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
Today’s a great day to start a PENTECOST NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT! And I’ve done all the hard work for you. Just click the link (FB:below, INSTA: in the bio) and let me pray with you whilst you read along! The disciples went into lockdown after the Ascension. They were hiding away, anxious of going outside and fearing for their lives. That sounds a bit like our experience today! The Disciples waited and prayed for the Holy Spirit who filled them with courage, confdence and the compassion to change the world – they became *contagious* with the Good News and determined to spread it. 3,000 became believers that Pentecost Day! God wants to fill us with the Holy Spirit TODAY, and give you courage over your fears and peace over your anxieties, to help you go out into the world and be the person you want to be – confident, brave, caring and compassionate. Join me on this Novena and see how God still send his Holy Spirit today to those who ask! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDniE3y8_H4&list=PLqxWQ8Eoww_CvSCs3f-Hbp5Hqvsh7XfoG
HAPPY FEAST OF THE ASCENSION!!! I love these encouraging words of Jesus – especially now when many are feeling isolated and alone just like the disciples must have felt after Jesus had ascended. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit that gave them the courage and confidence to overcome their anxiety and doubts and go out into the world. Perhaps this is something that you long for too? – to no longer be kept inside, held prisoner by anxieties and doubts. Why not join me on a Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit and open yourself up to be filled with ‘power from on high’! https://bit.ly/HolySpiritNovenaPlaylist (link in bio). @rcwestminster @dowym @luxnymo @sthelenswatford #ascension #theascension #catholic #prayers #prayer #pray #novena #holyspirit
It’s always been in times of adversity when the Church has experienced major growth. Many put this down to people’s simplicity and superstition – that people turn to religion in times of trial so that God might show mercy on them. But historians also have a different angle. Timothy C. Winegard attributes the spread of Christianity to the behaviour of Christians in times of plague and epidemic. In his book ‘The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator’ he explains that as new Mosquito borne illnesses spread through Europe in the first Century, the love and care of Christians towards the sick and dying is what inspired others to join the movement. In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus says: ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments’. These early Christians, and many that have followed through the millennia, have loved Jesus through obedience to his command to love others. Such love is an inspiration. Jesus also says that he will send us the ‘Spirit of Truth’. Elsewhere scriptures calls us to be ‘witness to the truth’. Many Christians have unfortunately interpreted this as a need to be ‘defenders of the truth’ and focussed on dogma and argument and apologetics and law. Yet we all know that the most inspirational teachers don’t teach, they witness. The truth they communicate is not in their words but how they speak. Not in what they do, but in how they live. It’s in the aroma of their presence as it seeps from their pores, changing the atmosphere around them. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week with its theme ‘Kindness’: We live in a world that needs campaigns to encourage people to be kind for the sake of mental health! This has always been the true way of being Christians – a word which means ‘Christ-like’ or ‘little-Christs’. We too are called to be ‘witnesses to the truth’ in the way we serve one another, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable, and inspire others to do the same. @rcwestminster @dowym @luxnymo #catholic #Jesus #gospel #christian #bible #service #mentalhealthawareness #bekind #kindness #love
Still LIVE@5.45am every day in May! Join us for the #Rosary live at YouTube.com/theChaplaincy/live or whenever you can. Channel link in bio. @rcwestminster @dowym @luxnymo @ndcys #catholic #livestream #church #pray #prayer #mary #bvm #ourlady #ourladyofguadalupe #ourladyoffatima #ourladyoflourdes #prayforus
May 15th is the feast of SAINT DYMPHNA. You may not have heard of Saint Dymphna but she is the patron of something that affects so many people today. She is the patron saint of mental illnesses including sufferers of anxiety, depression and other mental afflictions. Dymphna saw her father become very ill after her mother died. He became so violent she fled from Ireland to Belgium where she began a hospital and home for the mentally ill. Unfortunately the money she spent allowed her father to track her down and eventually kill her when she refused to come home with him at just 15 years old. The town she had settled in, Geel in Belgium, developed an integrated way of helping those with mental illnesses, inviting them into homes to be cared for instead of sending them to ‘mental homes’. To this day, Geel still has a reputation for its inclusive care of those suffering from mental illness. Let us pray for all who suffer from any mental affliction and their family members and those who support them. Saint Dymphna: pray for us.