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What the Elect say and do, especially when they are leaders, matters.

Fr Peter, one of the originators of the British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic

Fr Peter, one of the originators of the British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic

Fr. Peter Edwards, parish priest at St Joseph’s New Malden is the leader of a large parish in Southwark, who isn’t afraid to take criticism on the chin and who rises above it in all that he does and says. He’s not afraid of swimming upstream (another Catholic salmon!!) against a tide of carping parishioners who question his choice to remain faithful to the Tradition and truths of the Faith and who cannot and will not understand the importance of standing firm on these teachings. For this (amongst other things) I love, respect and support him. His beautiful and prayerful Masses are uplifting, putting Christ front and centre without fail no matter which Mass I attend, each and every time. He gives me a sense of an unwavering love of Jesus that will never be swayed .

How do you view your shepherd? Do you support him or criticize him?

The ensuing homily is one of  Cardinal Vincent Nichols, delivered at the Easter Vigil Mass at Westminster Cathedral. Bold emphasis is my own-in a show of support of what he shared:

The full text of Cardinal Nichols the Easter Vigil on 4 April 2015.

Vincent+Nichols+Newly+Appointed+Cardinals+FL41zyb-FVUl

Our Vigil this evening started in a very deep darkness, and in many ways that is a harsh reality because there is much darkness in our lives. With the violence in Kenya, the wretchedness of those who have been forced away from their homes, and now in Northern Iraq, millions of displaced people. Think of the anxiety, the loneliness, the depression, jealousy and greed that characterise our lives.

Yet tonight, a fire blazed, there is something very primal about a fire, and for us we can see it as symbolising that first power of God and the Holy Spirit that hovered over the chaos and brought forth the cosmos and ordered world. The fire stands for the beginnings of the work of creation, for the original creativity of God who is meant be seen in energy and purpose, and inventiveness and goodness. From that original fire, now has come forth a single light.

That fire, as we heard in the readings, is struggling to survive through the unfaithfulness of people. Now it comes, a single light, which is inextinguishable, even by death, and that light has spread among us, from one to another, filling this place, becoming the Church. The light is Christ, the light that conquers darkness, the light we celebrate this night, that he is risen, and he lives with us.

How in our lives does this victory of Christ come to be real? Yes, it becomes real by God’s grace working within us as we strive to follow the person of Jesus; but how can we express that precisely this evening? By this light we are to live fully each day and always with a hope that is sure and certain. So we open our hearts to the present, a present that is full of the future. Tonight that it what we try to do; we try to grasp the light, to make it our own, just as we grasp the candle. This is my light. We open our hearts to receive the hope; a hope that St Paul spoke about; a hope that we are bound to Christ and therefore share his resurrection. And we resolve to seize the day, to live the day, to live every day to the full. You can put it like this, “this rising of the sun each morning is the rising of the Son of God and for that day I live by his light and exceed everything in his light.”

My mother used to say, at the beginning of every day, “This is the day the Lord has made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it, accept it, and live it to the full.” But we make each day in the light of a sure and certain hope because we know that all things will be fulfilled in Christ and nothing of what is true worth, nothing that reflects the truth and the love and the compassion of God, will ever be lost.

In this light of the risen Christ, we live fully each day with a hope for the future that is sure and certain.

So often today we are tempted just to live for the moment, see what pleasure it can give us and not know about tomorrow. Sometimes it’s suggested that religion tempts us to abandon the present for a fanciful dream, a fanciful future that is detached from this day. Our faith does not do that. We live this day through God’s love and mercy, whatever its reality, facing its greatness and its failure. So for us, faith in Jesus is not escapism.

We are profoundly committed to the day, to this world, to God’s world, to serving it in the light of His truth. And equally, our faith is not an ideology. Ideologies always want to destroy what is in their way.

Our faith is not an ideology; it embraces what is in front of us only to heal and redeem through Christ, and with him in our hands and our hearts, that we play our part…

He is risen. Alleluia. Amen

Quoted from The Catholic Herald

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Confraternity of Catholic Clergy – living in interesting times.

