20 Jan 2019

20th January 2018 - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019

On this weeks programme we are joined by Fr Martin Browne OSB from Glenstal to reflect on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 and the urgent need to realise that Christian unity is not an optional extra. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday Gospel as well as other notices and liturgical odds & ends. 

You can listen to this weeks programme full podcast HERE.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019


We are joined on this weeks programme by Fr Martin Browne OSB from Glenstal to discuss the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 and the imperative for all Christians to urgently work towards the unity of Christians. 

Ecumenism should be taken far more seriously, an Irish priest has urged, ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, Fr Martin Browne OSB, a Benedictine monk based at Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick, and a member of the international group tasked by the Vatican and the World Council of Churches with preparing texts for the week, said the annual reminder of the need for ecumenism can be “a wake-up call”. Ongoing divisions between churches make it all the more important that we do pray for unity, Fr Browne said. “It is the Lord’s will, and Christian disunity is a scandal. “Realising the unity that is inherent in the Body of Christ will require not just ingenuity and imagination, but conversion and repentance.” Maintaining that “Christian unity is not an optional extra”, but adding “I don’t think it is considered a priority in many places in Ireland”, Fr Brown concluded that “if we take unity seriously then the Week of Prayer can be a real grace”

Bishop Brendan Leahy has invited Catholics across Ireland to support and pray for Christian unity throughout the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place from 18 to 25 January 2019. During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, he explains, “Christians all over the world and in every Church make an effort to focus on that prayer of Jesus – "May they all be one‟.
“At times we can let it become a habit or get used to it or forget about it. So, I would encourage everybody, wherever they are – even if they aren‟t necessarily with other Christians, in their local church to make an effort or in a local prayer group – wherever it might be – to make an effort to focus on praying for Christian unity,” Dr Leahy explains.
He suggests those interested should look up specially prepared resources on the dedicated website. This year‟s resources have been prepared by Christians in Indonesia and they have taken their theme from Chapter 16 of the Book of Deuteronomy: “Justice and justice only will we pursue”.
- From CathoilicIreland.net 
The Augustinians in Limerick will be holding a special service here in St. Augustine‟s Church on Thursday 24th January at 7.30pm. They are welcoming a number of people from other Christian denominations and Fellowships to a service of Prayer, Readings, Song and Silence in St. Augustine‟s to be followed by some simple hospitality. They warmly invite you to attend this special service as we pray together for Christian unity.
You can listen to the interview with Fr Martin excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE

  • You can find the resources from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland HERE.
  • Resources from Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches HERE.
  • WPCU2019 Twitter


Gospel - John 2:1-11


There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
"They have no wine."
And Jesus said to her,
"Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servers,
"Do whatever he tells you."
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told the them,
"Fill the jars with water."
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
"Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter."
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
— although the servers who had drawn the water knew —,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
"Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now."
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 2nd week in Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

January 21st - St Agnes
January 22nd - St Vincent
January 23rd - St Colman of Lismore
January 24th - St Francis de Sales
January 25th - Conversion of St Paul
January 26th - Ss Timothy and Titus

13 Jan 2019

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - 13th January 2019 - Pope Francis Homily (Vatican News)

The Sacrament, by Solomon Raj
Baptism Of Christ, John The Baptist, Scripture Art
Pope Francis at Baptism Mass: ‘Faith is transmitted in the home’

Vatican Radio - During Mass on the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, Pope Francis baptizes 27 newborn babies, and invites parents to transmit the faith to their children within the home.

Speaking to parents in his homily on Sunday, the Holy Father reflected on the parental duty of transmitting the faith to the next generation.

“You have asked the Church for faith for your children, and today they will receive the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith in each one’s heart and soul.”

But, Pope Francis said, “this faith must be developed; it must grow.”

Transmit faith at home
Before children study the faith in catechism classes, he said, their parents must transmit it at home, “because the faith is always transmitted ‘in dialect’,” that is, the native language spoken in the environs of the home.

The Pope said parents transmit the faith through their example and words, and by teaching their children to make the Sign of the Cross.

He said the faith must be transmitted “with your faith-filled lives”, so children see married love and peace within the family home. “May they see Jesus there.”

Don’t fight in front of children
Then Pope Francis gave parents a word of advice.

