The Paschal Candle


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)

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.


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.


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St Peter and St Paul

mage: Juan Fernandez de Navarrete - St. Peter and St. Paul

mage: Juan Fernandez de Navarrete – St. Peter and St. Paul

Peter and Paul Icon

Peter and Paul Icon

St Peter

St Peter

St Paul

St Paul








Sanctify me, Save me, Inebriate me…..


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

Mary and Martha
Read the Gospel story at

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@ Excellent information on St Augustine of Hippo

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.



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.


Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat?

anima-christi (1)

The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to believe?

When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood in John 6, his words met with less than an enthusiastic reception.  How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (V 52).  This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it? (V60).  In fact so many of his disciples abandoned him over this that Jesus had to ask the twelve if they also planned to quit.  It is interesting that Jesus did not run after his disciples saying, Don’t go, I was just speaking metaphorically!

How did the early Church interpret these challenging words of Jesus? One charge the pagan Romans lodged against the Christians was cannibalism. Why? They heard that this sect regularly met to eat and drink human blood.  Did the early Christians say: wait a minute, it’s only a symbol?  Not at all.  When trying to explain the Eucharist to the Roman Emperor around 155 AD, St. Justin did not mince his words: “For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Sav­iour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him . . . is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus”.

St. Justin Martyr

St. Justin Martyr

The bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ which are, in turn, meant to transform us.  Ever hear the phrase: you are what you eat? The Lord desires us to be transformed from a motley crew of imperfect individuals into the Body of Christ, come to full stature.



I look forward to participating in the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christ (The Body Of Christ) and giving thanks for the wonderful gift of Christ Himself in the Eucharist.

After this Mass we will be joining a short procession in adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ next week.

“Adoration outside Holy Mass prolongs and intensifies what has taken place in the liturgical celebration and makes a true and profound reception of Christ possible. I . . . warmly recommend, to Pastors and to all the faithful, the practice of Eucharistic adoration. “

– Pope Benedict XVI


Pentecost: A Beautiful Illumination. Does your heart long for beauty?

On first sight of this painting, my heart skipped a beat and caught my breath for just a few moments. This has only ever happened to me once before, in Rome at the Northern Gate, at the church just inside the gate on the right hand side. It was there that we were blessed to join in the celebration of a Baptism.

There,  I came upon a painting of Our Lady at the Annunciation and its beauty brought me to tears in an instant. The shadow of the Divine was in that painting……..just as it is here in this one. I felt it at the core of my being.

I am an artist in waiting , painting and creating along the journey of Life. Searching for the Divine in the beauty of Christian art. This is one example of just one of those paintings. The exciting thing is that there is much beauty to discover and reflect upon. (This is one endeavour on my bucket list)

In her post, Elizabeth Scalia praises the merits of the little publication MAGNIFICAT. Not only does this reach out to adults but to children also. Take a peek at MAGNIFIKID . The slogan for the Magnifikid copy is encouraging: ‘To bring the Mass and prayer closer to the children’.

By Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)

I first saw this beautiful painting and the reflection when visiting the blog CATHOLIC PURE AND SIMPLE

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Sometimes the heart just longs for beauty. June’s cover of Magnificat Magazine took my breath away. That’s “Pentecost” an illumination from a book of Hours from the 16th Century, and this is what Pierre-Marie Dumont writes of it:

Shown at prayer, Mary intercedes for her “daughter” [the church] at the moment of her birth at Pentecost, just as she will constantly intercede for her to the end of time. Kneeling in the right foreground is Saint Peter, the first pope, wearing the mozetta in cloth of gold. Opposite him is Saint John, a handsome reddish-blond young man. In the middle ground, between Mary and Peter, stands Saint James. The first bishop of the Church, in the see of Jerusalem, he is recognizable by his ermine mozetta, symbol of the episcopacy. In a most stunning way, all are clad in white. For, at Pentecost, the Apostles underwent a kind of baptism. Like catechumens, they have cast off their old clothes to be robed anew in white. Through this divestiture and reclothing, the artist seeks to express a radical change in function and vocation; to receive this immaculate uniform is a royal, priestly and prophetic investiture. But further, the artist represents a gathering in the Upper Room where all are clothed in “dazzling white” (Luke 9:29) just as Christ at the Transfiguration…the miniaturist here offers us a vision of the glory of the Church, encapsulating at the same time both its divine origins as well as its fulfillment as the Body of Christ.

I love it. And for me the Magnificat is invaluable.

Remembering the brave D-Day Chaplains

British D-Day veteran, Fred Glover, one of 3000 WWII veterans marking the 70th anniversary of Normandy landings. Vatican Radio

Listen here to a Catholic chaplain as he talks about the D Day landings 70th anniversary.
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Chaplain saying mass aboard HMS Scylla, laying at anchor off the Normandy coast shortly after the D-Day invasion of France June 12, 1944.

(British Official Photo/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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Father John McGovern gives mass in France during World War II. (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

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Captain Callum Thompson, a Canadian chaplain, conducting a funeral service in the Normandy bridgehead, France, 16 July 1944. (Library and Archives Canada)

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The Seabees of the 111th Naval Construction Battalion give thanks on D-Day plus 12, 18 June 1944. Navy Chaplains have served around the world with Seabee battalions since their inception in 1942. Chaplains prayed and conducted regular services, using any available area including a ships deck, an apple orchard, a hand-cut hole in a Pacific-island jungle or a makeshift tent for a church. They will use a jeep, packing case or ammunition box for an altar, or a helmet for a yarmulke, the top of a mess kit for a paten or a canteen cup for a chalice. (U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Flickr)


Father (Major) Edward J. Waters, Catholic Chaplain from Oswego, New York, conducts Divine Services on a pier for members of the first assault troops thrown against Hitler’s forces on the continent. Weymouth, England., 06/06/1944 (U.S. National Archives)

A priest of the New Evangilisation should be…



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