Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Carol: The Beautiful Mother

Happy Christmas

We sang this song as  children, at the carol service in st Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny. I loved it then, and have searched for it for years. Here it is sung here by John Foley,S.J. The original lyrics of  The Beautiful Mother were written by Jacopone da Todi, who was a 13th century Franciscan friar from Umbria, Italy.  The Stabat Mater is conventionally attributed to him.

The Beautiful Mother
Words: Adapted from the Latin of Jacopone da Todi.
Thirteenth Century.

The beautiful Mother is bending
    Low where her Baby lies
Helpless and frail, for her tending;
    But she knows the glorious eyes.

The Mother smiles and rejoices
    While the Baby laughs in the hay;
She listens to heavenly voices:
    'The child shall be King, one day.

O dear little Christ in the manger,
    Let me make merry with Thee.
O King, in my hour of danger,
    Wilt Thou be strong for me?

Friday, December 24, 2010



whom we adore and acknowledge to be our Sovereign Lord!
Come and take birth in our hearts.

O Infant Jesus,
grant that each moment of our lives
we may pay homage to that moment in which
You did begin the work of salvation.

Sacred Mother of our Infant Savior,
obtain that we may so prepare ourselves for His coming,
as not to be separated from Him for all eternity.

I am taking a break from blogging for a few days to celebrate the Incarnation. I will schedule some christmas carols which we can now enjoy.

O Divine Infant of Bethlehem,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Emmanuel

The Great antiphon for 23 December sung by the Dominican student brothers in Oxford.

Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles,
yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium,
et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Rex Gentium (O King of Nations)

O Rex Gentium,
et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis,
qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of the Nations,
and the one they desired,
who makes both peoples one,
come and save mankind,
whom you shaped from the mud.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CDF: Condom Clarification

The "Box"

Tonight in St Mary's Church in Drogheda, there will be the annual Advent penitential service at 7.30pm. The weather though is doing its very best to make sure that few will attend. I have been in this parish, which I love, for several years, but I haven't been to a penitential service yet. And being a creature of habit, I don't plan on going this year either.

My main issue with penitential services, is the inadequate supply of confession boxes. Simple as that! Confession, for me, is preferable in a big wooden box. Now I must say, the one working confession box in St Mary's is lovely, it is bright, and it lacks the usual musty, damp aroma that most confessionals in Ireland seem to have. Mind you, I haven't been in it for years, as the not so nice, definitely inferior, box at the Dominican Church in Drogheda has a confession timetable that suits me just fine, (confession every morning after the 10am Mass), even my sieve like brain can not forget that schedule.

Why do I prefer the "box"? Is it the anonymity? Partly, but not really, as my accent makes my voice quite recognisable. As a teenager I always went to confession "face to face", in a confessional room, to priests that I knew. The traditional confession boxes were ripped out during renovation, I wonder could they put them back as they are renovating again? The box only became the norm when I got married and moved to Canada. We lived just across the road from a church, and it had four confession boxes that were in constant use, so back to the box of my childhood I went, and surprise, surprise I liked it. I think it is the screen, or fixed grill, or curtain that really draws me to the box. Why? I have found that the screen helps me to focus on the fact that in this sacrament I encounter Christ. In this sacrament the priests acts in personae Christi, I confess my sins to Christ, whom the priest represents.
"It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Pius XII, encyclical, Mediator Dei: AAS, 39 (1947) 548.

The priest is obviously important, he's absolutely essential, but if I am sitting in front of him, I tend to get caught up in the human interaction, and I become less aware of the enormity of what is happening in this sacramental encounter. And let's face it, I haven't gone to confession to have a chat with Fr. X.

The "box" also provides for the essential kneeling opportunity. In my mind, it just does not seem right, to confess my sins sitting on a chair. It seems right to confess my sins, seek God's mercy, express sorrow and receive absolution on my knees. OK, if you can't kneel it's different, but I can, and so I do.

I have always been fascinated by this beautiful sacrament. In it I have received so much more than forgiveness. Through it the Lord has given me many graces, and much needed guidance. I'm still a pathetic sinner, but I know that things would be much much worse, without the help that this sacrament provides. But whatever your personal preferences, or past experiences, make sure that this Advent you get to confession. The Lord is always waiting patiently for us. Go, confess your sins, receive absolution, be reconciled with God, and be truely ready to meet the Christ child this Christmas.

