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Showing posts from January, 2013

Ninth Session of Fr. Robert Barron's Catholicism Project

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This week, in the penultimate session of Father Robert Barron's epic Catholicism Series, we explore the way in which we speak to God and form a relationship with Him in prayer.

Father Barron explores Catholic spirituality, which is centred on prayer. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God." CCC 2559

On pilgrimage to the places where the great saints and spiritual masters lived, Father Barron explores the different types of prayer: contemplation; adoration; petition; and intercession. In telling the stories of Catholics like Thomas Merton, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, Fr. Barron demonstrates how the human person can be transformed through prayer that manifests a deep, spiritual commitment centred in Christ.


Outline: 

I. The Fire of His Love: Prayer and the Life of the Spirit
A.  What is prayer?
B.  There are many forms and expressions of prayer
C. …

Sunday Scripture: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

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Welcome to this, the twenty-eighth of my reflections on the theology of the Sunday readings at Mass.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I sincerely hope that this reflection will inspire you. You might find that it answers a few questions you may have, but most of all I hope that it will show you how fantastic Sacred Scripture is and perhaps enable you to share some of my love and passion for the Bible as you begin to comprehend how layered and multi-faceted it is, and what a carefully considered part of the Mass the readings are.

If you want to know how these posts came about, please read my first post in this series here.

I would like to think this regular blog would be a great help to anyone who reads at Mass, to enable them to foster a deeper understanding of the message they are trying to impart to the congregation.

There are several different ways to read this post. I would suggest the first thing to do is to look at the relevant readings. You might then want to loo…

Wolf Hall- Don't Believe the Hype!

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Today I am somewhat non-plussed by the news that the strangely avianesque looking author Hilary Mantel has won yet another prize for her novel 'Bring Up the Bodies'. (I'm sorry if that appears a little pejorative, unkind or ad hominem, but I am always amazed at just how much she looks like she has been drawn by Quentin Blake to the extent where I cannot but comment on it).

When her other Booker prize winning novel, Wolf Hall won, I bought a copy for my wife. She loves this genre of historical drama, a bit like Ken Follett's 'Pillars of the Earth', which she enjoyed immensely. Anyway, try as she might, she just could not get into Wolf Hall, somewhat to my surprise to be honest. I resolved to read it myself prompted by the rave reviews:

“A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can’t think of anything since Middlemarch which so convincingly builds a world.” Diana Athill "A fascinating read, so good I rationed myself. It is re…

Same Sex Marriage: Speaking Truth to Power

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I was asked to draft a letter on behalf of the governors of our school to our local MP regarding the proposed re-definition of marriage. I took my inspiration from the letter Bishop Philip Egan wrote to David Cameron and the letter our priests wrote to the Telegraph, as well as the educational consequences spelt out by, among others Fr. Tim Finigan. Here is the text:



David Amess MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA


Dear Mr. Amess

We have decided that it is necessary and essential that we contact you as a governing body in order to express our deep concern and disquiet regarding the proposed re-definition of marriage by your party. It is our opinion that the proposals constitute a further erosion of the value and sanctity of the institution of marriage which will necessarily have repercussions for society. These repercussions do not seem to have been taken into consideration by the coalition government, neither do the legal ramifications.

Whilst we understand the Prime Minister’s espou…

Happy Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

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Monday, January 28, 2013
St. Thomas Aquinas
(1225-1274)

By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the pre-eminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honoured with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. 
At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy. 
By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.
Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome…

Sunday Scripture: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

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Welcome to this, the twenty-seventh of my reflections on the theology of the Sunday readings at Mass.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I sincerely hope that this reflection will inspire you. You might find that it answers a few questions you may have, but most of all I hope that it will show you how fantastic Sacred Scripture is and perhaps enable you to share some of my love and passion for the Bible as you begin to comprehend how layered and multi-faceted it is, and what a carefully considered part of the Mass the readings are.

If you want to know how these posts came about, please read my first post in this series here.

I would like to think this regular blog would be a great help to anyone who reads at Mass, to enable them to foster a deeper understanding of the message they are trying to impart to the congregation.

There are several different ways to read this post. I would suggest the first thing to do is to look at the relevant readings. You might then want to lo…

The Dark Night of the Soul

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As regular readers will know, I have been running Fr. Robert Barron's Catholicism Project in the Parish as part of our 'Year of Faith' evangelisation. This has been very well received and I think everyone involved has really enjoyed each of the sessions. Last night I was at a Catenian meeting, but got home to find that several lovely ladies were still there from the Rosary group which meets every couple of weeks. Several of these had been to the Catholicism Project the night before, the session was about the Saints as you can see from the overview I posted here. There's a clip here from the presentation to give you a flavour:

The Saints Fr. Robert looked at in detail were Katharine Drexel, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Edith Stein and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Two of these saints, the two Teresa's if you like, suffered 'dark nights of the soul' a devastating sense of loss and separation from God, and Fr. Robert spoke about this in his presentatio…