29 Feb 2012

III Station: Jesus falls the first time

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
For by thy holy Cross, you have redeemed the World


Source
Jesus falls the First Time

Jesus Christ, burdened by the weight of the cross and our sinfulness, collapsed on His way to Calvary. Jesus was the One whom His disciples had hoped would set Israel free (cf. Lk 24:21). He was the promised Messiah, the “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16) and yet there He lay, exhausted, in pain, enduring the insults and mockery of the onlookers.
The account of Jesus’ first fall comes to us through the Tradition of the Church, rather than Scripture, but we can easily enter into the spirit of the account with a little imagination.
Over the Christmas period I slipped on some ice. It happened so quickly that I was on the ground before I could prevent myself from falling. I was on my own and could not pick myself up, so I had to turn over and crawl on my hands and knees towards the nearest support. I had a bruised tail bone, but my pride was bruised even more! It was a lesson in humility.
On a much deeper level, we experience falling into sin, which wounds us much more than any physical fall. Sin diminishes us, blocking our path to fulfilment (cf. GS 13). We read in Scripture that the righteous one “falls seven times a day” (Proverbs 24:16), but the first time we experience a major fall can sometimes surprise us. Perhaps we had ignored the slippery ground we were on? Perhaps we realised too late? And now not only have we fallen, but our ego is bruised and we are hurting.
The little phrase from Proverbs is essential to helping us put our fall into perspective: the righteous one “falls seven times a day, and rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). When we experience a fall in our life, especially a first fall, a fall in something we would never have thought we would fail in, the temptation to give in may be very great. It may seem easier to stay down than to struggle to our feet again. Where do we get the strength to rise again.
Jesus, true God and true man, is like us in every way except sin (cf. Heb 4:15), but He took on the burden of our sinfulness so that He could save us. When we fall, by contrast, it is usually the result of our own faults, not someone else’s. In falling Jesus is overcome by the weight of our sins that He is carrying for a few moments. Yet He gets up and continues to carry on unselfishly. What happened when Jesus fell for the first time? He rose again.
The Resurrection of Christ gives us strength to rise again. God knows what it means to be human. He knows how weak we are. He knows our crosses and He knows before we do when we are going to fall. He may not be able to stop us falling because of our free will, but when we do, He reaches out to us with compassion and love offering us the Sacrament of Reconciliation to heal our wounds.
All it takes on our part is to accept His love. It might mean ‘crawling on our hands and knees’ metaphorically by acknowledging that we have fallen, but that’s not such a bad thing. Humility comes from the Latin ‘humus’, meaning the earth. To be humble is to be grounded – to acknowledge both the reality that we are beloved children of God and the truth of our sinfulness. We acknowledge this most of all when we confess both our sins and our trust in God’s mercy and holiness (cf. CCC 1424) in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

26 Feb 2012

II Station: Jesus receives his Cross

We adore you O Christ and we praise you
For by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. - Matthew 27:27-31

Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die. It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders! 

According to tradition, St. Bernard asked Jesus which was His greatest unrecorded suffering and the wound that inflicted the most pain on Him in Calvary and Jesus answered:
"I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound which was more painful than the others and which is not recorded by men. Honor this Wound with thy devotion and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit and in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins and will no longer remember their mortal sins."
With each step Jesus enters more deeply into our human experience. He walks in the path of human misery and suffering, and experiences its crushing weight. But he also accepts the cross, embraces it and what it will mean. By entering into his passion he will perform an act that reconciles humanity to God. In this he provides a clear example to us of his preaching of turning the other check, a challange to those in the world who believe that violence can only be met with violence.


"Take up your cross and follow me"

Mark D Roberts (in his meditations on the Stations of the Cross) remind us that

"Jesus had said this would happen. For quite some time he had predicted his suffering and death. The first time came right after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah. Jesus responded: “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22). So even though the Roman soldiers led Jesus out to crucify him, they were only doing what he had said they would do.