If you have been away from this most wonderful sacrament for a while, check out Fr. Z's 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession, or Making a Good Confession, from the Boston Archdiocese.
Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession. --St. Isidore of Seville

O Oriens (O Dawn)

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina
sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.
O Dawn,
splendor of eternal light,
and sun of justice,
come, and shine on those ,
seated in darkness,
and in the shadow of death.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saint Genesius Film Society presents

Tuesday 21st December ... 7pm

Knights of St Columbanus,
Ely House,
8 Ely Place
(Off St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2)

All Welcome
Film, Discussion, Refreshments.

The Catholic Irish Blogsphere

At Last the "Catholic Blog" has arrived in Ireland. I am an avid blog reader, some of the Americans are outstanding, but I think we need something Irish. Here is a list, in no particular order, if you are not on it, let me know.

Ex Umbris Et Imaginibus Father John Hogan
Peregrinus Hibernensis Eamon, Dublin
Rationabile Obsequium Fr B
St Genesius Caroline, Drogheda
Catholicus Christopher, Drogheda
An Irish Catholic
Lux Occulta Shane
Ireland – Semper Fidelis
Dominician Nuns Drogheda
Witness Christ Luuk Dominiek Jansen OP, Dublin

"Among the new forms of mass communication, nowadays we need to recognize the increased role of the internet, which represents a new forum for making the Gospel heard. Yet we also need to be aware that the virtual world will never be able to replace the real world, and that evangelization will be able to make use of the virtual world offered by the new media in order to create meaningful relationships only if it is able to offer the personal contact which remains indispensable. In the world of the internet, which enables billions of images to appear on millions of screens throughout the world, the face of Christ needs to be seen and his voice heard, for "if there is no room for Christ, there is no room for man". (Verbum Domini)

O Clavis David, (O Key of David)

O Clavis David,
et sceptrum domus Israël,
qui aperis, et nemo claudit,
claudis, et nemo aperuit:
veni, et educ vinctum
de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.

O Key of David,
and scepter of the house of Israel,
you open, and no one shuts,
you shut, and no one opens:
come, and lead the prisoner
from jail.
seated in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Radix Jesse, (O Root of Jesse)

O Radix Jesse,
qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos,
jam noli tardare
O Root of Jesse,
who stand as a sign for the people,
kings stand silent in your presence,
whom the nations will worship:
come to set us free,
put it off no longer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

O Sapientia

The O Antiphons are sung Vespers on the last seven days of Advent.

Each antiphon is a name of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Scripture. They are:
  • December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
  • December 23: O Emmanuel (O God is with Us)
The first antiphon for today, 17th December is sung by the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars in Oxford.

Abortion is a Business

We must always remember that abortion is a business. You can even get a discount, if you have been referred by the "right" organisation.

Abby Johnson, the former executive director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in southeast Texas quit, she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions. For them there's not a lot of money in education," she said. "There's as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Statement by Cardinal Seán Brady, in response to the European Court of Human Rights

"Today's judgment leaves future policy in Ireland on protecting the lives of unborn children in the hands of the Irish people and does not oblige Ireland to introduce legislation authorising abortion" - Cardinal Brady

The judgement given today by the European Court of Human Rights regarding the legal position on abortion in Ireland raises profound moral and legal issues which will require careful analysis and reflection.  Today's judgment leaves future policy in Ireland on protecting the lives of unborn children in the hands of the Irish people and does not oblige Ireland to introduce legislation authorising abortion.

The Irish Constitution clearly says that the right to life of the unborn child is equal to that of his or her mother.  These are the fundamental human rights at stake.  The Catholic Church teaches that neither the unborn child nor the mother may be deliberately killed. The direct destruction of an innocent human life can never be justified, however difficult the circumstances.  We are always obliged to act with respect for the inherent right to life of both the mother and the unborn child in the mother’s womb.  No law which subordinates the rights of any human being to those of other human beings can be regarded as a just law.

At the beginning of Advent on 27 November last Pope Benedict spoke about the coming of Christ into our world in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Father reflected on the light that this sheds on the wonder of all human life.  The embryo in the womb, he said, is not just a collection of cells but “a new living being, dynamic and marvellously ordered, a new individual of the human species. This is what Jesus was in Mary’s womb; this is what we all were in our mother’s womb.”

As a society we all have a responsibility to respond sensitively to any woman who finds herself dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.  I urge anyone in this situation to contact CURA, the crisis pregnancy support service.



Violated! The European Court of Human rights has ruled that someones human rights have been violated, because they were not allowed to have an abortion in Ireland. The person who was violated was the now dead unborn child.

