This blog is maintained by Carolyn, of www.carolynblake.com. You will find the blog at Art and Prayer Blog.

Sunday 14th June

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Francis of Assisi said that each one of us should preach the gospel by all means possible and even if necessary to preach it by the word. I think that St. Francis means that the best way of preaching the gospel, the best way of laying the foundation of that 
preaching, is to live the gospel that we preach. Then our word has at least some credibility. It is the same for us; before all else we must try to live the gospel; to see things with the eyes of faith, and believe that in the end “all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well” (Julian of Norwich).
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard




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Corpus Christi


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Corpus Christi, the Latin for The Body of Christ, sounds more exotic than the English. Being ‘spiritual’ sounds better than being human. However, the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ is reason enough for us to celebrate our humanity. The gift of Jesus in Holy Communion reinforces and grounds us in our humanity. We are becoming in Jesus what we are meant to be – fully human – feeling, loving, vulnerable human beings who need one another for life itself – for affirmation, for growth and for wellbeing. We must all learn that what God wants of us is to act justly, to love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.
Have a good week.
Fr. Richard 









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Feast of The Holy Trinity, Sunday 31st May


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
St. Thérèse of Lisieux said that the only reason she dared to address God as Father, was that Jesus gave us the permission when he taught us the perfect prayer. The only reason we dare preach the gospel is because we believe in those words of Jesus, ‘Go make disciples of all the nations...’ May our boldness and conviction always come from our faith in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father and who together sent the Holy Spirit – that  Holy Spirit who loves to be among us. May we learn to enjoy the company of God as much as He enjoys ours.

Fr. Richard









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Ascension of the Lord Sunday 17th May


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5th Sunday of Easter 'I am the True Vine'



Eastern Orthodox Mosaic of Christ as the Vine 16th century Byzantine & Christian Museum Athens

In John's Gospel today Christ tells us that he is the Vine shaped by his father and that we - all of us are the branches.  In nature if a branch is dead it should be cut off and discarded.  So to it is with our relationship with Christ - if we do not allow him into our lives we die, cut ourselves off.  To grow vines or plants of any kind is about permanency and stability.  We have to be around at all stages of the plant's life and if we nurture well then the harvest will be fruitful.  Christ reminds us that if we remain with Him, His words remain in us and that whatever we ask we shall get.
When I looked at the first reading again this morning, the Gospel became clearer, for here it describes how after God had cut away the old (the bad bit of Saul, the slayer of Christians) he allowed a new branch to grow, with the help of Barnabus.
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Joseph the Worker Friday 1st May

'Christ in the House of his Parents'
John Everett Millais 1849-50
Tate Britain

Joseph the Worker, is shown working in his carpenter's workshop, making a door and helped by the family, but there are other things also going on.  There is a nail sticking up in the door which the young Christ has just cut himself on - a reference to his Crucifixion. There are other symbols in this painting as well:  a very young John the Baptist on the right carrying a bowl reminds of us of his future role as the Baptist.  There is a reference to Jacob's Ladder, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity on the back wall and what of the sheep in the field?
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4th Sunday of Easter


The Good Shepherd by Julia Stankova

This Sunday we are reminded in the 2nd reading, that
we are the children of God.  In John's Gospel we hear
about the role of the Good Shepherd, as distinct from 
the hired man.  Christ explains his selfless and eternally
caring nature as the Good Shepherd.

The painting describes a warmth and gentleness in the
portrayal of the Good Shepherd, with feet planted firmly
on the earth.  This shepherd is with us now.

Notice the IC  XC either side of the head of Christ.  
These Greek letters represent the words Jesus Christ 
and are usually seen on icons.
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Saint Mark Evangelist

St+Mark

The winged Lion - Symbol of St Mark

St Mark's Venice.
The book he balances with his paw reads: 'Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus', "Peace be with you Mark, My Evangelist."

We are in Year B, the year of Mark.


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3rd Sunday of Easter



Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio 1601

Since the Resurrection, Christ has been reminding us that he is alive and is with us.  The Gospels have 
been telling us of Christ appearing to the Apostles, in rooms, on the road and on each occasion He has to do something which jolts the Apostles into recognising the risen Christ among them.

Again Caravaggio captures the moment when the Apostles recognise who is among them.

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St Anselm of Canterbury 21st April

Altar St Anselm's Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral
by Stephen Cox 2006, Aosta Marble (region of Anslem's birth).

"Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, 
but I believe that I may understand. For this, too, 
I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand."

Anselm was a 12th century philosopher and Archbishop of Canterbury 
whose writings argued for the existence of God.
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