Guess what I’ve been reading about…

82b8b236aa263bd863974168b01ca203

0406689aa02ad7acc27b8e77475f372c

……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.

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

The Paschal Candle

452080854_a86ec8ffb2

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)

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

The Pope Francis List

I was once advised by my parish priest while in the Confessional, to pray for someone who is difficult to get along with. I am still praying and trusting in the Lord’s timing for the change to take place in our relationship, or the change in me that has to take place before our relationship improves. Until reading The Holy Father’s List, I didn’t think of befriending this person. I will be thinking and praying about this recommendation for a little while to come.

Do you have experiences or advice to share on point 7 of this list?

1. DON’T GOSSIP.
“When we gossip, we “are doing what Judas did,” and “begin to tear the other person to pieces. Every time we judge our brother in our hearts or worse when we speak badly of them with others, we are murdering Christians,” (The Holy Father, Pope Francis says. “There is no such thing as innocent slander.”2. FINISH YOUR MEAL.
“Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.”3. MAKE TIME FOR OTHERS.
“If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.” Fr. James Martin4. CHOOSE THE ‘MORE HUMBLE’ PURCHASE.
“Certainly, possessions, money, and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. ‘Put on Christ’ in your life, place your trust in him, and you will never be disappointed!”5. MEET THE POOR ‘IN THE FLESH’.
“Hospitality in itself isn’t enough. It’s not enough to give a sandwich if it isn’t accompanied by the possibility of learning to stand on one’s own feet. Charity that does not change the situation of the poor isn’t enough.”

6. STOP JUDGING OTHERS.
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
“Let us not forget that hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives!”

7. BEFRIEND THOSE WHO DISAGREE.
“When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families, and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice.”

8. MAKE COMMITMENTS, SUCH AS MARRIAGE.
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy,”

9. MAKE IT A HABIT TO ‘ASK THE LORD’.
“Dear young people,” he says, “some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: ‘Speak, Lord, for I am listening’ (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?”

10. BE HAPPY.
“Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path.”

(post on facebook@Gilbert ‘Gilbo’ Teodoro )

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.

B6liLw1CMAUTHp6

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.

Almost

1970752_10152592773311139_7323011451711626298_nunnamed (2)

Only when we begin

10556520_712514395450398_5609615368001965391_n

infographic …spreadshirts …pleasantly graphic …innovative …eye-catching …

Came across this infographic at one of the top Christian blogs in the UK – GOD AND POLITICS IN THE UK Take time to browse Informative and unbiased posts. www.catholicswithattitude.org sell T-shirts that will encourage comments at the very least or discussion at it’s best.

infographic @http://www.onlinechristiancolleges.com/pope-francis/

infographic @http://www.onlinechristiancolleges.com/pope-francis/

10447068_10152190403911139_8601891775167512538_n

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 749 other followers