In these dark days when negation has so deeply entered into thought,
and the futility of life oppresses many souls,
when belief and unbelief appear indifferent
and what is left
is natural passion to express the pride of life,
or the empty void of nothingness
when the nerve to live and to create is weakened and suicides increase –
O Lord, forgive the failures of your Church to witness to the world
that justice should run down as water
and righteousness a mighty stream,
O Lord, forgive the failure of the Christian life
that lives so worldly
that few can see the life of Spirit
that must proclaim the kingdom of God’s love
to glorify his Name. Amen.
(Fr Gilbert Shaw)
Monthly Archives: May 2012
In these dark days when negation has so deeply entered into thought,
ST MOLOC (LUAN), BISHOP +572
Probably a native of Scotland, Moloc was educated in Ireland under the tutelage of the abbot St Brendan of Birr (“Brendan the Elder”, d.573).
Thereafter Moloc set out as a missionary for the Scottish west coast, where he began his labours by evengelising the island of Lismore.
He subsequently preached on various Scottish islands, making his way to the northwestern extremity of Scottish territory, the Outer Hebrides.
Moloc then headed eastward to the Scottish mainland, where he spent his remaining years in the regions of Ross and Mar.
The 2004 Roman Martyrology recognises as valid the tradition that Moloc was a bishop, but nothing is known as to where or when Moloc was ordained to the episcopate. There is a crosier preserved in Scotland that is said to have been that of Moloc.
The body of Moloc, originally buried in Rossmarkie, where he had died, was transferred at an early date to Murlach.
During a battle with Danish warriors near Murlach, Scotland’s king Malcolm II (1004-1034) invoked the intercession of the Blessed Mother and St Moloc and emerged victorious. In gratitude, he founded an episcopal see in Murlach.
“All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above.”
O Jesus, You said, “In truth I tell you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will open!” I am knocking, seeking and asking for the grace … and I will know You always more intimately.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You!
O Jesus, You said, “In truth I tell you, whatever you ask from My Father in My Name, He will grant you!” I ask this grace … from Your Father and in Your Name and that I may love You and make You loved always more ardently.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You!
O Jesus, You said, “In truth I tell you, the heavens and earth will pass away, but My words never!” Counting on the infallibility of Your holy words, I ask for the grace … and to imitate and serve You always more faithfully.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You!
O Jesus, for whom nothing is impossible except not to have compassion for the unhappy, have mercy on us poor sinners, and grant us the grace we ask, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your and our tender Mother. Amen.
O Heart of Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before your altar, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful, alas, that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offences; but also for the sins of those who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow you, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of your law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against you; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offences against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behaviour, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holy-days, for the shocking blasphemies uttered against you and your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which your Vicar on earth and your priests are subjected, for the profanation by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of your divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations, who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which you have founded.
Would, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of your divine honour, the satisfaction you once made to your eternal Father on the Cross and which you continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of your grace, for all neglect of your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our ability to prevent others from offending you and to bring as many as possible to follow you.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to you, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where you with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign, God, world without end. Amen.
ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI +1619
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1)
The food that is necessary for living this life is the grace of the Holy Spirit and the love of God.
But grace and love are nothing without faith, since without faith it is impossible to please God.
– St Lawrence
Dear St Lawrence, you used your intellect to inspire faith. Help me to use my mind and my words to encourage faith in others.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF ABERDEEN IN SCOTLAND: JULY 9th
Since the Restoration of the Scottish Hierarchy in 1878, devotion to Our Blessed Lady in Aberdeen, throughout the diocese, and further afield, has focused on copies of an ancient statue which was saved from destruction in Aberdeen during the Reformation and hidden in several different countries. Copies now stand in St Mary’s Cathedral and St Peter’s Church in Aberdeen – the original can be seen at Notre Dame de Finistere in Brussels.
Grant we pray, almighty God,
that this your Holy Church in Scotland,
gathered in your name to honour
Our Lady of Aberdeen,
may shine forth with that fire of faith and charity
which the Spirit dwelling in her set ablaze.
Through 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.
(By Soren Kierkegaard)
“Father in heaven! Thou dost speak to man in many ways; thou to whom alone belongeth wisdom and understanding, yet desirest thyself to be understood by man.
Even when thou art silent, still thou speakest to him, for the one who saith nothing, yet speaketh in order to examine the disciple; the one who saith nothing, yet speaketh in order to try the beloved one; the one who saith nothing, yet speaketh so that the hour of understanding may be more profound. Is it not thus, Father in heaven!
