27 May 2018

Trinity Sunday

Via PrayTell:

Holy Trinity, Farid De La Ossa, 2004
I saw the blessed Trinity working. I saw that there were these three attributes: fatherhood, motherhood, and lordship – all in one God. In the almighty Father we have been sustained and blessed with regard to our created natural being from before all time. By the skill and wisdom of the Second Person we are sustained, restored, and saved with regard to our sensual nature, for he is our Mother, brother, and Savior. In our good Lord the Holy Spirit we have, after our life and hardship is over, that reward and rest which surpasses for ever and everything we can possibly desire–such is his abounding grace and magnificent courtesy.
Our life too is threefold. In the first stage we have our being, in the second our growth, and in the third our perfection. The first is nature, the second mercy, and the third grace. For the first I realized that the great power of the Trinity is our Father, the deep wisdom our Mother, and the great love our Lord.
(from Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, c. 1342 – c. 1416)

So what does it all mean? - Updated


"The Eighth Amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child -- it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed and will always exist.........a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it."

"Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. The constitution has changed, but the facts have not,".

"......The Irish Constitution merely recognized the right to life that is antecedent to all law. This most fundamental of all human rights is not extinguished or diminished because our constitution no longer acknowledges it. What is diminished is our constitution,"..................

"The task facing the Catholic Church now is to ensure that it makes every effort to accompany with the healing compassion of Christ everyone caught up in the tragic circumstances that surround an abortion ... from grieving parents to medical practitioners."

"When the Italian referendum on abortion was lost in 1981 (32 to 68%), a magazine close to CL titled "let us start again from 32." The next day Giussani said "let us start gain from 1" referring to Christ. The real problem in Ireland (and elsewhere) is not abortion. It is widespread loss of faith encouraged by a powerful secularist culture and abetted by a Church that sometimes seems ashamed of Christ."
- Carlo Lancellotti (Twitter)


A Pastoral Message from Bishop Kevin Doran following Referendum on 8th Amendment 

As we awake to the reality that Irish people have voted by a significant majority for abortion, my thoughts go out to the thousands of good people, across our Diocese and across the nation, who worked so hard to protect the right to life both of women and their unborn children. I include among them our clergy who have sought to offer pastoral leadership. Huge numbers of you, motivated by real compassion, also voted No. I share your sadness.

There will be plenty of time for analysis in the days ahead. For now, I want to encourage you with the thought that what was true yesterday remains true today. Every human being without exception has an inherent right to life which comes from God, in whose image we are all made.

In many countries where abortion has been legal for years Christians continue to bear faithful witness. That hope must inspire us now as we proclaim anew the Gospel of Life, both in the political arena and in the renewal of our pastoral outreach. As Church we will continue to explore effective ways to support women and their unborn children, families in difficulty and women who have had an abortion. I will be inviting people to actively engage in conversation about the shaping of that pastoral outreach in the coming months. We also need to find new ways of helping Irish women and men in this generation to rediscover the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

St John speaks of Jesus as “a light shining in the darkness; a light that the darkness cannot overcome” (Jn. 1). My prayer for you is that the light of Christ will fill your hearts, especially in these days, so that you in your turn may be “a light to the world”. (Mt. 5)

Bishop Kevin 
26 May 2018


Society has been “very much divided” by the referendum on whether to repeal or retain the eighth amendment, the Bishop of Limerick believes. 

Limerick City and County voted by a significant majority to repeal the eighth amendment in Friday’s referendum. 

In a message read out at Masses across the Limerick diocese this Sunday, Bishop Brendan Leahy described the result of the referendum as “deeply regrettable and chilling” for those who voted no. 

In his message, the Bishop also acknowledged that each person’s political position on the matter was “ultimately borne out of care.” 

“Those who voted no did so with compassion particularly for the unborn child,” Bishop Leahy said. “Those who voted yes did so with an eye particularly on the mother carrying that child.” 

“We have unquestionably been divided in many respects as a society over recent years by pivotal political decisions but we must begin to heal and to remember that we are one, not two societies,” Bishop Leahy said. 

The stories of many women who terminated their pregnancies were heard during the debate, he added. 

