This Monday’s Music Monday includes #JesusCulture and their song #StillInControl. I’ve chosen this song and a few others that reflect on God’s sovereignty, his in-control-ness, particularly when things seem out-of-control to us. In thinking about tases songs, it struck me just how many of this themed song was written in the last year prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic. There are so many! I’ve included my favourites in the #MusicMonday playlist which also includes #Surrounded #FightMyBattles by #UpperRoom and #AnotherInTheFire by #Hillsong. Check out the songs which reflect on God’s sovereignty in the #MusicMonday Spotify playlist (link in bio). Music Monday? Each Monday (hmmm!) I’ll be sharing some new music to expand your repertoire and expose you to some new and not so new uplifting, inspirational and consoling songs. Most of the songs will be Christian Worship Music. As Catholic’s, we can find it difficult to incorporate new music into our liturgies and services and the timeless and timely don’t always meld well together. However, we can still incorporate this type of music into our lives. So often the songs that we listen to can contain messages that are contrary to our values, but we listen because we like the sound. Such tracks can be sexist, vulgar and permissive of destructive and violent acts. What if we listened to music that affirmed our worth and that of our neighbour – songs that build our self-esteem, calm our anxieties and inspire us to live life to the full and change the world for better? @bethelmusic @dowym @rcwestminster @luxnymo @sthelenswatford #catholic #christianmusic #worshipmusic
Sorry it’s been a while. Coming out of #lockdown and a few otehr projects have taken up a lot more time recently. Admist all this busyness, this part of Sunday’s Gospel has stuck with me all week. Usually it’s John 3:16 that gets all the attention. The mission of Jesus was not to condemn, yet he was sent because ‘God so loved the world’ (John 3:16). In fortnight that has seen lots of condemnation – particularly and (often rightly) the actions of those in authority and power – how can we follow Jesus’ model of moving towards the Kingdom of God without condemnation? I’m always tempted to attack those things that are not compatible with a Gospel-centred view of the world – but how often do I fall into a track of condemnation that is divorced from the mission of communicating God’s love for EVERYONE. How do I build a new Kingdom of mercy without condemning the existing structures and monuments of abuse that stand in it’s way? That’s my prayer. I look to Jesus and his example of non-violent surrender and sacrifice seems beyond my own strength and sensibilities. #blacklivesmatter #jesus #catholic #gospel #john316 #bible #kingdomofgod #church #alllivesmatter #alllifematters #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceandpeace @caritas_westminster @rcwestminster @sthelenswatford
A late post but it’s been a busy week in lock-down, but I can’t not mention the feast of Saint Pope Paul VI (May 29th) – a Saint that has such an impact on my life and the life of many faith married Catholics. Pope Paul VI, as pope, chaired the discussion on how the Catholic Church would advise Catholics on the use of contraception in their married lives. The majority of those present concluded that married Catholic’s SHOULD be able to use contraception – however, there was a ‘minority’ report. This minority report raised some issue that we should be concerned with if society were to embrace contraception as part of our lives. Pope Paul VI, developed the minority report in his encyclical ‘Humane Vitae’ in which he outlines why we as a society SHOULD NOT permit contraception as it would participate in the following for society: 1) a general lowering of moral standards, 2) A rise in infidelity, and children born not into a loving family unit, 2) The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men (pornography and prostitution), and 3) government coercion in reproductive matters (benefiting from the sale of contraceptives and on-child-policies). The secular world argued that contraception would ’empower women’ and liberate individuals, but it would appear that this encyclical, written in 1968, has been quite prophetic! Saint Pope Paul VI: Pray for us.
HAPPY PENTECOST – VENI SANCTUS SPIRITUS ‘The gift of the Spirit on the evening of the Resurrection took place once again on the day of Pentecost, intensified this time by extraordinary outward signs. On the evening of Easter, Jesus appeared to the Apostles and breathed on them His Spirit (cf. Jn 20:22); on the morning of Pentecost the outpouring occurred in a resounding way, like a wind which shook the place the Apostles were in, filling their minds and hearts. They received a new strength so great that they were able to proclaim Christ’s Resurrection in different languages: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Together with them was Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the first disciple and the Mother of the nascent Church. With her peace and her smile, she accompanied the joyful young Bride, the Church of Jesus. The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each one of us, so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity, that we may sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace. Strengthened by the Spirit and His many gifts, may we be able uncompromisingly to battle against sin and corruption, devoting ourselves with patient perseverance to the works of justice and peace.’ Pope Francis homily Pentecost 24 May 2015