Prayer

Praying for Vocations to Religious life

The following  homily of Pope Francis from the Vatican News website us very interesting regarding praying for vocations to religious life and priesthood – the Pope says that Jesus continues to call young people but unless we empty our hearts we cannot hear and respond to His call. In his homily on Monday morning, 3 March, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel from St. Mark (10:17-27), in which the evangelist recounts Jesus’ calling of the rich young man. “It is a story we have heard many times”, Pope Francis said. The man ran up to Jesus “and knelt before him”. And he does so “before a great crowd”, because “he greatly desired to hear Jesus’ words” and “something in his heart was prompting him”. Thus, “kneeling before him”, he asks him what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. “It was the Holy Spirit” who was moving the heart of this man, the Pope said. Indeed, he was “a good man, for he observed the commandments from his youth”. However, “for him, being good did not suffice: he wanted more! The Holy Spirit was urging him on”. “Jesus fixed his gaze upon him, happy to hear these things”, the Pope said. So much so that “the Gospel tells us that he loved him”. Therefore, “Jesus also sensed his enthusiasm. And this is what he proposed: sell what you have and come with me to preach the Gospel!”. However, the evangelist tells us that “at that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful”.This good man “had come with hope and with joy to see Jesus; he asked his question; he listened to Jesus’ words; and he made his decision: to go away”. Thus […]

Dare to Believe?

Inspiration …Next Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew speaks about ‘your virtue’ going ‘deeper than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.’  This is prompted a very interesting reflection just a while ago, as Sisters in our Community shared a little, the words of this Gospel with which they have been praying during this week.You will remember that in Luke’s Gospel, when the sisters Martha and Mary welcomed the Lord to their home, Mary sat at his feet and listened to Him (cf Lk 10:38-42).Well, the connection in my head and in my reflection was that Jesus is our virtue – God is our virtue.  We believe and we know that the source of all goodness is in God … in fact is God working in us, with our free desire to be and to do good.  We are not by any means puppets or marionettes!  But the thought that came to me was simply that Goodness, and consequently virtue and wisdom, along with all that we associate with God … is a Person: is personified in God Himself.How amazing!  Jesus, then, is telling us that He is our virtue and more .. He who is God wants us to possess this virtue – to possess Him.  Almost as though He would like to be a marionette for us, ‘our puppet.’  He wants to dwell very deeply within us, within YOU … you are as essential as that to Him.   Why?LOVE.  The love of the Lord is utterly mind-boggling, that He would make Himself small enough to fit inside us.  It is a very amazing gift to have been called like Mary, to sit at His feet and listen to Him.  And when we listen, sometimes what we hear […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

The Rosary – our Dominican heritage

As October draws to a close it seems fitting to call to mind once again the powerful gift entrusted to us in the Holy Rosary, this extraordinary Gospel prayer in which is so beautifully intertwined our Contemplative gaze on God and our Apostolic outreach to the world and its needs.One of the most appealing aspects of the Rosary is its versatility. It is truly a prayer for all seasons of life, all stages of growth, all moods and humours.Through it we can be brought into wrapt attention, lost in God, as the rhythmic cadence of the repetitive Hail Mary stills our bodies, quietens our minds and brings us into the depths of our own being where God simply isand we are simply present with Him.There are other times when the mysteries themselves hold our attention, coming alive for us. These are times of great reflective fruitfulness when new insights into God and his ways light up our path and renew our enthusiasm for God and the things of God, making it possible for the Word to become flesh in us.Then there are the days when we feel lost and lonely, anguished and confused and the Rosary becomes our lifeline. We don’t know how to pray .We are too agitated and distressed to quieten down but by picking up the beads and just vocally repeating the prayers we are expressing with our bodies our desire to be one with Jesus in His Sufferings. At these times we are perhaps most truly Mary’s children, sick wounded hurting, fearful for ourselves or for others, but holding on to mammy’s hand and leaving it to her to explain to Jesus the Divine Physician  of our bodies minds and […]

By |November 1st, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments

In Praise of the Riches of Autumn

 The world is charged with the glory of God – so wrote the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins – glory to Him for all the beauty of creation.For simple things that we take so much for granted – water supply and food and air, for lions and tigers and grass-hoppers alike – spiders and peacocks and swallows “on the run”.For giving us food from the soil, brown bread from an ear of corn and wine from the vine to keep us cheerful.Now in these autumn days we thank you Father for the berries in black-berry bushes and fruits and hazel-nuts – for the beauty of autumn colours with their variety of hues of soft browns and golden yellow orange tints – bright reds to catch the little birds eye.  Praise to you too for those glorious sunrises and sunsets that artists and poets never tire of proclaiming by word or brush.The eye marvels at all the richness, our minds are stilled and amazed as after the summer heat falls the reviving dew.  Eccl.43“Harvester God, as the Autumn suns ripen the grain – Ripen our souls too.As the brown leaves fall and the sheaves of corn are stored away, help us to leave behind the cares of Summer and go forward with deepening compassion and trust” – Sr.Marie O.S.U.“The heavens and the earth are indeed telling of the glory of God, and all creation is singing for joy – -Come, come dance through the leaves that scatter our pathsand sing, sing to the glory of God”.“cf. Canticle of the Sun’’ Marty Haugen

By |October 2nd, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments
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    15th August 2013 – Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary – Consecration of Ireland to the Immcaculate Heart of Mary –

15th August 2013 – Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary – Consecration of Ireland to the Immcaculate Heart of Mary –

