Friday, May 29, 2015

Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity Sunday, 31 May 2015


Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity Sunday,  31 May  2015

 

“O the depths of the riches, of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God. How incomprehensible are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!” Rom. 11:33 

            The mystery of  The Blessed Trinity is the greatest of all mysteries in the Catholic Faith.    Man’s finite mind can only seek to understand it.  St. Augustine struggled with this mystery, and one day while contemplating the Blessed Trinity at the seashore, he saw a little boy filling his pail with water from the sea and putting it into a hole in the sand.  He asked the boy what he was doing, and the boy replied that he was going to empty the sea into the hole in the sand.  St. Augustine told him that this was not possible as the sea was  too big and the hole too small.   The boy, an angel in disguise, said,  “So, too, you can  not understand the Trinity with your finite mind.”  Even in heaven, when we see God “face to face for all eternity, we shall never be able to understand the depths of this sublime mystery.  We can only adore it! “O the depths of the riches, of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God. How incomprehensible are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!” Rom. 11:33

 

“For from him and through him and unto him are all things. To him be glory forever.” Rom. 11:36  

Msgr. Patrick Boylan in his book, The Sunday Gospels and Epistles Vol. I and II comments on the greatness of God:  The abundance of the wealth of God’s grace, of  His wisdom, and of His knowledge is beyond all human capacity to estimate.” Boylan, p. 81  St. Paul in today’s Epistle to the Romans (11: 33-6) says:  “For from him and through him and unto him are all things. To him be glory forever.” Rom. 11:36   Msgr. Boylan commenting on this verse says:  “There is, then nothing of all that is which does not owe its being to the power and wisdom and goodness of God—nothing that is not ‘from Him.’  Everything that is maintained in being by God—is ‘through Him.’ Since, then, every creature is in every way dependent on God, the true goal of all must be God alone (‘unto Him’). The creature that realizes this will also see that all praise and glory belong to God alone forever.” Boylan, p. 82  St. Augustine would remind us that we owe everything to God:  “Give to us according to Thy promise for we have done as thou has commanded, it is still true that our doing of the things commanded was God’s doing, since He helped us to do it.” All that we can do is to admire the depths of God’s wisdom and power and to order to Him everything  that happens in this world: … To him be glory forever.” Rom. 11:36  

 

How incomprehensible are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!” Rom. 11:33

Msgr. Boylan comments on the meaning of today’s epistle:  “The obvious lesson in to-day’s Epistle is the marvelous wisdom of God’s ways, and the folly of questioning them.  As the Apostle sees the gracious mercy of God at work in all the devious paths of Hebrew history, so we should seek to find grace and mercy and loving thoughtfulness at work in every phase of  our lives.  Even when the pattern of mercy is but vaguely – or even not at all discernible in the tangle of our troubles and failures, we should remember that behind all, and deftly guiding all, there is a depth of unfathomable grace and wisdom and knowledge. Day after day, we see bitterness turned into joy, and failure into success; and out of apparent hopelessness we constantly see, against all our forecasts, firm ground of hope arising.

            “Murmuring at our lot, loss of courage, lack of trust in God’s mercy—these are so many questionings of the grace and wisdom and knowledge of God, our Father—from Whom, through Whom, and unto Whom are all things, ourselves included, and all that our lives contain.” Boylan, p. 83

 

