GOOD MORNING … OFFERING

In the Ancient World, sacrifice was essential to religion and a priest was someone who had the right and duty to offer sacrifice. Israel forfeited the office of priesthood after they had sinned by worshiping the Golden Calf in the desert.  After this incident, the priesthood was reserved for the tribe of Levi, whose members had refused to take part in the idolatry.  The Levites were still operating as the Priests in the time of Jesus, offering sacrifices of slaughtered animals, grain, wine and incense.  Supremely important, however, was the first offering of the day.  Once the priests had discerned
Read More

THE CHURCH’S CALENDAR

No-one knows human nature better than the God who created it.  That’s why He fashioned the world to follow certain rhythms. As with our daily secular lives, so too with our Spiritual life.  The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts,  are basic rhythms of the Christian’s life of prayer. They commemorate and communicate the mystery of Christ.  They are an invitation to regular prayer and intended to nourish continual prayer. The sacred calendar coincided with the cosmic rhythms.  The feasts in the Old Testament marked not only sacred and historic events, but also seed-time and harvest.  Jesus
Read More

The Immaculate Conception – Misconception

December 8th, 2017, and  the Church celebrates with great solemnity the feast of the Immaculate Conception. For some time, in the wider populace, this honorable title borne by Our Lady,  has been misconceived and attributed to the conception and birth of Our Lord.  In fact, Jesus’s birth is covered by the Doctrine of Incarnation (the Word made flesh),  while the Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary. The Immaculate Conception, is the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means in the womb of
Read More

Ho Ho Holy Santa Claus

Everything has an  origin, a history, a past.  So too, does the jolly, whiskered gentleman whose character and purpose – rivaled only perhaps by restaurant giant, McDonalds – is the most universally recognised figure in the Western World. However, not only does history have a habit of  “repeating itself”  but also of “changing form” over the course of time, so that the true identity of someone or something can differ from its original form, becoming similar to a “Chinese Whisper” so that the final telling bears scant resemblance to its origin. In the early USA his name was ‘Kris Kringle’ (from the
Read More

A Beginning and an End…

As Advent approaches, we find our thoughts turning towards the annual  preparatory exercises associated with it but we must also recognise that when one door opens, it has usually been preceded by another door closing.  So it is, that the Church has now ‘closed’ another Liturgical Calendar year and is beginning another. While the approach of Christmas can and should bring peace and hope to our hearts and homes,  we must not forget another aspect of Church thought/teaching, which encourages us to reflect upon the Eschatological elements of the season,   about which we should regularly be mindful.  Eschatology is that part of theology
Read More

Water, Water Everywhere

With two thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 75 percent of it, it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth…and beyond. We assume our human form in the amniotic sac (bag of waters) in the womb and in the order of nature, birth begins when a mother’s “water breaks”. Literally, from the dawn of time, this ‘elemental gold’ has been present giving life to all creation.  In Genesis we read…”…and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters…” When
Read More

November – Great, Great and more Great.

We find ourselves just past the halfway point of November and this signals that Advent is not too far away. The very first day of this month, found the Church commemorating and celebrating the Great solemnity of All Saints Day, followed on the 2nd by the Great day of remembrance for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  That was not to be the end of the “Greats” for this liturgically colourful month of the Calendar. On the 9th of November, we remembered the dedication of the Latern Basilica, the Mother of all Churches throughout the world. November 10th, we were introduced
Read More

Temples of Stone and Flesh

Never a dull moment in the Catholic Church, always something exciting happening and something to learn about. Today the Church and the liturgy celebrates the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, called “Mother and head of all the churches of Rome and the world.” In fact, this basilica was the first to be built after Emperor Constantine’s edict, in 313, granting Christians freedom to practice their religion. The basilica’s dedication was celebrated by Pope Sylvester around 324 and was named Most Holy Savior; only after the 6th century were the names of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist
Read More

Keeping Christ in Christmas

CHRISTMAS CARDS The custom of sending Christmas Cards began in the United Kingdom in 1843, by Sir Henry Cole and his artist friend, John Horsley.  Sir Henry assisted in the introduction of the Penny Post in 1840, which made posting more affordable for the ordinary people.  As printing methods improved, cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers.  By 1870, the price of postage improved even more to a lesser amount of a half penny, furthering the popularity of sending Christmas cards to friends and loved ones.   In light of the many secular traditions taking precedence
Read More

Make a Scene this Christmas

CHRISTMAS CRIB “A Child is born to us, a son is given to us” so prophesied Isaiah as he gazed into the future from afar, consoling Israel amid its trials and darkness.   For centuries, the fulfilment of that prophecy has been depicted in homes and Churches around the world, in the Christmas Crib or Nativity scene.   This tradition began in 1223, in the Italian town of Greccio, where Saint Francis of Assisi, with the help of a local landowner, brought into the hearts and minds of the people, that first Christmas night.  He did this in order to
Read More