Indeed, they were doing what he chose to happen and in many ways caused to happen. After all, Jesus had been preaching that God along was the true King, and that his kingdom was at hand . . . not exactly the kind of message Rome liked to hear. And Jesus had been in regular conflict with Jewish leaders, who saw him as a nuisance and a threat. Then, he stirred up the crowds by riding into Jerusalem as a messianic king. He disturbed the Jewish officials by ransacking the temple and halting its sacrifices, accusing the temple leaders of being no better than a bunch of thieves. Jesus seemed even to know that Judas was planning to betray him, and to consent to the betrayal. Jesus did not defend himself before the Sanhedrin, perhaps because he knew this was a lost cause. But he didn’t try to set Pilate straight either. And, of course, Jesus did not call down legions of angels to deliver him.

So, though “they led him out to crucify him,” Jesus was no passive victim. He picked up his cross and walked to Golgotha because he had chosen the way of suffering. He believed this to be the will of God, the way by which he would realize his messianic destiny. Jesus chose to suffer and die so that he might fulfill Isaiah’s vision of the Suffering Servant of God, the one who was “despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity.” As this Servant, Jesus “has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases.” Moreover, “he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5)."





Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine. Laudamus et glorificamus. resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine.
(Nous adorons ta croix, Seigneur. Nous louons ta resurrection. / We adore your cross, Lord. We praise your resurrection. / Dein Kreuz, Herr, verehren wir. Deine Auferstehung preisen wir.)
Music: Jacques Berthier

25 Feb 2012

26th February 2012 - 1st Sunday of Lent (Year B) - Trocaire 2012 Campaign

On this weeks programme we speak to Sean Farrell (Trocáires Country Director - Uganda) about the 2012 Trocáire Lenten Campaign, our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some celestial guides for the week and some local notices.

This weeks podcast is available HERE.


Trocáire Lenten Campaign 2012


'Rebuilding Communities for Lasting Change'

On this weeks programme we are joined by Sean Farrell who talks with us about the 2012 Trocáire Lenten Campaign which is focused on 'Rebuilding Communities for Lasting Change'.
This year the campaign focuses on Daniel Okweng who is 9 years old and lives with his mother Betty, his father Joel and his brothers and sisters in the small rural village of Bar Kawach, northern Uganda.Daniel was born into a civil war which spanned over twenty years.

In 2004, soldiers attacked his village and community, forcing the family to flee from their home. 300 people died during this attack. Daniel’s family knew they were lucky to survive but were left with nothing. The family moved into a camp set up by the government to protect civilians. These camps were bleak places where extreme poverty, poor sanitation and depression were rife and led to a very poor quality of life, especially for children like Daniel. In 2006, when it was thought safe enough, Daniel and his family moved back to their family home. It was at this point that their biggest struggle began – to begin life again.



With your support, Trócaire were there, helping this family readjust to life back home. Working together with the community, we have provided training and support groups to help people cope with the trauma they have experienced. Agricultural training and the provision of seeds, tools and livestock have helped families to start farming again and support to build a borehole has provided clean, safe, drinking water.

By working to understand the problems people face and providing the support they need to make a living, Trocáire helps communities and families to live life with dignity and feel secure in their homes again.

Daniel has learned how to ride a bike, play football and speak English. Daniel loves going to school. His favourite subject is English. He loves to play football with his friends. His favourite team is Arsenal. If Daniel could have three wishes he would like to stay in school, to become a doctor and to wake up early every morning to pray.
To support this years campaign, please pick up your Trocaire box at your local church or parish and consider saving €2 a day towards supporting their work.

  • €2 a day will provide agricultural training for families, helping them to grow their own food and earn and income.
  • €2 a day will help to provide training for a paralegal officer, ensuring communities returning home have access to legal advice to secure their land and future.
  • €2 a day will provide a small business loan, giving people the capital to buy land or start a small business.

For more information and to see further pictures and videos about this years campaign as well as to make an online donation, please go HERE.