Knowledge of the Blessed Trinity

The Holy Spirit used veiled language in the Old Testament  when speaking about the Blessed Trinity to avoid confusion with the other nations which had many gods. Only with the coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, do we find explicit teachings on the Blessed Trinity.  Dom Prosper Gueranger in The Liturgical Year, Vol. 10 comments:  The world had to wait for the fullness of time to be completed; and then God would send into this world His only Son, begotten of Him from all eternity. This His most merciful purpose has been carried out, and ‘the Word made Flesh hath dwelt among us’ (Jn. 1:14)  By seeing His glory, the glory of the only-begotten Son of the Father, we have come to know, in God, there is Father and Son. The Son’s mission to our earth, by the very revelation it gave us of Himself, taught us that God is eternally Father, for whatever is in God is  eternal. …So that, we now know the Father, from whom comes, as the apostle tells us, all paternity, even on earth (cf. Eph. 3:15). We know  Him not only as the creative power, which has produced every being outside Himself; but, guided as it is by faith, our soul’s eye  respectfully  penetrates  into the very essence of the Godhead, and there beholds the Father begetting a Son like unto Himself. But, in order to teach us  the mystery, that Son came down upon earth. He Himself has told us expressly  that no one knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal  Him (cf. Mt. 11:27).  Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol. 10,  p. 97 

 

“…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...” Mt. 28:19

“….The intimate knowledge of God has come to us by the Son, whom the Father, in His love, has given to us. (Cf. Jn. 3:16). And this Son of God, who, in order to raise up our minds even to His own divine Nature has clad  Himself, by His Incarnation, with our human nature, has taught us that He and His Father are one;  that they are one and the same Essence, in distinction of Persons. One begets, the Other is begotten; the One is named Power; the Other, Wisdom, or Intelligence…but, both the One and the Other produce a third Term.

            “The Son, who had been sent by the Father, had ascended into heaven, with the human Nature which He had united to Himself for all future eternity; and lo! the Father and the Son send into this world the Spirit who proceeds from them both. It was the Gift, and it taught man that the Lord God was in three Persons. The Spirit, the eternal link of the first two, is Will, He is Love, in the divine Essence. In God, then, is the fullness of Being, without beginning, without succession, without increase; for there is nothing which He has not. In these three eternal Terms of His uncreated Substance, is the Act, pure and infinite.” Gueranger,  p.98  

 

“Faith seeking understanding”

            With the mystery of the  Blessed Trinity, all that we can do is believe and have faith as  St. Anselm tells us, “Faith seeking understanding.”  First, we have faith and  belief,  and then we will begin to understand, even a little,  this great mystery of the Blessed Trinity which we will contemplate for all eternity in heaven.   How  blessed we are, as today’s Gospel (Mt. 28:18-20) reminds us, that  we are children of God by our baptism in the name of the Blessed Trinity: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...” Mt. 28:1

 

Corpus Christi Processions

 

“The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist, is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that greater love which led him to ‘lay down his life for his friends.’ “(Jn. 15:13)

 

Lanherne Convent

Chapel of St. Joseph and St Anne

St. Mawgan- Newquay

Thursday, 4 June 2015

8:30 AM  Adoration (After Mass)

3:00 PM Procession with Benediction at three stations

 

Tea in St. Joseph’s Hall

after Procession

 

 

Corpus Christi Procession

Buckfast Abbey

Sunday 7th June 2015

3:oo Pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pentecost Sunday 24th May 2015


Pentecost Sunday,

24   May 2015

 

“And  I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever...” Jn. 14:16

Today, we rejoice in the Solemnity of  Pentecost, which along with Christmas and Easter, is one of the  three principal events in the liturgical year.  Dom Prosper Gueranger in his The Liturgical Year Vol. 9 comments: “Four great events mark the sojourn of man on earth; and each of them is a proof of God’s infinite goodness towards us.  The first is the creation of man and his vocation to a supernatural state, which gives him, as his last end, the eternal vision and possession of God. The second is the Incarnation of the divine Word, who, by uniting the human to the divine Nature,  raises a created being to a participation of the Divinity, and, at the same time, provides the Victim needed for redeeming Adam and his race from the state of perdition into which they fell by sin. The third event is that which we celebrate today, the descent of the Holy Ghost, when He will free His bride, the Church, from the shackles of mortality, and lead her to heaven, there to celebrate His eternal nuptials with her.  In these four divine acts, the last of which has not yet been accomplished, is included the whole history of mankind; all other events bear, more or less, upon them.” Gueranger, p. 303-4

 

