My final post on suffering for 2014, and my prayer for 2015…


My prayer for 2014 was “Lord, teach me about suffering.” My goodness I have learned so much! And I am so grateful. Here are a few of the main points I have learned:

1. To watch someone else suffer can be harder.

Sometimes it is harder to watch someone else suffer than to suffer yourself. I have known this all too clearly this year. I’ve had to watch my husband go through the ravages of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do to take that suffering away – not even a little bit. This killed me. I would have done anything to take it upon myself – but that is not how God wanted it to be. There is purpose in my husbands suffering that I do not understand, but I do understand that this is his cross. So, sometimes I will be his Simon of Cyrene and help him carry it. Sometimes I will be Mother Mary and walk along side him. And sometimes I will be John or Mary Magdalene and will simply be with him as he is crucified.  Even though I cannot take this suffering upon myself, I can be there – so he does not have to suffer alone.

2. Crucify yourself as soon as possible.

I have come to the understanding that the worst kind of suffering we can experience in this life is to be separated from God through our own sin. I have experienced this in a massive way this year. I have been hanging onto a sinful thought that has indeed been damaging my relationship with Jesus all year. I was hanging on in false hope of a situation that I knew could never be because it was outside of Gods plan for my life. This has caused me so much needless suffering this year I can hardly begin to explain. It could of course have been entirely avoided if I had just stopped rebelling and instead accepted the situation for what it was by crucifying my own wants and desires immediately as soon as I saw the situation developing. It came to a head last week when the Lord asked me how long I intended to keep carrying this cross for before I would finally crucify myself and accept the freedom that this would bring. If I had crucified myself at the start, I would have saved myself a whole year of needless cross carrying! Through His grace, obtained for me by a dear friend who willingly offered to suffer for me, I have managed to let this crucifixion of self take place and I am now reunited with Christ with a pure heart. My peace has returned and now I have come through the crucifixion process I am enjoying the fruits of the resurrection I am now experiencing in my life.

3. Suffering is a gift.

Most Christians (including myself up until very recently) have no idea how to suffer. We will all suffer in this life – that is for certain, but we can either decide to do it in line with Gods plan or outside of God’s plan. When we suffer outside of Gods plan it is because we are sinning. Our suffering in this way is self-inflicted and entirely avoidable. When we suffer within Gods plan through no fault of our own we are presented with an opportunity to accept this suffering (bizarre as it may seem) as a gift. To offer this type of suffering in prayer for others is one of the most powerfully loving things we can do as human beings. Personally I have experienced a seismic shift in my attitude in regards to suffering when I have started offering it for other people. I have found that offering my suffering for others intentions not only gives it meaning and purpose, but also fills me with the most profound sense of joy. By willingly and joyfully offering my suffering for others I am imitating my Lord, and loving others in a sacrificial way that seems to touch hearts deeply. It also seems to remove the fear from suffering that I used to feel. Once the fear is gone, there is room to love. And where there is love, there is God. I never in a million years thought I would ever feel a desire to joyfully suffer – to actually be attracted to it, but I am. My Carmelite sister Therese of Lisieux is helping me to understand this.

4. The little way of suffering.

Suffering is the biggest, most un-tapped resource we have as Christians. Can you imagine if every Christian opened their hearts to the power of redemptive suffering and what effect that would have on the world?! Sometimes God gives us huge sufferings to bear, but usually on a day-to-day basis it is just little things we are given. A headache, someone annoying us, a boring job, being lonely etc. Imagine if every Christian joyfully used these little gifts to pray for the conversion of their loved ones, or for the souls in purgatory who once in heaven could intercede for us, or for priests, bishops and the Pope. It would utterly transform things! You can also give little things up to produce a suffering: sleep without a pillow, give up 1 cup of coffee and have water instead, hold your tongue in an argument (that’s the one I really need to work on! Ha! Ha!). There are billions of Christians all over the world. One little suffering each day offered joyfully in prayer from each of us would renew the church. It would renew face of the earth.