Today at Knock Shrine Cardinal Sean Brady together with co-adjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Charles Brown – the Papal Nuncio  and the Bishops of Ireland will consecrate Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We pray that this entrusting of our country to Mary our Mother will bear abundant fruit in holiness of life in our people.  At our Eucharist this morning we, in solidarity with the Bishops, prayed the act of consecration entrusting ourselves, our community, our Church and our country to Mary’s hands. Act of ConsecrationMost Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Refuge of Sinners, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, our family, our home and our Dioceses to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart. As your children, we promise to follow your example in our lives by doing at all times the will of God. O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation. Intercede for us with the Holy Spirit that we may be always faithful to your Divine Son, to his Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, and to the teachings of his Vicar on earth, our Holy Father the Pope. Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother, we promise to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the welfare of the family. Watch over our minds and hearts and preserve our youth from dangers to the faith and the many temptations that threaten them in the world today. We ask you, Mary our Advocate,  to intercede with your divine Son. Obtain for our country the grace to uphold the uniqueness of every human life, […]

By |August 15th, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments

St Dominic’s Prayer for Others

A Reflection on St Dominic’s Prayer and concern for others. All of the accounts of St Dominic’s  life speak of his great passion for the salvation of others. A passion that found expression both in his preaching and in his prayers. This was something that impressed me when I was discerning my vocation – the energy and fervency of his prayer for the conversion of sinners. His frequent cry “what will become of sinners?”  This links into what I read in St Catherine of Siena’s “Dialogue”: when God the Father tells her that it is the love and desire with which she offers her prayers, penance and actions that is most important since only love is infinite. The main purpose of my life here is to offer worship to God and to pray for those who need our prayers. But looking at St Dominic’s life I see ever more clearly that my prayer must be passionate. To use a modern expresssion, I must be engaged by what I am praying for. I must know in my own heart the tragedy of those who turn from God and have that knowledge, that awareness, fuel my prayer. So that my prayer, like Dominic’s, will be earnest and fervent and will bear fruit for others.

Novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic

 Today we being the novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic – before Vespers each evening for the coming nine days we have a short reflection followed by the singing of the ‘O Spem’ – a prayer reminding St Dominic of his promise that he would be more helpful to his brothers and sisters after his death than when he was alive.  Readers of this blog might like to join us in praying to St Dominic during these days:O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, that after your decease you would be helpful to your brethren.Fulfil Father what you have said and help us by your prayersYou shone on the bodies of the sick by so many miracles, bring us the help of Christ to heal our sick souls.Fulfil Father what you have said and  help us by  your prayers.

Choose Life Prayer

Choose Life: Prayer for the Child in the Womb Lord Jesus, you are the source and lover of life. Reawaken in us respect for every human life. Help us to see in each child the marvellous work of our Creator. Open our hearts to welcome every child as a unique and wonderful gift. Guide the work of doctors, nurses and midwives. May the life of a mother and her baby in the womb be equally cherished and respected. Help those who make our laws to uphold the uniqueness and sacredness of every human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death. Give us wisdom and generosity to build a society that cares for all. Together with Mary, your Mother, in whose womb you took on our human nature, Help us to choose life in every decision we take. We ask this in the joyful hope of eternal life with you, and in the communion of the Blessed Trinity. Amen. Our Lady of Knock, pray for us. All the Saints of Ireland, pray for us.

Corpus Christi – 2013

Corpus Christi, (Year C) ‘Jesus made the crowds welcome …… we are in a lonely place here.’ (Lk (:11-17) It seems strange to put those words together: to speak of welcome and loneliness almost in the same breath.  JESUS in the midst of it all.  And so, what can it mean?Loneliness is a peculiar ‘friend’ – always somewhere on the horizon and sometimes much more nearly present to us.  When  we are small we can be too busy learning and growing to be conscious of it.  But then life begins to settle down … into ‘maturity’ and we discover that we are a mystery to ourselves; that we misunderstand and are in turn misunderstood, and thus we are exposed to this loneliness – never far away and often too too close to bear.JESUS.  Yesterday was the feast of the Body and Blood of JESUS.  The Feast of thanksgiving to our bounteous Father and His co-eternal Son, for leaving us this gift.  Strange that it should call to mind welcome and loneliness.  JESUS gives Himself to us in a lonely place.  He welcomes us here to loneliness.  Seems strange … what is it that He wants us to see?In St Matthew’s Gospel, while on the Cross, we read that JESUS ‘yielded up his spirit:’ in the loneliness of the Cross, having surrendered everything to the Father in love, He even had to give up, surrender His very breath, the Holy Spirit – so that it might be ours.We are never alone.  Loneliness after all is a divine gift that we are invited to welcome.  What happens when we cannot?  It seems as though the consequences are potentially destructive.  By denying or trying to run away […]

Pentecost Sunday – 2013

In the Gospel for Pentecost Sunday, we hear the words “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name” – I would like to share an extract from a recent homily of Pope Francis on praying in the name of Jesus – and as it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can do that, it is surely applicable to this great Feast.  The quotation is taken from last week’s L’Osservatore Romano:‘Jesus’ wounds are still open on this earth.  If we are to recognise them we must come out of ourselves and reach out to our needy brothers and sisters, to the sick, the ignorant, the poor and the exploited.  Pope Francis pointed this “exodus” out in his homily at Mass on Saturday morning, 11th May, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.“It means coming out of ourselves”, made possible by prayer, “to the Father in the name of Jesus”.The prayer that “bores us” is always within us, like a thought that comes and goes, but true prayer is…coming out of ourselves made “with the intercession of Jesus, who shows his wounds to the Father”.But how can we recognise Jesus’ wounds?  How can we trust in them if we cannot identify them?  The Pope was explicit: “Unless we can come out of ourselves towards those wounds, we shall never learn the freedom that brings us to the other way out of ourselves, through the wounds of Jesus”.Hence the Holy Father’s image of the two “ways out of ourselves”.  The first is “towards the wounds of Jesus, the other is towards the wounds of our brothers and sisters.  And this is the path that Jesus wants us […]