Pentecost and the Paschal Mystery

Dom Gueranger explains how important the mystery of Pentecost is in relation to the Paschal solemnity:  The Pasch is the redemption of man by the victory of Christ; Pentecost is the Holy Ghost taking possession of man redeemed.  The Ascension is the intermediate mystery; it consummates the Pasch, by placing the Man-God, the Conqueror of death, and our head, at the right hand of the Father; it prepares the mission of the Holy Ghost to our earth. This mission could not take place until Jesus had been glorified, as St. John tells us (cf. Jn. 7:39 “...for the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”); ...This divine mission was not to be given to the Third Person until men were deprived of the visible presence of Jesus.  As we have already said, the hearts of the faithful were henceforward to follow their absent Redeemer by a purer and wholly spiritual love. Now who was to bring us this new love, if not He who is the link of the eternal love of the Father and the Son?  This Holy Spirit of love and union is called, in the sacred Scriptures, the ‘Gift of God’; and it is on the day of Pentecost that the Father and the Son send us this ineffable Gift. Let us call to mind the words spoken by our  Emmanuel to the Samaritan woman at the well at Sichar: ‘If thou didst know the Gift of God!’ Jn 4: 10. We know the Gift of God; so that we have but to open our hearts to receive Him as did the three thousand who  listened to St. Peter’s sermon.” Gueranger, p. 291-3

 

Old Pentecost and New Pentecost

            The descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost is foreshadowed in the Old Testament promulgation of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai fifty days after the Jews had crossed the Red Sea. Dom Gueranger comments on the interrelationship of the two Pentecosts:  “The Pentecost (fiftieth day) was honoured by the promulgation of the ten commandments of the divine law; and every following year, the Israelites celebrated the great event by a solemn festival. But their Pentecost was figurative, like their Pasch; there was to be a second Pentecost for all people, as there was to be a second Pasch, for the Redemption of the whole world. The Pasch, with all its triumphant joys, belongs to the Son of God, the Conqueror of death; Pentecost belongs to the Holy Ghost, for it  is the day whereon He began His mission into this world, which, henceforward, was to be under His Law.... In this second Pentecost, ...repentance and gratitude are the sentiments now uppermost. A divine fire burns within their souls, and will spread throughout the whole world....”  Gueranger., p. 277-8

 

Second Pentecost

            Dom Gueranger again explains the intense spiritual awakening that occurs on the Jewish feast of Pentecost:  “Jerusalem is filled with pilgrims, who have flocked thither from every country of the Gentile world. ...they have come to keep the feasts of Pasch and Pentecost. ...Amidst these Jews properly so called, are to be seen many Gentiles... This influx of strangers, who have come to Jerusalem out of a desire to observe the Law, gives the city a Babel-like appearance for each nation has its own language. They are not under the influence of pride and prejudice, as are the inhabitants of Judea; neither have they, like these latter, known and rejected the Messias, nor blasphemed His works.... so now, at this hour of Tierce (9:00 AM), the Father and the Son send upon earth the holy Spirit who proceeds from them both. He is sent to form the Church, the bride and the kingdom of Christ; He is to assist and maintain her; He is to save and sanctify  the souls of men; and this His mission is to continue to the end of time. 

            “Suddenly is heard, coming from heaven, sound of a violent wind; it startles the people in the city, it fills the cenacle with its mighty breath. A crowd is soon round the house that stands on Mount Sion;  the hundred and twenty disciples that are within the building feel the mysterious emotion within them, of which their Master once said: ‘The Spirit breatheth where He will, and thou hearest his voice’. Jn. 3:8  ...A silent shower falls in the house; it is a shower of fire which, as holy Church says ‘burns not but enlightens, consumes not but shines.’ (Responsory for Thursday within the Octave)  Flakes of fire, in the shape of tongues, rest on the heads of the hundred and twenty disciples; it is the Holy Ghost taking possession of all and each. The Church is now not only in Mary, but also in these hundred and twenty disciples. All belong now to the Spirit that has descended upon them; His kingdom is begun, it is manifested, its conquests will be speedy and glorious.”  Gueranger,. 278-280

