29 Jul 2011

Terra Sancta News - Short videos from the Custody of the Holy Land

In a time when the Holy Land is hemorrhaging Christians from the local communities, where we are asked to pray and to physically support our co-religionists in the land where our Lord walked, the Custody of the Holy Land (the Franciscans who look after the sites in the care of the Latin rite church) produces videos giving another side to the lives of Christians in the Holy Land.

28 Jul 2011

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

Some interesting bits and pieces.........

31st July 2011 - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weeks gospel is the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), which seems to be a very appropriate gospel reminder to us to remember our brothers and sisters suffering on the Horn of Africa. It is a reminder that out of the little we have, if we all share, we have enough for all and some left over............

This weeks programme is available as a podcast which is a repeat of the Reflection on the Mass with Noirin Lynch originally broadcast on 29th May 2011.

As we are not on air this week to share some thoughts and reflections with you on the readings for this week, we thought we would share some online reflections with you  to assist with your lectio/spiritual reading.
For those that wish to make a donation to help assist the victims of the disaster in the Horn of Africa, please go to these pages:
Saints of the Week

August 1st - St Alphonsus Liguori
August 2nd - St Eusebius
August 3rd - St Lydia Purpuraria
August 4th - St John Vianney
August 5th - Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major (First Friday)
August 6th - The Transfiguration of the Lord 

24 Jul 2011

Live Programmes and Summer Holidays

The Sacred Space 102fm team will be on a short break for the next two weeks so we won't be broadcasting our regular weekly show until August 14th 2011. We will be repeating the programmes we did with Noirin Lynch with her reflections about the Eucharist and the Mass.

Blogging will be light until the middle of August but we will have the odd post and reflection and we will post our Saints of the Week so that regular readers will be able to keep up with their celestial guides.

Thanks again for listening and reading!
Sacred Space 102fm Team

17th Sunday of Ordinary time - 24 July 2011 - including Blog review

This weeks show is a bit of a more laid back, even ad intra (inward looking) kind of affair as Shane and John review 12 months of the SacredSpace 102fm blog, as well as our regular gospel reflection, Saints of the upcoming week and some other odds and ends.
The programmes podcast is now available here.

Blog Review

John and Shane had a quick discussion about the resources now available on SacredSpace 102fm including the Lectio resource page, our podcast page as well as a synopsis of the various links and resource pages that we use ourselves for the show.

There was also a quick discussion of where are we getting our visitors from and the types of items we post about which generate most interest.

Our top ten countries are:
  1. Ireland
  2. USA
  3. UK
  4. Australia
  5. Canada
  6. Philippines
  7. Italy
  8. Germany
  9. India
  10. Poland

To all our visitors and listeners out there, from all the Sacred Space 102fm, we want to say a huge thank you for your interest and we hope that we have been able to accompany you some way on your faith journey and that we can all continue together.

Gospel - Matthew 13:44-52

We continue the parables from the gospel of Matthew this week where we have a series of short parables from Jesus, each of which can be taken on their own to reflect and meditate on.

The search for treasure or the pearl of great price is a reminder of the work we need to do to work and look after our faith and our relationship with God. It requires determination and zeal from us to maintain our relationship with God. Faith, our relationship with God and our understanding of our faith is our responsibility not anyone elses, we need to make the effort to work, support and nurture that relationship. Do we make time and effort to put aside time for God? Do we search for that pearl of great value - the love of God?

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Saints of the Week

July 25th - St James (the Great)
July 26th - St Joachim & St Anne (Parents of Blessed Virgin Mary)
July 27th - St Lillian
July 28th - St Samson of York
July 29th - St Martha (of Bethany)
July 30th - St Peter Chrysologus

