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    We come to you, most holy Virgin. We are children of England, your dowry. Keep us faithful to the Gospel of Jesus your Son. Keep us in the unity of the Catholic faith and the power of hope.

    Mother of love, protect all the families of England. Help them to stay together. Give them the happiness of loving and passing on life.

    You are the Mother of Christ, our Saviour. Open our hearts to people who are suffering. May each of us offer signs of friendship and welcome to people who are less well off than us.

    Faithful Virgin, help us in our lives. Help us to choose the way in life that Jesus wants us to follow. May we face the problems of life today, together with people of other Churches and religions.

    You praised the great things done by the Lord. You sang about how God kept his promises to the people of Israel. We bless you because you believed in the Word of God and in his Love which lasts for ever and ever.

    Amen.

    Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

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    God our Loving Father, pour out on us afresh the gifts of your Holy Spirit. Open our ears to hear your Word, open our eyes to see your presence, open our minds to understand your Wisdom and open our hearts to be more available for your mission so that strengthened by your grace we can truly be a sign and instrument of your presence in our world today. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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THE SEARCH

Image@http://www.transformedinchrist.com/gods-search-for-you/

Image@http://www.transformedinchrist.com/gods-search-for-you/

Set apart, marked, driven out, persecuted…and not one of the Western leaders condemn these atrocities!

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Just in case you have come across this sign on social media sites and are not sure what it represents I thought I’d post it tonight in support of Christians in Mosul who are being crucified, murdered, tortured and forced out of Iraq for being Christian.The Pope has spoken out in support of these Christians, seemingly ‘forgotten’ by the Western leaders. Read articles here and here to understand the wider picture of the atrocities unfolding so far from us here in the West.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bp4vkZdCZI

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/

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The Church and Discipleship

Be inspired! Read this inspiring post over at the Catholic blog Transformed in Christ. Excellent observations and ideas linked to the New Evangelisation.

Have we put a sign on the door saying , ‘Do not disturb?’

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis , just as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, has taken up the soul inspiring challenge of St John Paul II who first called for a ‘New Evangelisation’ in his encyclical Redemtoris Missio nearly 24 years ago.

Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ (Evangelii Gaudium) is the long-awaited teaching of Pope Francis on the proclamation of the Gospel. Pope Francis is calling upon the Church and the world with encouragement to begin a new chapter in evangelization. This dynamic document is written in the plain, everyday language for which the Pope has become famous. 

At our parish Fr Robert Barron’s ‘Catholicism: the New Evangelisation’ is being shared with all parishioners who want to put their faith into action. This documentary and study programme, with the acclaimed Fr Robert Barron, focuses on the cultural obstacles which the Church faces today and sends us on our Mission with confidence and a message of great joy

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Picture poster advertising the new course for Catholics on the New Evangelization from Fr. Robert Barron. 

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.

A need to recognise the dangerous ‘new secularism’

There are Christians who are incarcerated for not denouncing their faith. There are those who are forced to flee their country of birth. There are those who have died and still more are awaiting their death, because they refuse to denounce their faith in Jesus.

We should not only be praying for these fellow brothers and sisters but standing side-by-side voicing our concern about what is going on against our Faith in the world. How do we do this? By  writing to the Prime Minister, writing to the representative member of parliament in your constituency and raising awareness amongst Christians about this attack.

This morning I came across this article over at Christian Concern. A very important article about the ‘dangerous new secularism’. It’s real and  insidious. We need to take notice and stand up to denounce this trend. I have highlighted words and phrases that stand out as critical. Read this. I would appreciate your comments and thoughts on this article.Christians need to recognise that the ‘new secularism’ is trying to undermine and destroy their faith, a Free Church minister in Scotland has said.

David Robertson, who is also the Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, warned about the difference between secularists who are “simply about the separation of church and state” and a “new secularism which is much more militant and dangerous”.

Writing for the website Christian Today, Robertson explained: “The vast majority of the posts on secular message boards are anti-religious.

Attack

“The main purpose is to attack religion in general, Christianity in particular and in very particular the Catholic Church and evangelicals.”

He said this attitude “quickly degenerates into personal abuse” if the comments are challenged.

The new secularism appears to come with ‘values’, Robertson argued, such as being pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia and pro-homosexuality.

Public

“Dare any one in public life suggest for example that marriage should be between a man and a woman and they are automatically decried as a homophobic bigot even (or perhaps especially) if they are homosexual and atheist”, he said.

Robertson commented: “The New Secularists want the complete neuterisation and privatisation of religion. They want only their views and values to be taught and allowed in public life.”

“We need to recognise the new secularism for what it is – an attempt to undermine and destroy Christianity.

Fundamentalism

“We need to stand against its fundamentalism and we need to stand up for the poor, the young, the disabled and the marginalised (who most need the Good News), by proclaiming the gospel of Christ against the elitism and intolerance of our new fundamentalist atheists”, he said.

The last Census of 2011 found that less than 78,000 people (or 0.14 per cent of the population) identified themselves as secularist, atheist, humanists, agnostics or as a free thinker.

Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said of atheists: “This tiny group of people lays great claims to have their beliefs at the front and centre of our national life.”

