Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Blessed Chiara Badano

 Source here


O Father, fount of every good,
we give You thanks for  the wonderful
testimony of Blessed Chiara Badano.
Filled with the Holy Spirit
and guided by the radiant light of Jesus,
she believed firmly in Your infinite love,
and wished to return it with all her strength,
surrendering herself in complete trust
to Your paternal will.
We humbly  beseech You
that You may also grant us
the gift to live with You and for You,
and ask You, if it be Your will,
for the grace ...
through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Novena to God’s mercy for the intercession
of Blessed Chiara Badano

O Father of immense goodness, I am grateful for the great gift of faith.
Aware of my imperfections, I beg you to grant me the grace to imitate more closely the examples of your Son Jesus, in accordance with the lives of the Saints .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O God our Father, source of all good, I thank you for loving us immensely to the point of giving us the gift of your Son.
Help me, please, to love you back with all my strength, obeying your will and humbly accepting the provisions of your Providence, according to the example of Blessed Chiara: "If you want it Jesus, so do I".

Holy Father, you so loved humanity that you gave us your Son, who by the sacrifice
of his life has given us the greatest good of salvation.
Grant me the grace to imitate the generosity of his brotherly love, docile to his request: "As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (Jn 13:34).
Make me therefore attentive to the needs and suffering of my neighbours, ready and willing to listen, comfort and help according to my possibilities.

O God, holy and almighty, I am aware of all the imperfections affecting my knowledge and
my abilities, my will and my acts.
I therefore commend myself to your infinite goodness so that you might grant me the grace to obey your commandments and accept the decisions of your Providence, in imitation of the docility of your Son Jesus: "Not my will, but yours be done" (Lk 22:42).

O Father, source of all good, I am humbled by my infidelities. Instead of returning your immense love, I succumbed to the allure of selfishness and pride, the urges
of pleasure, the pressure of bad examples.
Pained by those faults, I turn to your infinite mercy to be forgiven thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice.
Because sincere repentance requires the commitment of conversion, I implore your help in making prayer and habitual union with you more intense and more fervent.

O God of paternal benevolence, you exhort us to listen to your Son, admirable
example of generosity in dedicating plenty of time to dialogue with you.
It is right that I also imitate him in order to thank you for your immense love, to meditate
on your Word, to implore for light and support to fulfill my duties and to intercede for the needs of my brothers: "Lord, teach us to pray " (Luke 11:1).

Father of infinite benevolence, I beseech your grace to learn how to turn often to you
in the course of my days, in order to confide spontaneously my moods to you: thoughts and feelings, intentions and decisions, joys and sorrows.
Teach me to consult you, from time to time, for proper enlightenment on the way forward; teach me to promptly recognize mistakes and faults; to thank you for your love and your gifts.

O Father, fortress of those who hope in you, you have revealed the perfection of your holiness and love, so that I have a firm and unwavering confidence in your faithfulness to promises.
You have given me the assurance that I will not be tried beyond my strength and that, together with Jesus, you will always be with me to support me in any trouble.
I implore, in particular, your grace to hope firmly in eternal life: that full, perennial and happy communion with you.
With your help, therefore, I join the exhortation of Blessed Chiara: "Trust in God!".

O God, source of all good, your Son Jesus asks us to take part in his mission:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations [...] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:19).
I must have at heart the good of every person: therefore, you ask me to help others with my example and words in getting to know Jesus and his teaching, so that I can
accept the gifts of your grace, share your friendship and attain salvation.