And that leads me on to my prayer for 2015…

One suffering that is dominant in western society is loneliness. This comes from a lack of depth in our relationships with each other, and more profoundly from a lack of depth in our relationship with God. If we only knew how much He loves us. If we could only understand and accept that He loves us so much He would rather send His only son to suffer and die, than risk spending eternity without any single one of us. As we begin to learn the incredible spiritual power of suffering this mystery becomes more and more understandable. Do we love someone enough to die for them? Do we even love someone enough to give up our morning cup of coffee to obtain graces for them? How many people in your parish do you know who would willingly give up their morning cup of coffee for you? My guess is that if you asked them they would probably look at you as if you were mad – or they would make some excuse as to why they could not do it. We are so weak aren’t we?!

The great North African theologian Tertullian (160–220 AD) recognised the love expressed in suffering in Christian relationships. He imagined pagans looking at Christians and saying, “Look . . .  how they love one another … and how they are ready to die for each other…” And on the same subject Christ even tells us that “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35

If we understood and imitated Christ’s sacrificial love for us within our parish communities – is it possible that any of us could ever be lonely again? We are called brothers and sisters for a reason. But I think perhaps in our modern world of comfort and consolations we have forgotten how to love each other properly. Love and suffering go hand in hand.

Faith has become a solitary pursuit – rarely discussed and often compartmentalized. Suffering has become taboo and is associated with failure. Yet it is the cross that unites us as brothers and sisters, and we come together in church each week to be part of this. The key to this whole issue is here right in front of us. If we personally accepted the sacrificial love that occurred for us individually on the cross, and understood that this is the way to love each other as a community, we would never be lonely again. But many, many Christians, many Catholics do not understand these mysteries – because they have never been taught.

So, my prayer for 2015, and the subject I will be predominantly blogging about is: “Lord, teach me about the Mass.”

I hope you will join me on this voyage of discovery!

“Lord, I am not worthy…”


Remember on Maundy Thursday when Jesus told me “…let people see my relationship with you…”?

Well, I guess I’m gonna tell you a bit about it now. Can you hear the hesitation in my voice? I’m shy about this. Really shy. That is because it is the deepest most personal relationship I have with anyone in my life. Seriously, it would be easier for me to reveal the secrets of what goes on in my bedroom rather than the secrets of what goes on in my heart (not that anything particularly secret goes on in my bedroom – we still have the baby in our room because there is nowhere else to put her!).


Me and my son were at the vigil Mass on Saturday evening. I was having difficulty concentrating and so was he. I was plagued by the thought of something I have been really struggling with recently. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but it is not good. I constantly go to confession about it. I am struggling with it. It makes me feel guilty and rubbish – like I’m the worst person in the world. And I just could not get it out of my brain.

I have never spoken so sincerely as when it came to the words just before communion “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” I know I’m not worthy. I really know it – especially at the moment, with this particular struggle I’m having. It seems that the closer I get to Christ the more I am acutely aware of my own sinfulness. This is especially a problem when I approach Jesus in Holy Communion. I beg our blessed Mother to help me receive her Son well. I just kept saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me. I know I’m not worthy to approach you.”

Quite often my heart burns while I’m in the line waiting to receive Him, but this time something different happened: Right after I said the “Lord, I am not worthy…” part, I was aware that Jesus was with me. He was all around me, in me and through me. He was everywhere in the Church but alone with me at the same time. I know Him. This is not the first time. My heart burned. He said to me “Don’t think of it as you coming to Me, it’s Me coming to you! I still want you.” He then reminded me of all the times in the Gospels when He invited Himself round to the houses of sinners to eat dinner!

The Eucharist is the same principle: It is not me going to Him, it’s Him coming to me. He desires me. God desires me!