“Never fight in front of your children,” he said. “It’s normal that parents should argue; the opposite would be strange. Do it, but without letting them hear or see.”

“You have no idea the anguish it causes a child to see his or her parents fight.”

He said this was a word of advice “that will help you to transmit the faith.”

Get comfortable
Finally, Pope Francis invited the parents present at the ceremony to make their children comfortable, and to breastfeed them if they were hungry.

“To you mothers I say: Breastfeed your children, don't worry. The Lord wants this.”

*****************

Pope at Angelus: ‘Remember date of your Baptism’

12 Jan 2019

13th January 2018 - SS102fm 2018 Year in Review

On this weeks programme the SS102fm undertakes our annual review of the year with a trip through what was a rather challenging 2018 in ecclesial terms. We are introduced to our blog patron saint of the year for 2019. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel of feast of the Baptism of the Lord as well as some small notices and other liturgical odds and ends.  

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

Patron Saints for 2019

As per SS102fm tradition we were given our 2019 patron saints via the saintsnamegenerator; and the saints allocated to us this year are:

  • John - St Matthew the Apostle
  • Shane - Archangel Raphael
  • Lorraine - St Mary Magdalene
  • Anne - St Jane of Valois

And our blog patron saint for 2019 is St Albert the Great - Albertus Magnus O.P. (c. 1193 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, was a German Catholic Dominican friar and bishop. Later canonised as a Catholic saint, he was known during his lifetime as Doctor universalis and Doctor expertus and, late in his life, the sobriquet Magnus was appended to his name. The Catholic Church distinguishes him as one of the 36 Doctors of the Church.



2018 Year in Review


On SS102fm over the last few years about mid-January has had the custom of taking a look back at the year just gone from a faith perspective looking at things globally, papal related, nationally in Ireland and locally to Limerick diocese. We also do a bit of crystal ball gazing to see what might be the things to watch out for in 2019.

You can listen to the year in review discussion excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation,and all were asking in their heartswhether John might be the Christ.John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water,but one mightier than I is coming.I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
"You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:


Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1 from Monday

Beginning of Ordinary Time until Ash Wednesday on 6th March 2019.

Saints of the Week

14th January - St Sava
15th January - St Ita of Kileedy
16th January - St Fursa
17th January - St Anthony the Abbot
19th January - St Fillan

9 Jan 2019

Ever wonder about leaving the Church?


“How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.

No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …)

The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful.

Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it.

When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…)

And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we.

And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…)

The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12).

But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind.

He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.”

― Carlo Carretto

8 Jan 2019

Pope's January prayer intention: For youth to follow Mary's example



In his prayer intention for the month of January 2019, Pope Francis says: "Let us pray that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world."
The full text of his intention is below:
You young people have, in the Virgin Mary, a reason for joy and a source of inspiration.
Take advantage of the World Youth Day in Panama to contemplate Christ together with Mary. We will pray the Rosary together for peace, each of us in our own language.
And ask for strength to dream and to work for peace.
Let us pray that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.

6 Jan 2019

‘They saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage’ - Rev Patrick Comerford



Homily for the Feast of the Epiphany
Rev Patrick Comerford
Sunday 6 January 2019

(Refer to Patrick's blog for his full and very interesting post on the tradition of Epiphany HERE as well as his interesting and informative posts through out the year)

11.30 a.m.: The Epiphany Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin (Tarbert), Co Kerry.

Readings: Isaiah 60: 1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3: 1-12; Matthew 2: 1-12.

We have completed the 12 days of Christmas.

‘On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:

‘12 drummers drumming …
‘11 pipers piping …
‘10 lords a-leaping …
‘9 ladies dancing …’

And on and on it goes. Not very useful gifts at all, as Frank Kelly reminded us in his parody of this song as Gobnait Ó Lúnasa.

But this morning, in our Epiphany Gospel reading (Matthew 2: 1-12), we remember the Three Wise Men, the Three Kings or the Three Magi, who brought their true gifts to the Christ Child in the Manger.

In many parts of Ireland, today is also known as both ‘Little Christmas’ and as Nollaig na mBan or ‘Women’s Christmas.’

This makes it appropriate to refer to a popular joke on social media that asks: ‘Do you know what would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men?’

The answer is:

‘They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, brought practical gifts … and there would be Peace On Earth.’