  
Gospel - Mark 1:12 -15

"And the angels ministered to him............"
Source: Blue Eyed Ennis

This weeks gospel from Mark is a very short precise description of Jesus' time in the desert before he began his public ministry. The gospel this weeks continues straight on from the baptism of the Lord and the Spirit drives Jesus out into the desert. Luke and Matthew gloss over the term ever so slightly where the Spirit "leads" Jesus into the desert but Mark puts it plain and simple he was driven to the desert amongst the wild animals to ponder and make space for God the Father before he begins.

Do we make time and space for God in our lives? We are not suggesting that you have to go into the desert but Lent is a "desert time", where we are asked to make a great effort to make time for God and neighbour.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel from:
Saints of the Week (and other liturgical odds and ends)

Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for March 2012
  • General Intention: Contribution of Women. That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.
  • Missionary Intention: Persecuted Christians. That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution, or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.


Psalter - Week 1


February 27th - Bl Maria Caridad Brader
February 28th - St Hedwig of Poland
February 29th - St Oswold
March 1st - St David (Patron of Wales)
March 2nd - St Absolon of Caesarea (First Friday)
March 3rd - St Katharine Drexel

Update from Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Centre

Lenten resources for parish & self


Lenten resources for parishes and for personal use have been included in the last three weekly emails, and at the two workshops offered in February.
For more details click HERE
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27th Feb: Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight takes place 27 Feb – 11 Mar 2012.
Fairtrade helps producers in the developing world to provide for their families. Many of these producers survive on plots as small as half an acre. We can play our part by buying products with the Fairtrade logo – tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, cotton goods. Parishes can also be involved in promoting Fairtrade. Is Fairtrade wine used at Mass in your parish? Why not organise a Fairtrade tea/coffee morning in your parish? Why not make your parish a Fairtrade Parish? See the guidelines on www.fairtrade.ie

QUIZ . As part of Fairtrade Fortnight activities, One World Society Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Fairtrade Committee are organising a Quiz in Clohessy’s Sin Bin, Howley’s Quay on Wed 7 Mar 2012 at 8pm. Tables of 4 - €20 per table. All are welcome.
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Talks series & prayer opps in Limerick this Lent

There are a lot of opportunities for Christians to pray, discuss and act on the Gospel message this Lent in Limerick.
An excellent free talk series is on offer every Tuesday at 5pm in Mary Immaculate College. For details about "Jesus & his interpreters", click HERE
A ground breaking conversation entitled "Creating a new Limerick" will be hosted by the Dominicans over the next four weeks. It is aimed at community people - people who want action as well as reflection - and will discuss how Limerick can learn from our history, local government, and social structure. Its is on on Tuesdays at 7.30pm, its free, and its well worth getting involved with. Click HERE for more.
The ecumenical initiative "World day of prayer" is always held on the first Friday in March. This years theme is "Let Justice prevail", its has been prepared by Christian women of Malaysia. Details of Limerick services are HERE.
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Limerick choral festival


This years Limerick Choral festival was launched last night in Souths, Limerick by the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr. Jim Long. Many congratulations to all involved in this very successful annual event. This years composer in residence will be Marty Haugen. Full details can be found HERE
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Good news: Ballingarry fun run supports Lourdes Invalid fund


About four hundred participants each year take part by running, walking or jogging in the Ballingarry Fun/Run/Walk. We pick a different charity each year and the Beneficiary this year was the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. We were delighted to present Fr Chris O Donnell, on behalf of Fr Donal Mc Namara, Director, Limerick Invalid Fund to Lourdes;with a cheque for £5,646.65


If you would like to receive the weekly resource and news email click HERE
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Reform of the Church in Ireland: Facing the future with hope

Mater Dei Spring Lecture Series 2012

REFORM OF THE CHURCH IN IRELAND:
FACING THE FUTURE WITH HOPE

Speaking Notes of
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland


------------------
Mater Dei Institute, 23rd February 2012


Clonliffe Road came on to the radar screen of my personal life fifty years ago. Coming towards the Leaving Cert in 1962 I began thinking of my future. As I have said on many occasions, my first interest was in becoming a broadcaster and in particular a newsreader or announcer. But that was a very limited market in Ireland at the time and with the opening of RTE television just some months earlier the available posts had all been filled. The likelihood of getting a position with the BBC, which would have been my real ambition, was even less. BBC announcers in those days did not speak with Dublin accents.

