

 

O precious and wonderful banquet!

 

Since it was the will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in his divinity, he assumed our nature in order that by becoming man he might make men gods. Moreover, when he took our flesh he dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation. He offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation. He shed his blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our wretched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin. But to ensure that the memory of so great a gift would abide with us for ever, he left his body as food and his blood as drink for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

Image of the Blessed Sacrament

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness! Could anything be of more intrinsic value? Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food. What could be more wonderful than this? No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift. It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was instituted for the salvation of all may be for the benefit of all. Yet, in the end, no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion.

 

It was to impress the vastness of this love more firmly upon the hearts of the faithful that our Lord instituted this sacrament at the Last Supper. As he was on the point of leaving the world to go to the Father, after celebrating the Passover with his disciples, he left it as a perpetual memorial of his passion. It was the fulfilment of ancient figures and the greatest of all his miracles, while for those who were to experience the sorrow of his departure, it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity 2021

Posted on 30th May, 2021

 

The Blessed Trinity

 

 

 

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church #240

[2] Ibid. #264

[3] Ibid. #265

[4] Ibid. #234

“Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense: he is Father not only in being Creator… 'no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.'” [1]

 

“Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son’s is another, the Holy Spirit’s another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal” (Athanasian Creed) [2]

 

“By the grace of Baptism ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light.” [3]

 

“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life.” [4] We often address our Trinitarian God by two very simple prayers: the Sign of the Cross and the Glory Be. May we make the Sign of the Cross with fervent devotion and attention as well as the Glory Be.

(See Luke 24, 46-52; Mark 16, 19; Acts 1, 4-12)

“The effect produced by the Ascension upon the Apostles was wonder and admiration (Acts 1, 10.11), adoration and joy (Luke 24, 52).  This was but natural; for they had had as it were a glimpse of heaven, and heaven is full of joy and courage.  There they stood, as though they could never see enough of the grand and magnificent spectacle.  Filled with this joy they quitted the mountain and the glad memory of this sight remained with them for the rest of their lives.

 

"And the Ascension must fill us also with joy, joy in our Divine Saviour and for His sake.  He has now reached His goal and is in possession of His full glory; nothing lies before Him now but joy and honour unending.  “Of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1,33).  And we must rejoice on our own account also. Heaven is ours; our Saviour has taken possession of it for us as our common heritage.  “I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” (John 20, 17).

The Ascension of the Lord

…the Ascension must fill us with courage and confidence…our Lord is reigning” ('The Life of Jesus Christ', Meschler, Vol. 2, pp 485-486) “…he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him” (Hebrews 10,13-14).  “In heaven is everything that is good and beautiful; heaven is our home, whence we came and whither we go. So let us think of heaven and long for it.” (Ibid p.486)

The Risen Jesus – Part 2

Posted on 8th May, 2021

 

The risen Jesus appears to the apostles - Duccio

 

We Christians rejoice exceedingly because of our precious faith in the Risen Jesus, but imagine the first Easter Day, that first Sunday after the trauma of Good Friday and what it must have been for the eleven apostles to hear of the empty tomb, the appearances of “Jesus” to several women, to Simon Peter, and to the two wayfarers on the road to Emmaus!  Can anyone blame these men for their incredulity in the various accounts of Jesus’ appearances; strong emotions of joy, hope, fear of disappointment – too good to be true!

 

'What were they to make of all these tales?  They had seen him dead, and dead men do not walk about or speak. They had gathered eleven round the table; though the door had not opened a twelfth was among them … gradually their eyes settled on the stranger. … As their eyes grew accustomed to the vision there was no possibility of mistake; alive or dead, reality or spirit, the figure in their midst was that of Jesus.' (The Risen Jesus, Archbishop Goodier, SJ, p.102)

The Risen Jesus - Luke 24, 35-43

Posted on 8th May, 2021

 

The risen Jesus appears to His disciples

 

'Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.  As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them.  But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.  And he said to them “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts?  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.'

 

In this passage St. Luke puts the stress on the disciples’ difficulty in accepting the miracle of the Resurrection, despite the angels’ testimony to the women (cf. Mt. 28:5-7, etc.) and despite the witness of those who had already seen the risen Lord (cf. Mt 28:9-10, etc.)  In the following parts of this tract we will meditate on the Risen Jesus, both God and man.

St Joseph the Worker 2021

Posted on 1st May, 2021

 

St Joseph the Worker
St. Joseph, help us to see our work as a service for others, a means of bringing order and beauty out of chaos and making our world a better place. Help us to understand work as more than a means of making money. Help us appreciate the dignity of work and grant us meaningful employment. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed and those who are working under stress.
 
St. Joseph, the Worker, pray for us.