In particular, I dare to ask you for a grace that is so close to my heart ..... through the intercession of the Saints and in particular of Blessed Chiara Badano.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Loving the Truth

“Loving the truth isn’t the same thing as arguing about it; when we argue, we are so bent on getting the other person to see our point of view that we hardly mind whether it is true or not; we become advocates. Loving the truth isn’t the same thing as preaching it or writing about it; when we preach it or write about it we are too much concerned with making it clear, with getting it across, to appreciate it in its own nature. Loving the truth isn’t even the same thing as studying it, or meditating about it; when we study it, we are out to master it; when we meditate about it, we are using it as a lever which will help us get a move on with the business of our own souls. No, we have got to love the truth with a jealous, consuming love that can’t rest satisfied until it has won the allegiance of every sane man and woman on God’s earth. And we don’t, very often, love it like that. We are God’s spoiled children; his truth drops into your lap like a ripe fruit—Open thy mouth wide, he says, and I will fill it. There is a sense, you know, in which the false thinkers of today love the truth better than Christians do. Their fancied truth is something they have earned by their own labours, and they appreciate it more than we appreciate the real truth which has dropped into our laps.”

—Ronald A. Knox

From his book “A Retreat for Lay People”.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cuan Mhuire Harbour of Mary


Cuan Mhuire is Ireland’s largest voluntary provider of Rehabilitation Treatment for individuals suffering from addiction and other related issues.  Since its formation in 1966 by Sr. Consilio, Cuan Mhuire has treated over 75,000 people.  Its main objective is the rehabilitation of persons suffering from alcohol, drug and gambling addictions.

At any one time Cuan Mhuire has 600 people in treatment through their nationwide centres in Bruree, Co. Limerick; Farnanes, Co. Cork; Athy, Co. Kildare; Coolarne, Co. Galway and Newry, Co. Down.

Link here


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

" Hanging with the Elephant " by Michael Harding

Really enjoyed this book! Good review by John Boyne here & below:

 There’s a moment in Woody Allen’s film Hannah and Her Sisterswhen Allen’s character, Mickey, feeling in need of spiritual nourishment, approaches a group of Hare Krishnas in Central Park. “I was born Jewish,” he tells them, “but last winter I tried to become a Catholic and it didn’t work for me.”
I was reminded of this scene early in Michael Harding’s wonderful second memoir when the former priest talks to a psychotherapist about needing meaning in his life. “I’ve tried Christianity,” he tells her. “And I’ve tried Buddhism. Neither of them seems to work for me.” But the truth is, it’s not religion he craves; it’s companionship.
Two years ago, when Harding (whose column appears in The Irish Times each Tuesday) published Staring at Lakes, an account of his struggle with depression, it’s unlikely he expected it to turn into an award-winning bestseller. Hanging With the Elephant is a worthy successor, a memoir set over a six-week period when Harding’s wife, an artist in her own right, takes a trip to Poland. From the start he is faced with a conundrum: as much as he values the idea of extended solitude, he worries that, left alone, he might struggle to cope.
Anyone familiar with depression will recognise the mood swings and erratic behaviour that characterise the illness. Low moments are countered by interludes of ebullient happiness, and at all times one is conscious of the famous “black dog” – or, in Harding’s case, his Dracula – lurking at the gate, fangs exposed, waiting to pounce. He explains the condition in a powerful image: “It’s a merciless solitude, like a glass wall surrounding the victim, leaving them alone, even in a noisy street, drenched with their own delusions and tormented by their own personal demons.” So anxious is he about feeling isolated that, the moment “the beloved” has boarded her flight, he decides to enjoy the camaraderie of city life for a couple of days.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Family synod: full text of the mid-term report |