Oh, in the time of silence when man remains alone, abandoned when he does not hear thy voice, it seems to him doubtless that the separation must last forever.
Oh, in the time of silence when man consumes himself in the desert in which he does not hear thy voice, it seems to him doubtless that it is completely extinguished. Father in heaven!
It is only a moment of silence in an intimacy of conversation.
Bless then this silence as thy word to man; grant that he never forgets that thou speakest also when thou art silent; give him this consolation when he waits on thee, that thou art silent through love and that thou speakest through love, so that in thy silence as in thy word thou art still the same Father and that it is still the same paternal love that thou guidest by thy voice and that thou dost instruct by thy silence.”
1. O Jesus Christ, remember,
when thou shalt come again,
upon the clouds of heaven,
with all thy shining train;
when every eye shall see thee
in deity revealed,
who now upon this altar
in silence are concealed.
2. Remember then, O Saviour,
I supplicate of thee,
that here I bowed before thee
upon my bended knee;
that here I owned thy presence,
and did not thee deny,
and glorified thy greatness
though hid from human eye.
3. Accept, divine Redeemer,
the homage of my praise;
be thou the light and honour
and glory of my days.
Be thou my consolation
when death is drawing nigh:
be thou my only treasure
through all eternity.
BLESSED JOACHIM MINE SUKEDAYU, MARTYR (c.1567-1627)
A native of Japan, Joachim Mine Sukedayu was one of an untold number of Catholics who in the first half of the seventeenth century suffered martyrdom for their faith at the hands of Japan’s pagan regime.
Blessed Joachim had been serving as a magistrate in the city of Kuchinotsu when he was condemned to die in “the Mouth of Hell”, a much-feared sulfurous volcanic crater on Mount Unzen.
Upon arriving at the crater on 17th May 1627, Blessed Joachim was skinned alive and then scalded with water from the crater.
His fortitude in patiently undergoing this ordeal so enraged his persecutors that they tore his sides with knives and poured sulfurous water into the open wounds. He was then thrown into the sulfurous crater. Blessed Joachim was sixty years old when he died for his faith.
“O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the people praise you.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters without a Bible – this is the story that changes everyone’s life for ever: the Gospel (Part 1)
THE WORD BECAME A HUMAN:
In the beginning was the Word.
And the Word was with God
and the Word was God;
he was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
Whatever has come to be, found life in him;
life, which for human beings, was also light,
light that shines in darkness,
light that darkness could not overcome.
A man came, sent by God;
his name was John.
He came to bear witness,
as a witness to introduce the Light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the Light,
but a witness to introduce the Light;
for the Light was coming into the world,
the true Light that enlightens everyone.
He was in the world,
and through him the world was made,
the very world that did not know him.
He came to his own,
yet his own people did not receive him;
but all who have received him,
he empowers to become children of God,
for they believe in his Name.
These are born, but not by seed,
or carnal desire, nor by the will of man:
they are born of God.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us;
and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father:
fullness of truth and loving-kindness.
John bore witness to him openly, saying,
“This is the one who comes after me,
but he is already ahead of me,
for he was before me.
From his fullness we have all received,
favour upon favour.
For God had given us the Law through Moses,
but Truth and Loving-kindness
came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God,
But God-the-only-Son made him known:
the one, who is in and with the Father.”
JOHN THE BAPTIST PRESENTS JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD:
This was the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” John recognised the truth, and did not deny it. He said, “I am not the Messiah.”
And they asked him, “Then who are you? Elijah?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?” And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord!”
Those who had been sent were Pharisees; and they put a further question to John, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?” John answered, “I baptize you with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; although he comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.”
This happened in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! It is he of whom I said: a man comes after me, who is already ahead of me, for he was before me. I myself did not know him, but I came baptizing to prepare for him, so that he might be revealed in Israel.”
And John also gave his testimony, “I saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove from heaven, and resting on him. I myself did not know him, but God, who sent me to baptize, told me, ‘You will see the Spirit coming down, and resting, on the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ Yes, I have seen! And I declare that this is the Chosen One of God!”
JESUS MEETS THE FIRST DISCIPLES:
On the following day John was standing there again with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” On hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. He turned and saw them following, and he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They answered, “Rabbi (which means ‘Master’), where are you staying?” Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he stayed, and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard what John had said, and followed Jesus. Early the next morning he found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means ‘the Christ’), and he brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you shall be called Cephas” (which means ‘Rock’).
The next day, Jesus decided to set off for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one that Moses wrote about in the Law, and the prophets as well: he is Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.”
Nathanael answered, “Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree’. But you will see greater things than that.
Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”