Not that priesthood was a reluctant second choice. My reflections on priesthood were there all the time and were maturing and it was at this time that I began to notice the existence of Clonliffe College, the place where the priests of Dublin were trained.

In my final years at school Pope John called the Second Vatican Council. It opened, as you know, on the 11th October 2012, seven days after I entered Clonliffe. Preparations for the Council were underway. Change seemed to be in the air. It was an exciting time. In 1962, however, Clonliffe College was not an exciting place. Clonliffe was a place where there had been little change for decades. The daily routine had been the same almost since the College opened one hundred years earlier. One professor made no secret of the fact that he had been giving the same lectures for at least twenty years - and to be true his were not the worst lectures.

One could easily have gotten the impression that the Irish Church that we encountered then was the Irish Church “as it was in the beginning”, and that the established order “now” would, “ever shall be”. Indeed the established order of Clonliffe was on a major expansion course, building a new wing to cater for an increase in students and revamping the main building. Things seemed to be on the up. There was very little understanding of the historical ups and downs of Irish Catholicism over the centuries.

In 1962 Clonliffe College was not an exciting place but in the years that followed it became an exciting pace. There was great interest and ferment in theology. The Vatican Council broke down walls of an over institutionalised Church and the new air generated new vitality. Today there are those who feel that the Irish Church has failed the vitality and hope that the Vatican Council had engendered; there are others who would say that opening the windows of the Church so widely and indiscriminately without noticing the contamination of the outside air, let in viruses that we would have been better off without. I imagine that future historians with the light of hindsight will probably say that there are elements of truth on either side.

There have always at the same time been reasons of hope and reasons of concern in the Irish Church. To imagine otherwise would be do be totally a-historical. As always at times of change, the hope of one side can quickly become the anxiety of the other. In times of change each side sticks to its side and we Irish when we get stuck into a position are not always that good on the subtlety thing. In time of change – like today - we always need the light of historians who remind us of the ups and downs of Irish Catholicism over the centuries and who recall that the winds of reform and renewal often come not from those debating on the different sides but from unexpected quarters and take unexpected paths.

When we look back in history, there is no doubt that the achievement of Cardinal Cullen in reforming the Irish Church in the aftermath of Catholic Emancipation was phenomenal. Participation in Church life flourished after the extremely low Mass attendance rates of an earlier time. Existing religious orders found new life; new Irish religious foundations were founded and religious came from abroad. Institutions which showed the care of the Church for the marginalized sprung up across the nation. The commitment to care was there, but often it was conceived and clothed in the dominant Victorian philanthropic and social culture. As often happens, the Church in its desire to care for the marginalised espoused the contemporary climate of institutional care and built even bigger and more institutional institutions that Victorian Britain.


23 Feb 2012

Miserere Mei Deus


This piece is Psalm 51, but first set to music by Allegri around 1630. It is one of the finest and most popular examples of renaissance polyphony. It is often heard in Churches of the apostolic Christian tradition on Ash Wednesday, immediately following Shrove (or pancake) Tuesday, marking Christ's return to Jerusalem.

Jesus in the Desert

"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him" (Mk 1:12-13).


Have you ever wondered how Jesus might have passed His time for forty days in the desert?


Prayed? Yes. Fasted? Yes.


But I wonder what other things Jesus might have done...


This little cartoon with images by Si Smith and the song, "How He loves" by John Mark McMillan invites us to put ourselves into the Gospel story.




