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Truly:- like a sheep thrown to the wolves.

These quotes are from Biblia.com (a wonderful resource at to have at the tips of your fingers) from the New Revised Standard Version: – Father Jonathan referred to this quote during his homily this morning. It’s so apt for what you will witness in the video clip below.

Coming Persecutions

(Mk 13:9–13Lk 21:12–17)

16 “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.

marriage

From the outset of the ‘interview’ or rather the ‘attack’, Anthony O, (can’t catch his name) a representative from the SPUC, is besieged with stares of horror and gasps of disbelief. I found their behaviour so interesting, and to be frank I feel pity for them. What they heard Anthony say really shocked them. By their reactions he seemed to be talking about marriage from a bygone era on another galaxy. They are products of the perfect examples of people who exist in the secular culture in which we live.

It seems obvious to me that having Anthony O. on the programme was not because they wanted to hear or somehow understand an inkling of what he was sharing but rather to highlight that there is someone or rather a society of people, who do not support the redefinition of  the  institution of marriage which has always been accepted as one adhered to by heterosexuals  for the purposes of cohabitation and the intrinsic need for a partner and ultimately (God willing)  procreation.

I feel an affiliation to most of what Anthony had to say but felt rather let down by some of his retorts. His attempts at refutation and qualification were inadequate towards the end of the interview. Why oh why would anyone agree to discuss a topic such as this on morning t.v?? Bravo Anthony for having a go and I can say for sure that he fared much better than I ever would.  An eleven minute slot on morning t.v is definitely not enough time to convey sound Catholic teaching on the dignity and purpose of the Sacrament of marriage. As a result, the presenters and the recruited journalist ended up throwing knives thick and fast giving very little space for Anthony to answer any question fully.

I am shocked that Kally Rose (journalist) went as far as calling Anthony homophobic. What an insult. Anyone who is not in the know about what’s been going on in Britain regarding this debate will most probably also deem Anthony to be a barbarian from another time.

Just to set the record straight on what I know about issues raised:-

  1. People with same-sex attraction have always been on earth. This is no new phenomenon.  Sadly they have endured  and continue to endure verbal derision , attacks on their lives and discrimination because of the lifestyle choices they make.
  2. Even in the most ‘enlightened’ circles, the topic of same-sex attraction manages to ruffle feathers, get people moving and shifting or even departing. No matter how the press want to portray an ‘accepting all inclusive, all-embracing society’, this is still a topic which can cause arguments and embarrassment.
  3. Devoted, practising Catholic parents would accept their child with same-sex attraction with arms open wide, with absolutely no intention of forcing them to change. It’s impossible to change something inherent. It is their duty as Catholic parents to encourage their child (who may be a practising Catholic/or not as the case may be) to live a chaste life, just as other siblings may be encouraged to do the same as heterosexuals. It would be their duty to do this, but to continue loving their child.
  4. It’s important to know that there is another choice available out there for gays who don’t want to live a homosexual lifestyle. Believe it or not, there are gays who feel this way! I happen to know of a fair few. I started  following a blog written by this guy who has decided to live a life of chastity. Yes he is Catholic, and he calls himself Steve Gershom.  Pretty amazing is an understatement! His blog is a must-read.

Prayer for the month of December: be prepared.

By the 16th December we’ll be well into Advent and I think this Novena will serve to enhance our Advent sentimentality,  our prayer-life and praise to God.

Novena For Advent

week-3-after-5

By the 16th December, we will have lit our third Advent candle!

O Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake descended from the throne of glory to this world of pain and sorrow; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; Make our hearts a fit habitation for you. Beautify and fill us with all spiritual graces, and possess us wholly by your power. Give us grace to prepare for your coming with deep humility, to receive you with burning love, and to hold fast to you with a firm faith; that we may never leave nor forsake you. Who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen

Here say one of the antiphons below, according to the day.

Then say:

OUR FATHER

HAIL MARY

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

The Daily Antiphons

(note: these are also to be used as antiphons for the Magnificat at Evening Prayer.)

December 16

O SHEPHERD of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock: Come to guide and comfort us.

December 17

O WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18

O ADONAI, ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

December 19

O ROOT OF JESSE, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

December 20

O KEY OF DAVID, and Sceptre of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: Come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21

O DAWN OF THE EAST, brightness of light eternal, and Sun of righteousness: Come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death

December 22

O KING OF THE GENTILES and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes all one: Come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.

December 23

O EMMANUEL, God with us, Our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Saviour: Come to save us, O Lord our God.

December 24

O THOU whose dominion is great, and whose kingdom shall have no end; the mighty God, the Governor, the Prince of Peace: Come show thy face, and we shall be saved.

(I found this Novena here.)

Prayer walk

On Thursday evening I met Deacon John at church for my first experience of a Prayer Walk. It was the last day of a two-week Ecumenical prayer effort.

Each church in the area was given a designated route to walk,  so that by the end of the two-week period the whole of our suburb will have been covered in prayer. Before we started walking, Deacon John shared prayer themes that can be prayed as we walk up and down the roads passing houses. This would include any pedestrians that we may come across. I thought this was a great idea. How many times have I been in need of prayer,and just maybe I was prayed for by a passing Prayer Walker?

The advice at the top of the list suggested, ‘Attempt to keep every prayer pertinent to the specific community you pass through. As you do, you will find prayers naturally progress to the nation and the world.’  We then read:-

1 Timothy 2:1-10  From the Bible Gateway

English Standard Version (ESV)

Pray for All People

2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.  For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10  but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

Footnotes:
  1. 1 Timothy 2:5men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

These are three categories of prayer I chose to prayer on the walk:

  1. Concerning Christ: Proclaim Him afresh to be the one mediator and the ransom for all. Name Him Lord of the neighbourhood and of the lives you see.
  2. Concerning Truth: Declare openly the bedrock reality that there is one God. Celebrate the faithful revelation of His Truth to all peoples through ordinary people. Pray that the eyes of minds would cease to be blinded by Satan so that they could come to a knowledge of the Truth.
  3. Concerning the Blessing of God: Thanksgivings are to be made on behalf of all people. Give God the explicit thanks that He deserves for the goodness He constantly bestows on the homes you pass by.
As we came to the end of a block we would stop to say the Our Father or a Hail Mary or a Glory Be.

The Lord’s Prayer

I enjoyed passing houses and wondering who may be inside. Looking at the gardens I made up an image of who the gardener may be, this depended on the type of flowers in the garden as well as and the state of the garden. It got me thinking about the importance of prayer in general and how I struggle to keep up with all who do need prayer. (I’ve begun to stick with the Holy Father’s prayer intention for the month as well as the parish list that is shared at the beginning of each month, and then I make a list of those closest me who need intercession. This is pretty comprehensive). Every time I walk down the street now, I will say a little prayer for one person who passes me by, or perhaps I’ll say a general prayer for pedestrians before I set off?

Yes, I will be part of the Prayer Walk again next year. It was a special time of prayer that unites all Christian churches in Christ, connecting myself and other Christians who live in close proximity with a golden thread called Prayer.