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  • “From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery.” Blessed John Henry Newman.
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“A story’s end changes the meaning of every page.”

This beautiful young woman inspires me more than I can say. She is a wife and mother of four young children, and she has advanced, incurable kidney cancer. Can you give her 2 minutes and 44 seconds to teach you something amazing, eternal, real?

Click the link below to meet her.

http://youtu.be/0nf_rb2qkbE

“A story’s end changes the meaning of every page.”

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Only when we begin

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Nothing without Him

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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.

Powerful response to Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian girls

A Group of Nigerians and Muslims have launched a campaign in response to the recent Boko Haram abductions of young girls and other atrocities. The Campaign is called #NotInGodsName (Not In God’s Name) is an a public declaration to reject criminal acts in the name of God or any religion.

One ‘click’ will register your support of unjustly incarcerated Meriam and her unborn child in a Sudanese jail.

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Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is a heavily pregnant Sudanese Christian. She’s just been sentenced to death for ‘apostasy’ – leaving Islam – although she’s been a Christian all her life.

Meriam was arrested on 17 February, and sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to death for apostasy, after Sudanese authorities became aware of her marriage to a Christian man. She is currently detained in Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison along with her 20-month-old son, Martin Wani. Since she was arrested she’s been allowed no visitors, and has been denied vital medical treatment.

Although she testified that she is a life-long Christian, the court ruled that she abandoned Islam, and that therefore was originally Muslim. Since Muslims are not allowed to marry non-Muslims, her marriage is invalid under Islamic law – so she was convicted of adultery as well as apostasy.

Meriam is eight months pregnant, and has a toddler to look after too in prison.

Please don’t allow this terrible injustice to happen.  (CSW SAVE MERIAM)

Click on the link above and register your support of Meriam at the Sudenase embassy in your country.

Prayer for Persecuted Christians   

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IMAGE@UCATHOLIC.COM/PERSECUTION

Father in Heaven, you make your sun shine

on good and bad alike.

Your Son Jesus Christ died for us all and in his glorious Resurrection

He still retains the five wounds of his Passion.

With his divine power he now sustains

all those who suffer persecution and martyrdom

for the sake of their fidelity

to the faith of the Church.

Merciful and mighty Father,

do not allow Cain to return again to murder

helpless Abel, innocent Abel.

May persecuted Christians around the world

remain, like Mary, their Mother,

together at the foot of the cross

of Christ the Martyr.

Comfort those menaced by violence

and those oppressed by uncertainty.

May your Holy Spirit of love

make fruitful the witness and the blood

of those who die forgiving.

Amen.

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED

Forgive us our trespasses…

The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail) c. 1669 Oil on canvas, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail) c. 1669 Oil on canvas, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg- (Rembrandt)

The key to a healthy understanding of the value of confession lies in the recognition of the real, objective social nature of the drama of sin and forgiveness. This recognition has always been part of the traditional ritual practice of confession, even after the “one-on-one” encounter between the penitent and the confessor replaced ceremonies that included a public recognition and confession of certain sins. And although the absolution from sins is indeed a personal judgment based on the authority of the individual priest, the ritual includes a prayer that the penitent be granted pardon and peace “through the ministry of the Church.”

Forgiveness is not conditional. All that is required is for the sinner to accept the divine mercy unconditionally offered to him. The power of God’s mercy builds our defense, so to speak, on our acknowledgment of the truth of His love and our inability to respond to it. The rite of confession is an acknowledgment by the Church of the objectivity of God’s mercy. To “go to confession” means to join the Church in the celebration of this truth.

The Sacrament of Penance is a beautiful Sacrament through which we are reconciled to God, ourselves and our neighbours. Remember the words of St. Paul: “God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us, He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin” (Eph 2:4).

From the Compendium of the Catholic Church

298. When did he (Christ) institute this sacrament?

1485

The risen Lord instituted this sacrament on the evening of Easter when he showed himself to his apostles and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23).

Why Is Confession Necessary?

