Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some Scenes from the Solemn Profession

Below is a short video from the Solemn Profession in May. We hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

‘Ah! … My Little Finger!’

THE NARROW DOOR .............

Luke 13: 22 - 30

Today’s Gospel reading from St Luke is ‘worrying’, to put it mildly – at least the thought that there are many who try to enter by the narrow door but will not succeed, isn’t what would be inclined to inspire hope, is it? … As I say, a bit worrying!

In thinking about it, though, and in trying to see behind the words, it has occurred to me that the challenge should be seen rather as an invitation – and then the hope has free reign and we can be confident, but not presumptive, in God’s mercy and His love for us, and as St Paul writes – that God wants all men to be saved. (1Tim 2:5)

So briefly – hopefully! – I was reflecting on the words of the Lord, when he says ‘I do not know where you come from’ and wondering how it might be that He would be able to say instead, ‘I know you, I know where you come from’ What can I do to make Him recognise me? More, that is, than merely claiming to have eaten and drank with him and have been on the streets where he taught?

It seems to me that it’s basically about attachment and detachment. I can say ‘I know Jesus’, and ‘I’ve heard of Him’, ‘a great man, worked miracles, saved people, forgave their sins, was crucified’ … and more – but none of that means a whole lot if I don’t commit myself to Him, attach myself to Him. And that’s not easy, because as soon as I acknowledge that He is God, it means I have to begin to really listen to Him and try to live as He invites us to. I can sit at His table, and everything He says can wash over me: in one ear, out the other – and if that’s the way I live, then He will be justified in saying ‘I do not know where you come from’.

But if I sit there – if you sit there – and let His words sink in, let them transform you and become your whole way of living in the world – then what will happen? He will recognise you, you will have become like Him; He will look at you and see reflected in you … Himself! Isn’t that amazing? I think it’s astonishingly amazing! And then He will say to me and to you ‘I do know you, I do know where you come from’. We will be acknowledging that we are children of God, that this is what we want to be, and God Who is our Father will draw us to Himself and keep us close to Him, will Himself keep close to us, in all our need of Him and in all our joy. We will be truly members of His body, … even His little finger!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Feast of St Dominic - 8th August

“Dominic prayed, prayed without ceasing, prayed by day and by night”

This beautiful antiphon, which we sang at morning prayer on this joyful feast of our holy father and founder, gives us a beautiful portrait of Dominic. Before all else he was a man of the Gospel and a man of prayer.

The following is a quotation taken from brievary for the Office of Readings for today's feast.

Everywhere, in word and in deed, Dominic showed himself to be a herald of the Gospel. By day no one was more affable, more friendly than he with his brothers and companions, no one more fervent than he in vigils and prayer at night. His conversation was always either with God or about God; rarely did he speak on other matters, and this practice he commended to his disciples.

Dominic’s frequent and special prayer for himself was to beg from God true and efficacious charity for the salvation of all people, for he was convinced that just as our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, gave Himself totally for our salvation, only when he, Dominic, had devoted himself to the winning of souls would he be truly a member of Christ

May St Dominic intercede for all of us today and always.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Gospel: Luke 9:28-36

Today's feast fills us with hope as we contemplate the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain in the presence of the three apostles, Peter, John and James. Luke tells us that as Jesus prayed "the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning." We may well ask if this was a regular occurrence during prayer time for Jesus? and on this occasion he let his disciples in on his secret? Perhaps this is the only time it happened! We know from Peter's comment that it was a wonderful experience for them! "Master it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah". Peter would have liked Jesus to stay on the mountain and forget all that talk about suffering and dying and suggesting that those who follow should take up their cross daily (Lk 9:23-26)!! He had no desire to come down the mountain again and face reality!

Can we all identify with Peter in some way or other? We are all happy to be in the Lord's presence while we are experiencing good feelings of joy and peace and so escape the harsh realities surrounding us. Not so for Jesus. This experience was meant to strenghten him and his disciples to face the harsh reality ahead with courage and love in obedience to the Father's will.

Jesus was always tuned into his Father's will - "His food was to do the Will of his Father". The Father in turn bears witness to his Son - a voice comes from the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him" - Yes listen to him as he speaks to you about the Cross and suffering! and the need to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily!

All Christian prayer is prayer in Christ - through Baptism we are in Christ and share his relationship with his Father. When we pray in Him we too are transfigured (though it is hidden from our eyes) and the Father speaks to each of us as He addressed His Beloved Son: "You are my beloved son (or daughter)". True prayer is never escape from real life - rather it inserts us more deeply into the human situation and like Jesus, gives us the love, the strength and the courage work for the greater glory of God and to make this world a better place for our brothers and sisters while we wait in joyful hope for day when we shall behold the glorious face of our God.

O souls crated for these grandeurs and called thereto! What are you doing? Wherein do you occupy yourselves? O wretched blindness of the sons of Adam, who are blind to so great a light and deaf to so clear a voice.
(St John of the Cross: Spiritual Canticle)