Category Archives: Reflections

Reflections – our thoughts and prayers

Pope Francis reflects on the Feast of the Presentation

“Today we, like Mary and Simeon, want to take Jesus into our arms, to bring him to his  people. Surely we will be able to do so if we enter into the mystery in which Jesus himself is our guide. Let us bring others to Jesus, but let us also allow ourselves to be led by him. This is what we should be: guides who themselves are guided. May the Lord, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, Saint Joseph and Saints Simeon and Anna, grant to all of us what we sought in today’s opening prayer: to “be presented [to him] fully renewed in spirit”.”

(Homily, St Peter’s, Rome, 2nd February 2015)


Pope St John Paul II on Ecumenism

“Love gives rise to the desire for unity, even in those who have never been aware of the need for it. Love builds communion between individuals and between communities. If we love one another, we strive to deepen our communion and make it perfect. Love is given to God as the perfect source of communion—the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit—that we may draw from that source the strength to build communion between individuals and communities, or to re-establish it between Christians still divided. Love is the great undercurrent which gives life and adds vigour to the movement towards unity.”

(18th – 25th January is the
annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity)

New Year Resolutions Aided by the Saints

St Basil the Great (329 – 379): “The bread that you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your cupboard belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274): “To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”

St Catherine of Siena (1347 – 1380): “If you are what you should be, you’ll set the whole world ablaze.”

St Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556): “It is not the soul alone that should be healthy; if the mind is healthy in a healthy body, all will be healthy and much better prepared to give God greater service.”

St Thérèse of Lisieux (1873 – 1897): “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labours.”

Pope Francis on Our Lady

“Dear brothers and sisters!

Jesus Christ is the blessing for every man and woman, and for all of humanity. The Church, in giving us Jesus, offers us the fullness of the Lord’s blessing. This is precisely the mission of the people of God: to spread to all peoples God’s blessing made flesh in Jesus Christ. And Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus, the first and most perfect believer, the model of the pilgrim Church, is the one who opens the way to the Church’s motherhood and constantly sustains her maternal mission to all mankind. Mary’s tactful maternal witness has accompanied the Church from the beginning. She, the Mother of God, is also the Mother of the Church, and through the Church, the mother of all men and women, and of every people […] May this gentle and loving Mother obtain for us the Lord’s blessing upon the entire human family.”
(Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, January 1st, 2016)

Pope Francis on the Message of Christmas

“Let us pause before the Christ Child, let us pause in silence. Let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable. Let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness.”
(Edited from Midnight Mass Homily, 2013, St Peter’s, Rome)

Listening to Pope Francis in Advent

“Always remember this: life is a journey. It is a path, a journey to meet Jesus. At the end, and forever. A journey in which we do not encounter Jesus is not a Christian journey. It is for the Christian to continually encounter Jesus, to watch him, to let himself be watched over by Jesus, because Jesus watches us with love; he loves us so much, he loves us so much and he is always watching over us. To encounter Jesus also means allowing oneself to be gazed upon by him … [Jesus] said: I came for those in need of salvation, in need of healing. Jesus heals our sins … [The] forgiveness that we receive in Confession is an encounter with Jesus. We always encounter Jesus.”

Advent 2013

Listening to Pope Francis in Advent

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord’.

The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: ‘Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace’”.
(Evangelii Gaudium, 3)

Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King

“Today’s liturgy invites us to fix our gaze on Christ, the King of the Universe. The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom. Those who accomplish these works show that they have welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because they have opened their heart to God’s charity. In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to, and tenderness towards, our brothers and sisters. Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other. Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom. But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity. If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel.”
[Pope Francis, Christ the King 2014, St Peter’s, Rome]

Praying before the Tabernacle

“Don’t omit to visit the Blessed Sacrament. After your usual vocal prayer, tell Jesus,
really present in the Tabernacle, of the cares and worries of your day. And you will
receive light and strength for your life as a Christian.”
(The Way, 554)
“Jesus has remained in the Sacred Host for us so as to stay by our side, to sustain
us, to guide us. And love can only be repaid with love. How could we not turn to the
Blessed Sacrament each day, even if it is only for a few minutes, to bring him our
greetings and our love as his children?”
(Furrow, 668)
“I like to call the Tabernacle a prison – a prison of Love. For twenty centuries he has
been waiting there, willingly locked up, for me and for everyone.”
(The Forge, 287)
All quotations from St Josemaria Escriva

A daily prayer for the Holy Souls

Immortal God, holy Lord, Father and Protector of all you have created, we raise our hearts to you today for those who have passed from this mortal life.

In your loving mercy, Father of all, be pleased to receive them into your heavenly company, and forgive the failings and faults they may have committed through human frailty. Your only Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour, suffered so that he might deliver them from death. By his merits may they share in the glory of his victory over sin and death.

For all the faithful who have died we pray, but in particular for those dear to us, parents, relatives and friends. Nor do we forget all who did good to us while on earth, who helped us by their prayers, sacrifice and example. We pray also for any who may have done us harm, and stand in special need of your forgiveness.

May the merits and prayers of our Virgin Mother, Mary, and those of all the Angels and Saints, speak for us and assist them now.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.