17 Aug 2017

Feast of Our Lady of Knock


Our Lady of Knock , Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find”. Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to Heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now and at the end of my death. Amen.

The Proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950



15 Aug 2017

15th August 2017 - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Dormition of the Birthgiver of God






The 15th August is the celebration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While having different theological foci on the celebration, it is a common liturgical date of celebration for both Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

The dogma was officially declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950 in the apostolic constitution  Munificentissimus Deus. The apostolic constitution traces out the ancient understanding of the dogma going back through the centuries and emphasises that its official declaration by Pope Pius XII was seen as only the official confirmation of a belief long held in the Tradition of the church rather than as something new. Rather than something imposed by Pius XII, consultation was made with the bishops and on May 1, 1946, a letter "Deiparae Virginis Mariae," was issued which asked, "Do you, venerable brethren, in your outstanding wisdom and prudence, judge that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin can be proposed and defined as a dogma of faith? Do you, with your clergy and people, desire it?" with a response very much in the affirmative.


So, Pius XII declared that:

"Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendour at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.......after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honour of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory......

Previous posts from SS102fm including reflections on the readings of the day are HERE.
  • While no longer being updated, one blog which we often recommend for reflections is Blue Eyed Ennis; check out these posts here, here and here (the last one is an interesting reflection on Struggling with the Assumption).


13 Aug 2017

Some web browsing................


Amid nuclear fears, remember a pope once helped avert Armageddon

Musing on the teeth of St Ambrose

Pope orders Belgian religious group to stop offering euthanasia to patients 

Is it weird that Catholics venerate relics? Here's why we do


Secondhand Holiness: A Gift from My Grandmother


Fr Willie Doyle: time to consider cause for sainthood?

Divorced from religious life? - Do seminaries and religious orders have a responsibility to the young men and women who have entrusted their spiritual lives to them if and when they decide to leave


'I won't defend Danny Healy-Rae's politics but I will defend personal belief in fairies' There’s not a village in the country that doesn’t have these fairy stories, writes Michael Fortune

German Catholicism is rich – but in the wrong ways 

Poignant tribute on death of 'an ordinary farmer' who worked hard and didn't want to be eulogisedSaying farewell with a fistful of grass and a day full of song.

Feeling the Francis effect


Ireland is a ‘cold house’ for Christians – George Hook reacts to BAI ruling on 'haunted bread' complaints

2017 National Novena to Our Lady of Knock

National Novena to Our Lady of Knock
14th -22 August 2017


The National Novena to Our Lady of Knock offers nine days of reflection and prayer and a chance to reconnect with your faith in a sacred space.

The programme for this year includes a wonderful line-up of guest speakers and workshops to help enrich and enliven faith. The theme is ‘Living Life to the Full’ and as the title suggests, there will be a strong focus on appreciating the gift of life and finding beauty in the everyday.





12 Aug 2017

13th August 2017 - Mary; Our Mother - a reflection in advance of the feast of the Assumption

On this weeks programme, Geraldine Creaton joins John and Shane in advance of the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin to reflect on the role of Mary in the story of salvation. We have a rather abbreviated reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as our regular discussion on the saints of the week and other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

15th August - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Dormition of the Birth-giver of God

Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did. 
If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother 

- St Maximilian Kolbe


Source
On this weeks programme Geraldine Creaton from the Emmanuel Community returns to join John and Shane to reflect on the role of Mary - the simple Jewish woman who became the linchpin to the story of salvation.

You can  listen to the discussion and reflection excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE

August 15th is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by the Orthodox churches as the Dormition (or Falling asleep) of the Virgin Mary.

The dogma was officially declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950 in the apostolic constitution  Munificentissimus Deus. The apostolic constitution traces out the ancient understanding of the dogma going back through the centuries and emphasises that its official declaration by Pope Pius XII was seen as only the official confirmation of a belief long held in the Tradition of the church rather than as something new. 

Rather than something imposed by Pius XII, consultation was made with the bishops and on May 1, 1946, a letter "Deiparae Virginis Mariae," was issued which asked "Do you, venerable brethren, in your outstanding wisdom and prudence, judge that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin can be proposed and defined as a dogma of faith? Do you, with your clergy and people, desire it?" with a response very much in the affirmative.