Excuse me while I have trouble processing this information! Of course looking at it theoretically I know that I am made in the image and likeness of God etc, etc, etc. But when He comes to tell you Himself it is quite different. Despite my sinfulness, my struggles and my constant faults and failings, I know I am forgiven and I am loved. OH!!! His mercy breaks me! It BREAKS me! His gentleness totally floors me and His love is there to catch me. I am a tiny baby in His universe sized arms. And He looks at me and smiles, because He delights in me. His desire for me is greater than my desire for Him – if that could even be thought possible? Our endless infinite love affair continues…

So there we go. I said it.


Is Jesus really present in the ‘bread’ and ‘wine’?


Corpus Christi – Year A

Gospel: John 6:51-58 

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”




Fr. Sam Davey…

One day I went into the Church with a Muslim friend. I was showing him the Church and people were coming and going in front of the tabernacle to do various tasks. My friend turned to me and said ‘You know Sam, this is why I could never believe what you believe; that God is present in that gold box at the back of the Church’. I said to him, ‘why not?’, and he turned to me and said ‘because if I believed God was truly present in front of me, I would be crawling on my hands and knees.’

The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is one of the most precious feasts in the life of the Church. It is a gentle reminder of all our saviour has given us. The word Eucharist itself means ‘Thanksgiving’. It is the most incredible gift we have ever been given.

Sadly, at this point in the Churches history, the Eucharist is often taken for granted. Many claim the ‘right’ to it without preparing themselves through confession. The truth is that none of us have the ‘right’ – It is a gift.

Horrifically, the Body and Blood of Christ is often referred to as ‘the bread’ or ‘the wine’. It is the actual Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Each spec, each small particle contains within it the equal dignity and rank of the eternal Godhead, something so precious, countless martyrs and saints have shed their blood for it before us. We can never understand what the Eucharist is fully, but we can express our gratitude and respect in the way we approach and receive this incredible gift.

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Clare Short…

Brant Pitre, in his book ‘Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist’ pointed out that there are only two places in the Bible where the phrase “eat and live forever” occur, in Genesis 3 and in John 6. It had never occurred to me before to look at Genesis 3 to think about the Lord’s Supper. I had never considered any connections there. But in this quote from Derek Kidner we can see the connection:

She (Eve) took … and ate: so simple the act, so hard its undoing. God will taste poverty and death before ‘take and eat’ become verbs of salvation.” –  (Derek Kidner, ‘Genesis’ 73).

What an eye-opener that was!

The very act of eating in the Garden of Eden led the whole human race into sin. But it is also with the act of eating that God invites us back into relationship with Him. Jesus took the bread, gave it to His disciples, and invited them to eat, for “this is My body.”

Eating ushered us into sin, and eating reintroduces us to the fellowship of God.




Thought for the week…

How do I approach and receive  Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?


Dear Jesus,

Help me understand that you are truly present in the Eucharist.

Thank You, I love you Jesus, Amen.


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There is no Room for Opinion in Effective Evangelisation

It’s good to be back! I have had a 3 month vacation from blogging whilst becoming a mother for the 3rd time. Baby is 6 weeks old now and my fingers are starting to itch again for the keyboard!

I have found this 3 month break to be extremely helpful in evaluating my own progress as a Catholic blogger. My aim in blogging is of course to evangelise – that is, to bring Christ to others. Looking back over my early posts I cringe somewhat at the content. I was full of enthusiasm and fire – to the point of seeming aggressive. Even worse I fell into the trap that snares almost all bloggers – I felt my opinion was important!

In hindsight my opinion has only done damage. Who cares about my opinion anyway?! What does it mean? Nothing! My job is to reflect Christ to others. Much of what I have done has reflected myself. From now on my posts are going to be less about me and more about Him.

Opinion can vary, truth on the other hand is absolute. Opinion can be wrong, truth cannot. Opinion is generally used to appease or oppose people. Truth has no agenda. Opinion usually requires lots of text to explain itself, whilst truth can be spelled out in a single sentence or even a single word or even with no words! Opinion causes division, truth unites. Opinion is rooted in human pride, truth comes from God. Opinion detracts from the truth.