For forty days Jesus remained in the wilderness or as the little cartoon puts it:
"For my thirtieth birthday I gave myself some time away from it all"














If anyone is interested in downloading the images, they may do so at: www.proost.co.uk/40

22 Feb 2012

I Station: Jesus is condemend to death

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
For by thy holy Cross, you have redeemed the World


Jesus is Condemned to Death

"Pilate....brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.  Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away" - John 19: 13 - 16


Condemnation to death! How stark and frightening the scene must have been in the Roman Pratorium in contrast to the crowds that greeted Jesus on his entry to Jerusalem only a few days before. Bleeding, wounded from the scourging at the pillar, abandoned and alone before a hostile crowd, in pain and tiredness can anyone know how he must have felt?
But we often look to stand in the shoes of Jesus, casting ourselves as the wrongly accussed and offended party, but look around that courtyard, where are you really standing? Which one of the crowd are You?

How quick I am to judge others? Do I pass comments and snide remarks based on faulty stereotypes and hearsay? Have I ever joined "the mob" in condemning a person? Maybe not to death; but have I joined in killing them socially by casting aspiration at them? Killed their soul by ignoring and ostracising them even if is by acts of omission rather than directly doing something to others?

We often jump to the defence of those seen as being innocent even after condemnation by "lawful authorities" - Mandela, Ken Sara-wiwa, Aung San Su Kyi. But look to those wrongly accused - Fr Kevin Reynolds, Sr Nora Wall. Do we tend to take the view "there is no smoke without fire?"

Or have we been Pilate's to the world? It is not my affair, it is nothing to do with me. Have I washed my hands of my brothers and sisters in need - let someone else look after that, that is their job after all? It is very easy to condemn Pilate with the hindsight of the Resurrection, but if we stood in his shoes would we have done any different? When we condemn those that have gone before us for actions or lack of actions taken, have we ever stopped to consider what will the generations to come think of our 'Pilate moments' - Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Magdalene Laundries, Industrial schools......."Let those without sin cast the first stone"

Governor
(from Passio - Meditations on the Way by Christy Kenneally)
The stranger sees me,
but is not aware of me.
My image goes no deeper than his eye.
And in his calm detachment,
his clinical efficiency,
he ebbs me to a depth
his eye can plumb.
The stranger grinds me down to thing,
the plaything of the system's whim.
Something to dress in purple,
something to dent with blows,
something to mould, manipulate and match
to his own expectations.

What am I?
Who am I?
A world of pain between the 'what' and 'who'.

Preserve me from the tomb of surface sight,
the spirit-death of power over lives.
From the stranger, and becoming like him,
deliver me, Lord God.


Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine. Laudamus et glorificamus. resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine.
(Nous adorons ta croix, Seigneur. Nous louons ta resurrection. / We adore your cross, Lord. We praise your resurrection. / Dein Kreuz, Herr, verehren wir. Deine Auferstehung preisen wir.)
Music: Jacques Berthier


21 Feb 2012

Irish Bishops ask faithful to offer Lenten prayer and fasting for healing and renewal of the Church in Ireland


Bishops ask faithful to offer Lenten prayer and fasting for healing and renewal of the Church in Ireland

As Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, the Bishops of Ireland have asked the faithful to offer up their fasting, prayer, reading of Scripture and works of mercy during Lent 2012 for the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland.

Drawing particular attention to the “concrete initiatives” proposed by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in paragraph 14 of his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland of March 2010, the bishops specifically encouraged the faithful:

• to discover anew and to avail more frequently of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession);
• to organise periods of Eucharistic adoration in parishes;
• through intense prayer before the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist “make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm”;
• to renew their practice of Friday Penance by undertaking some of the following:
- abstain from meat or some other food
- make a special effort to participate in Mass on Fridays (in addition to Sunday)
- make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament
- abstain from alcoholic drink or smoking
- make a special effort to spend time together in family prayer
- make the Stations of the Cross
- fast from all food for a longer period than usual and give what is saved to the needy
- help someone who is sick, old or lonely.


Bishops asked that the faithful to use Lent as a special time “to pray for an outpouring of God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s gifts of holiness and strength upon the Church” in Ireland, as part of the spiritual preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which will take place in Dublin between the 10 – 17 June next.

Ash Wednesday 2012 - UPDATED

0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us - Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to the greatness of his majesty.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us - Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with lute and harp.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us. - Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles.

