“The liturgy of Advent … helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating an historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago … Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our minds to welcome the Lord … we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.”
Pope St John Paul II, 2002
“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to men and women, and men and women to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is love’.” (1 John 4:8)
St Albert the Great, d.1280
The saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer. Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them. They struggle to the very end, with all their strength, and they triumph but not by their own efforts: the Lord triumphs in them and with them.
October 2016, St Peter’s, Rome
“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.”
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received – only what you have given.”
“I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”
Fr Terry is keen to start a group for young adults (aged 18 – 30) in the parish. It will probably meet monthly and will include opportunities for faith-sharing and formation, food, prayer, and social time. If you fit the age bracket and are interested, please send an email to email@example.com.
The group can start small, if necessary, and grow bigger in time. Perhaps older parishioners could pray for the success of such a group?
Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is your guide to the heavenly country, where He is leading
you. What does it matter to you whether Jesus wishes to guide you to Heaven by way of the
desert or by the meadow, so long as he is always with you and you arrive at the possession of a
Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but
also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls.
St Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), 1887 – 1968
On Sunday 4 September Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was canonised. Many are rejoicing that this extraordinary woman should be raised to the altars. Her whole life is an example of complete self-giving in the name of Christ and she modelled what it means to serve and love the poor and needy. She was never afraid to speak the truth and was full of conviction of the Church’s pro-life stance; this is what under girded her sense that all should be treated with love and dignity, for they are created by God and are made in His image. She is a perfect example of how to live a Catholic life in the 21st century.
May she pray for us all – and may we, too, be courageous in standing up for the needy: the pre-born, babies, children adults, elderly …
Here is a short selection of her very memorable words:
- Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.
- Intense love does not measure; it just gives.
- There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in: that we do it to God, to Christ – and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
- Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
- I have found the paradox – that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
- I try to give, for love, to the poor that which the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I would willingly cure him for the love of God.
- I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbour. Do you know your next door neighbour?
- Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
- We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grow in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence … We need silence to be able to touch souls.
- We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
- Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus.
- If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
“There is no one, O Most Holy Mary, who can know God except through you;
no one who can be saved or redeemed but through you, O Mother of God;
no one who can be delivered from dangers but through you, O Virgin Mother;
no one who obtains mercy but through you, O Filled-With-All-Grace!”
St Germanus of Constantinople (634-740)
“Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy! In a word, it is something exalted, supernatural, which dilates the soul and unites to God. Sometimes when I find myself, spiritually, in dryness, so great that I cannot produce a single good thought, I recite very slowly a Pater or an Ave Maria; these prayers alone console me, they suffice, they nourish my soul.”
(St Thérèse of Lisiuex, daughter of Ss Louie and Zélie Martin, whose feast we keep on Tuesday 12 July)
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour … Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
Blessed (soon to be Saint) Mother Teresa of Calcutta