Cardinal Pell in the middle, from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards of St Josephs New Malden.

On the left in second position I spy Fr Trujillo sm EWTN; Cardinal Pell in the middle from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards , Parish Priest at St Josephs New Malden.

(Image from the Facebook page of Fr Marcus Holden)

Do you know that there is an association called the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy? Follow this link to find out a little more about the Confraternity in the USA and Australia. Here is the link to the British Confraternity, which leads to some interesting reading.

The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy was established ‘for the sanctification and support of Priests, and in promotion of authentic Priestly life, holiness and mission by Fidelity, Formation and Fraternity.’
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confraternities-of-catholic-clergy-reaffirm-churchs-teaching-on-marriage-an/#ixzz3PDK7Z7WS

Fr Peter Edwards, our parish priest at St Josephs New Malden, is a member of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Not only did he attend the second international conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Rome this month (5th -9th January 2015), he also co-chaired the conference and concelebrated the Epiphany Mass with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica. What an experience that must have been. Who would’ve thought? Our very own Fr Peter concelebrating with Papa Francisco! If there’s anyone who deserves this badge of honour, it’s Fr Peter.

The British branch of the confraternity was established following Benedict XVI’s Year for Priest’s in 2010 with the aim of “fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father.” This is comforting knowledge.

This international conference brought together priests from the US, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. Each of these countries has an active confraternity which assists its clergy members to grow in zeal, learning and holiness.

Catholic clergy declare ‘unwavering fidelity’ to Church ahead of synod.(Directly quoted from the Catholic Herald.)

Statement from the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in support of Marriage:
The International gathering of Confraternities of Catholic Clergy meeting in Rome (January 5th to 9th 2015), have discussed issues pertinent to the forthcoming Synod on the Family in response to the Holy Father’s call for reflection. The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. Confraternity priests from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States commit themselves to the work of presenting anew the Good News about marriage and family life in all its fullness and helping, with the Lord’s compassion, those who struggle to follow the Gospel in a secular society. The Confraternities, furthermore, affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments and that doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We’re living in interesting times.

 

‘….kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
–Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Feast of the Magi

In the homily on the feast of the Epiphany, our visiting priest referred to the poem below by T.S. Lewis. I had never read it before and was keen to get back home to look it up.

 Journey of the Magi  (T.S.Lewis)

‘A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.’

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place;

it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down,

This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt.

I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

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The homily brought to mind the equation between the difficult and sometimes treacherous physical journey the Magi undertook to get to where The Star was guiding them, and my Journey as a Christian that is sometimes just as challenging emotionally.

The Magi ‘died’ and were ‘reborn’ in their knowledge of the Truth they witnessed in the Christ Child. This in turn changed their view of the once familiar kingdoms they visited where they met ‘alien’ peoples – those who worshipped ‘alien’ gods, gods that they may have worshipped themselves prior to their Journey to Bethlehem, before they met the One True God, Jesus Christ.

The Magi were changed by their experience of meeting Jesus, just as our souls are changed when we are Baptised and when later still,  every time we meet Christ in Holy Communion.

This story brought to mind the thousands of Christians who have lived and died before me who too, have walked this Path and who are now at their Journey’s End. They are at Rest.

Again and again…

I get caught up in the business and distractions of life and relationships resulting in fraught emotion that directs my conscience and consciousness away from Him – that  I know to be Truth; and I choose to rely on myself alone. This is a mistake I make again and again.

I thank God for His Wisdom and Mercy in providing for me, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that I may take up my journey on the path He has set before me with Him as my companion and guide.

This quote redirected me to examining my Godly attitudes and I will be aspiring to understand and develop these virtues in the coming year. It’s going to be front and centre in everything I think and do.

Read Colossians 3:12-14

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,

COMPASSION ,

image@infobomb.com

image@infobomb.org

KINDNESS,

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

LOWLINESS,

Phillipians 2:3 (English Standard Version)

 Do nothing from kselfish ambition or lconceit, but in mhumility count others more significant than yourselves.