 

Speaking in all tongues

            Dom Gueranger highlights the great miracle of tongues for all to believe: “Since the confusion of Babel, there have been so many languages;  ...How, then, is the word to become the instrument of the world’s conquest, and to make one family out of all these nations that cannot understand each other? ...With other gifts, wherewith He has enriched the hundred and twenty disciples, He has given them understanding in every language. In a transport of holy enthusiasm, they attempt to speak the languages of all nations; their tongue and their ear take in, not only without effort, but with charm and joy, this plentitude of word and speech which is to reunite mankind together. The Spirit of love has annulled the separation of Babel; men are once more made brethren by the unity of language... What is the surprise of this multitude, composed as it is of people of so many different nations, when these poor uneducated Galileans address them, each in the language of his country?   ...The Holy Spirit makes His presence and influence to be felt in the hearts of these favoured listeners A few moments previously they were disciples of Sinai, who come from distant lands to celebrate the by-gone Pasch and Pentecost; now they have faith, simple and full faith, in Christ.  They repent of the awful crime  of His death, of which they have been accomplices; they confess His Resurrection and Ascension...These children of Israel had to make the sacrifice, or they never could have shared in the graces of the new Pentecost:  ...three thousand declared themselves disciples of Christ, and received the mark of adoption in holy Baptism. ...To-morrow, Peter is to preach in the temple, and five thousand men will enrol themselves as disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. Hail! Then, dear creation of  the Holy Ghost! Militant on earth; triumphant in heaven; beautiful, noble, immortal Church, all hail! And  thou, bright Pentecost! Day of our truest birth! How fair, how glorious, thou makest these first hours of Jesus’ bride on earth! The divine Spirit thou givest us, has written, not on upon stone, but upon our hearts, the Law that is to govern us.” Gueranger,   p.  281, 287, 289- 291.

 

Corpus Christ Procession

“The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist, is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that greater love which led him to ‘lay down his life for his friends.’ “(Jn. 15:13)

 

Lanherne Convent

Chapel of St. Joseph and St Anne

St. Mawgan- Newquay

Thursday, 4 June 2015

8:30 PM  Adoration (After Mass)

3:00 PM Procession with Benediction at three stations

 

Tea in St. Joseph’s Hall

after Procession

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ascension Sunday, 17 May 2015


Ascension Sunday, 17 May 2015 

 

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven.” Acts 1:11

 

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension today, we must raise our thoughts to heaven where Our Lord Jesus has ascended.  Pope St. Leo the Great said:  “Christ’s Ascension is our ascension; our body has the hope of one day being where its glorious Head has preceded it.” This is what Jesus said on the night before He died:  “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself; that where I am you also may be.”  Jn. 14: 23.  According to Fr. Gabriel, OCD in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, “The Ascension is then, a feast of joyful hope, a sweet foretaste of heaven. By going before us, Jesus our Head has given us the right to follow Him there some day, and we can even say with St. Leo, ‘In the person of Christ, we have penetrated the heights of heaven.’ (Roman Breviary)  As in Christ Crucified, we die to sin; as in the Risen Christ, we rise to the life of grace, so too, we are raised up to heaven in the Ascension of  Christ.  This vital participation  in Christ’s mysteries is the essential consequence of our incorporation in Him.  He is our Head; we, as His members, are totally dependent upon him and intimately bound to His destiny. ‘God, who is rich in mercy,’ says St. Paul, ‘for His exceeding charity wherewith He loved us...hath quickened us together in Christ... and hast raised us up... and hath made us sit together in the heavenly place through Christ Jesus.’ Eph. 2:4-6  Our right to heaven has been given us, our place is ready; it is for us to live in such a way that we may occupy it someday.” Fr. Gabriel, Divine Intimacy,” p. 535

 

