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Corpus Christi

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Guess what I’ve been reading about…

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……Discipleship with a capital D. I know I’m stating the obvious, but I’ve never really understood the real teaching in the above quotes until very recently. I am burning to make a difference. For and in Christ. My sights are moving further than the parameters of Church. Yes, I need to be fed at Mass at least once a week, but how am I going to share with others the beauty of Christianity? How am I going to encourage them into the fold of the Shepherd? I don’t know. I do know that God will use my unique gifts to reach out to others. Perhaps the gifts I’m yet to grow into.

I have to ‘be church’, be a Disciple of the Lord God in all that I am and do. I need to be the change that others will respond to when it is the time for them to hear the Message. The Call. Only in the Lord’s time though. Only in the Lord’s time. I may just be the little whisper that someone needs or the nudge for another in order for them to make an effort to get to know Jesus and the Hope He has to offer everyone.

I am reading Sherry Wedell’s ‘Forming Intentional Desciples’. The path to knowing and following Jesus. Makes for interesting reading.

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.

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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

The Paschal Candle

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The Paschal candle represents Christ, the Light of the World.

The pure beeswax of which the candle is made represents the sinless Christ who was formed in the womb of His Mother. The wick signifies His humanity, the flame, His Divine Nature, both soul and body.

Five grains of incense inserted into the candle in the form of a cross recall the aromatic spices with which His Sacred Body was prepared for the tomb, and of the five wounds in His hands, feet, and side.

During the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night the priest or deacon carries the candle in procession into the dark church. A new fire, symbolizing our eternal life in Christ, is kindled which lights the candle. The candle, representing Christ himself, is blessed by the priest who then inscribes in it a cross, the first letters and last of the Greek alphabet, (Alpha and Omega `the beginning and the end’) and the current year, as he chants the prayer below; then affixes the five grains of incense.

The Easter candle is lighted each day during Mass throughout the Paschal season until Ascension Thursday.

(Copied from the Catholic News Agency)

Lenten Fasting and Abstinence.

image@http://ucatholic.com/blog/lent-guide/

image@http://ucatholic.com/blog/lent-guide/

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.

 

On our knees….

Click this link :- An excellent explanation of the Eucharist

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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.

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

I believe in one God…. in one Lord Jesus Christ….in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life

Mary and Martha Read the Gospel story at  http://biblia.com/books/esv/Lk10.38-42

Mary and Martha
Read the Gospel story at
http://biblia.com/books/esv/Lk10.38-42

This Trinity Sunday, we do well to remember the words of Christ to Martha: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). It is not our natural inclination to make a choice like Mary, to sit in rapt attention at the feet of Jesus.

Instead, we have Christian work that must be done, and such work may be good and helpful, but more often than not, we take the adoration and contemplation of God as Triune to be (at most) irrelevant to ‘real life’ or ‘real ministry’.

Yet the Lord Himself is urging us to choose the “better part,” which is found by quieting the noise in our soul, and to contemplate and adore God.

Only then can our hearts be reshaped and prepared for the secondary (and necessary) call to bear witness to the God we have come to know.

We can now see how, for Augustine (St Augustine), the contemplation of the Holy Trinity results in the change of a person’s heart. He posits that it is by the “eye of the mind” that one beholds the form of eternal truth, which is the form or standard by which all things are known. Such a “true knowledge of things” can be described as a word that is uttered in the innermost part of one’s being, which then manifests itself in the thoughts, acts, and speech of a person. However, the word that is uttered at the core of one’s soul is either directed toward the love of the “…creature or the creator, that is of changeable nature or unchangeable truth.”

Quoted from Patheos.– (highlighted text my own emphasis)

image@http://www.prca.org/books/portraits/august.htm Excellent information on St Augustine of Hippo

image@http://www.prca.org/books/portraits/august.htm
Excellent information on St Augustine of HippoTo be able to do the Lord’s work I must first sit at his feet and adore him, only then can I go out and serve him in my daily words and actions.

To be able to do the Lord’s work I must first sit at his feet and adore him, only then can I go out and serve Him daily through words and actions. Thank you Lord for the example of Mary and Martha! It is at Mass where we get the opportunity to quiet the noise in our soul, and to contemplate and adore God. It is at Mass that I strive most to be like Mary, sitting at the feet of our Lord Jesus, wanting to learn from Him; to hear the message He has for me and to take this with me through the busyness of the week ahead in order to share His message of love in all that I say and do.

image@facebook

image@facebook

It is at Mass every week where we recite the Creed as one and in unison to declare our faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Trinity Sunday, also known as Holy Trinity Sunday, is celebrated a week after Pentecost in honour of the most fundamental of Christian beliefs—belief in the Holy Trinity. We can never fully understand the mystery of the Trinity, but we can sum it up in the following formula: God is three Persons in one Nature. The three Persons of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are all equally God, and They cannot be divided.

To stress the doctrine of the Trinity, other Fathers of the Church composed prayers and hymns that were recited in the Church’s liturgies and on Sundays as part of the Divine Office, the official prayer of the Church. Eventually, a special version of this office began to be celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, and the Church in England, at the request of St. Thomas à Becket (1118-1170), was granted permission to celebrate Trinity Sunday. The celebration of Trinity Sunday was made universal by Pope John XXII (1316-34).

The Martyrdom of Thomas Beckett

The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket (118-1170)

I believe in on God, the Father almighty

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit

was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.

Amen.