Good Shepherd (or Vocations) Sunday 2021

Posted on 25th April, 2021

 

Hello! Just a little sharing about discernment – We are all given a mission in this life and our happiness is in doing it. We all have a uniquely brilliant vocation and need to ask God to reveal it to us and He will. By Baptism He gave us His Gift, the Holy Spirit, to be used by us to know His plan and, in joy, fulfil it in every circumstance – God is Eternally Radiant and we, in Him, can shine with His light and love. The distance, one preacher said, to finding the answer is the distance between your knee and the floor! So, bend the interior ‘knee’ of your heart before Him and worship and ask. Just imagine, if we all did this, the whole world would light up with Heavenly Love and the Kingdom of God break out! Let us start doing His will as it may happen in our lifetime. Failing often is not an obstacle because we simply try again!Christ, the Good Shepherd

 

St Teresa of Avila - an exceptional woman

Pope Francis sent a video message last week on the occasion of the International Congress "Mujer exceptional", or Exceptional Woman, dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the proclamation of St. Teresa of Ávila as a Doctor of the Church.

 

 

The following article by Lydia O'Kane is from the Vatican News website 15/04/21

 

In a video message to participants taking part in an International Congress commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of St. Teresa of Ávila as a Doctor of the Church, Pope Francis spoke of how prayer made this great Saint an “exceptional woman”.

 

The Congress, which began on Monday, April 12, at the St Teresa of Ávila Catholic University, closes on Thursday, April 15.

 

The Pope said that St Teresa was outstanding in many ways. However, he underlined, “it should not be forgotten that her recognized relevance in these dimensions is nothing more than the consequence of what was important to her: her encounter with the Lord, her ‘determined determination,’ as she says, to persevere in her union with Him through prayer, her firm intention to carry out the mission entrusted to her by the Lord, to whom she offered herself with simplicity.”

 

St. Teresa's boldness, creativity and excellence as a reformer, said Pope Francis, “are the fruit of the interior presence of the Lord.”

 

Recalling the universal call to holiness spoken of by the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said, it is “not only for some ‘specialists of the divine’, but it is the vocation of all believers.”

 

Uniqueness of the Saints

“Union with Christ, which mystics like St. Teresa experience in a special way by pure grace, we receive through Baptism,” he said.

 

“The saints stimulate and motivate us, but it is not for us to literally try to copy them; holiness cannot be copied, because even that could lead us away from the unique and different path that the Lord has for each one of us.”

 

“What is important,” the Pope added, “is that each believer discerns his own way, each one of us has his own way of holiness, of encounter with the Lord.”

 

Union through charity

Pope Francis recalled that St. Teresa herself warned her nuns that prayer is “not to experience extraordinary things, but to unite us to Christ. And the sign that this union is real are works of charity.”

 

Path of Prayer

The Pope stressed that “St. Teresa teaches us that the path of prayer that made her an exceptional woman, and a person of reference through the centuries, is open to all who humbly open themselves to the action of the Spirit in their lives.”

 

Such a path, he said, “is not open to those who consider themselves pure and perfect, the Cathars of all centuries, but to those who are aware of their sins.”

 

“Prayer made St. Teresa an exceptional woman, a creative and innovative woman,” emphasized Pope Francis.

 

“From prayer she discovered the ideal of fraternity that she wanted to make a reality in the convents she founded.”

 

Faithful friends of God

In his video message, Pope Francis said that like the Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa, we live in hard times that require “faithful friends of God.”

 

He emphasized that “the great temptation is to give in to disillusionment, to resignation, to the dismal and unfounded presage that everything will go wrong.”

 

Some people, he said, “frightened by these thoughts, tend to shut themselves away, to take refuge in little things.”

 

Giving an example of this, the Pope recalled a convent where all the nuns took refuge in “little things” because they were all enclosed in little things, “as a refuge, in selfish projects that do not build up the community, but rather destroy it.”

 

On the other hand, Pope Francis continued, “prayer opens us up, allows us to taste that God is great, that He is beyond the horizon, that God is good, that He loves us and that history has not escaped from His hands.”

 

God gives us fullness and joy

We can be encouraged to do great things, stressed the Pope, “because we know that we are favoured by God. And together with Him, we are capable of reaching any challenge, because in reality it is only His company that our heart desires and that gives us the fullness and joy for which we have been created.”

 

Concluding his video message, Pope Francis invited participants to pray St Teresa's prayer:

 

"Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you; all things pass away, God does not change. Patience, all things come to pass. He who has God lacks nothing. God alone is enough."

 

 

 

See also the related Vatican News article from 13/04/21 in which Pope Francis stresses the importance of St Teresa in highlighting the role of women in the Church and in society.