0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us.



Ash Wednesday - The beginning of the joyful season of Lent
And so the time turns and this season of renewal and repentance comes around again. It is one of the beauties of the liturgical calender that we have this joyful season of waiting and preparation for the summit of our faith - Easter and Resurrection morn.  As Fr Micháel reminded us on the programme on Sunday morning, Lent is seen as being a season of doing without, where we are called to repent and believe the Gospel. But for the ordinary person perhaps it could be summed up in a child-like expression as "Don't be bold and say your prayers" (Ná bi dána agus abhair do phaidreacha).

The season of Lent is a journey towards Easter and that we should travel with good heart to the joyful event of the Resurrection at Easter, to make room for the joyful heart to enter into us. After all the grace of God is knocking on the doors of our hearts, it is very near. It is an opportunity to turn once more to a welcoming Father; to a Father who wants to share with us his peace; the peace of Easter and the new hope.

Light a candle and enter into some prayer, no matter how little. God is always waiting to hear from us. The season allows us to do a small bit of harrowing of our heart, a bit of sowing of seeds of faith, hope and love into our lives. A time to shake ourselves up a small bit, to re-engage with the passionate love of our Saviour for each one of us.

It is also a season to re-enter into communion with our sisters and brother in the faith, those around us and those around the world with the opportunity to reach out materially and in prayer to those in need.
The ashes of Ash Wednesday are a reminder of our need to turn once more to God, to put him first in our lives as best we can as we take once more to heart the message of the psalm:
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.
O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse;
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Walk with Joyful heart with Jesus and Mary. Open your hearts and believe in the Resurrection


Reflections on the day and the readings of the day from the English Dominicans and from Renewal ministries.

Some further resources and reflections for Lent and Ash Wednesday:
Going on line will show that there are hundreds of resources, reflections and suggestions for Lent. Our suggestion, have a look at a few and pick one and let that be the bit of "harrowing of the soul"  that you do for Lent.

UPDATES:

H/T People for Others:

"The Great Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian.”

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother,
for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

Some other links from around the web:





Rome Reports: Benedict XVI celebration of Ash Wednesday and Lent

Trocáire 2012 Lenten Campaign

Demand a future of Hope


Trócaire is supporting families like Daniel’s by helping their community to overcome the trauma of civil war and to restart their lives. But Trócaire also works to address the root causes of poverty facing northern Ugandans. One of these causes is a lack of investment in agriculture and support for small-scale farmers. Ask your government representative to support farmers like Daniel's parents, Joel and Betty.



More information about the 2012 Trocáire campaign and 5 ways to get involved HERE!

Busted Halo: Ash Wednesday and Lent in two minutes!

20 Feb 2012

Some web browsing......


Here is an alternative list of What to give up for Lent: 20 weird ideas.

Living with uncertainty - Digitalnun has a few thoughts from the Rule of St Benedict

"We tend to obsess over what we wish we were doing, or what we might be doing instead of our boring jobs, or what we would like to be doing that someone else is doing, or what we could have been doing if our luck had been better. Such preoccupations distract us from whatever real opportunity lies right in front of us." Continue reading here.

A very interesting article looking at Young Adults and the Church's need to listen.

Ever wonder what the Vatican Bank is?

Cardinal Dolan: "I'll return home a cardinal, but I am still a sinner".

Ever have that niggling feeling? Dream, believe, achieve: Is God calling you?

Pope Benedict XVI - Vocations; the gift of the love of God - Every specific vocation is in fact born of the initiative of God; it is a gift of the Love of God!”

A short anecdote from A Nun's Life - An old nun and a young woman.

David Quinn provides an analysis of why the Papal States are guarantee of popes' legal and political independence.

British Muslim politician tells Pope "Europe needs confident Christians" - NCR

Elizabeth Scalia looks at how prophetic Joseph Ratzinger was in 1969.

A look at how the Chinese authorities are playing a policy of divide and conquer amongst the church in China.

Transformation of Family



"A family doesn't disappear, it is transformed. A part of it enters into the invisible.