Many of us have probably put Christmas behind us at this stage. We’ve probably taken down the tree, the decorations and the holly. Why, we have probably even forgotten our New Year’s resolutions too.

So, why should we remember this morning’s story of the visit of the three Wise Men? And how practical were their gifts?

Although Saint Matthew does not mention the number of wise men, the number of gifts they gave to the Christ Child has given rise to the popular tradition that there were three Magi.

I received Christmas greetings a few weeks ago from a friend, an icon-writer, who lives in Crete. For fun, I decided to run her message in Greek through Google Translate. And I was disturbed that it translated the three Magi as the three Wizards.

Our Old Testament reading (Isaiah 60: 1-6) and Psalm (Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14) speak of gifts given by kings and of the Messiah being worshipped by kings.

Saint Matthew’s account was reinterpreted in the light of these prophecies, and so the magi became kings rather than Persian wise men or priests. Perhaps this interpretation was influenced by the negative image of magi not in the Old Testament but in the New Testament.

The magi were members of the Persian priestly or religious caste. In the Old Testament, for example, the magi or wise men are led by Daniel (see Daniel 2: 48). But the same term later has negative connotation when it is used in the Acts of the Apostles to describe the sorcery of Simon Magus (Acts 8: 9-13) and the magic of Elymas (Acts 13: 6-11).

As the tradition developed, the three wise men in this Gospel story were transformed into kings who have been named as:

● Melchior, a Persian scholar;

● Caspar, an Indian scholar;

● Balthazar, an Arabian scholar.

In Western art from the 14th century on, they are portrayed in these ways:

● Caspar is the older man with a long white beard, who is first in line to kneel before the Christ Child and who gives him the gift of gold.

● Melchior is a middle-aged man, giving frankincense.

● Balthazar is a young man, very often black-skinned, with the gift of myrrh.

Pope at Epiphany Mass: God’s gentle light shines in humble love


Pope at Epiphany Mass: God’s gentle light shines in humble love - Full text of homily 

Pope at Angelus: ‘Epiphany opens us to newness of Jesus’

Vatican News Report:

In his homily at Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Francis invites us to imitate the Magi by recognizing God’s gentle light and by freely helping those who suffer. 
By Devin Watkins
Jesus reveals himself to all the nations in a gentle light that shines in humble love.
Pope Francis made that remark in his homily on Sunday, as he reflected on the Epiphany of the Lord. “Epiphany”, he noted, indicates the manifestation of the Lord. “The symbol of this event is light, which reaches and enlightens everything.”
He said the manner in which God revealed Himself is surprising. The Gospels contrast the powerful of the earth and their palaces with the humble abode where Jesus is born. “None of the powerful of the time realized that the Lord of history was born exactly in their days,” he said.
“Herein lies the surprise: God does not emerge at the forefront of the world in order to manifest Himself.”
Continue reading here

5 Jan 2019

6th January 2018 - Epiphany of the Lord - Starting out in a New year

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year! As we enter into the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord we draw towards the end of Christmastide 2018 but it is still ok to have the decorations for another week! Christmastide finishes liturgically with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord!



On this weeks programme the SS102fm have a "magazine" style programme with various pieces including reflections on the New Year resolutions, events over the Christmas and upcoming programmes over the next few weeks. We have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel which reflects on each our searches for the Christ Child in our lives; as well as other liturgical odds & ends.

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


A Year of Time - Steven B. Cloud
…Though even thinking on the subject of time may prove discomforting, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.
As we look into <year> we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life.
The gift of time is not ours alone. It is given equally to each person. Rich and poor, educated and ignorant, strong and weak—every man, woman and child has the same twenty-four hours every day.
Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on.
And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.
Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the kingdom of God.

The new year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count?


Arise, shine out, Jerusalem; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.  
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you;


your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.  
Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  
A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

Isaiah 60:1-6

On January 6th in Ireland we celebrate Epiphany which is feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. On this feast, Western Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, i.e., his manifestation to the Gentiles; Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. It is also called Theophany, especially by Eastern Christians.



St Matthew tells us (2:1-12) that Wise Men came from out of the east seeking the new born child as the Messiah of the whole world not just for the people of Israel. Their homage to him upon locating him in Bethlehem is representative of the whole world who adore the Holy Child and recognise his Divine Kingship, he who is the Light of the World.

