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

Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Meditation on Suffering


I asked God for strength
that I might achieve.
I was made weak
that I may learn to obey.

I asked for health
that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity
that I might do better things.

I asked for power
that I might be happy.
I was given weakness
that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things
that I might enjoy life.
I was given life
that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for
but everything I had hoped for;
almost despite myself
my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am among all men
most richly blessed.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Cross of Peace

Notes of meeting on 19 October 2010

Picture of Jesus on the Cross calling out in despair, Our Lady was quietly praying and weeping.
despite all the savagery of the Cross through Christ's terrible death and shedding of his life blood
this same Cross became the Cross of Peace, and emblem a sign to all in the world that anyone looking upon it would feel the healing through Jesus' blood Many people were being led to the Cross, people we wouldn't normally associate with goodness, but once led there, how transformed became their lives and so they became goodness.
It was felt that God was showing us that we should rejoice, because the fullness of the work of the Cross will become more apparent and that we are so blessed to live in union with Jesus on the Cross.
We have to pray and have compassion on those who steadfastly reject the truth, praying always for hearts to change and for healing to take place in Jesus' name and in his precious blood.
Many nations bowing before the Cross, and if we pray hard even more nations and religions which hate us will do so.

So rejoice and pray a lot especially before the Cross of Jesus.

Acts 4 v 5 -12
5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is
" 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.' 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Psalm 96
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; 12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; 13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

Mark 14 v 32 - 41
32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36"Abba,Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

37Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Peter, "are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

39Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41Returning the third time, he said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

Isaiah 58 v 5 -9

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Mother of God - Theotokos

Someone directed me to the links below that relate to Pope Benedict's unscripted homily at the first session of the special synod on the Middle East.

He gives a wonderful insight into the meaning of the title "Theotokos".

Please take time to read them if you can.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Notes of meeting on 12 October 2010

Picture of Jesus carrying his Cross then of Mary being assumed into Heaven, she looked so serene and yet ecstatic and full of grace, so beautiful.
She had followed the way of the Cross so completely entering fully into the pain , humiliation and sorrow as only one so close to Jesus could. Yet this is what is asked of each of us, to immolate ourselves body and soul to be one with her son Jesus as she was and is. Mary even did this when not in Jesus' physical company she prayed and was with Him her heart to His Heart.
Why wasn't Our Lady taken up to Heaven straight after Jesus ascended?
Could it be that God still had work for Our Lady here on earth, mainly the nurturing and mothering of the new Christian Church and witnessing to her Son's death and Resurrection. She has never stopped this care of the Church or of us her children.
When God finally lifted her up to Heaven body and soul she was and is Holy and Full of Grace our perfect model.
Even though we are imperfect if we seek God's forgiveness and mercy He will forgive us and honour us, he has after all made provision for our final perfection in Purgatory. This is great gift of Love and Mercy for his people to correct us and bring us to the Blessed State for Heaven.
Mary continues to nurture her children towards her son Jesus and his Most Holy Catholic Church that her Son died on the Cross for. The Church was born through the Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension of Jesus and the sending of the Spirit.
As Mary bore Jesus we turn to her confident that she is loyal and powerful leading her children home to her son Jesus and the holy destination of Heaven.
Let's keep our eyes fixed on Him as Mary his Mother and our Mother has always done.

Thank you Lord God for the gift of Mary who nurtures and mothers us pointing us to Jesus.
Her heart is so full of the love of the Father, Son and Spirit that she continually gives praise to God. Her heart resounds with praise......

Luke 1:46-56 (New International Version)

Mary's Song - Magnificat

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers."

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Lord is my Shepherd

Notes of meeting on 6 October 2010

Psalm 23 (New International Version)

A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Picture of dove of peace that sends the light of peace into our hearts.
In the stillness and quietness of our hearts he will teach us.

John 16 v 13 and v 33

13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Matthew 6:25-34 (New International Version)

Do Not Worry
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thank you Jesus that you are our Good Shepherd, that you lead and guide us even through the difficulties we face. Thank you that you want to give us your gift of peace and that you want to teach us.