21 Jul 2011


An Unfaithful generation seeks a sign
"The tragedy of our modern world is that it wants proof that God exists. There is no such proof. No amount of books, libraries, erudite people or marvellous speakers can convince us that God exists. We enter into the unseen mysteries of our faith, the mystery of God, through an experience, an event, a happening, a miracle........
Through faith we are able to turn our faces to God and meet his gaze. Each day becomes more and more luminous. The veil between God and man becomes less and less until it seems as if we can almost reach out and touch God. 
Faith is a pulsating thing; a light, a sun that nothing can dim if it exists in the hearts of men. As Saint Paul says, "It is the assurance of things not yet seen" (He 11:1). That is why it's beautiful. God gives it to me saying, "I love you. Do you not love me back? Come and follow me in the darkness. I want to know if you are ready to go into things that you do not see yet, on faith alone". 
Then you look at God, or at what you think is God in your mind, and you say,"Look, this is fine, but you are inviting me to what? An emptiness? A nothingness? There is nothing to see. I cannot touch you. I cannot feel you". Then God goes on to say,"I invite you to a relationship of love; your love of me, my love of you"
Servant of God, Catherine de Hueck Doherty (d. 1985) was born in Russia and was the foundress of Madonna House.

Taken from "Meditation of the Day Monday 18th July 2011" from Magnificat (details on the spiritual magazine and subscription information here).

17 Jul 2011

17 July 2011 - 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this weeks show, Eoin Rice (Humanitarian Press Officer) joins us to make an appeal from Trócaire on behalf of the victims of the worsening drought situation in the Horn of Africa, we have our regular prayer space, gospel reflection, saints of the week, this weeks Irish Catholic and some notices.

The podcast is now available.

East Africa's drought has led to millions of people across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia being dependent on food aid, with up to half the population of certain affected areas suffering from serious malnutrition. The failure of adequate rainfall to have hit the region for full year has plunged east Africa into humanitarian crisis.

• Over 1,000 Somalis are arriving into Ethiopia and Kenya every day;
• Malnutrition rates among Somali children arriving into Ethiopia or Kenya are as high as 47 per cent;
• Communities in Ethiopia have reported that 80 per cent of animals have died;
• Half of the 13 million affected people are children.
East Africa is Trócaire’s main geographic area of work. With a presence in the region dating back almost 40 years, Trócaire is well placed to respond to the current crisis.
Trócaire is funding drought response projects in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, bringing food and water to affected communities. They are also purchasing malnourished animals before they die and redistributing them to areas that still have sufficient grazing. When the next rains arrive in the autumn, they will help those families buy back the animals and re-establish their herds.
Trócaire has been working with these communities for almost 40 years. Their ongoing livelihoods programmes prevented the people there from falling into crisis over recent decades. Such is the severity of the current drought, however, that Trócaire has launched an emergency appeal for the people of east Africa.

To make a donation you can phone 1850 408 408 (RoI) or 0800 912 1200 (NI), or else by clicking the donation link below.

Gospel - Matthew 13:24-45

This week we continue with the Kingdom parables where Jesus is trying to remind us of the call to live and prepare for the kingdom of God in simple and understandable stories which may mean being counter cultural and being a leaven in our society.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:

Saints of the Week

July 18th - St Frederick of Utreacht
July 19th - St Macrina the Younger
July 20th - St Apollinaris of Ravenna
July 21st - St Lawrence of Brindisi
July 22nd - St Mary Magdelene 
July 23rd - St Bridget of Sweden

15 Jul 2011

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16th is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place"

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary's special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

"Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life."

"The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer."

Dr Lillis has a reflection on Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Blessed John Paul II.

A hymn associated with the feast is the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel). Flos Carmeli was used by the Carmelites as the sequence for the Feast of St. Simon Stock, and, since 1663, for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. It also appears in an ancient metrical office of Carmel as an antiphon and responsory. Its composition is ascribed to St. Simon Stock himself (ca 1165 - 1265).

FLOS Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
FLOWER of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mater mitis
sed viri nescia
esto propitia
stella maris.
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.
Radix Iesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.
Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press'd in the fight,
we call to thee.
Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.
Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
coronaris. Amen
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

13 Jul 2011

Have mercy on us O Lord........

Psalm 50/51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being;*
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right* spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing* spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then you will delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Limerick Diocese celebrates an ordination!