“They were women in crisis pregnancies or women in dreadful circumstances; victims of sexual violence or those who have been given dreadful news regarding the viability of the baby in the womb, a baby they dearly want, or women whose lives are put at risk by an imminent childbirth.” 

“While the Church’s position is that life, in or out, of the womb is to be protected, it is only right that we have heard these stories and got a sense of women’s immense pain and distress.” 

“So often, women were left on their own at that time, perhaps with the support only of a friend, perhaps immediate family but not much else.” 

“A message we can take, therefore, from the stories we’ve heard is that we have ultimately failed them as a society if we allow them to be isolated.” 

“We need to engender more coherently a society of care, a society of support so that the default for women in these circumstances is to turn to that society and know that it wraps them in a blanket of love and support.” 

“The Church treasures life above all else and that extends to life in the womb,” Bishop Leahy added.  

“Even before the Referendum, it was a core value and it will remain so.” 

“The result, in that context, is deeply regrettable and chilling for those of us who voted no.”

“The final result of the Referendum is the will of the majority of the people, though not all the people.” 

The vote does not change the Church’s position on that matter, he added. 

“Our message is one of love; love for all, love for life, for those with us today, for those in the womb and God’s love is there also for those on both sides of the Referendum campaign.” 


26 May 2018

27th May 2018 - Answering the call to holiness - Gaudate et Exsultate (Rejoice & be glad) - Trinity Sunday

On Trinity Sunday, Fr Eamon Conway joins with John and Shane to take us through the highlights of the newest papal document from Pope Francis called Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and be glad"). We have our run through various liturgical odds & ends as well as a brief reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel.

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

Gaudete et Exsultate

Gaudete et Exsultate is a new apostolic exhortation on “the call to holiness in the contemporary world.” “Gaudete et Exsultate” is the Latin title of the text, which translated into English means “Rejoice and Be Glad.” The words are taken from the Gospel of Matthew (5:12) at the end of the discourse on the Beatitudes.

Fr Eamon Conway takes us through this very readable document of five chapters which explore the call to holiness, the enemies of holiness, what it is to be holy – through living out the beatitudes, the signs of holiness in today’s world and spiritual combat.

Pope Francis reminds the church of the example of the saints and how their lives are an imitation of Christ. He also states that this imitation is not limited to the canonised or beatified but to “God’s holy and faithful people, for “it has pleased God to make men and women holy and to save them, not as individuals without any bond between them, but rather as a people who might acknowledge him in truth and serve him in holiness”.

Read the apostolic exhortation HERE.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Eamon excerpted from the main podcast HERE.

— “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile.”

— “Holiness is the most attractive face of the church.”

— “The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.”

— “In times when women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced new spiritual vigor and important reforms in the church.”

— “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case.”

— “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.”

— “This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures.”

— “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy.”

— “Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”

— “Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23).”

— “Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly.”

— “We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion.”

— “The saints are not odd and aloof, unbearable because of their vanity, negativity and bitterness. The Apostles of Christ were not like that.”

— “In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.”

— “It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.”

— “The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.”

— “Christian joy is usually accompanied by a sense of humor.”

— “The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.”

— “A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan.”

— “I do not believe in holiness without prayer, even though that prayer need not be lengthy or involve intense emotions.”

— “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”

— “The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities.”

— “Discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of this life, but about recognizing how we can better accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism.”

— “Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort.”

Gospel - Matthew 28:16-20 - the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.Then Jesus approached and said to them,"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

S+L - The Trinity is the Model of Every Human Community -- A Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Thinking Faith God is three and God is one
Thinking Faith - The Trinity: On Loving Love Loving

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4; 8th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

May 30th - St Joan of Arc
June 1st - St Justin Martyr (First Friday)
June 2nd - St Marcellinus (First Saturday)
June 3rd - Corpus Christi

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

Pilgrims to WMOF will receive plenary indulgence

Pope will visit Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin in August

Loss of fatherhood is “critical crisis in the world”

Knock’s Apparition Chapel reopens following refurbishment

Wounded veterans seek healing and peace in the waters of Lourdes

Pope Hints at New CDF Document on End-of-Life Issues

Commission Chair: ‘Humanae Vitae’ Needs No Update

Pilgrimage of John XXIII’s remains refutes religion’s demise

Germany’s communion discussion ‘puzzling,’ says Canadian archbishop

In our day, as during the time of Luther, what happens in Germany will not stay in Germany...

