Category Archives: Reflections

Reflections – our thoughts and prayers

Love for Church and Christ

To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These (…) are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian. May the holy Mother of God guide us and accompany us always with her intercession.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us!

(Pope Francis, 29 June 2013)

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Jesus says, “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled.” (Luke 12:29).  We have approached the fire of the love of God.  Let us feed the desire to spread that divine fire throughout the world, making it known to all the people around us; they too can experience the peace of Christ and find happiness there.  A Christian who lives united to Christ’s heart can have no goals but these: peace in society, peace in the Church, peace in the soul, the peace of God – which will reach its climax when His kingdom comes.

St Josemaría Escrivá (1902 – 1975)

In preparation for Corpus Christi…

Some positive reminders on the appropriate reception of Holy Communion according to the teaching of the Church ( in response to a number of queries and questions from parishioners)

  • In England & Wales, the faithful are free to receive both the Host and the Chalice at Mass. However, to receive the Host only is, of course, to receive the entire Christ.
  • Receiving the Host on the tongue is the customary and time-honoured tradition of the Catholic Church.
  • Receiving Holy Communion in the hand is permitted in England and Wales. Great care should be taken to receive the Host reverently and in a dignified and appropriate manner. The Host is received into the hands, palms-upward, the other hand making a ‘throne’ for the Host. It is not appropriate to ‘reach-out’ for the Host or to ‘pick’ it from the hands of the Priest.
  • The response, on receiving the Host or the Chalice, is ‘Amen’ (and not thank you!).  The Host is consumed immediately, in sight of the Priest. It is never appropriate to wander away with the Host un-consumed.
  • You may, if you wish, kneel to receive Holy Communion.
  • Catholics were always set-apart by their special reverence for the Body & Blood of Christ; genuflections were common and seen as an identifying mark of a Catholic; silence was kept during Holy Communion; kneeling after receiving Holy Communion and making an act of thanksgiving was usual. Is this still the case?
  • Catholics are not free to receive ‘holy communion’ in non-Catholic churches.
  • Non-Catholics are not free to receive Holy Communion at Mass.
  • Catholics out of communion with the Church are not free to receive Holy Communion until after Sacramental Confession.

The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith”. The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men and women “and reconciles and unites with Himself those who turn away from sin”.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#234)

On the Holy Spirit….

In the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke describes the extraordinary manifestation of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as a communication of the very vitality of God who gives Himself to men and women.  This divine gift is also light and power: light, to proclaim the Gospel, the Truth revealed by God; power, to infuse the courage of witnessing to the faith, which the Apostles begin at that very moment.

Pope St John Paul II, May 18, 1997

From the Diary of St Faustina

When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyse it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him, “You can do all things.” And then I keep silent because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use my time to love Him. (#1033)

St Faustina (1905 – 1938) is the inspiration behind Divine Mercy Sunday.

St John Paul II: Unpacking Lent

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed that masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterised by the search of material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body.

Fasting certainly brings benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.

Pope Benedict XVI

The Brothers who are ‘Equal to the Apostles’

With what hymns of praise shall we magnify the divinely-wise teachers: Cyril, who chose to live with wisdom in his youth, and multiplied his talents to the glory of God: and Methodius who renounced the things of this world for love of Christ? He strove like an angel for the Kingdom of heaven. Through them, we have come to know God, the eternal Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, receiving from Christ our God great mercy. From a Russian Orthodox Hymn

Homelessness Sunday

From November to March each year, 15 churches, including our own, participate in providing shelter to homeless people in Worthing.  As we mark Homelessness Sunday, it is sobering to reflect that there has been a 173% increase in referrals to night shelters in the town since 2014.  The guests attending the centres are offered a chance to understand the causes of their homelessness and attempt to overcome them.