This Sunday, July 17th, is a day of celebration for the Diocese of Limerick!!
John O’Byrne, a Janesboro man, will be ordained to the priesthood for our diocese at 2pm in St. John's Cathedral, Limerick City. The most Rev. Dr. Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly will ordain John on all our behalf.
Rev. John O'Byrne will celebrate his first mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church at 7p.m. on Monday, July 18th 2011.
Fr Noel Kirwin, Mick Lysart, John O'Byrne,
Lourdes Diocesan Pilgrimage 2011
The photo above is of John in his Lourdes Brancardia uniform – Its a lovely link for all who travel to Lourdes each year to see John taking this new step in his life.
Sacredspace 102fm joins in congratulating John and all his family on his ordination.
God knows me and calls me by my name.…
God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
     which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission—I never may know it in this life,
     but I shall be told it in the next.
Somehow I am necessary for His purposes…
     I have a part in this great work;
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection
     between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good,
     I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
     in my own place, while not intending it,
     if I do but keep His commandments
     and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him.
     Whatever, wherever I am,
     I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be
     necessary causes of some great end,
     which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life,
     He may shorten it;
     He knows what He is about.
     He may take away my friends,
     He may throw me among strangers,
     He may make me feel desolate,
     make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—
     still He knows what He is about.…
Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—
     I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.
Cardinal John Henry Newman.
from Meditations and Devotions, "Meditations on Christian Doctrine,"
"Hope in God—Creator", March 7, 1848

12 Jul 2011

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

Some web browsing for you.........

11 Jul 2011

St Benedict - Father of Western Monasticism

"Listen carefully, my son, to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart....What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace...Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away...as we progress in his way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love."

Prologue to the Rule of St Benedict

Today is the liturgical feast of St Benedict of Nursia.

From the website of Glenstal Abbey:

Benedict was born in the year 480, in the province of Nursia, Italy. The Roman Empire had come to an end only four years before, in 476, and thus the young Benedict grew up in a country where the decay of the old Roman civilisation was in evidence everywhere. His parents were Christian and sent him to study law in Rome when he was about sixteen years of age. However, the atmosphere of the great city shocked and depressed him. He decided to leave Rome and for a short time joined a small group of like-minded young men at a place called Enfide. His companions called themselves monks, but they followed no rule, each apparently ordering his life as he wished. Not satisfied with this situation, Benedict, though still under twenty, resolved to lead the more strict life of a hermit. According to the testimony of his first biographer, Pope St Gregory the Great, Benedict found a narrow cave at a place called Subiaco, where he spent three years in solitude and prayer.

After this period of preparation, Benedict gathered a number of disciples around him and organised them into a community. Already, at this stage, he was determined to reform the accepted way of monastic life in Italy. Above all, he was anxious to introduce regular observance and some form of community life. However, this first experiment met with such opposition that some of the monks tried to poison him. Undaunted, Benedict returned to his cave at Subiaco, and after some years succeeded in attracting to the place a number of young men who were prepared to follow his lead. He built twelve cells or small monasteries in the valley of the Anio, and drew up a Rule or way of life for the monks. Subiaco is thus the cradle of Benedictine monasticism.

Again trouble broke out, this time from a neighbouring priest, so that Benedict, along with some of his monks, was forced to move to a new and very beautiful site overlooking the plains of Campagna. This place was called Monte Cassino. Here Benedict built a monastery in 529, and also wrote his famous Rule for monks. He remained in Monte Cassino until his death in 547. Monte Cassino can be considered the second cradle of Benedictine monasticism. Though the monastery has been destroyed no less than three times – the last time was in 1944 during World War Two – it has always risen from the ashes.

Up to St Benedict’s time there was no such thing as Western monasticism. Whatever monasteries existed were adaptations, or imitations, of the way of life followed by the monks of the East. St. Benedict can be said to have saved the monastic institution from decline by introducing a number of essential elements. First of all he insisted on his monks taking a vow of stability. This meant in practice that they should reside and persevere in the monastery they had joined. He did not approve of those monks who were continually travelling from monastery to monastery. Secondly, he insisted that his monks – at least those who could read – would spend some time, each day, in what he called ‘Lectio divina’ (Holy Reading). Many of Benedict’s fellow monks were ignorant of the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. Benedict set out a certain time each day for study and reflective reading.