During my studies I was introduced for the first time to Papal documents, the Catechism and I began to study Holy Scripture. Discovering these concrete references to the truth was like a breath of fresh air. I now had the chance to understand why the Church teaches what she does on relevant issues to my own life such as marriage, sex, and family. Most ordinary Catholics under the age of 50 have no idea why or even what the official teaching is on these issues. I once even heard of a woman who thought that Human Vitae was a vitamin pill!

My point is that if we have never bothered to study any of these concrete references to the truth, all we have to go on is our own, or someone else’s opinion. This can mislead and even damage people. If what I am learning is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it is never going to entirely satisfy my soul; “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine.

If I am to call myself a successful evangelist then “He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease” – John 3:30. In my attempts at blogging I may advance the gospel, or detract from it – yet it remains far bigger than I am. We must all guard against an inflated sense of self, yes? “He must increase, but I must decrease” is a distillation of a humble heart. Are we pursuing this humility when we promote our own opinion? I think not – but then again, that’s just my opinion! 

Lord, teach me to be humble so I may hear the truth.


Pentecost – Year C

“… Receive the Holy Spirit…”

Gospel: John 20: 19-23

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Gospel Summary

The disciples were once again gathered together, and they were afraid. They had locked the doors. The risen Jesus comes in among them. He shows them the wounds on His hands and His side. They are filled with Joy. Jesus tells them “Receive the Holy Spirit…” and breathes the Spirit onto them.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

How do we allow the Holy Spirit to interact with us every day in our family relationships? Outside of prayer time, are we aware of his loving, gentle presence? We forget that he is with us every day of our ordinary day-to-day lives – even in the most mundane of activities. The sacred, vocational life-giving love of spouses and parents is a sacramental sign of God’s presence and creative action. When two or more are gathered together in Jesus’ name, he is in their midst. Is this not true when spouses, parents and children are gathered together in Jesus’ name?

The Family that Prays together, Stays together!

Think of the normal daily event of meal time. Where is God in this ordinary family activity?  Every family meal has creative, loving, caring, comforting, joyful, patient, kind, generous, emotional and financial supportive elements to it.

Take a few moments before eating this evening to say Grace, and simply thank God for each other: “Dear God, Thank you for Mum and Dad, and… (Name each family member). Please bless our family, Amen”.

  • I recognize the Holy Spirit in our family life when…
  • Our family needs the grace/help of the Holy Spirit because…
  • The Holy Spirit is always present – even in the most mundane of activities!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. 

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.

And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Sixth Sunday of Easter – Year C

“…But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will teach you everything...”

Gospel: John 14:23-29

23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.

Gospel Summary

In this Gospel, Jesus prepared his disciples for his return to God. Jesus promised them that the Holy Spirit would live within them and provide strength and courage. The Spirit would always be available to help them as a counsellor and advocate. Through the Spirit, they would recall the words and teachings of Jesus and even come to understand these things in a way that they could not before. In addition the disciples would receive peace from the Spirit. The peace of the Spirit would be a kind of peace which provided a special inner serenity.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

The Holy Spirit is often the most overlooked person of the Holy Trinity. This is perhaps because it is hard to describe what the Holy Spirit actually is. I have heard it described as ‘God’s power’ and even explained in similar terms as ‘The force’ in Star-wars!

Perhaps the best way to describe the Holy Spirit is ‘God at work in our hearts’. The Holy Spirit enlightens us – not only to the deeper meanings of scripture, but to the simplest parts of our day to day lives. In the light of the Holy Spirit, we can recognise Gods presence in the most mundane of tasks – doing the washing up, taking the dog for a walk, even the school run!