Pope Francis' cunning long game

The 2018 Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartes - post 1 and post 2 

Blessing caskets a ‘mysterious transaction’ bonding soul to soul 

Musings on a big Saturday on the Vatican news beat

Stop Misunderstanding the Benedict Option

A Hard Future For Traditional Christianity

Rival Visions Of The Catholic Future

Whether Armenia, the Nazis or Isis – if you're going to commit genocide, you can’t do it without the help of local people

Hearing God’s Voice in the Silence

5 Reasons Christians Should Have Icons

There Ain’t No Rest for the Idealist

Care for the Dying is the Last Hospitality

Ireland and the end of cultural Catholicism

24 May 2018

Let us pray

Today the referendum to repeal or retain the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution which upholds the equal protection of life given to both the mother and the unborn child  begins as the outlying islands off the coast cast their ballots while the mainland votes tomorrow.

Now is the time for the campaigning and arguing to cease and that voters are allowed time to reflect and decide which way they will cast their ballots.

We pray that that people will be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to discern in truth and faith the decisions they must make and that they will seek the intercession of the Spirit to unlock those gifts of wisdom and right judgement which are available to all.

And as citizens of the Republic, we should all endeavor to exercise our civic duty and go to cast our ballots. Every vote counts and every voice matters.

21 May 2018

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

May 21 marks the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, added to the Roman calendar this year by Pope Francis.The annual memorial is intended to foster Marian devotion among Catholics. Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said this celebration will help promote affection for Christ and his mother.
“This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed,” he said in a March 3 letter.
Catholic Herald 
The Church should have the attitude of a wife and a mother, the Pope said. Without its feminine dimension, the Catholic Church risks becoming an old boy’s club and incapable of love, Pope Francis said.
The Church must “remain female” and “have this attitude of a wife and mother” who nurtures her children, the Pope said in his homily on May 21 during a morning Mass commemorating the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.
“When we forget this, it becomes a masculine church; without this dimension, it sadly becomes a church of old bachelors, who live in this isolation, incapable of love, incapable of fruitfulness,” the Pope said.
...............Without this dimension, “the Church loses its true identity and becomes a charitable organization or a soccer team or something, but not the Church,” he said.
Like a mother, the Church also goes “along the path of tenderness” and knows how to convey wisdom through the language of “caresses, of silence, of the gaze that knows compassion,” the Pope said.
All Christians in some way are called to “go along the same path,” being someone who is “gentle, tender, smiling, full of love,” Pope Francis said.
iBenedictines - A New Feast: Mary, Mother of the Church Vatican News -  Pope Francis: The Church, like Mary, is woman and mother 
CNA - Pope Francis: Like Mary, the Church is a mother 
Liturgical details for the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church 

Whispers in the Loggia - Address of Pope Paul VI Closing of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, St Peter's Basilica, 21 November 1964

20 May 2018

Pope Francis on Pentecost: The Holy Spirit changes hearts

Vatican News - In his homily on Pentecost Sunday delivered before thousands of the faithful gathered in St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis focused on the action of the Holy Spirit expressed in the Scripture readings from the Acts of the Apostles, St Paul's letter to the Galatians, and St John’s Gospel.

The Holy Spirit changes hearts
The Spirit transforms the hearts of the timid disciples from fearful men, “huddled behind closed doors”, to bold men who “bear witness to [Jesus]” (Jn 15:27), the Pope said. His action frees hearts, impels service, guides people in new directions, and makes “the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts”, Pope Francis said.

The Holy Spirit gives life
Pope Francis suggests that since the Holy Spirit provokes change that we turn to Him for a “powerful ‘jolt’ ” when “we are in need of real change”. He is “the power of God” and the “giver of life”. “How good it would be for us each day to feel this jolt of life!  To say when we wake up each morning: ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come into my heart, come into my day’ ”, the Pope said. 

The Holy Spirit changes situations
The Holy Spirit “penetrates the most unimaginable situations”, Pope Francis continued. He does so today just as he did in the Acts of the Apostles, in which He is the “main character”. He drives Philip from Jerusalem to Gaza, then to Azotus, then to Caesarea (Acts 8:26-40), “in constantly new situations to spread God’s newness”. Paul is “compelled by the Spirit” (Acts 20:22), traveling “far and wide” to bring the Gospel, the Pope said.