"They set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
The feast of the Epiphany in the latin tradition focuses on the manifestation or showing of the Child Jesus to the Magi or Wise men who have come to seek the new King of the Jews. The three wisdom seekers represent the gentiles; those outside the covenanted community of Israel to whom the Messiah will also come. Where the shepherds represented the Chosen People, the three magi represent all those who truly search and seek for God in our world even if from out side our community and experiences. The questions this familiar part of the Christmas narrative can pose to us include:
  • What "star" do I follow in my life? Do I follow the Morning Star which is Christ or do I have other things I follow?
  • Am I open to seeing the Divine in others even if they are different from me?
  • Like the Wise men, am I willing to trust in God and go where She leads me, even if it means travelling far (literally or metaphorically), believing that God will be "my staff and my shield"?
But like the shepherds, the three magi did not stay in Bethlehem, they had to go back out into the world, back to their homes and families and daily lives; just like we have to. But they took the message of what they had seen and heard with them. Epiphany demands that like these kings we should return to our own countries a different way, carrying to all those we meet the light of Christ. "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth," says the Epistle of the Epiphany Mass, "and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon Thee, and His glory shall be seen upon Thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in Thy light..." These words may be applied to us, upon whom the light of Christ has indeed risen, and who have the responsibility to radiate that light in the darkness of our own world. It is clear how much the feast of Epiphany must mean to all who are engaged in the apostolate and are striving to extend the kingdom of Christ.

Part two of this weeks programme is excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 2:1-12


‘Star of Bethlehem’ (1887-1890) by Edward Burn-Jones (1833-1898
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;for from you shall come a ruler   who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Reflections on this weeks Gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter proper for week after Epiphany

Saints of the Week

January 7th - St Raymond of Penyafort
January 8th - St Albert of Cashel
January 9th - St Adrian of Canturbury
January 10th - Bl Gregory X
January 11th - St Boadin
January 12th - St Aelred of Rievaulx

Noveritis - the Proclamation of the Date of Easter 2019 (Irish Liturgical calendar)

As traditional on SS102fm we post the the Noveritis or Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany each year with the dates as per the Irish liturgical calendar. 


The practice of the proclamation dates from a time when calendars were not too readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of weeks that follow Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter.

Below is the Proclamation with the dates for 2019 as per the Irish Liturgical Calendar.




Know, dear brothers & sisters,
that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ,
so by leave o
f God's mercy
we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection,
who is our Saviour.

On the sixth day of March will fall Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season.
On the twenty-first day of April you will celebrate with joy Easter Day, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the second day of June will be the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On the ninth day of June, the feast of Pentecost.
On the twenty-third day of June, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
On the first day of December, the First Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom is honor and glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

3 Jan 2019

All or Nothing - Sr Clare Crockett (Film)



A budding actress leaves her career and the open doors to fame behind to give her life to God. Some might see this as a total failure. But was it? Those who knew Sr. Clare speak in this film. After her tragic death in the 2016 earthquake in Ecuador, the failure might be seen as having reached its devastating end. Yet, many think that the story doesn’t end there . 

Thanks to the Servant Sisters’ archives with over 15 years of photos and videos of Sr. Clare’s life, HM Television presents this documentary to show you the real-life story of this Sister who gave her ALL to God, keeping NOTHING back.

Staying pro-life after introduction of abortion in Ireland - iCatholic


Ronan Mullen and Ines Lonergan on promoting a pro-life culture now that the (unamended) abortion legislation is sadly the law in Ireland

2 Jan 2019

Jan 1st 2019 - 52nd World Day of Peace

The World Day of Peace is a day of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to universal peace, held on 1 January, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Pope Paul VI established it in 1967, being inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris of Pope John XXIII and with reference to his own encyclical Populorum Progressio. The day was first observed on 1 January 1968.



Message of His Holiness Pope Francis 
for the celebration of the 52nd World Day of Peace
1 January 2019

Good politics is at the service of peace

1. “Peace be to this house!”

In sending his disciples forth on mission, Jesus told them: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you” (Lk 10:5-6).