One of the most recognisable fruits of the Holy Spirit is peace. This is something that many people lack today. For us to begin to find this peace in our busy and stressful lives we must first acknowledge that modern life does not lend itself to peacefulness. Pope Francis has recently asked us to reflect on whether we are “slaves to our work…”  This is a very profound question. I suppose we could also ask ourselves whether we are slaves to the TV in the evenings, or the computer? Do we ever give ourselves a moment during the day to sit quietly and recognise where God is working in our lives? When I first began to do this I found it extremely difficult. I was not used to the stillness and the silence and quite often found myself dropping off to sleep! But as I got used to it, it began to dawn on me that this stillness and silence was something that I needed just like food and water. The Holy Spirit doesn’t shout – it whispers to us, and we need to make the time and the space in our lives to stop for a moment and listen.

  • Can I find a moment today to sit quietly with God?
  • Where is God working in my life at the moment?
  • The Holy Spirit doesn’t shout, it whispers.

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me.

Third Sunday of Lent – Year C

“…let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it…”

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8 He replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ “

Gospel Summary

In ancient times, people thought death was the result of sinfulness. The crowds asked Jesus if that was true. He replied that it was not true. The point Jesus did make, however, was that repentance was necessary for everyone. Jesus then gave the people an illustration of a fig tree that had not produced fruit for three years. The vineyard owner wanted the tree cut down, but the gardener promised to agitate and fertilize it for one more year. If, by then, it did not bear fruit, the gardener would cut it down. The main point is that with the correct nurturing, all may come to bear fruit.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

This is one of my favourite parables that Jesus told. The owner of the vineyard is God the Father, the gardener is Jesus and the fig tree is you! It uses the imagery of gardening very effectively to illustrate the fact that well-tended trees (or people) bear more fruit. It also reminds us that we are all sinners, and we must all repent.

Have there been times in your life when you have produced very little fruit? I think we can all admit to that! Have there also been difficult times in your life where you find yourself screaming at God “Why are you doing this to me?!” Well, at time like this you can realise that God is allowing your circumstances to be agitated just like the soil around the fig tree. And if that wasn’t enough, just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse, He goes and heaps a load of manure on your life! C’mon admit it – we’ve all suffered days like this! But the agitation and the manure are vital to the growth of the tree. Do we not learn most from our most difficult times? How else can we grow and mature than to go through unpleasant trials? Of course the end result of the agitation and the manure is a strong healthy tree who is now capable of producing good fruit – something it was unable to do before-hand. Through this simple parable we can begin to grasp the basics of the Christian view that all suffering has meaning and value.

  • How do I respond when God agitates my soil?
  • How do I respond when God heaps manure on my life?!
  • Without these things, how can I bear fruit?

Dear Jesus,

Give me the courage to suffer knowing that ultimately God is in control. If He is allowing me to suffer, there must be a reason – even if I can’t see it now. Help me to take this opportunity to draw closer to you, trust in you, and eventually bear good fruit.

Thank you, I love You Jesus, amen.

Fifth Sunday – Year C

… They caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.”

Gospel: Luke 5: 1-11

1 Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7 So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Gospel Summary

Jesus arrived as Simon-Peter, James and John were finishing for the day. However, He asked Simon-Peter to pull his boat out from the shore so He could teach the crowds. After, He instructed Simon-Peter to throw his nets in for a catch. Simon-Peter doubted this action but obeyed Jesus anyway. The catch was so huge that James and John had to come and help. Simon-Peter recognized that this was a miracle and suddenly became aware of his own sin. But Jesus told them “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

One of the essays I wrote for my studies last year was entitled ‘Why has western society lost its sense of sin?” It focused on the spiritual void that we are now experiencing in Europe and the UK. Secularism has had a massive part to play in this. God has even been written out of the European constitution! But when we fail to recognize holiness, how are we to recognize sin? Right and wrong become this ‘grey area’ in which moral relativism begins to rule: Man takes the place of God and decides for himself what is sin and what is not. Perhaps the saddest thing about this is that we have forgotten that sin is something that harms us.

In this week’s Gospel, Simon-Peter has an overwhelming moment of self-realization. When confronted with the enormous catch of fish, Simon-Peter suddenly becomes aware that Jesus has performed a miracle. But it is perhaps the gift of the miracle that provokes such a reaction of humility from him.