The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church
Pope Francis recalled that as the soul of the Church, the Holy Spirit renews her with hope, fills her with joy, and causes her to blossom with new life. Even after 2000 years, “the Spirit reminds the Church that…she is always the youthful bride with whom the Lord is madly in love”.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis said that the Spirit acts on the Church with “centripetal and centrifugal” forces. We are centered deep within with His centripetal force which brings unity, peace and strength amid affliction and temptation, he said. The Holy Spirit pushes us outward toward the peripheries with a centrifugal force. Thus, in the Pope’s words, “those who live by the Spirit…find themselves pulled both towards God and towards the world".

19 May 2018

20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday - What is an informed conscience?

Ireland goes to the polls in the coming week to decide what is literally a matter of life and death as voters decide on whether to retain or repeal the equal protection of life given to both the mother and the unborn child in the Irish constitution. SS102fm didn't host any debates or discussions on the referendum because a) we wanted to give our listeners a "sacred space" on a Sunday morning away from the 'noise' of main stream media and b) because to do so would have meant having to give balanced airtime to both sides of the campaign under BAI rules which we could not do.

However, on this mornings programme we decided to repeat an interview which we conducted with Bishop-emeritus Dr Donal Murray back in 2015 about the issue of conscience and having an informed conscience. At that time, the interview was ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum and the purpose of the interview was to set out clearly what is meant from a Catholic point of view about discerning and voting with your conscience. 

"Freedom of conscience" is regarded as one the key human rights of the current age but what does it actually mean from a Catholic perspective? What is conscience? Can a person be compelled to act against their conscience? How is a person to form his conscience so that it is not just their opinion but a considered and informed discernment?

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Some links around the issue of conscience:

This Sunday is the Solemnity of Pentecost, when the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate on the Christian community. We pray that as we enter into these final days of discernment, that people will be open to the promptings of that same Spirit, to discern in truth and faith the decisions they must make and that they will seek the intercession of the Spirit to unlock those gifts of wisdom and right judgement which are available to all.

Gospel - John 15:26-27,16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:‘When the Advocate comes,whom I shall send to you from the Father,the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,he will be my witness.And you too will be witnesses,because you have been with me from the outset.‘I still have many things to say to youbut they would be too much for you now.But when the Spirit of truth comeshe will lead you to the complete truth,since he will not be speaking as from himselfbut will say only what he has learnt;and he will tell you of the things to come.He will glorify me,since all he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.Everything the Father has is mine;that is why I said:All he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.’

This weeks short lectio divina on the radio programme, is focused not on the gospel of the day but rather on the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-11). However reflection on the Sunday gospel and the great feast of Pentecost:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week in Ordinary time

With Vespers of Pentecost we finally close out the Easter season and enter into Ordinary Time. We have celebrated with many Alleluia's for seven weeks the joy of the Lord's Resurrection and now we enter back into the ordinary seasons of liturgy and time.

Saints of the Week

May 21st - Mary, Mother of the Church
May 22nd - St Rita of Cascia
May 23rd - St Goban Gobhnena
May 25th - St Bede
May 26th - St Philip Neri

There is power in love! - Most Rev Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Here is the complete transcript for the Most Rev Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

From the Song of Solomon, in the Bible:
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
The late Dr Martin Luther King Jr once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”

There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even oversentimentalise it. There’s power – power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to centre around you and your beloved.

Oh, there’s power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense in which, when you are loved, and you know it, when someone cares for you, and you know it, when you love and you show it – it actually feels right. There’s something right about it.

There is something right about it. And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love, and our lives were meant – and are meant – to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.

Ultimately, the source of love is God himself: the source of all of our lives. There’s an old medieval poem that says: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The New Testament says it this way: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love do not know God.” Why? “For God is love.” There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.

There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart … a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death. But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we’re all here. Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. But it’s not just for and about a young couple, who we rejoice with. It’s more than that.