Fr John Hogan is covering this over at Ex Umbris Et Imaginibus.

Irish Bishops tell us to go to Confession

If we say, 'We have no sin,' we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. (1 John 1:8)

Confession: God doesn't need it. We do.

It's now 9 sleeps until Christmas, my 5 year old is keeping check, just in case I forget! I still have gifts to buy and decorating to do. But top on my "to do list", is the essential christmas confession. I was encouraged by the latest press release from our Irish Bishops, as confession was also top of their advent press release.

 "Its celebration should be an integral part of our preparation for the Feast of the birth of Our Saviour.  Bishops strongly encourage all Catholics in Advent to make time to avail themselves of the gift of God’s love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation."
Getting our souls ready is more important than anything else that we need to do. So over the next nine days, get to a confession box somewhere. We are blessed here in Drogheda, as the Dominicans hear confessions everyday, and already the queues are starting to get longer. I do love to see a queue outside a confession box. Sad or what? In this Sunday's Gospel we are reminded that, "He is the one who is to save his people from their sins." So go, confess, recieve absolution, and let Him save you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Are You Going to Bethlehem?

King's Hall Complex, Belfast

Friday 17th December   7:00pm - 9:00pm

Saturday 18th December   10:00am-9:00pm

Admission Free! Parking Free!

European Court to Rule on Irish Abortion Laws


The European Court of Human Rights will this week issue a ruling on whether Ireland’s restrictions on abortion violate women’s human rights. The ruling, which could have significant implications for Irish abortion law, is based on a case taken by three women in Ireland who say their health was put at risk by being forced to go abroad for abortions.  Continue reading.....


Prayer to End Abortion
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

St John of the Cross, pray for us

St John of the Cross
Anonymous artist 17th Century

Quotations from St John of the Cross

If you wish to attain holy recollection, you will do so not by receiving but by denying.

Although you perform many works, if you do not deny your will and submit yourself, losing all solicitude about yourself and your affairs, you will not make progress.

Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.

Prayer by St John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.


Monday, December 13, 2010

St Lucy, pray for us

Saint Lucy of Syracuse (284-304), also known as Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, or Saint Lukia, was a rich young Christian martyr. She consecratedg her virginity to God, refused to marry a pagan, and gave her dowry to the poor. Her would-be husband denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse, Sicily. Miraculously unable to move her or burn her, the guards took out her eyes with a fork. She is the patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble.

I had the priviledge of visiting the tomb of St Lucy, with The Fraternity of St Genesius, in May 2010. What a glorious trip. Below are some of my photos. The relics of St Lucy's body in in the church of San Geremia, they were carried there in 1861 when the church dedicated to her was demolished. In 1955 Angelo Roncalli, future Pope John XXIII and then Patriarch of Venice, had a silver mask put on the saint's face to protect it from dust.
Strange but true: "In November 1981 St Lucy's mummified skeleton was stolen from its heavy glass enclosed crypt just below the altar of the Venetian Church of St Jeremiah. Two gunmen burst into the church and ordered the parish priest and two parishioners to lie on the floor while they seized the remains and put them in a sack. The saint's head broke off at the neck and rolled away on the floor of the church. The silver death mask which had covered the face was left behind. Eventually a bizarre ransom note was received demanding that any page from a book called "If this T Man" be read out in all secondary and high schools in the Venice area. A month later, on her feast day, the police found the remains of St Lucy at a hunting lodge near Venice" (source)

The tomb of St Lucy, San Geremia, Venice

Prayer to St Lucy

Saint Lucy, your beautiful name signifies light. By the light of faith which God bestowed upon you, increase and preserve this light in my soul so that I may avoid evil, be zealous in the performance of good works, and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and of sin.

By your intercession with God, obtain for me perfect vision for my bodily eyes and the grace to use thme for God's greater honor and glory and the salvation of all men.

Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gaudete Sunday

Today, the third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday, the 'pink candle' Sunday. Gaudete is a command ordering us to rejoice! In these days of penance and preparation leading up to the feast of our Savior's birth, we are reminded of the joy that is to come. It can also serve as a "begin again" point, for those of us who are not doing too well in our advent preparations. Did your priest wear pink/ rose coloured vestments today? Today's hymn will  have to be Gaudete.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Prayer and Penance for the Church in Ireland

Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth,
by Marco Palmezzano,  1490

Prayer for the Church in Ireland
God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness,
holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.


