Showing posts from March, 2019

One 'yes' does not last a lifetime!

For the solemnity today, the liturgy of the day offers us Luke's narrative of the Annunciation for our reflection. We all know how the story goes. I wish I could always muster a classy yes like Mary’s. “Let it be done with me according to your word” is a far cry from my usual “OK Lord, if you say so.” We do the best we can. We notice the very human details of the Annunciation. It happened in a specific place, to a specific person and so I look at my story and how I give my 'yes' for the small and the big moments of life.

Mary’s fiat, as it is called (Latin for “let it be done”), was a yes to the Unknown. These are the only yeses that really count. A yes to the Unknown—this was the fiat of Mary as she accepted the impossible message of the angel. This was the yes of those Wise Men following the star to only God knows where. This was the yes of Jesus as he accepted baptism by his cousin John. This is my yes to the Lord as He continues to lead me to different places, to dif…


For that one moment, in and out of time,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings,
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face.
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
No can this blackened sky, this darkened scar,
Eclipse that glimpse of how things truly are.
(Malcolm Guite)

Hail Glorious St. Patrick

Like so many Christian feasts, St Patrick’s Day has been somewhat hijacked. St Patrick has about as much to do with a pint of Guinness as St Valentine has to do with a box of chocolates and a romantic meal for two. But what does this saint, so strong in missionary zeal and about whom we know very little, have to do with our modern day celebrations? The answer comes from the Confessio itself. In the very opening paragraphs of the autobiography, St Patrick offers a meditation on the gift of faith and the praise that we owe in return to God for such a gift. Perhaps this is St Patrick’s greatest relevance, particularly in a culture that seems increasingly hostile to declarations of faith. He refuses to stay quiet; his evangelising zeal comes from knowing that he must speak to others of Christ:

“That is why I cannot be silent – nor would it be good to do so – about such great blessings and such a gift that the Lord so kindly bestowed in the land of my captivity. This is how we can repay suc…

Stargazing! Reflection for second Sunday of Lent

Already at the second week of Lent, the liturgy presents us with varying images for the journey. Sunday is the day in my week where I  stop and take stock of how the journey is going. We are on a Lenten pilgrimage but from where and towards where?

Pope John Paul II writes in Incarnationis Mysterium 7: “A pilgrimage evokes the believer's personal journey in the footsteps of the Redeemer: it is an exercise of practical asceticism, of repentance for human weaknesses, of constant vigilance over one's own frailty, of interior preparation for a change of heart. Through vigils, fasting and prayer, the pilgrim progresses along the path of Christian perfection, striving to attain, with the support of God's grace, “the state of the perfect man, to the measure of the full maturity of Christ” (Eph 4:13).”

A pilgrim needs to be able to read the signs of the times around them, of the people with whom they live and journey with and of nature itself. A few years ago, a friend of mine gav…

Ash Wednesday

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, time to prepare!
The ashes we use are the burnt palms from last year's celebration of Passion Sunday. We begin our Lenten journey aware of where we are going. We want to enter into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus for us more fully. That is the purpose of our journey. It is why we mark our heads with his cross. It is why we fast today and abstain from meat. Our Lenten program is not an effort to save ourselves. We have been saved by his sacrifice. Our self-denial helps us, in the darkness that surrounds us, to prepare ourselves to receive his light. For this is a journey to the Easter font, where we will renew the promises of our Baptism, remembering that in dying with him in the waters of Baptism,we are re-born with him to everlasting life. This year's Lenten journey begins!