Bringing peace is central to the mission of Christ’s disciples. That peace is offered to all those men and women who long for peace amid the tragedies and violence that mark human history.[1]The “house” of which Jesus speaks is every family, community, country and continent, in all their diversity and history. It is first and foremost each individual person, without distinction or discrimination. But it is also our “common home”: the world in which God has placed us and which we are called to care for and cultivate.

So let this be my greeting at the beginning of the New Year: “Peace be to this house!”

2. The challenge of good politics

Peace is like the hope which the poet Charles Péguy celebrated.[2] It is like a delicate flower struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence. We know that the thirst for power at any price leads to abuses and injustice. Politics is an essential means of building human community and institutions, but when political life is not seen as a form of service to society as a whole, it can become a means of oppression, marginalization and even destruction.

1 Jan 2019

Christmastide 2018 - Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Theotokas; Mater Dei) - 1st January 2019


O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

On this the January 1st, the Octave Day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the role of Mary in the mystery of Christmas under her most ancient title Theotokos (Mater Dei, God-bearer, Mother of God.). 
"The transcendent omnipotence of divinity is entrusted to the gentle intimacy of maternity, even to a certain unassuming and gentle young woman. It’s not, of course, that Mary was the source of God as such (the opposite is the case). The meaning of “Mother of God” is that the person to whom she gave birth in human flesh, whom she nursed and raised, was and is God".





Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity if Mary, Mother of God
Vatican Basilica
Tuesday, 1 January 2019

“All who heard were amazed at what the shepherds told them” (Lk 2:18). To be amazed: this is what is asked of us today, at the conclusion of the Octave of Christmas, as we continue to contemplate the Child born for us, lacking everything yet abounding in love. Amazement is what we should feel at the beginning of each year, for life is a gift that constantly gives us a chance to make a new start, even from the most lowly of circumstances.

Today is also a day to be amazed by the Mother of God. God appears as a little child, held in the arms of a woman who feeds her Creator. The statue before our eyes depicts the Mother and Child so close as to appear as one. That is the mystery we celebrate today, which gives rise to boundless amazement: God has become one with humanity forever. God and man, always together, that is the good news of this new year. God is no distant lord, dwelling in splendid isolation above the heavens, but love incarnate, born like us of a mother, in order to be a brother to each of us, to be close to us: the God of closeness. He rests on the lap of his mother, who is also our mother, and from there he pours out upon humanity a new tenderness. Thus we come to understand more fully God’s love, which is both paternal and maternal, like that of a mother who never stops believing in her children and never abandons them. God-with-us, Emmanuel, loves us despite our mistakes, our sins, and the way we treat our world. God believes in mankind, because its first and preeminent member is his own Mother.


At the beginning of the year, let us implore from Mary the grace to be amazed at the God of surprises. Let us renew the amazement we felt when faith was first born in us. The Mother of God helps us: the Mother who gave birth to the Lord, now presents us, reborn, to the Lord. She is a mother who generates in her children the amazement of faith, because faith is an encounter, not a religion. Without amazement, life becomes dull and routine, and so it is with faith. The Church too needs to renew her amazement at being the dwelling place of the living God, the Bride of the Lord, a Mother who gives birth to her children. Otherwise, she risks turning into a beautiful museum of the past. A “Church museum”. Our Lady instead gives the Church the feel of a home, a home in which the God of newness dwells. Let us receive with amazement the mystery of the Mother of God, as the inhabitants of Ephesus did at the time of the Council. Like them, let us acclaim her “Holy Mother of God”. From her, let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon, to be embraced, to be taken by the hand.


Let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon. Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother. Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by Our Lady. When she gazes upon us, she does not see sinners but children. It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul; the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven. Jesus himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22): the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner; everywhere they rekindle hope. As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children; here I am, your Mother!”


This maternal gaze, which instils confidence and trust, helps us to grow in faith. Faith is a bond with God that engages the whole person; to be preserved, it needs the Mother of God. Her maternal gaze helps us see ourselves as beloved children in God’s faithful people, and to love one another regardless of our individual limitations and approaches. Our Lady keeps us rooted in the Church, where unity counts more than diversity; she encourages us to care for one another. Mary’s gaze reminds us that faith demands a tenderness that can save us from becoming lukewarm. Tenderness: the Church of tenderness. Tenderness is a word that today many want to remove from the dictionary. When faith makes a place for the Mother of God, we never lose sight of the centre: the Lord, for Mary never points to herself but to Jesus; and our brothers and sisters, for Mary is mother.


