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Monthly Archives: December 2013

“WHAT SHALL I DO? EVERY YEAR I FAIL TO KEEP MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS”

“QUESTION:

I will be making a new resolution at the start of this New Year. Every year I do so, but every year I fail to keep my resolution. Is there any point in even making a resolution in the first place? Please keep my name confidential.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your letter. Habits are never easy to uproot.

We have only to look at how easily people get the habit of smoking, drinking too much alcohol, excessive eating etc.

Even though we break resolutions sincerely made and feel bad about it, would we not be much worse off if we had never made a resolution at all? Never been aware of the need of trying to improve our lives and making some effort to do so?

Jesus calls us to conversion, to change, and praises our resolution to change. He asks us for persevering effort even though we fail time and time again. Ask for His help in your efforts to improve.

A very good resolution for the coming year would be to decide to give a little more time to prayer.

A Word of Hope – Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “God does not ask us to succeed, He simply asks us to try.'”
– This article was published in “Saint Martin Magazine” issue January 2005. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link).

 
 

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PRAYER ON THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD

O God, you so lovingly offered us eternal life through Mary’s maternal virginity; grant us to feel the power of her intercession, for it was through her we received the author of life, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 
 

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FROM OUR PRIVILEGED PLACE WITHIN THE ARK OF CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH, WE WAIT LIKE NOAH…

THE LORD HAS GATHERED US TO HIMSELF AND KEPT US SAFE

“From our privileged place within the ark of Christ’s holy Church, we wait like Noah for the sign of God’s loving covenant to save us from the killing flood of sin. The Lord has gathered us to himself and kept us safe. It is the Lord who has filled us with the desire for himself, our souls yearning for holiness. Even as the flood waters subside, we find ourselves thirsting for the living water, for an encounter with the living God like the kind that the woman at the well longed for without knowing.

Where can we turn to see the face of God? In our trust and abandonment, we await the Lord as the farmer awaits the great harvest that begins with the scattering of so much simple seed. He then goes to sleep at night and rises again in the morning, day after day, until the seed grows without his knowing how it happens. To claim God’s provident care is the Christian’s exalted glory. That glory is the fruit of humility and confidence.

THE FRUIT OF HUMILITY AND CONFIDENCE

For forty years the Israelites wandered in the desert. The Lord led them in their lengthy vigil, preparing them to enter into the Promised Land. Never did they go without food, without water, without protection. God’s calendar and schedule are not our own. We wait in faith. We follow as disciples. We rejoice in the way God’s will unfolds.

Our life is in God’s hands. Even if an enemy is to come while we are asleep and to sow weeds through our wheat, we will wait. We will let weeds and wheat grow together until the time of the harvest. Then we will gather the wheat into our barns, and burn the bundles of worthless weeds. For God’s purpose rules in every circumstance. His greatness shines in the smallest details. The Lord overlooks nothing. And so, we throw off every temptation to fuss and fret, like the anxious Martha. We wait this night in contemplation with Mary at the feet of the Master.”
– Peter John Cameron, O.P.

 
 

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“THIS IS A PEACE THAT ONLY CHRIST CAN GIVE”

“WORD FOR THE WORLD

Since the beginning of time the human race has been at war. Billions of people have been killed and so many continue to be killed in conflicts all over the world.

In the course of every war, innocent victims get caught up in the cross-fire and are now referred to cynically as ‘collateral damage’.

The bishops at the Second Vatican Council said: ‘Peace is not just the absence of war’ recognising that peace and reconciliation between nations, regions, factions and people is rooted in a deeper peace.

This is a peace only Christ can give. The peace of Christ, the Prince of Peace, is the fruit of repentance, conversion and a rejection of violence and aggression.

Blessed are the Peacemakers!”

– From the Resource for the Year of Faith 2012 by Alive Publishing. For information on their booklets please visit http://www.alivepublishing.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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CONTEMPLATING THE LOVING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HEART OF JESUS AND THAT OF MARY

JESUS IS NEVER FAR FROM MARY, AND MARY IS NEVER FAR FROM JESUS.

“Consider the loving relationship between the Heart of Jesus and that of Mary. The Heart of Jesus loves her as the most beautiful of all created things, immeasurably more than He loves all other beings on earth or in heaven. The Heart of Mary loves Jesus as its creator immeasurably more than all the angels and saints put together. The Heart of Jesus has an affection for Mary which is so much greater than the affection all children have for their mothers! And the Heart of Mary is more loving towards Jesus than any other mother has ever been towards their child!