Crazy Catholic Cartoon

Sacred vs. Secular Music at Mass

Thursday, December 9, 2010

St Mary's New Parish School

Today, at 2pm in a snow covered field in Drogheda, Co Louth, Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, turned the sod for our new parish school. This school, will become home to our two existing parish schools, Scoil Mhuire Fatima and St Mary's Boys National School. This will be the beginning of a new educational adventure in our parish, as boys and girls will come together under one roof. Despite the snow, ice and sub zero temperatures, a good crowd was in attendance, 6th class students from each school, teachers, school principals past and present, parents and people from the wider community. This school has been talked about for 30 years in Drogheda, and many of us never believed that this day would arrive, but despite everything it has. The new school will take an estimated 18 months to complete, please God.
Fr. Joe, Fr Denis and Bishop Michael Smith

Bishop Michael and his shovel

Principal John Weir, Bishop Smith, and Principal Philip Ward

Saint Juan Diego, pray for us

Saint Juan Diego
You who were chosen by Our Lady of Guadalupe as an instrument to show your people and the world that the way of Christianity is one of love, compassion, understanding, values, sacrificies, repentance of our sins, appreciation and respect for God's creation, and most of all one of HUMILITY and obedience. You who we know is now in the Kingdom of the Lord and close to our Mother, be our angel and protect us, stay with us as we struggle in this modern life not knowing most of the time where to set our priorities. Help us to pray to our God to obtain the gifts of the Holy Spirit and use them for the good of humanity and the good of our Church, through the Heart of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Heart of Jesus. Amen.

Irish Dominicans

Upcoming Vocation Weekends

21st to 23rd January 2011
25th to 27th February 2011
18th to 20th March 2011

more info

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The story of the Immaculate Conception reflected in Vatican Museum frescoes

The Immaculata

 Immaculate Conception,
1630, Zurbaran

The Immaculata prayer is a Catholic Marian prayer composed by Saint Maximillian Kolbe.
It is a prayer of consecration to the Immaculata, i.e. the immaculately conceived Virgin Mary.
The Immaculata Prayer
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Irish Cinemas from December 9th

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

I think I will just sing my way through Advent.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1744

Alive: catholic Newspaper

Media set out to 'shock, instil loathing, whip up prejudice'

Full story.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie: Nicholas Of Myra

A Saint Nicholas Day Poem

Someone will be quite happy to
eat St Nicholas after dinner.

St Nicholas, pray for us
Holy Bishop St. Nicholas lived faraway
Near the Aegean Sea is where Turkey did lay.
Travel back with us now to a time long ago.
We will visit his country, his life we will know.

We remember this saint, such a holy, good man.
Be like him in charity, do all that you can.
Many miracles Nicholas hastened to do,
Helping people in need with gifts that were new.

Bishop Nicholas traveled to Nicea town,
Where the Creed would be written, to us handed down.
During church every Sunday, we stand for the Creed.
Thank you Bishop St. Nicholas, for doing this deed.

Sailors tossed in the wind and the storms of the sea,
Saw a vision of Nicholas who guided them free.
Now patron of sailing, they remember him yet.
Many icons and pictures with fisherman's net.

Giving money to poor girls, so marry could they,
Made our Nicholas famous, remembered today.
With dowry in hand, soon they were wed.
"God bless you and keep you," St. Nicholas said.

Kid's patron in Germany, Netherlands, too.
Asks that presents be given to children like you.
Their customs are different: they put out their shoes—
Filling them with toys, his coming's good news!

Here stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
In hope that St. Nicholas soon will come there.
Dressed as bishop or Santa, he's one and the same—
Jolly, friendly, good man, we're glad that he came.

Call him "Santa" or "saint," they both mean the same,
For his nickname is Claus, short for Nicholas' name.
Giving gifts was his custom—we still do today.
Deeds done in Jesus' name forever will stay.

Bishop Nicholas still is a hero to all.
Christmas Day, and all others we follow his call,
Bringing gifts and some joy to children in need.
Follow Nicholas today—do a good deed.

—Author Unknown

In the Bleak Mid Winter

It is truly a penitential season here in Ireland. (Enforced not chosen.) We just can not cope with this snow and ice. My children have not been in school for a week. Help! We are trapped in our homes. Driving is dangerous, walking is treacherous. Our economy is... well lets not even go there. Tomorrow is budget day, and our country is being held to ransom by a gombeen and a crook.

