The Final Word

The Final Word The Final Word

The Final Word

February 2018

I once heard a story of a priest home on holidays in the west of Ireland. At the end of a long summer’s day he was out walking when he was suddenly caught in a cloudburst. Taking shelter under a large tree, it was a few moments before he noticed a very old man also sheltering there. It being Ireland, the visitor engaged in conversation with him on the usual topics—the weather, the local sports scene, etc. After a while the old man fell silent and the priest noticed that he had taken out his Rosary beads and was quietly saying his prayers. Impressed, the priest remarked,...

The Final Word

December 2017

These days we hear a lot of noise from self-appointed ‘prophets of doom’. Some people have great difficulty seeing anything good around them. Yes, it’s very tempting to concentrate on all that can go wrong in our lives and communities. But Advent reminds us that we are also a people of hope. Christ is coming to save us! We wait for him with expectant joy!
 

Archbishop Hart: November is the month of remembrance

November 2017

“They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are.” St John Chrysostom
 
November 1st and November 2nd are the beautiful Catholic feast days of All Saints and All Souls. On the very first day of November, the Church proclaims to us:
 
‘Today by your gift we celebrate the festival of your city, the heavenly Jerusalem, our mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters already gives you eternal praise. Towards her, we eagerly hasten as pilgrims advancing by faith, rejoicing in the glory bestowed upon those exalted members of the Church through whom you give us, in our frailty, both strength and good example.’ (preface from the Solemnity of All Saints)

The Final Word

October 2017

The Church’s special feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary is on 7 October.
 
Many people these days have come to rediscover the importance of prayer and meditation. More and more people of all ages are also coming to see the beauty of praying that wonderful, simple, scripturally based prayer called the Mysteries of the Rosary. It is as if they had discovered something totally new about the Church, about Mary, about Jesus, or about prayer. Young and old alike seem to be equally blessed in this regard.
 
The Rosary is a contemplative prayer that consoles and gives peace for ordinary people struggling with the demands of living the Gospel. Meditation on the mysteries of Jesus also helps us deal with the mysteries that surround our own lives.
 

The Final Word

September 2017

On 21 September, the universal Church celebrates the feast of the evangelist St Matthew.
 
Like many of us, St Matthew was a little bit reluctant to follow Jesus and his demanding call to give up everything.
St Matthew hesitated and just wasn’t quite ready to take the risk!
 
That temptation to indecision is, of course, deep down inside all of us. It is captured wonderfully in the painting The calling of St Matthew by Caravaggio, in the church of St Louis in Rome.
 
In this haunting portrait we see the finger of Jesus pointing at Matthew the tax collector, calling him to a new life.
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