Non-Catholics, and even many Catholics, often ask whether they can confess their sins directly to God, and whether God can forgive them without going through a priest. On the most basic level, of course, the answer is yes, and Catholics should make frequent acts of contrition, which are prayers in which we tell God that we are sorry for our sins and ask for His forgiveness.

But the question misses the point of the Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament, by its very nature, confers graces that help us to live a Christian life, which is why the Church requires us to receive it at least once per year . Moreover, it was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore, we should not only be willing to receive the sacrament, but should embrace it as a gift from a loving God. ally 2

From the Compendium of the Catholic Church

231. What is sacramental grace?

1129, 1131
1134, 2003

Sacramental grace is the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given by Christ and is proper to each sacrament. This grace helps the faithful in their journey toward holiness and so assists the Church as well to grow in charity and in her witness to the world.

What Is Required?

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.
How often should you go to Confession?

While Catholics are only required to go to Confession when they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the Sacrament often. A good rule of thumb is to go once per month. (The Church strongly recommends that, in preparation for fulfilling our Easter Duty to receive Communion, we go to Confession even if we are aware of venial sin only.)

forgive us our trspassese as we forgive

Not until the Baptism of the Lord!..and then Spiritually until Candlemas.

imgae@

imgae@orthodoxcatholicism.com

Christmas does not  begin in October,November or in December but at Midnight Mass on the 24th of December. So when does Christmastide come to an end then? Judging by some reactions, pretty much 3 days after Christmas, when all the decorations are put back in the loft and ‘duties’ around Christmas festivities are over. Sadly though this is not the case at all.

Christmas falls on 25th December. We mark the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth. Church and ancient custom then add a twelve-day follow-up season up to Epiphany, which in 2014 was celebrated on 5th January. However, liturgically speaking, the season of Christmastide lasts until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (today ,12th January) and “Ordinary Time” does not commence until after this day. In some traditions, Christmas further continues until the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple  (Candlemas) on 2nd February . 

Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and praises God: “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation...

Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and praises God: “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation…

The entire Christmas Cycle is a crescendo of Christ’s manifesting Himself as God and King — to the shepherds, to the Magi, at His Baptism, to Simeon and the prophetess, Anna (Luke 2).  

The days from the Feast of the Nativity to the Epiphany are known as “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” with Christmas itself being the first day, and Twelfth Night — 5 January — being the last of the twelve days. Christmastide liturgically ends on 13 January, the Octave of the Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ. But Christmas doesn’t end spiritually — i.e., the celebration of the events of Christ’s life as a child don’t end, and the great Christmas Cycle doesn’t end — until Candlemas on 2 February.

candlemas1

The Presentation

In this way, just as From Ash Wednesday on, we commemorate Christ in the desert for forty days, and just as after Easter we celebrate for forty days until the Ascension, after Christmas we celebrate the Child Jesus for forty days — all through the season of Time After Epiphany — until Candlemas.

The delineation of those Christ Child celebrations looks like this:

  • Christmas
    Christ is born
  • Feast of the Holy Innocents
    Herod slaughters the baby boys in order to kill the Christ Child
  • The Circumcision (the Octave of Christmas)
    Jesus follows the Law
  • Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
    After He is circumcised, He is named and becomes a part of the Holy Family
  • Twelfth Night 
    The Twelve Days of Christmas as a Feast come to an end
  • Feast of the Epiphany
    Jesus reveals His divinity to the three Magi, and during His Baptism, and at the wedding at Cana
  • Baptism of Our Lord/Octave of the Epiphany
    Christmas liturgically ends with the Octave of the Epiphany.
  • Feast of the Holy Family
    Jesus condescends to be subject to His parents
  • Feast of the Purification (Candlemas)
    40 days after giving birth, Mary goes to the Temple to be purified and to “redeem” Jesus per the Old Testament Law of the firstborn. Christmas truly ends as a Season with Candlemas.

Let friends and family know about this and continue to celebrate the Nativity of our  Lord and Saviour until the 2nd of February.