So, Pius XII declared that:
"Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.......after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory......
Dormition of the Theotokas
According to Orthodox tradition, the apostles were miraculously gathered from the various countries in which they were preaching the gospel to be at the bedside of the BVM as she passed from earth to heaven
Shout, O David, and declare: * What is this present feast? * And he says: Today has Christ * unto the mansions above * translated her from whom He was born without seed * and whom I have extolled * in the Book of the Psalms * as daughter, child of God, * and as a virgin as well. * And for this reason do mothers and daughters * and brides of Christ now rejoice and say: * Rejoice, O Lady who were translated * unto the royal courts on high. (Source)






Gospel - Matthew 14:22-33


After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boatand precede him to the other side,while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night,he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply,"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,"Truly, you are the Son of God."
Reflections on this week's Sunday gospel:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: Psalter week 3, 19th week in Ordinary time 

Saints of the Week

August 14th - St Maximilian Kolbe
August 15th - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 17th - Our Lady of Knock
August 18th - St Helena
August 19th - St John Eudes


8 Aug 2017

8th August 2017 - Feast day of St Mary MacKillop and St Dominic

Today is the first feast day of an old friend of Sacred Space 102fm, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first saint who was canonized in September 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. (Well technically in Ireland it is an optional memorial, but I think for today we will move to Australia and celebrate it as a feast :D).

In 2010 we had an interview with Sr Margaret O'Sullivan RSJ in advance of the canonisation which you can read about here and podcast here which is one of our most popular posts ever.

Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne Australia on 15th January 1842 and died in Sydney on 8th August 1909. The years in between saw one of Australia's most remarkable women demonstrate incredible strength, devotion, inspiration and absolute trust in God




Prayer through the intercession of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

God of Compassion,
You filled the heart of Saint Mary MacKillop with a deep trust in Your Providence and trust in Your Will.
Help me like her to renew my trust in Your loving plan for me. Deepen my faith, so that like her I may bear the Cross and follow her example of kindness. Through her intercession I pray especially for ____________________. I make this prayer through Jesus, my Way, my Truth, my Life.
Amen.

Various reflections and articles about St Mary:
 From Pope Benedict XVI's homily at the canonisation:
""Remember who your teachers were from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus". For many years countless young people throughout Australia have been blessed with teachers who were inspired by the courageous and saintly example of zeal, perseverance and prayer of Mother Mary MacKillop. She dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia, inspiring other women to join her in the first women's community of religious sisters of that country. She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her, without regard for station or wealth, providing both intellectual and spiritual formation. Despite many challenges, her prayers to St Joseph and her unflagging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her new congregation, gave this holy woman the graces needed to remain faithful to God and to the Church. Through her intercession, may her followers today continue to serve God and the Church with faith and humility!"

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Of course August 8th is also the feast day of St Dominic, founder of the Order of the Preachers more familiarly known as the Dominicans. To all our Dominican friends, happy feast day!

5 Aug 2017

Musical interlude



Spirit Juice studios made a beautiful music video







Why the media ignored the inspiring, amazing Karen Gaffney?

Who is Karen Gaffney?
Karen Gaffney left the Rose City (Portland, Oregan) and the world in awe with a captivating TEDx talk that explored the history, current state and progress of Down Syndrome. Her idea? All lives matter. Further, we must refine our vocabulary and eradicate “the R word” as the word “retard” has no place in our daily language.

Karen is the President of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace, and the community for people with developmental disabilities. 

She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon, and earned a two-year Associate of Science degree from Portland Community College. 

Karen has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Portland on May 5th, 2013, for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people who have Down syndrome. 

She is a fearless open-water swimmer having successfully swam the English Channel, escaped Alcatraz (16 times) and conquered Lake Tahoe in 59-degree water. Karen swims to raise funds and awareness of what people with Down syndrome can do.



Recently in the Irish Catholic, Niamh Uí Bhriain (who is a spokeswoman for the Life Institute) asked the quesiton, why did the Irish media ignore Karen Gaffney when she was in Ireland?