“...ascending on high,  He hath led captivity captive.” Ps. 67:19

            In today’s Mass, the Alleluia verses give us a powerful prophecy of  the Messias leading souls into heaven:  “Alleluia. The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high, He hath led captivity captive.” Ps. 67:19 This image of captives being led into the city of their conquerors was common in Rome when victorious generals would lead their conquests, as their trophies, into the imperial city. So, too, Jesus will lead those whom He has redeemed into heaven as Dom Prosper Gueranger in The Liturgical Year, Vol.9 explains:  “The two Alleluia-versicles give us the words of the royal psalmist, wherein he celebrates the glorious Ascension of the future Messias, the acclamation of the angels, the loud music of heaven’s trumpets, the gorgeous pageant of the countless fortunate captives of limbo whom the conqueror leads up, as His trophy, to heaven.” Gueranger,  p. 179.   How blessed shall we be who are led into heaven as trophies of Christ’s glorious redemption.

 

“Sweet Sorrow of Christ’s Ascension”

          Although Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven has an  element of  sorrow, Jesus told us that our “sorrow will be turned to joy.” (Jn. 16:20)  We can see this especially if we look at Jesus’ Ascension through the eyes of His beloved Mother Mary. The disciples of Jesus used to wonder which of the two sentiments, sadness or joy, had priority in Our Lady’s heart when Jesus ascended into heaven.  Dom Prosper Gueranger comments on this question:  “They (disciples) used to ask themselves, which of the two sentiments was uppermost in her maternal heart, --sadness, that she was to see her Jesus no more, or joy, that He was now going to enter into the glory He so infinitely deserved. The answer was soon found: had not Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If ye loved Me, ye would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father’; Jn. 14:28   Now, who loved Jesus as Mary did?  The Mother’s heart, then, was full of joy at parting with Him.  How was she to think of herself, when there was question of the triumph of her Son and her God?  Could she  that had witnessed the scene of Calvary, do less than desire to see Him glorified, whom she knew to be the sovereign  Lord of all things, -- Him whom, but a short time ago, she had seen rejected by His people, blasphemed, and dying the most ignominious and cruel of deaths?”  Gueranger, p. 170

 

“Sorrow to turn to joy!”

“Amen, Amen I say to you that your shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful but your sorrow  shall be turned to joy.”   Jn. 16:20

But before our sorrow turns to joy in heaven with Jesus’ return, the angels remind the disciples that they must not stand idle.  They are to return to Jerusalem and await the Holy Spirit. Then the disciples are instructed to go into the whole world and baptize all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to consummation of the world.”  Mt. 28:19-20 Jesus gave His disciples this commission just before He ascended into heaven.  Dom Gueranger tells us that the disciples were still caught up in the moment of Jesus’ Ascension: “The disciples are still steadfastly looking up to towards heaven, when lo!  two angels, clad in white robes, appear to them saying: ‘Ye men of Galilee! Why stand ye looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as ye have seen Him going into heaven!’ Acts 1:10-11 

 

Joy and Triumph in the Ascension

Dom Gueranger again reminds us of the meaning of Jesus’ Ascension: “He has ascended, a Saviour; He is to return a Judge: between these two events is comprised the whole life of the Church on earth. We are therefore living under the reign of Jesus as our Saviour, for He has said: ‘God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by Him:’ (Jn. 3:17) and to carry out this merciful design He has been giving to His disciples the mission to go throughout the whole world, and invite men, while yet there is time, to accept the mystery of salvation.   .... They love Jesus; they rejoice at the thought of His having entered into His rest. ‘They went back into Jerusalem with great joy.’ Lk. 24:52  These few simple words of the Gospel indicate the spirit of this admirable feast of the Ascension: it is a festival which, not withstanding its soft tinge of sadness, is, more than any other expressive of joy and triumph.” Gueranger, p. 173-4

 

The Need for Prayer

 