One thinks that death is an absence, when in fact it is a secret presence. One thinks that it creates an infinite distance, when in fact it abolishes distance completely by raising to the spirit that which was flesh.

The more beings who have departed the family circle, the more heavenly connections for those left behind. Heaven is then no longer inhabited by angels, unfamiliar saints and a mysterious God; it becomes familiar.

It is now the family home - the home at its upper level, one could say, and, from top to bottom, memories, prayers and assistance respond each other."

(Meditation by Fr Sertilange)

Trocaire 2012 Lenten Campaign

Daniel, the boy on the 2012 Trocáire box


The boy on this year’s Trócaire box is Daniel Okweng. He is 9 years old and lives with his family in northern Uganda. A vicious civil war forced his family from their home leaving them with nothing. When it was safe to return home they faced their biggest struggle of all – to begin again.



More information about the 2012 Trocáire campaign and 5 ways to get involved HERE!

19 Feb 2012

Trocaire 2012 Lenten Campaign

Trocáire's 2012 Lenten campaign kicks off on Ash Wednesday (February 22nd). This year’s Lent campaign is about a community of 16 families brought together in Barlonyo, Uganda. They are fathers, mothers, children, farmers.......... survivors





More information about the 2012 campaign and 5 ways to get involved HERE!

Rome Reports: "The Church does not exist for her own sake" - Pope Benedict XVI

18 Feb 2012

19th February 2012 - 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - Reflection on the Beginning of Lent

On this weeks programme Fr Micheál Liston gives us a short reflection on Ash Wednesday and the holy season of Lent. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some celestial guides for the week and some local notices.
This weeks podcast is available HERE.
The Joyful Season of Lent




"The joyful season of Lent" - it is an arresting phrase describing the season of Lent which is Fr Micheál's catch phrase this week.

Generally Lent is seen as being a season of doing without, where we are called to repent and believe the Gospel. But for the ordinary person perhaps it could be summed up in a child-like expression as "Don't be bold and say your prayers" (Ná bi dána agus abhair do phaidreacha).

Fr Micheál reminds us that the season of Lent is a journey towards Easter and that we should travel with good heart to the joyful event of the Resurrection at Easter, to make room for the joyful heart to enter into us. After all the grace of God is knocking on the doors of our hearts, it is very near. It is an opportunity to turn once more to a welcoming Father; to a Father who wants to share with us his peace; the peace of Easter and the new hope.

Light a candle and enter into some prayer, no matter how little. God is always waiting to hear from us. The season allows us to do a small bit of harrowing of our heart, a bit of sowing of seeds of faith, hope and love into our lives. A time to shake ourselves up a small bit, to re-engage with the passionate love of our Saviour for each one of us

It is also a season to re-enter into communion with our sisters and brother in the faith, those around us and those around the world with the opportunity to reach out materially and in prayer to those in need.


Psalm 51:

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse;
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn
.


Walk with Joyful heart with Jesus and Mary. Open your hearts and believe in the Resurrection

Gospel - Mark 2: 1-12


If we put ourselves into the story, how would we have reacted to the opening of the roof above our heads as if the roof is falling in? How would we have reacted if it was our house? How did Jesus react to the this event? We have to admire the determination of the bearers to encounter God. And that is the question for us, do we really make the effort to encounter God? Lent is a time set aside in the liturgical calender for us to make that effort to draw close to God. The gospel reminds us of this need to draw close to the healing power of God in our lives.

Are you the paralytic perhaps? The man was cured not just of the physical illness but also the social conditioning which would have seen the illness as divine retribution for sin. Jesus still calls out to each one of us to meet him in the sacraments of healing especially the Sacrament of Confession, he calls us out of the depression of our daily lives into the light of his love.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel are available at:


Saints of the Week
February 20th - St Elizabeth of Mantua
February 21st - St Peter Damian
February 22nd - Ash Wednesday (Day of Fast and Abstinence)
February 23rd - St Polycarp (Bishop and martyr)
February 24th - St Adela of Blois
February 25th - St Walburga