Thirdly, Benedict believed that monks, especially younger ones, needed guidance and discipline. His Rule is not a severe one, but rather inspired by discretion and prudent moderation. He wished to arrange everything in the monastery so that the strong might have something to strive for, while the weak ones would not be driven away. The Rule is a wonderful harmony of wisdom, good sense and firmness. Modelling his monastery on a Roman villa, Benedict intended that each monastery be independent. It seems unlikely that he intended founding a religious Order as such, but rather a group of separate and autonomous houses. Thus each monastery has its own traditions, customs and identity. No two Benedictine monasteries are alike in every detail. What gives them a unity is the Rule. Indeed, the real influence of St Benedict down the centuries was not so much due to the monasteries he founded, as to the Rule he wrote for monks. The Rule spread though out all Europe, and so widespread was Benedictine monasticism during the Middle Ages, that the years 600 to 1200 are often called “The Benedictine Centuries”.

Other reflections about St Benedict:
  • The Anchoress reflects on being a Benedictine Oblate in 2010 and 2011 but also has links for reflections by Pope Benedict on the contribution of St Benedict to Western civilization as well as why Joseph Ratzinger took the papal name Benedict.
  • Frank Webster over at Why I am Catholic reflects on Tips on Fatherhood from St Benedict.
  • Digitalnun reflects on the St Benedict Patron of Europe
  • Dr Lilles has a interesting reflection on St Benedict and reliance on God.
  • Stillsong Hermitage reflects on "Unlearning possession".

10 Jul 2011

Rome Reports - Dublin prepares for the International Eucharistic Congress 2012

10th July 2011 - Camino de Santiago and the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this weeks show we have an interview with John McCrohan about the Camino de Santiago, our regular gospel reflection with Fr Michael, Shane and John as well as some local notices and saints of the week.

The programme is also available on podcast.

Camino de Santiago de Compestela

The Camino de Santiago is the ancient pilgrim route across Northern Spain to the tomb of St James the Apostle in Santiago at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; other major pilgrimage routes include the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 

On the programme this morning, John tells us about the Camino, its history and traditions as well as his own and his families experience of The Way. 
If you are interested in reading and learning more about the Camino and walking the Camino, some further recommendations and advice from John are:
"All the information that's need and more is to be seen in the Confraternity of St James website (which is linked below). The main thing that I'd like to say to anybody doing the Camino is that the journey, like in everything, is way more important than the destination.
  • There has many churches etc, visit as many as you can but I'd strongly recommend taking time to visit the Cathedral in Burgos
  • You'll find lots of places offering a Pilgrim's Menu; it's good food and reasonable. Try out other local dishes as you pass through the regions. In particular have Morcilla de Burgos in Burgos, Pulpo in Mellide, Viera in Santiago, any where you'll get them have Pimientos de Padrón, Patatas Bravas, Tortilla, Gambas a Ajillo.... the list goes on....
  • No doubt you'll run into a festival or two on the way, enjoy!
Confraternity of St James

This is regarded as one the best and most informative site to date which is maintained by the Confraternity of St James. There is also an online bookshop which sells many books. The best book/guide I've seen is John Brierley's book "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago" (Camino Guides, Findhorn, 2009 288pp) which is highly recommend that to anybody doing any part of the Camino Francés. There is also an Irish Society of St James.

Other recommended sites to have a look at:
During the show, John McCohern mentioned "la bota fumerio" at the cathedral in Santiago. Here is a short video of it in use during the visit of Pope Benedict to Spain in 2010:

Gospel - Matthew 13:1-23

This weeks gospel is a very familiar gospel to us, one which we might be too familiar with, we have heard it so often that we don't really hear it.
It is a gospel of the exuberant abundance of love of God - the Sower. It didn't matter what was the perceived "waste" but God is still always generous in his love despite what we do or don't do in our lives. The message of this love of God for us is that we should be as generous in sharing outside the four walls of our church community even if people are being swamped by the "thorns" of the world.
At the same time, it is a gospel which gives us great hope to continue in our commitment to our christian life. The gospel reminds us that as long as we respond to the love of God to the best of our ability, even if that return is only "thirtyfold, sixtyfold or a hundred fold" it doesn't matter. The main thing is that we make the space and time to respond to the love of God in our lives.
Further reflections on this weeks gospel from:
Saints of the Week

July 11th - St Benedict, Abbot, Patron of Europe
July 12th - St Veronica
July 13th - St Teresa of the Andes OCD
July 14th - St Camillus of Lellis
July 15th - St Bonaventure
July 16th - Our Lady of Mount Carmel

9 Jul 2011

Lough Derg

Following on from last weeks programme about Lough Derg, RTE's Nationwide programme Friday evening was about the Lough Derg Pilgrimmage. The programme is available on RTE playback, here is the link. It may not be available to readers outisde the Republic of Ireland.