Our Holy Father, St. John Paul II spoke of the absolute need of prayer in our lives if we wish to gain eternal salvation:  “…we must pray too because we are fragile and culpable. We need to admit humbly and truly that we are poor creatures, with confused ideas…We are fragile and weak, and in constant need of interior strength and consolation.  Prayer gives us strength for great ideals, for keeping up our faith, charity, purity, generosity;  prayer gives us strength to rise up from indifference and guilt, if we have had the misfortune to give in to temptation and weakness.  Prayer gives light by which to see and to judge from God’s perspective and from eternity.  That is why you must not give up praying!  Don’t let a day go by without praying a little!  Prayer is a duty, but it is also a joy because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ.” Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, Audience with Young People, 14 March 1979   If we want to save our souls, then we must pray for the graces that we need.  This is why Our Lady told the three children at Fatima: “Pray and sacrifice, for many souls will go to hell because no one prays and sacrifices for them.”

 

The Veneration of Relics

         

          To venerate the relics of the saints is a profession of belief in several doctrines of the Catholic faith: (1) the belief in everlasting life for those who have obediently witnessed to Christ and His Holy Gospel here on earth; (2) the truth of the resurrection of the body for all persons on the last day; (3) the doctrine of the splendour of the human body and the respect which all should show toward the bodies of both the living and the deceased; (4) the belief in the special intercessory power which the saints enjoy in heaven because of their intimate relationship with Christ the King; and (5) the truth of our closeness to the saints because of our connection in the communion of saints we as members of the Church militant or pilgrim Church, they as members of the Church triumphant.

          The relics of the saints and their veneration is just another in the long line of treasures which Jesus Christ has given to His chaste bride, the Church. These relics summon us to appreciate more profoundly not only the heroic men and women, boys and girls who have served the Master so selflessly and generously, but especially the love and mercy of the Almighty who called these His followers to the bliss of unending life in His eternal kingdom.

          Fr. John A. Hardon in the Modern Catholic Dictionary says, “Relics are of three classes: the first is part of the saint’s body and is the type placed on the altar stone; the second is part of the clothing or anything used during the saint’s life; and the third is any other object, such as a piece of cloth, that has been touched to a first class relic.” p. 461

          Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin were the parents of St. Therese, the Little Flower. Both had tried to enter religious life, but God had other plans for them.  They had nine children in all; four died at an early age and the other five girls all entered the religious life. The last of the children was St. Therese who was born when her Mother Zelie was forty years old.  Zelie died four years later.   Bl. Louis and Bl. Zelie are important for us today as they are wonderful models of what all Catholic  Mothers and Fathers should be in the family.  We need to pray to them today for our own families and for all the families of the world!  How blessed we are to have them in our presence in our Cathedral.

VISIT OF THE RELICS OF

BLESSED LOUIS & BLESSED ZELIE MARTIN

PLYMOUTH CATHEDRAL

 

http://www.plymouth-diocese.org.uk/sites/www.plymouth-diocese.org.uk/files/styles/fixed_height_thumb/public/relics.jpg?itok=IJetoXWg

Friday, 15 May

18.00         Reception of the Holy Relics by Bishop Mark O’Toole

19.00 Mass with anointing of         the sick

               Cathedral open for              private veneration

21.00 Night Prayer of the             Church

 

Saturday, 16 May

09.30 Morning Prayer of the          Church

10.00 Mass

               Devotions and                    Veneration

12.00 Mass for families and   renewal of Marriage Vows

               Principal Celebrant –           Bishop Mark

 

Sunday, 17 May

08.00 Mass

10.00 Solemn Mass

               Cathedral open for              Private Veneration

17.00 Evening Prayer of the          Church & Benediction

18.00 Mass

 

Monday, 18 May

09.00 Morning Prayer

10.00 Mass with schools

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fifth Sunday After Easter 10 May 2015


Fifth Sunday After Easter

10 May 2015

 

Amen, amen, I say to you if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you.”  Jn. 16:23

 

