Mary and the Blessed Trinity

“Through the Incarnation of our Lord in her immaculate womb, Mary, the Daughter of God the Father, is also the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God the Son.”—St Josemaria Escriva, “Mother of God and Our Mother”, Friends of God.

 

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Mary: the Mother of God

“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man; the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father and from that moment on, as man, the true Son of Mary. This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to himself for ever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God‘.”—St Josemaria Escriva, Christ Passing By.

 

As we begin the month of May when our devotions turn to honouring our Lady, it is important to remember that by our Lady saying ‘Yes’, our salvation was set in motion. She willingly cooperated with God and we must willingly cooperate with God too to make our daily lives more holy, more in tune with His commandments. And while we remember our heavenly Mother, let us remember all earthly mothers who look after children both as children and as adults. Today, I particularly remember everyone whose own parents have left this world for the one hereafter.

 

Today in the church’s calendar we celebrate St Joseph the Worker or, as one friend has been known to put it, St Joseph the Small Businessman. How great it would be if we all decided to consecrate our daily work and tasks to God.

 

Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.

 

St Joseph, spouse of the BVM, pray for us.

 

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Preparing for Easter…

passiontide2Well, I wonder how you are doing in your preparation for Easter? I know that I have kept to my Lenten penance thus far, no alcohol for me – not even on St Patrick’s Day – but as we all know, it is not just about keeping off something that we enjoy. That is the physical aspect, but the internal, the Spiritual aspect is much more important. Have we been keeping in touch with our heavenly Father, with Our Lady?

As we find ourselves in Passiontide, let us renew, again, our resolve to keep saying our prayers and, more importantly, listening to God.

Today, I found myself approving the booklets for our Fraternity’s celebration of the Easter Triduum next week. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening, the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord on Friday afternoon, and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night are three long services, but they are important. They remind us, of what our Lord did for us on each day. I know that I am looking forward to celebrating this major Festival with my brother priests in the FSDM. In a week’s time, we will be together, and will probably have said Compline before bed after travelling from our different residences. I pray that God will watch over all travellers in the next week.

Farewell Benedict XVI

Nearly eight years ago, I know exactly where I was when I heard the joyful news that there was a new Bishop of Rome. I was working in an office, and turned on BBC Radio 4, and heard the ringing of the bells of St Peter’s. I knew then, in my heart, that there was a leader for the world’s Roman Catholics.

At the time, I did not foresee that the man elected that day would resign as Bishop of Rome. As we all know, it is not a decision that has many precedents, but it has been known. As the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Church says,

Can. 332 §2 Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is required that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.

This is clearly in the CCL but it has not been used before since the promulgation of the new code in 1983. However, it does seem a sensible move by Benedict XVI.

It is not that long ago since Bishops of Dioceses did not retire: they died in office. I don’t have the relevant reference to hand, but it appears to have started to change in the 1960s. For instance, in the Diocese of Down and Connor in the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century:

1895 1908 Henry Henry Appointed 16 August; consecrated 22 September 1895; died 8 March 1908.
1908 1914 John Tohill Appointed 5 August; consecrated 20 September 1908; died 4 July 1914.
1915 1928 Joseph MacRory Appointed 18 August; consecrated 14 November 1915; translated toArmagh 22 June 1928.
1929 1962 Daniel Mageean Appointed 31 May; consecrated 25 August 1929; died 18 January 1962.
1962 1982 William Philbin Translated from Clonfert; appointed 5 June 1962; retired 24 August 1982; died 23 August 1991.
1982 1990 Cahal Daly Translated from Ardagh and Clonmacnoise; appointed 24 August 1982; translated to Armagh 6 November 1990.
1991 2008 Patrick Walsh Appointed titular bishop of Ros Cré and auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor on 6 April 1983; ordained bishop 15 May 1983; appointed diocesan bishop of Down and Connor on 18 March 1991; retired 22 February 2008.

(from Wikipedia.org)

It can be clearly seen that the first Bishop of Down & Connor to resign in modern time rather than die in office was Bishop William Philbin, who resigned in August 1982, and died some time later in 1991.

To me it seems eminently sensible that the Bishop of Rome also has the chance to resign and I am pleased that Benedict XVI has started the practice by doing so himself.

I wish him every blessing in his retirement and assure him of my prayers and those of my brother priests in the Fraternity. We will be celebrating Votive Masses pro eligendo Summo Pontifice on days that are not Feasts or Solemnities until the election of the new Bishop of Rome. The Vicar General will issue an instruction as to the correct wording to be used in the Eucharistic Prayer to all Priests of the Fraternity.

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A Vatican Fashion Show?

Let us all thank the Lord that none of these ‘creations’ appear to have come into actual use. However, there is a real point to this. The fashions in ecclesiastical garb have changed over the centuries, but we are fortunate to be living in a time when beauty and functionality are both considered important.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus: some pious practices

Jesus H. Christ

Jesus H. Christ (Photo credit: angelofsweetbitter2009)

All too often, we hear the Most Holy Name of Jesus being used not devoutly, but blasphemously. Those of us who believe in Him and put our trust in Him can help to honour Him by using His Name devoutly. The Church has traditionally rewarded those who do so with the granting of various indulgences for many practices. Although the rules surrounding indulgences have been reformed, we know that what the Church has endowed in times past may still be used as good and wholesome private devotions, and in some cases are still indulgenced.

 

Most of what follows is from “The RaccoltaContinue reading

Christmas Message to Scouts

World Scout BadgeThe good news that the holy angels first told to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, is still the greatest story to be told.

Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

The Scout Movement spreads a message of peace across the world as it was asked to do by its Founder, Robert Baden-Powell OM,

To-day I send you out from Arrowe to all the world, bearing my symbol of Peace and Fellowship, each one of you my ambassador, bearing my message of Love and Fellowship on the wings of Sacrifice and Service, to the ends of the world. From now on the Scout Symbol of peace is the Golden Arrow. Carry it fast and far that all men may know the Brotherhood of Man”—B.-P. Scouting for Boys, Camp Fire Yarn No. 28.

Scouts all over the world are taking part in the Scout Messengers of Peace programme as part of the Movement’s aim to ‘Create a Better World’.

AMOP_enll over the world, Scouts are running projects that help people. They solve conflicts in school by preventing bullying, lead peer education programs, help the poor and the hungry, create solutions to environmental problems, and run countless other service projects. Messengers of Peace is the initiative that brings all of this work together.

As we continue to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace and to follow His teaching, my brother Priests in the Fraternity and I pray that all Scouts and those connected to them have a happy and blessed Christmas and that the Peace of the newborn Christ Child will descend upon all and remain with us all throughout the year.

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