The gaze of the Mother, and the gaze of every mother. A world that looks to the future without a mother’s gaze is shortsighted. It may well increase its profits, but it will no longer see others as children. It will make money, but not for everyone. We will all dwell in the same house, but not as brothers and sisters. The human family is built upon mothers. A world in which maternal tenderness is dismissed as mere sentiment may be rich materially, but poor where the future is concerned. Mother of God, teach us to see life as you do. Turn your gaze upon us, upon our misery, our poverty. Turn to us thine eyes of mercy.


Let us allow ourselves to be embraced. From Mary’s gaze, we now turn to her heart, in which, as today’s Gospel recounts, she “treasured all these things and pondered them” (Lk 2:19). Our Lady, in other words, took everything to heart; she embraced everything, events both good and bad. And she pondered all these things; she brought them before God. This was her secret. In the same way, she now takes to heart the life of each of us: she wants to embrace our every situation and to present it to God.


In today’s fragmented world, where we risk losing our bearings, a Mother’s embrace is essential. How much dispersion and solitude there is all around us! The world is completely connected, yet seems increasingly disjointed. We need to entrust ourselves to our Mother. In the Scriptures, Our Lady embraces any number of concrete situations; she is present wherever she is needed. She visits her cousin Elizabeth; she comes to the aid of the newlyweds in Cana; she encourages the disciples in the Upper Room… Mary is a cure for solitude and dispersion. She is the Mother of con-solation: she stands “with” those who are “alone”. She knows that words are not enough to console; presence is needed, and she is present as a mother. Let us allow her to embrace our lives. In the Salve Regina, we call her “our life”. This may seem exaggerated, for Christ himself is “life” (cf. Jn 14:6), yet Mary is so closely united to him, and so close to us, that we can do no better than to put our hands in hers and to acknowledge her as “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”


And in the journey of life, let us allow ourselves to be taken by the hand. Mothers take their children by the hand and lovingly introduce them to life. But how many children today wander off on their own and lose their way. Thinking they are strong, they get lost; thinking they are free, they become slaves. How many, forgetting a mother’s affection, live in anger with themselves and indifference to everything! How many, sad to say, react to everything and everyone with bitterness and malice! Life is such. Showing oneself “malicious” even seems at times to be a sign of strength. Yet it is nothing more than weakness. We need to learn from mothers that heroism is shown in self-giving, strength in compassion, wisdom in meekness.


God himself needed a Mother: how much more so do we! Jesus himself gave her to us, from the cross: “Behold your mother!” (Jn 19:27). He said this to the beloved disciple and to every disciple. Our Lady is not an optional accessory: she has to be welcomed into our life. She is the Queen of peace, who triumphs over evil and leads us along paths of goodness, who restores unity to her children, who teaches us compassion.


Mary, take us by the hand. Clinging to you, we will pass safely through the straits of history. Lead us by the hand to rediscover the bonds that unite us. Gather us beneath your mantle, in the tenderness of true love, where the human family is reborn: “We fly to thy protection, O Holy Mother of God”. Let us together pray these words to Our Lady: “We fly to thy protection, O Holy Mother of God”.





Mary, Virgin and Mother,

you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,

welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.


Filled with Christ’s presence,

you brought joy to John the Baptist,
making him exult in the womb of his mother.
Brimming over with joy,
you sang of the great things done by God.

Standing at the foot of the cross
with unyielding faith,
you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,
and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit
so that the evangelizing Church might be born.

Obtain for us now a new ardour born of the resurrection,
that we may bring to all the Gospel of life
which triumphs over death.
Give us a holy courage to seek new paths,
that the gift of unfading beauty may reach every man and woman.

Virgin of listening and contemplation,
Mother of love, Bride of the eternal wedding feast,
pray for the Church,
whose pure icon you are,
that she may never be closed in on herself
or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.

Star of the new evangelization,
help us to bear radiant witness to communion, service, ardent and generous faith,
justice and love of the poor,
that the joy of the Gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth, illuminating even the fringes of our world.

Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones, pray for us.
Amen. Alleluia!
–Francis
Evangelii Gaudium, 288