Today’s liturgy, as in the past Sundays after Easter, prepares us for Jesus’ Ascension, when He will leave His Apostles, and opens the way to Pentecost, when He will send them the Holy Spirit to  enlighten and strengthen them. Jesus also wants to console the Apostles for His absence by promising them that they can ask the Father anything “in His Name” and they will receive it:  Amen, amen, I say to you if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it to you.”  Jn. 16:23  This is truly a consoling promise to the Apostles who were so forlorn on hearing Jesus’ words of  departure.  They no longer have to fear being alone, for not only will Jesus always be there for them, but also the Father. Jesus’ promise of asking the Father for help in His Name in today’s Gospel (Jn. 16:23-30) and the teaching of today’s Epistle from St. James (1:22-27) provides us with a solid teaching on efficacious prayer.  If we pray, as Jesus taught His Apostles to do, then we have absolute confidence that we will be heard.  All we need to do is to pray “in the Name of Jesus” with a good conscience, with humility and with confidence.

 

Ask “in the Name of Jesus”

           

When we pray “in the Name of Jesus,” our prayers and our good works obtain a superabundant value as they are founded on the infinite merits of Jesus Christ.  We must remember that we are unprofitable servants (cf. Lk. 17:10) who can do nothing (cf. Jn. 15:5) of ourselves and that our sufficiency comes from Jesus Crucified. “Consequently,” according to Fr. Gabriel in Divine Intimacy, “the first condition of prayer made ‘in the name of Jesus’ is humility, an ever deeper  and more realistic sense of our nothingness. It must be complemented by the second condition, a boundless confidence in the merits of Jesus, which surpass all our poverty, misery, necessities and needs. In view of Jesus’ infinite merits, we can never ask too much in  His Name: we can never be too bold in imploring the plenitude of divine grace for our souls, in aspiring to that sanctity which is hidden, but genuine. ...Moreover, there is no creature of good will, no matter how weak and insignificant, who, ‘in the Name of Jesus,’ cannot aspire to sanctity.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 524

 

Be ye doers of the word

 and not hearers only.” Ja. 1:22

 

“However, in order to make our prayer effective, a third condition is required: our life must correspond to our prayer, our faith must be translated into good works.  ‘Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was.’ Ja. 1:22 This strong exhortation of St. James, which is found in today’s Epistle is an urgent reminder of the practical character of the Christian life. Vain is our prayer, vain our confidence  in God, if we do not add our generous efforts to perform all our duties, to live up to our high vocation.  We can add, and we should, hope for everything in the ‘Name of Jesus,’ but He expects a constant   effort on our part to be entirely faithful to Him.”  Fr. Gabriel, p. 524-5.

 

“...through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

            Cornelius a Lapide in his Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, also reminds us why it is so important to pray genuinely “in the Name of Jesus”:  “...To ask in the name of Christ is to ask through  Christ, or through Christ’s merits, dignity, and authority. For Christ, by His passion and death, merited that we should obtain from God whatever we ask in His name. Therefore this obtaining, with respect to us, is grace, and with respect to Christ is but justice. ‘His name’ signifies in Scripture His strength, virtue, merits, grace, dignity and                             authority. Therefore to ask  in the name of Christ, is to ask while counting on His merits, and to trust in them, not in our own; that God may look, not on our  unworthiness and our sins, but upon the face of His anointed, and on account of His sanctity and merits grant us that which we do not deserve. Christ therefore points here not merely to God, but to God incarnate, and obedient even unto the death of the cross. For He merited, that the Father should hear our prayers. This is the Church’s interpretation, for she ends all her prayers ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Thus the Jews used to pray through the merits of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we Christians pray through the merits of Christ, who infinitely surpasses their merits.” a Lapide, p . 660.

