Virgin of Vladimir (+ image by the hand of Stephen Allison 2008)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Comfort my people

Notes of meeting and celebration of the Mass on 28 September 2010

Comfort my people.

Call to be Holy as God is holy.

Picture of the Heart of Mary taken and immolated within the Heart of Jesus, the love and light she receives is passed on to a small heart (representing the group or each individual) which in turn passes this love and light on to other small hearts.

Mass readings : Job 3 v 1-3, 11-17, 20-23 and Luke 9 v 51 - 56

Job 3 v 1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Job Speaks
1 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 He said:
3 "May the day of my birth perish,
and the night it was said, 'A boy is born!'
11 "Why did I not perish at birth,
and die as I came from the womb?

12 Why were there knees to receive me
and breasts that I might be nursed?

13 For now I would be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep and at rest

14 with kings and counselors of the earth,
who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,

15 with rulers who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.

16 Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child,
like an infant who never saw the light of day?

17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
and there the weary are at rest.
20 "Why is light given to those in misery,
and life to the bitter of soul,

21 to those who long for death that does not come,
who search for it more than for hidden treasure,

22 who are filled with gladness
and rejoice when they reach the grave?

23 Why is life given to a man
whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?

Luke 9 v 51 - 56
Samaritan Opposition
51As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" 55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and they went to another village.

Take on the sufferings of others

I have laid out the path before you... follow it

Philippians 2 v 1 -16
Imitating Christ's Humility
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Shining as Stars
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Isaiah 40 v 27 - 31
(this Chapter starts with the words "Comfort my people"!)
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

The overall theme of the meeting seemed to be that of comforting others being compassionate to others in their difficulties and distress and with ourselves in our own difficulties. We are not to be judgemental of others but be merciful. Also to accept that suffering has a purpose and can lead us to look at things in a new way and lead to renewal and a strengthening - not that we want suffering or that God in some way wants us to suffer but rather he can use suffering in a redemptive way - all things can work for good!

Many thanks to Fr. Bill Rooke for celebrating Mass with us and congratulations to him on 40 years of Priesthood

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Embrace My Cross

Notes of meeting on 21 September 2010

Picture, received at Lourdes on the feast of the Triumph of the Cross and shared at the group, of Jesus carrying his Cross hovering over Lourdes and then seemed to go through all other countries, lastly reaching England, then reaching Stockton and surrounding areas , finally ending up over St Mary's and the Prayer Group. Here Jesus stopped entered our room still carrying the Cross. All hearts turn towards the Cross and all hearts received a small gold cross which seemed to grow larger within each heart and radiate a golden light that seemed to draw others to receive the light.
Jesus says:
"Embrace my Cross , by choosing to carry it you choose life, for death to oneself brings life, you align yourselves with Heaven and my wish to draw all men to me. This road, the carrying of the cross with perseverance is the quickest road to Heaven and Bliss.
I thank you little flock for becoming love, love that draws others to that love."

Hebrews 13:20-21 (New Living Translation)

20 Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

2 Corinthians 9 v 6 - 14
6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."
10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Thank you Lord that you implant in our hearts the gift of your Cross , the Cross through which you brought us salvation, forgiveness and healing. May the light of your glorious Cross shine within us and help us draw others to you.
Thank you Lord that you supply us with all that we need to enlarge your harvest, you supply us with the graces, blessing and gifts we need to undertake the work you call us to. Lord lead us , guide us. Amen

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

His Beloved

Notes of meeting on 7 September 2010

A picture of Jesus on the Cross with the full fury of God upon Him, suffering in every fibre of His being. He was taking upon Himself the full fury of the Father which should have been aimed at us. Jesus is The Sacrifice, the only one that could appease God's Wrath and Justice. He continually dies for us, God's only Blessed Son loves mankind so much that He does this willingly to save us.
There is no other way to the Father except through the Son,for who else would draw to Himself such obtuse nations and take the full punishment for us. We are a beloved people, we are His BELOVED!

Isaiah 53 (New International Version)

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied ;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

We adore You O Christ and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Luke 17:20-37 (New International Version)

The Coming of the Kingdom of God
20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
22Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. 24For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32Remember Lot's wife! 33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."

37"Where, Lord?" they asked.
He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."

Joel 2 V 1
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming.
It is close at hand-

Are we prepared for the Coming of the Lord - is the kingdom within our hearts

The Lord is generous with his gifts especially his gift of grace which he pours out and lavishes upon us.
And what more lavish and generous a gift than that of His Son Jesus who poured out his life blood for us to save us.


Referring back to the Lord calling us 'prayer warriors' I came across this in a book 'The Still Small Voice' by Robert Weston:

God is calling up many prayer warriors as a sheild for our prodigal continent, but let us be under no illusion: judgement has already begun, and we need to continue fervent in prayer and repentance. We are on the thinnest of ice as a continent.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Welcome to the battle

Notes of meeting on 31 August 2010

Welcome to the battle, are you ready for the fight against spiritual forces.
Equip yourselves with the Armour of God.

Ephesians 6 v 10 - 20
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Picture of Jesus on the Cross blood and water flowing from him onto a hard rock that is softened by the flow and brought to new life.

Living water

Ephesians 3 v 14 - 21

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Isaiah 56 v 1 - 8
1 This is what the LORD says:
"Maintain justice
and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man who does this,
the man who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say,
"The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
And let not any eunuch complain,
"I am only a dry tree."

4 For this is what the LORD says:
"To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant-

5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will not be cut off.

6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD
to serve him,
to love the name of the LORD,
and to worship him,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold fast to my covenant-

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations."

8 The Sovereign LORD declares—
he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
"I will gather still others to them
besides those already gathered."

The Lord can save even those outside the Church - no one is outside God's love and mercy and justice.

Are we using our Gifts with integrity ('integrity' also translates as 'righteousness' or 'truth') and authenticity not for our own glory or prestige. Do we bear the Fruit of the Spirit especially love in our lives and in the use of our gifts.

Galations 5 v 22 - 23
22 But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullnes, 23 humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.

1 Corinthians 13 .
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 14
1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

It would be profitable to read all of Chapters 13 and 14 of 1 Corinthians which contain some great teaching on the gifts and how to use them with integrity.

Moses is an example of an intercessor pleading with God for the people, that is both God's chosen people and Moses own people the Israelites. Moses reminds God of the promises he has made with regard to the people.
God continues to love his people no matter how far they remove themselves from him. Are we called to pray for our own people that is our Country, our Church, all Christians, and indeed the whole of humankind?

Bind up the broken hearted

I lost my notes from the meeting so apologies for anything that was missed - if anyone feels something important has been left out please let me know. Stephen