“What the atheists lack in numbers, they certainly make up for in terms of their influence and boldness. They understand that their beliefs are a worldview which they are determined to impose on everyone else”, he added.

Quoted from The Christian Institute 

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

Pope Francis shares good counsel

Beautiful teaching from our Papa on Good Counsel. A must-read. (Full article teaching here.)

holy-spirit-rotator

image@www.advisorswithpurpose.ca

Spiritual nurture from the Holy Father

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

We heard in the Reading of the passage from the Book of Psalms: “the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me” (Ps 16[15]:7). This is another gift of the Holy Spirit: the gift of counsel. We know how important it is in the most delicate moments to be able to count on the advice of people who are wise and who love us. Now, through the gift of counsel, it is God himself, through his spirit, who enlightens our heart so as to make us understand the right way to speak and to behave and the way to follow. But how does this gift work in us?

1. When we receive and welcome him into our heart, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to his voice and to guide our thoughts, our feelings and our intentions according to the heart of God. At the same time, he leads us more and more to turn our interior gaze to Jesus, as the model of our way of acting and of relating with God the Father and with the brethren. Counsel, then, is the gift through which the Holy Spirit enables our conscience to make a concrete choice in communion with God, according to the logic of Jesus and his Gospel. In this way, the Spirit makes us grow interiorly, he makes us grow positively, he makes us grow in the community and he helps us not to fall prey to self-centredness and one’s own way of seeing things. Thus the Spirit helps us to grow and also to live in community. The essential condition for preserving this gift is prayer. We always return to the same theme: prayer! Yet prayer is so important. To pray with the prayers that we all learned as children, but also to pray in our own words. To ask the Lord: “Lord, help me, give me counsel, what must I do now?”. And through prayer we make space so that the Spirit may come and help us in that moment, that he may counsel us on what we all must do. Prayer! Never forget prayer. Never! No one, no one realizes when we pray on the bus, on the road: we pray in the silence of our heart. Let us take advantage of these moments to pray, pray that the Spirit give us the gift of counsel.

In intimacy with God and in listening to his Word, little by little we put aside our own way of thinking, which is most often dictated by our closures, by our prejudice and by our ambitions, and we learn instead to ask the Lord: what is your desire? What is your will? What pleases you? In this way a deep, almost connatural harmony in the Spirit grows and develops within us and we experience how true the words of Jesus are that are reported in the Gospel of Matthew: “do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the spirit of your Father speaking through you” (10:19-20). It is the Spirit who counsels us, but we have to make room for the Spirit, so that he may counsel us. And to give space is to pray, to pray that he come and help us always.

3. As with all of the other gifts of the Spirit, then, counsel too constitutes a treasure for the whole Christian community. The Lord does not only speak to us in the intimacy of the heart; yes, he speaks to us, but not only there; he also speaks to us through the voice and witness of the brethren. It is truly a great gift to be able to meet men and women of faith who, especially in the most complicated and important stages of our lives, help us to bring light to our heart and to recognize the Lord’s will!

I remember once at the Shrine of Luján I was in the confessional, where there was a long queue. There was even a very modern young man, with earrings, tattoos, all these things…. And he came to tell me what was happening to him. It was a big and difficult problem. And he said to me: “I told my mother all this and my mother said to me, go to Our Lady and she will tell you what you must do”. Here is a woman who had the gift of counsel. She did not know how to help her son out of his problem, but she indicated the right road: go to Our Lady and she will tell you. This is the gift of counsel. That humble, simple woman, gave her son the truest counsel. In fact, this young man said to me: “I looked at Our Lady and I felt that I had to do this, this and this…”. I did not have to speak, his mother and the boy himself had already said everything. This is the gift of counsel. You mothers who have this gift, ask it for your children, the gift of giving good counsel to your children is a gift of God.

Dear friends, Psalm 16[15], which we heard, invites us to pray with these words: “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (vv. 7-8). May the Spirit always pour this certainty into our heart and fill us thus with the consolation of his peace! Always ask for the gift of counsel.

This item 10531 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org 

An angelic salutation.

The Hail Mary, sometimes called the “angelic salutation,” is the foundation for prayers such as the Rosary and the Angelus. It has inspired much fervent devotion to Jesus and His Blessed Mother.

This wonderful prayer has helped give people the graces, strength, and spiritual protection they’ve needed for hundreds of years.

The Hail Mary has also been the inspiration for some great musical settings of its text in Latin, most famously in the Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. It is as simple as it is elegant, in any language:

Hailmaryrevised

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

Rosary beads

Rosary beads

Blessed Alan de la Roche, a great champion of the Rosary in the 15th century, once said that “When I say Hail Mary, hope is made strong in my breast and the dew of consolation falls on my soul….the angelic salutation is a rainbow in the heavens, a sign of the mercy and grace God has given to the world.”

He also noted that “as all heaven rejoices when the ‘Hail Mary’ is said, so also do the devils tremble and take flight.”

Praying the Hail Mary or showing our devotion to her doesn’t mean we are putting her ahead of Jesus, as some might fear. When we pray to Mary we are also praying through Mary, asking her to intercede with God for us on our behalf.

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