MEEKNESS,

meekness

and PATIENCE,

Quotation-Erwin-W-Lutzer-god-work-patience-Meetville-Quotes-93642

forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must FORGIVE.

And above all these put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect HARMONY. “

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…

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MIDNIGHT MASS
Is 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.

You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.

For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.

His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

This is the Word of the Lord

So many Christmases.

It is hard to believe we are already well into Advent. Advent is a time of prayer and preparation as we wait to celebrate the joyous birth of Christ.

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As people of the 21st century we are not very good at waiting. Our internet speeds have to be ever faster. The average teenager will only spend seven seconds on a web page. We expect parcels ordered online yesterday to be delivered today. Waiting in supermarket queues annoys us. We get angry at waiting times in GP surgeries. We are not very patient.

The children of today often have so many ‘Christmases’ and so many Christmas treats, before December 25th that the concept of waiting for something special sometimes seems to have almost disappeared.

But there is great peace in taking time, creating space in your lives and just waiting. Waiting allows us time to anticipate, time to reflect and time to prepare. During this Advent, we pray that we can all find the time and the patience to discover the joys of waiting.

wp_MultiLingualPeaceDove

It is also a time to avoid the temptation to fill our lives with complications but instead to focus on simplifying our days. Jesus was born of Mary, a Jewish teenager who was probably illiterate.  This simple Jewish girl was central to the greatest happening since Creation – the Incarnation, the coming to Earth by God, in the person of Jesus.  Through Mary, God became human in order to save us.

During these days of Advent, we recall this simple, yet remarkable event and look forward in hope.

hope

As we give each other gifts in Christ’s name, we remember that He has given us so much. The essence of Christmas is Christ among us.  While ‘black Friday’ saw the emergence of retail mania, it is worth pausing to remember that the greatest gift we can give our family and friends is the gift of time and love at Christmas.

Quiet consideration of the Mother of God and her Son, Jesus.

One perfect gift for Christmas sorted…

This version of ‘Mary did you know’ is so uplifting. I’m definitely buying this one to add to my collection of this song.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will make a blind man see?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the mute will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

‘It makes my heart sing, to see you out and about’.

IMG_3191

image@1catholicsalmon

On a regular visit to the local Poundland on the  High Street in New Malden, I had the good fortune to bump into about 10-12 of these special ladies who were there doing what seemed to a big shop for a very specific reason.

As always I readily walked over and introduced myself as a parishioner of St Joseph’s New Malden, and promptly found out that they too reside in New Malden. Imagine my glee at finding out this ‘little’ tidbit of information. I have lived here for many years and didn’t know they lived in our community too.

To Religious everywhere, but especially to those who reside in New Malden, ‘I’d love to bump into you more often on the High Street or at Mass.  It makes my heart sing to see you out and about’.

I always I get really excited when I see a Religious, as they wear their faith on ‘their sleeves’ so to speak.There can be no doubt as to Who they live for, serve and adore. Not only do they stand out in the crowd as having made the decision to respond to God’s call, but they live out their vocation with a tangible sense of joy. It’s impossible to chat with a Nun and ignore the Joy that exudes from her every pore.

While these young Sisters were vibrantly chatting away about the purchases, my heart swelled with pride at the knowledge that they represent the reality of the Lord tangibly, within our over-shadowed and grey culture. I feel an immediate sense of camaraderie in that we belong to the same family: The Universal Catholic Family of Jesus himself.

We must pray for those who are called to this vocation to remain faithful to God’s calling, always. Their presence in our midst is too important not to.

I did ask to which Denomination they belong, but in all the excitement I didn’t write it down, and that’s fatal.

They wear a wooden Cross with ‘Jesu’ carved into it.  Does anyone know which Denomination they may belong to?

St Peter and St Paul

mage: Juan Fernandez de Navarrete - St. Peter and St. Paul

mage: Juan Fernandez de Navarrete – St. Peter and St. Paul

Peter and Paul Icon

Peter and Paul Icon

St Peter

St Peter

St Paul

St Paul