During the prayer vigil held in St Peter’s Square on 4 October 2014 in preparation for the Synod on the family, Pope Francis evoked the centrality of the experience of family in all lives, in a simple and concrete manner: “Evening falls on our assembly. It is the hour at which one willingly returns home to meet at the same table, in the depth of affection, of the good that has been done and received, of the encounters which warm the heart and make it grow, good wine which hastens the unending feast in the days of man. It is also the weightiest hour for one who finds himself face to face with his own loneliness, in the bitter twilight of shattered dreams and broken plans; how many people trudge through the day in the blind alley of resignation, of abandonment, even resentment: in how many homes the wine of joy has been less plentiful, and therefore, also the zest — the very wisdom — for life […]. Let us make our prayer heard for one another this evening, a prayer for all”.
The source of joys and trials, of deep affections and relations – at times wounded – the family is truly a “school of humanity” (“Familia schola quaedam uberioris humanitatis est”, Vatican Council II, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 52), of which we are in great need. Despite the many signs of crisis in the institution of the family in various contexts of the “global village”, the desire for family remains alive, especially among the young, and is at the root of the Church’s need to proclaim tirelessly and with profound conviction the “Gospel of the family” entrusted to her with the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
The Bishop of Rome called upon the Synod of Bishops to reflect upon the situation of the family, decisive and valuable, in its Extraordinary General Assembly of October 2014, a reflection which will then be pursued in greater depth in the Ordinary General Assembly scheduled to take place in October 2015, as well as during the full intervening year between the two synodal events. “The convenire in unum around the Bishop of Rome is already an event of grace, in which episcopal collegiality is made manifest in a path of spiritual and pastoral discernment”: thus Pope Francis described the synodal experience, indicating its tasks in the dual process of listening to the signs of God and the history of mankind and in the resulting dual and unique fidelity. Source & more at link below:

Family synod: full text of the mid-term report |

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pope Saint John XXIII

Just love his "Journal of a Soul" & "Letters to his Family" - my favourite Pope!
ANGELO GIUSEPPE RONCALLI was born in Sotto il Monte, in the Diocese and Province of Bergamo, on 25 November 1881. The
fourth of thirteen children, he was baptized that same day. Under the guidance of an outstanding parish priest, Father Francesco
Rebuzzini, he received a profound ecclesiastical formation which would sustain him in difficulty and inspire him in the works of the apostolate.
He received Confirmation and First Communion in 1889 and entered the Seminary of Bergamo in 1892, where he remained for studies in classics and theology until his second year of theology. As a fourteen-year-old boy, he began drawing up the spiritual notes which he would keep in various ways until his death, and would later be collected in the Journal of a Soul. It was there that he began the practice of regular spiritual direction. On 1 March 1896, the spiritual director of the Seminary of Bergamo, Father Luigi lsacchi, enrolled him in the Secular Franciscan Order, whose Rule he professed on 23 May 1897. Source here

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Our last 4 children were baptised by Fr Gregory Winterton CO and we remember him fondly. The Provost of the Birmingham Oratory writes:
We all know people whom we admired as good and holy when they were with us in this world, but who will probably never be beatified or canonized. The late Fr.Gregory Winterton was one such person. He was an exemplary Oratorian, working hard for God in the spirit of St.Philip, and loving to be unknown. He was a devoted parish priest, and a devoted servant and superior of the Community here.  Read more here

Great post on Blessed John Henry Newman on his Feast Day today here 

A Poem by Blessed John Henry Newman, 1857

St Philip Neri

This is the Saint of gentleness and kindness,
Cheerful in penance, and in precept winning:
Patiently healing of their pride and blindness,
Souls that are sinning.

This is the Saint, who, when the world allures us,
Cries her false wares, and opes her magic coffers,
Points to a better city, and secures us
With richer offers.

Love is his bond, he knows no other fetter,
Asks not our all, but takes whate’er we spare him,
Willing to draw us on from good to better,
As we can bear him.

When he comes near to teach us and to bless us,
Prayer is so sweet, that hours are but a minute;
Mirth is so pure, though freely it possess us,
Sin is not in it.

Thus he conducts, by holy paths and pleasant,
Innocent souls, an sinful souls forgiven,
Towards the bright palace, where our God is present,
Throned in high heaven.

(The Oratory, 1857)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Catholic in Brooklyn: My Candidate for Patron Saint of Bloggers: St. Th...

Just can't improve on this:

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
3. Avoid curiosity.
4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
8. Give in to the will of others.
9. Accept insults and injuries.
10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone. (Blessed Mother Teresa)

Catholic in Brooklyn: My Candidate for Patron Saint of Bloggers: St. Th...: Credit: The only way to advance rapidly in the path of love is to remain always very little. That is what I di...