 

For the good of our salvation

Since Jesus promised us that the Father would answer all our prayers, if we pray in His Name, we might ask why then are our prayers not answered as we wish? Cornelius a Lapide answers this observation: “Again, to ask in the name of Christ, is to ask those things which He wishes and desires to be given us, those namely which concern the salvation of the soul.  Hence such a prayer is effectual, and is heard by God....The reason they obtain not, is because they ask not the things which they ought, not in the way they ought....It requires contrition for sin, so that he who prays may be, or may heartily wish to become, a friend of God.  Sinners therefore, wilfully persisting in sin, are not heard by God.... It requires great faith and hope, or confidence, that we shall obtain what we ask for through the merits of Christ.  This confidence many have not, and  therefore they obtain not... Lastly, St. Augustine rightly observes, ‘God occasionally refuses what we ask for, because this is more expedient for our salvation and His glory. God therefore hears us, not according to our wishes, but according to our salvation.’”  a Lapide, p. 660-1

 

The Need for Prayer

 

            Pope St. John Paul II, spoke of the absolute need for prayer in our lives: “… we must pray too because we are fragile and culpable. We need to admit humbly and truly that we are poor creatures, with confused ideas…We are fragile and weak, and in constant need of interior strength and consolation.  Prayer gives us strength for great ideals, for keeping up our faith, charity, purity, generosity;  prayer gives us strength to rise up from indifference and guilt, if we have had the misfortune to give into temptation and weakness.  Prayer gives light by which to see and to judge from God’s perspective and from eternity.  That is why you must not give up praying!  Don’t let a day go by without praying a little!  Prayer is a duty, but it is also a joy because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ.” (St. John Paul II, Audience with Young People, 14 March 1979)

 

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

 

“Could you not, then, watch one hour with Me?” Mt. 26:40

 

 

From  HOLY FATHER'S PASTORAL LETTER TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND”  (3 March 2010) “....  Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration, and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose. I ask parishes, seminaries, religious houses and monasteries to organise periods of Eucharistic adoration, so that all have an opportunity to take part. Through intense prayer before the real presence of the Lord, you can make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm, at the same time imploring the grace of renewed strength and a deeper sense of mission on the part of all bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.”  (No. 14) 

 

May is the Month of Mary:

 

Pope St. John Paul II spoke of the importance of devotion to Our Lady and the Family Rosary: “The Christian family finds and consolidates its identity in prayer.  Make the daily effort to find a time to pray together, to talk with Our Lord and listen to his voice. How beautiful it is when the family prays in the evening, even though it be only a part of the Rosary.  The family that prays together stays together; a family that prays is a family that is saved.  Act in such a way that your home may be a place of Christian faith and virtue through your praying together.” (Address to families, 24 March 1984)

 

May Crowning and Consecration

 

We were sorry to postpone our May Crowning last week as the weather was not good.  Today, 10 May 2015, we will have a May Crowning of Our Lady and a Consecration to the Immaculate (according to St. Maximilian Kolbe) at our Lourdes Grotto after Mass.  This is a most important devotion as it honours Our Holy Mother during her special Month of May, and it binds us to her as her special “possession and property.”  St. Maximilian Kolbe spoke of all those who are consecrated to the Immaculate: “She penetrates our soul and directs its faculties with unlimited power. We truly belong to Her. Therefore, we are with Her always and everywhere...”(SK 461)

And further still: “We are Hers, of the Immaculate, unlimitedly Hers, perfectly Hers, we are, as it were, Her very self. She, by means of us, loves the good God. She, with our poor  heart, loves Her divine Son.  We become the means by which the Immaculate loves Jesus, and Jesus, seeing that we are Her property, a part, as it were, of His most loving Mother, loves Her in and through us. What beautiful mysteries!”  Sk 508  

 St. Maximilian declared that those who are consecrated to the Immaculate would be a means of holiness and grace to others (especially their own family): “She needs to be brought into all hearts,’ so that She, upon entering into these hearts, may give birth there to the sweet Jesus, to God, and bring Him up even to that perfect age. What a beautiful mission!”  SK508

 

St. Louis de Montfort tells us of Total Consecration to Mary: “This devotion consists, therefore, in giving ourselves entirely to the Most Blessed Virgin that, through her we may belong entirely to Jesus Christ. We must give her: (1) our body with all its senses and members; (2) our soul with its powers; (3) our material possessions and all that we may acquire; (4) our interior and spiritual possessions—our merits, our virtues and our good works, past, present, and future; in short, all that we possess in the order of nature, in the order of grace …” St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, p. 88-9