3 Jul 2011

3rd July 2011 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time and Lough Derg

On this weeks show we have a return visit and interview about St Patricks Purgatory on Lough Derg as well as our regular gospel reflection, prayer space, some notices and reminders as well as a quick run down on this weeks celestial guides.

The programme podcast is also available.

Lough Derg

John has an interview with Msgr Richard Mohan who is the Prior of St Patrick's Purgatory this morning which asks us the question: Santiago de Compostela, The Holy Land, Ganges River, Purgatorium Sancti Patricii, what do they all have in common? Pilgrims have been travelling to these sacred sites for centuries on a spiritual quest or a journey seeking something deeper, getting closer to their authentic selves, continuing a ritualistic tradition of their ancestors.

Reputed to be the most challenging pilgrimage in the Christian world, the traditional Three-Day Pilgrimage remains intact after more than 100 years - walking, praying, fasting, on a remote Island once considered to be at the edge of the world. Each year the community on Lough Derg offer us the opportunity to step out of your ordinary routine for three days and experience something deeper, something real - reconnect and rediscover!

The three day pilgrimage season will resume on 1st June 2011 and conclude on 15th August

To find out more about Lough Derg or to book onto a retreat/visit to the island, go here.

Gospel - Matthew 11: 25-30

With this weeks gospel, we enter again into Ordinary time in the liturgical calander. After a hectic and intensive period from Ash Wednesday through to Easter and Pentecost we have a chance to catch our breath. Ordinary Time is the liturgical period outside of the distinctive liturgical seasons. It runs 33 or 34 weeks - between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent, exclusive.

The liturgical colour of Ordinary Time is green. According to The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, the days of Ordinary Time, especially the Sundays, "are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects." Ordinary time does not need to be "ordinary," and is not meant to mean that somehow we get a break from the Liturgical Year. The opposite is true: Ordinary Time celebrates "the mystery of Christ in all its aspects." We remember and celebrate the parts of Jesus' life that were ordinary, much like our own lives. And we also remember that what we know of Jesus life is his birth, one incident at the age of tweleve and then nothing futher until tradition holds he was thirty when he began his public ministry. 

It is also a gospel which reminds us that we dont have to be experts in theology or philosophy to be able to have a relationship with God. The gospel calls us to re-discover the child-like ability to be able to engage and be open to God like innocent children. It is not a call to be childish with a focus on that old white haired man in the sky approach to God. We need to re-discover the freedom of love which Pope Benedict has been reminding us again and again. Our faith is not about doe's and don'ts but rather how are we open to a personal relationship with God, and a personal encounter with Love Incarnate - Jesus.

It is also a gospel which reminds us that we cant carry the burdens of life on our own. At the same time, we do need to face up to our realities in life, but when we do that, we realise that Jesus is there to share the burden with us and we are able to carry and deal with that difficulty. God never gives us a cross without the grace to be able to carry it. 

But for those who feel totally overwhelmed, who feel that they cannot face the difficulties in their lives, who might feel that they are so alone through this dark time, Jesus promises us that "Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest...."

Other reflections on this weeks gospel available:
  • Dominican Interactive (website of the Irish Domincan friars) - The Path of Littleness
  • Word on Fire - "The purpose of Jesus' teachings is that we allow the divine life to surge through us so that we become transformed in Christ, making us more like Him. All our knowledge should serve this end. However, some learned people can use their knowledge to puff up their egos and put others down. The "Little Ones" are the people whose entire life is about helping others participate in the divine life so they may fully flourish".
  • Deacon Greg Kandra

Saints of the Week
July 4th - St Elizabeth of Portugal
July 5th - St Anthony Mary Zaccaria
July 6th - St Maria Goretti
July 7th - St Maelruain
July 8th - St Kilian
July 9th - St Augustine Zhao Rong and his Companions