TD's and Senators met with Karen during her visit to Ireland
Why the media ignored the inspiring, amazing Karen Gaffney?
The Irish Catholic
Nuala Uí Bhriain
By any standards, Karen Gaffney is an extraordinary person. A long-distance swimmer who relay swam the English Channel, she is an impressive and witty public speaker whose TED talk on inclusion for people with disabilities has captured global attention.
She is also the first living person with Down Syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate, and is admired, not only for her personal achievements, but for her challenge to a culture where babies with Down Syndrome are increasingly aborted before birth.
The Irish media, it seems, isn’t ready for that challenge. During her recent visit, we experienced a blanket refusal by the mainstream media to give Karen a platform. She seemed to be viewed as a woman with a dangerous idea, a woman who needed to be censored, because she is not afraid to speak out about the reality of what abortion has meant for her community.
“Imagine that here we are reversing the damage caused by institutions, removing barriers to education, making inroads into a full and inclusive life for people like me, and still we have those who say we shouldn’t even be born at all,” she previously told an audience at a TED Talk in Portland.
“I believe that Down Syndrome is a life worth saying ‘yes’ to. It is a life worth saving. Every life has value, every life matters, regardless of how many chromosomes you have,” she says.
We hear a lot about how much the media is anxious to support strong, intelligent women, and ensure inclusion for people with disabilities, but none of that seems to matter when a strong, intelligent, articulate woman with a disability is saying that every person has a right to life.
Karen Gaffney represents a community which has been devastated by abortion. In Britain, 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted before birth. In Iceland, not one baby with Down Syndrome has been born in the past five years. Yet the Irish media didn’t want you to hear what a person with Down Syndrome had to say on the issue.
When Karen spoke to TDs in Dáil Éireann, they were hugely impressed by her inspiring passion for life and her work to make a better world for people with disabilities.
The media never showed up to the press event that followed. RTÉ said that was because it was ‘just an anti-abortion event’. My guess is that there’s actually a very particular reason why they didn’t want her message to be heard.
According to recent opinion polls, there has been a dramatic fall in support for abortion on grounds of disability, a welcome shift from a shocking 61% support in a January 2016 Red C/Newstalk poll to just 36% in a June Ipsos/MRBI poll for The Irish Times. This shift caused The Irish Times to fret that the issue had seen a “hardening of opposition”, a curious observation when surely what the polls are showing is a softening of hearts, motivated by compassion and common decency. Has this dramatic fall made our lamentably biased media reluctant to give a voice to people like Karen Gaffney? It would appear so.
Proud
On July 1, Karen addressed the Save the 8th Rally for Life, a gathering which brought up to 80,000 people to celebrate life and demand a better answer than abortion for mothers and babies.
“I am very proud to be here today to stand up for life, for all life, for the life of the unborn child even if that child will be born with Down Syndrome’’, she began to rapturous applause.
“I am from the US’’, she continued, ‘’and in my country, and in many countries all around the world, babies who may have Down Syndrome are being wiped out, even before they take their first breath. But not here. Not today. Not in your country. Not in Ireland!”
Karen Gaffney’s rally speech is set to go viral on social media, and will resonate with ordinary people of goodwill who realise that all of us deserve a chance at life, and that love doesn’t count chromosomes.
But the Irish media needs to take a long, hard look at itself and at its willingness to discriminate against this inspiring, compassionate, articulate woman simply because she believes that Down Syndrome is a life worth saying ‘yes’ to.
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6th August 2017 - Youth2000 Summer Festival 2017 - Feast of the Transfiguration

On this weeks SS120fm, John is joined by visitors from Youth2000 to tell us about their upcoming youth festival in Roscrea in August. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some liturgical odds & ends and notices.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

Youth2000 Summer Festival 2017


On this weeks programme, John is joined by some of the Limerick people involved with Youth2000 - Mariah Culloty, Niamh O'Donnell, Aine Keane and Grace Leahy - along with Fr Patrick Cahill the national spiritual director. They share their experience of Y2K and tell us about the forthcoming Youth Festival in Roscrea.

You can listen to their interview with John excerpted from the main programme HERE.

The bus leaves from Newcastle West at 12.05 on 17th August to Roscrea for Youth Festival.

You can find out more about Youth2000 and their events at their website HERE


Gospel - Matthew 17:1-9


Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,conversing with him.Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here.If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."While he was still speaking, behold,a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;listen to him."When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrateand were very much afraid.But Jesus came and touched them, saying,"Rise, and do not be afraid."And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,Jesus charged them,"Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."


Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
Salt + Light

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 18th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

August 7th - Pope St Sixtus II & Companion Deacons
August 8th - St Dominic also St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
August 9th - St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
August 10th - St Lawrence 
August 11th - St Clare
August 12th - St Jane Frances de Chantal also St Lelia also St Muredach also St Attracta 

Pope's Prayer Intentions - August 2017 - For Artists