Jesus of Nazareth on one occasion was asked by a lawyer to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses, and he went back and he reached back into the Hebrew scriptures, to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

And then in Matthew’s version, he added, he said: “On these two, love of God and love of neighbour, hang all the law, all the prophets, everything that Moses wrote, everything in the holy prophets, everything in the scriptures, everything that God has been trying to tell the world … Love God, love your neighbours, and while you’re at it, love yourself.”

Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world – and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives, but the very life of the world itself. I’m talking about power. Real power. Power to change the world.

If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s Antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s one that says, “There’s a balm in Gilead …” a healing balm, something that can make things right.

“There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole,” and one of the stanzas actually explains why. They said:

“If you cannot preach like Peter, 
And you cannot pray like Paul, 
You just tell the love of Jesus, 
How he died to save us all.”

Oh, that’s the balm in Gilead!

This way of love, it is the way of life. They got it. He died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He didn’t – he wasn’t getting anything out of it. He gave up his life, he sacrificed his life, for the good of others, for the good of the other, for the wellbeing of the world … for us.

That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centred. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.

If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.

Imagine our homes and families where love is the way.
Imagine our neighbourhoods and communities where love is the way.
Imagine our governments and nations where love is the way.
Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way.
Imagine this tired old world where love is the way.

When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive.
When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again.
When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever flowing brook.
When love is the way, poverty will become history.
When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.
When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more.
When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well … like we are actually family.
When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.

My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family. And let me tell you something, old Solomon was right in the Old Testament: that’s fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – and with this I will sit down, we gotta get y’all married – French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century. Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, a scientist, a scholar, a mystic.

In some of his writings, he said, from his scientific background as well as his theological one … in some of his writings he said – as others have – that the discovery, or invention, or harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history.

Fire to a great extent made human civilisation possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat warm environments and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into colder climates.

Fire made it possible … There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. The advances of fire and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good.

Anybody get here in a car today? An automobile? Nod your heads if you did – I know there were some carriages. But those of us who came in cars, fire – controlled, harnessed fire – made that possible.

I know that the Bible says – and I believe it – that Jesus walked on the water. But I have to tell you, I did not walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane makes it possible.

Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and email and Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible, and De Chardin said fire was one of the greatest discoveries in all of human history. And he then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love – it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.

Dr King was right: we must discover love – the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world, a new world.

My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

12 May 2018

13th May 2018 - Exploring ecumenism - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

The SS102fm team is joined this week by Fr Martin Browne OSB from Glenstal Abbey to introduce us to ecumenism and the role it plays between the Christian Churches. We have our regular run through the liturgical odds & ends of the week plus our (short) lectio on this weeks gospel which is for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. 

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

Exploring Ecumenism with Fr Martin Browne OSB

Fr Martin Browne OSB introduces our listeners this week to ecumenism. For Catholics, the word ecumenism refers to all of the activities and initiatives of the Church and her members to promote mutual understanding and, ultimately, unity among all Christians. Inter-religious dialogue is the dialogue between different faiths such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc.

Fr Martin takes us through the journey for the search for Christian unity in the 20th century and how christian's of all denominations have taken up the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper that we " may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." and reminds us that unity has to start with each one of us genuinely seeking it in prayer before the Lord.

You can listen to Fr Martin's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Information on ecumenism:
Gospel - Mark 16:15-20 - The Ascension of the Lord

And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news* to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’ 
 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire - reflections on the Ascension from WoF

Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

The Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. An angel told the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming would take place in the same manner as his ascension. The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into heaven. The familiar account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is given fully only in the Acts of the Apostles, but is briefly described also in the Gospel of Luke (often considered to be by the same author) at 24:50–53 and in the ending of Mark 16 at 16:19

In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theology, the Ascension is interpreted as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, in that it not only marked the completion of Jesus' physical presence among his apostles, but consummated the union of God and man when Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The Ascension and the Transfiguration both figure prominently in the Orthodox doctrine of theosis. The bodily Ascension into heaven is also understood as the final token of Christ's two natures: divine and human.

The Catholic Catechism summarizes three important theological aspects (with which most Christian churches agree) of the Ascension concisely:

  • Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).
  • Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.
  • Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (665-667).

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 14th - St Matthias (Apostle)
May 15th - St Carthage
May 18th - St John I
May 19th - St Celestine V