The Heart of Jesus holds Mary dear, as the companion of all its sufferings, and the Heart of Mary holds Jesus dear, because she saw Him die in the midst of a thousand torments. The Heart of Jesus sees Mary as the dearest of its joys and the Heart of Mary sees Jesus as its beginning, its end and its everything. The Heart of Jesus finds in the Heart of Mary, a garden of delights, where it walks among the flowers that are heroic virtues, and the Heart of Mary finds in the Heart of Jesus, the centre of all its glory and happiness.

Therefore, Jesus is never far from Mary and Mary is never far from Jesus. Speak then to the Son through the Heart of the mother, and the mother through the Heart of the Son, and paradise will be yours.”
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 
 

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“BLESS OUR HEARTS AND HOMES WITH PEACE”

Christ is born for us: the Prince of Peace.
Bless our efforts for peace.
Bless the hearts of all people
that they may seek peace.
Bless our hearts and homes with peace.
May our hearts be infused with hope.
Bless all children with the prospect of a life
surrounded by the serenity of love
rather than the murmurings of battle.
Amen.

 
 

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“LORD JESUS, FREE US FROM ALL WORRY AND ANXIETY”

Lord Jesus, free us from all worry and anxiety. Refashion our hearts and our minds in your own divine image so that we may love the Father’s will as you love it. Make us perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect so that we will live only for you. Amen.

 
 

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KNIGHTS OF ST GREGORY HONOUR FOR UK CAMPAIGNER AGAINST RACISM

“The Catholic Association for Racial Justice has honoured… its former chair Haynes Baptiste, who has been made a member of the Knights of St Gregory by Pope Francis…

Trustee Richard Zipfel said of Mr Baptiste: ‘Today Pope Francis has honoured another black leader.

‘Haynes Baptiste has served the Church and the wider UK society for many years.

‘He has been a strong and faithful presence in his parish, in the archdiocese, in CARJ and across the churches as a trainer, a leader and a prophetic voice.

‘He has campaigned, prayed and laughed with us – and always challenged us to live up to our best ideals.

‘We congratulate Haynes and look forward to working with him in the future…’

Mr Baptiste came to the UK in 1956. Having trained and served as a teacher in Dominica, on settling in Britain, he worked on the railways, in a mental hospital and then as a postman.

He also worked for British Telecom, where he held a variety of jobs for more than 25 years. During those years, he was active in St Gregory’s parish in Earlsfield and in the Southwark Diocesan West Indian Chaplaincy.

‘Haynes has been a key figure in CARJ throughout its 30 years,’ said Mr Zipfel.

‘He worked collaboratively with colleagues across ethnic, class and religious differences to support that process of peaceful integration, always proud to be Catholic, always an articulate visionary and always accepting others while challenging them to live up to their best ideals.’ …”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue 15th December, 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

 
 

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“THE END OF THE YEAR IS A PERFECT MOMENT TO LOOK BACK”

• “‘You have been anointed by the holy One and have all received the knowledge’ (1 John 2:20).

• ‘God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him’ (CCC 1721).

• The Greek philosopher Aristotele reflected that an unexamined life was not worth living. Self examination and examination of conscience have always been vital tools in living the Christian life. They are themselves gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit was given to convince and convict us of sin and lead us to Christ. The end of the year is a perfect moment to look back and examine our lives, to see how well we have lived by the knowledge of God’s truth, or how much we have fallen short by following the wisdom of the world and its values. This is not introspection. This is the way to know the freedom of the gospel through the forgiveness of our sins.

• Lord God, teach me to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence.

• Our Father…, Ten Hail Marys…, Glory be…

• Today my prayer is for… ”
– From the Resource for the Year of Faith 2012 by Alive Publishing. For information about their booklets please visit http://www.alivepublishing.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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NEW YEAR’S EVE PRAYER: LORD JESUS, YOU ARE THE FULFILMENT OF ALL TIME

Lord Jesus, you are the fulfilment of all time, the centre of all history. We praise you for the wonder of your love. We thank you for your mercy and redemption. We bless you for your unfailing goodness. May we love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We pray that you keep us awake and watchful.

May we recognise your real presence in every moment of our lives. Transform our hearts from stone-blocked tombs into life-giving temples where we may find you, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and live in your grace so that one day we may be with you for ever in paradise. Amen.

 
 

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