"Whoever acknowledges me before men . . ."
Sat, Oct 19 2019 06:04
| courage, faith, Jesus, name
Today, in the here and now, it takes a certain courage to stand up for our faith. It is easier on one level to stand up for Christian values and ethics. People often talk about the Catholic or the Christian ethos as if simply speaking in these broad terms says as much as is needed about who we are as believers. But what if someone asked, “What part does Jesus play in that ethos?” Would that question be met with embarrassed silence?
St Ignatius of Antioch said, “Don’t just be known for being a Christian, but for living as one.” Pope Paul VI put it like this, “For witness, no matter how excellent, will ultimately prove ineffective unless its meaning is clarified and corroborated.” – what Peter described as accounting for the ‘hope that is within you” (1 Peter 3:15).
Pope Paul VI went on to say, “The Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelisation if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed.” (Evangelii nuntiandi 22)
The importance of listening – Martha or Mary?
Tue, Oct 8 2019 07:22
| prayer, service
Mary did what Martha didn’t — she made time.
We know in our own hearts that the decision to find time to pray is often harder than the decision to attend to work, write another email, make a telephone call etc . . .
Today we put out into the deep in expectation of encountering the Lord in a new way in prayer. Today we rejoice in the pearl of great price, the ‘one thing’ that is needed, which is to be still and know that God is God.
“Prayer means launching out of the heart towards God; it means lifting ones’s eyes, quite simply to heaven, a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it is a vast, supernatural force that opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus.” Ste Thérèse of Lisieux.
Who is my neighbour?
Mon, Oct 7 2019 07:30
| charity, love, neighbour
Who is your neighbour? Our faith invites us to go beyond our immediate circle and to reach out to people who fall outside our neat categories and boxes. We are called to love and to care for people who might be unlovable by the standards of the world: criminals, drug addicts, drug dealers etc . . .
Despite the social action element of the parable many Church fathers saw that Jesus was in fact the Good Samaritan and we the wounded, bruised body on the roadside.
There is a profound depth to this parable whch the Holy Spirit can open up to us. We are called to be merciful, but mercy is about understanding our need for redemption and salvation.
This is the greatest human need: to know God’s forgiveness, mercy and healing.
Remember the Poor
Sun, Sep 29 2019 08:09
| blessings, poor, Witness
In the developing world our brothers and sisters have immense needs. Jesus came to “preach the good news to the poor” (cf Matthew 11:5, Luke 7:22). How can we fail to lay greater emphasis on the Church’s preferential option for the poor and the outcast?
Indeed, it has to be said that a commitment to justice and peace in a world like ours, marked by so many conflicts and economic inequalities, compels us to raise our voice on behalf of the poor.
Thus, in the spirit of the book of Leviticus (25:8-12), we should out loud on behalf of all the poor of the world.
Love – Do good – Give
Fri, Sep 13 2019 07:17
| forgiveness, love, Witness
Love, do good, give; the moral and ethical teaching of Jesus can be summed up in these four words.
The Church draws on thousands of years of teaching and human experience, much of it rooted in the dark alleys of confusion, darkness and sinfulness of its sons and daughters, clergy and lay people alike.
But the wisdom of the Church resides first in the wisdom of Christ. She is wise because Christ is wise; we are wise because Christ is wise. True wisdom is learning daily to live life in the Spirit, learning to listen to the Spirit and to give witness to the fruits and gifts of the Spirit.
In the midst of this endeavour we must live alongside people and learn to relate to them. The Christian faith should help us to master living alongside our fellows in fraternal love and affection. We learn not to judge others but to be quicker to judge ourselves.
”If you judge other people you have no time to love them.” St Mother Teresa of Calcutta
How and Whom we should Love
Thu, Sep 12 2019 07:15
| love, Witness
The Greeks had four forms of love, according to C S Lewis (The Four Loves); of these agape love is the most challenging, perhaps. To get to grips with agape love, pray and reflect on today’s Gospel.
Jesus tells us that it it not those who are good to us whom we should love, but those who take active steps to do us harm: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (vv 27-28).
We are called to love our enemies and those for whom we have no natural liking. Think about someone whom you cannot stand and reflect on the truth that this is exactly the person whom Jesus is call you to love, to do good for, bless and pray for.
This is hard teaching, but it is clear and unambiguous from Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’s love is the sort of love that transforms the world, as well as our lives.
Three Ways to Rest
Thu, Aug 29 2019 06:35
| mindfulness, prayer, rest
There is an entry on the You Version blog:
That describes ways to rest, ways to stop doing stuff because doing stuff makes you feel as if you’re getting somewhere.
You might achieve something with the doing, but not as much or as happily if you’ve taken time to be close to Jesus first.
And I like the idea of giving your worries to Our Lord, taking time to do so, making it a quiet time and perhaps meditating with Jesus in your heart as you do so.
I shall try it.