God wants to give us so much. More than we could ever comprehend. God’s generosity is limitless and all we can do is to accept it! Perhaps a way to understand this is to remember a time someone bought you a lovely present you really weren’t expecting. At that moment we feel often feel overwhelmed that this person values us so much. Many times you hear people say “I couldn’t possibly accept this, it’s too much, I don’t deserve it!” Well, Simon-Peter was having a similar reaction – except that his reaction was also a moment of self-realization. Simon-Peter had suddenly become acutely aware of God’s holiness, which consequently made him acutely aware of his own sinfulness. With this new found humility, he is able to leave his old life behind and follow Christ with his whole heart. Perhaps as we begin to think about Lent, we too can take time to humbly comprehend the great gift God has given us – His Son.

  • Can I recognise holiness?
  • Can I recognise sin?
  • God’s generosity, love and mercy know no boundaries.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to become more aware of holiness and sin in my day to day life. Open my eyes to holiness and sin at work, with friends, on TV and in my home. Help me to turn away from sin and to realise there is no need to fear when drawing closer to you.

Thank you, I love You Jesus, amen.

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Second Sunday – Year C

“Do whatever he tells you…”


Gospel: John 2: 1-11

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


Gospel Summary

Mary, Jesus and Hid disciples had been invited to a wedding. During the feast the wine ran out. Anticipating the host’s embarrassment, Mary points this out to Jesus. Jesus replies saying “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” Mary then instructs the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.” Jesus goes on to perform His first public miracle by changing the water into wine.


Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

Why was Jesus reluctant to get involved with the wine issue? And why was Mary so keen that He performs such a miracle? It seems strange that she would ask such a public favour of her Son.

I believe that it was perhaps the bravest thing Mary had done since she agreed to be His mother. We can understand why by listening to Jesus’ reaction “My hour has not yet come…”  Jesus knew that if He began to reveal His glory, people would start to recognize Him as the Messiah. And when He was recognized as the Messiah, He would eventually be put to death. You could say that this miracle was His first public step on the long road to Calvary. Mary must have sensed her Son’s hesitation, and in the most gentle and respectful way she puts Him in a position where He is able to take this first public step. Notice that Mary never requests that Jesus perform the miracle – she simply points out that there is an opportunity to do so. It is His choice.

The gentleness of Mary’s actions here reveals so much about her character. It also reveals how she is able to speak to Jesus on a level that only a Mother can. She too must have known where this first step would lead, but she does not let her own feelings get in the way. She understands who her Son is. She understands His humanity and His divinity, and she understands what it means to be His mother.

  • Jesus and Mary both understand the inevitability of the cross.
  • Mary understands her Son’s humanity and divinity.
  • She speaks to Him as only a mother can.

Dear Mother Mary,

Thank you for your courage and your humility. Everything you do points us towards your son. With your most gentle touch you intercede for us every day. Thank you for being Jesus’ mother, and thank you for being our heavenly mother too. Amen.

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Feast of the Holy Family prayers… (and a happy new year!)

Our whole parish read these beautiful family prayers at mass today – I thought you would enjoy them too! – Oh and by the way, let me be the first to wish you a happy, healthy and holy 2014!

For Married Couples…

Almighty God, You hold all things together by Your power. Bless our marriage union and our love for each other. Look kindly upon us and keep our lives unselfish. Teach us to bring our problems and plans before You, to offer You our joys and sorrows, and so make full use of the grace You promised us on our Wedding Day. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Parents…

Heavenly Father, You have given us our children and You entrust them to our care. Help us to be good parents knowing when to give and when to withhold; when to reprove and when to forbear. Make us gentle, yet firm, considerate and reliable. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Children…

Dear Jesus, You command that we should honour our mother and our father. Give them health of mind and body, and joy in their hearts. Bless their work and all they do. May we not take for granted the daily tasks they do for us, but help them whenever we can. Make our home happy in Your service. Amen.