The Final Word

Strengthen you brothers: the ministry of Peter

Strengthen you brothers: the ministry of Peter

Volume 18, Issue 11 Each year, on the 29th of June, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul. The Gospels for this day focus on the ministry of Peter. At the Vigil Mass we read about Peter’s great commission from the Lord from the Gospel of St John: “Feed my sheep.” (Jn 21:16) At the Mass for the day, we read the famous promise of our Lord to Peter from the Gospel of St Matthew: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Mt 16:18)Of course, as Catholics, we are well aware that this commission and promise applied not only to Peter himself, but to his...

Participating in the Eucharist

ImageVolume 18, Issue 10

Of all the things taught by the Second Vatican Council about the Eucharist, perhaps the two most often remembered are that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit’ of the Church’s mission and that there should be a ‘full, conscious and active participation’ by the laity in the celebration of the liturgy.

Ever since the Council, this second statement about the ‘active’ participation of the laity in the Eucharist has been repeatedly misinterpreted. There has been a huge change in our culture, so that the visible has come to be valued over the invisible, and activity has been prized above restfulness and silence. ‘Active participation’ used to suggest outward busy-ness rather than an interior reality expressed with heart and voice focused on the profound mystery of our meeting with our God.

The Holy Spirit and the Eucharist

ImageVolume 18, Issue 9

The occasion of the annual feast of Pentecost gives me the opportunity in this, the third part of my reflection upon Pope Benedict XVI’s Post-Synodal Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, to reflect upon the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist.

    1. The Holy Spirit Guides the Development of the Liturgy
There have been many changes in the 40 years since the Second Vatican Council to the way in which the Mass is celebrated in the Catholic Church. Where the liturgical norms have been faithfully observed (the phrase the
Holy Father favours is “with docility!”) these changes have been enriching for the life of the Church and have borne great fruit.


Wedding banquet of the Lamb

ImageVolume 18, Issue 8

Aspects of Sacramentum Caritatis: Part two of a four-part series

The institution of marriage is both universal and ancient. But just as ancient and universal is the institution of the wedding feast. Wherever marriages are celebrated, it has always been done in the context of a meal characterised by exceptional joy and extravagance. In many cultures the feast can include entire communities and last for days on end. Our modern western marriage customs are comparatively subdued in this respect.

Beauty visible in truth and love

ImageVolume 18, Issue 7

In October 2005 in Rome, the Synod on the Eucharist completed the ‘Year of the Eucharist.’ At its close, the 256 participating bishops presented Pope Benedict with 50 ‘propositions’ that arose out of their discussions. This year, on March 13, Pope Benedict XVI released his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis (‘The Sacrament of Love’).