Veniet Dominus et non tardabit,
ut illuminet abscondita tenebrarum.

The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.”

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I love this...

The Dominicans from St Saviour's Priory , Dublin, having fun in the snow. I'm impressed by the "cape action" from Fr John Harris.

Advent Hymn: O Come Divine Messiah

A wonderful Advent hymn.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Sweet Saviour, haste;
Come, come to earth;
Dispel the night, and show thy face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, divine Messiah,
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

O thou, whom nations signed for,
Whom priests and prophets long foretold,
Wilt break the captive fetters,
Redeem the long lost fold.

Shalt come in peace and meekness,
And lowly will they cradle be;
All clothed in human weakness
Shall we thy God head see.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Now Showing: Of Gods and Men

Of Gods and Men is a film that recreates the final days of seven Cistercians their monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria. The 1996 jihadist uprising claimed their lives, because they refused to abandon their monastery. Monasticism meets fundamentalism. This film won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year, went on to top the box office in France, and has now been officially submitted for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Prayer and Penance

25. Penance then is, as it were, a salutary weapon placed in the hands of the valiant soldiers of Christ, who wish to fight for the defense and restoration of the moral order in the universe. It is a weapon that strikes right at the root of all evil, that is at the lust of material wealth and the wanton pleasures of life. By means of voluntary sacrifices, by means of practical and even painful acts of self-denial, by means of various works of penance, the noble-hearted Christian subdues the base passions that tend to make him violate the moral order. But if zeal for the divine law and brotherly love are as great in him as they should be, then not only does he practice penance for himself and his own sins, but he takes upon himself the expiation of the sins of others, imitating the Saints who often heroically made themselves victims of reparation for the sins of whole generations, imitating even the divine Redeemer, who became the Lamb of God "who taketh away the sins of the world").

Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church in Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.


Advent Hymn: Conditor alme

The Vespers hymn for Advent recorded by the Dominican students at Blackfriars in Oxford.

Fr B takes editor of Irish Catholic to task

Fr B at Rationabile Obsequium has an excellent piece on Gary O'Sullivan's responce to the Irish Bishops leaflet on penance.

I think FrB is spot on. Penance is someting we can and all should do. Do we want healing and renewal or not?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pope Benedict's General Audience 01.12.2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Julian of Norwich, an English mystic and anchoress of the late fourteen and early fifteenth centuries. Julian is best known for her book, Revelations of Divine Love, which recounts sixteen visions or "showings" which she received during a grave illness. The Revelations are centred on the love of Christ; in Julian’s own words: "love is our Lord’s meaning". They exude an optimism grounded in the certainty that we are loved by God and protected by his providence; as Julian says, in speaking of God’s power to bring good out of evil: "all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well". Julian’s mysticism echoes the prophet Isaiah in using the imagery of a mother’s love to describe the affectionate care which God shows for his children, culminating in the incarnation of his Son and the fulfilment of his promises. Like so many holy women in every age, in spite of her withdrawal from the world Julian became a much-sought spiritual guide. In our own lives, may we draw profit from her teaching that God is the love which transforms our lives, bringing joy and peace to our hearts and, through us, to those all around us.

Pope Benedict XXVI

Report shows Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world

Get Ready for Christmas: Youth 2000 Christmas Retreat

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I awoke this morning to the sound of a new text message, "School is closed". So we had five very happy McCamley's in our house this morning. Poor Christopher had to go to work. We had a great day. We made a snow man, and part of an igloo, threw too many snowballs, and now we, or should I say, I am exhausted.

Taize Advent Vigil, Dublin

Prayer for the journey through the current economic downturn

Photo: photographerpandora

God our Father,
Continue to make your presence felt among us at this moment in our history.
Be close to all those charged with discerning the way forward for our nation and our people.
Remind us of the many talents and opportunities that continue to be found in the citizens and resources of our country.
In your son Jesus Christ, may we be mindful of the need for solidarity with one another, most especially the vulnerable and the needy.
Steady our nerve in these days and point out to us the shortcomings of panic and fear alone.
Help us to achieve true and sustainable perspective as our future path unfolds.
May each of us realise afresh our ability to make a difference through participation in family, in parish, in the wider community and in our state.
In your Holy Spirit, guide officials and political representatives, local volunteers and community groups.
Mobilise among us a reawakened belief and patriotism as we seek to become again the people you call us to be. Lead us as committed, charitable and caring citizens, sharers of an agreed, open and workable plan that is respectful and inclusive of all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...