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Saturday, April 25, 2015
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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 19  April 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19 April 2015

Do you sometimes wonder if we don't make faith a bit too difficult for ourselves? I do! It's amazing how often I seem to get caught up in making detailed explanations of the scriptures or some slightly complicated aspect of church teaching. I know that doctrine is important, don't get me wrong, As a theologian I am very aware of the many years I have spent studying and learning the things of God in order to help both students and my parishioners get a grip on their faith. What we need are theologians of deep practical faith who can talk about these things as Jesus did, in simple ways that carry the weight of great knowledge.

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Pope Francis: We must speak openly, frankly, about our faith
Pope Francis: We must speak openly, frankly, about our faith

At morning Mass today in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said the Church is a place of "openness" where people should be able to speak frankly. Only the Holy Spirit is able to change our attitude, the story of our lives, and to give us courage - just as the Apostles were inspired by Christ's Resurrection, he said. "We cannot keep silent over] what we have seen and heard," Pope Francis said in his homily, reflecting on the day's First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles The Pontiff recalled that Peter and John, having performed a miracle, had been jailed and threatened by

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 Pope Francis: homily for Divine Mercy Vespers
Pope Francis: homily for Divine Mercy Vespers

Pope Francis presided over First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday on Saturday evening, during which he also delivered the homily. Below, please find the official English translation of the Holy Father's prepared remarks. Dear Brothers and Sisters, The greeting of the Risen Christ to his disciples on the evening of Easter, "Peace be with you!" (Jn 20:19), continues to resound in us all. Peace, especially during this Easter season, remains the desire of so many people who suffer unprecedented violence of discrimination and death simply because they bear the name "Christian".

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 12 April 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12 April 2015

As one of the unfortunates struck down by this present bout of 'flu, I've had an interesting time during this week of Easter joy, for a start I've been so out of it joy hasn't been on the horizon, I've felt too rotten to even care. I'm not alone there are plenty of others suffering as well, but I've also had the kindnesses of neighbours and relatives who brought me soup, checked up that I was ok and in bed and generally looked after my basic needs when I couldn't, much like those early Christians in Acts 4 where the community had a common heart and mind, looking out for each other!

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Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday

This coming Sunday, 12 April, the first Sunday after Easter, was designated by Saint John Paul II as Divine Mercy Sunday, on 30 April 2000, the day St Faustina was canonised. Many prayer events will be taking place around the world. In London, Divine Mercy devotions will be celebrated at St Dominic's Priory, Haverstock Hill from 2-4pm with Mass at 3.30pm. For more information about the Divine Mercy devotion, the story of its founder St Faustina, films and audio

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Text: Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil

Tonight is a night of vigil. The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf. Ps 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom. The Lord is keeping watch and, by the power of his love, he is bringing his people through the Red Sea. He is also bringing Jesus through the abyss of death and the netherworld. This was a night of vigil for the disciples of Jesus, a night of sadness and fear. The men remained locked in the Upper Room. Yet, the women went to the tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint Jesus' body.

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Easter Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Easter Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

Christ is Risen: He is Risen Indeed! The media seems to delight in grubbing up odd stories that poke fun at the Christian festival of Easter, we've had the usual run of 'Eostre' stories, how it's really a pagan festival celebrating the goddess and so on and so forth! There was even an article in one of last weekend's supplements written by a young woman who had given up her evangelical Christian faith, the main idea being that she had rejected celebrating and honouring somebody who had been dead for over 2,000 years in order to have relationships with the living. These sort of articles would be risible except for the fact that some people take them seriously.

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Holy Saturday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Holy Saturday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

He descended into Hell.... For some reason this Holy Week has been one of internal struggle for me, not feeling too good hasn't helped. However in compensation new challenges have come into my thoughts which otherwise I may not have dwelt on. Take Holy Saturday for instance, a day which should have no structured sacramental activity except in extremis. A day when those words, 'he descended into Hell' play in the background of my faith as perhaps an uneasy discordant tune! It should be a day of absence, of waiting to see what will happen, but I often clutter it up with

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Ireland: Bishop McDaid at Chrism Mass calls  parishes to work together  to shape future
Ireland: Bishop McDaid at Chrism Mass calls parishes to work together to shape future

In his homily today, at the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass at Saint Macartan's Cathedral, Monaghan, Bishop Liam MacDaid invited parishes to work together in shaping the future. He told them: "Some years down the road the question will no longer be whether we have a local priest but whether we have active Christian communities witnessing to and passing on the message of Jesus." Bishop Liam MacDaid invited the priests and lay people of the Diocese of Clogher to look outside the traditional understanding of parish in order to put in place the formation, and structure, required to enable

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Lancaster: Bishop Campbell's Chrism Mass Homily
Lancaster: Bishop Campbell's Chrism Mass Homily

Bishop Michael Campbell gave the following homily during the Chrism Mass at St Peter's Cathedral on 2 April 2015. My dear brother priests, we gather today for this Chrism Mass to give thanks to God for the gift of the ministerial priesthood to his Church in which we share, and also to bless the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens, and the oil of chrism with which in Christ's name you will anoint his faithful people, especially in baptism and in the sacrament of the sick. As the Father anointed his Son with the Holy Spirit and sent him into the world, you also have been anointed with the same

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Fr Shay Cullen: Holy Week Reflection - Love that can change the world
Fr Shay Cullen: Holy Week Reflection - Love that can change the world

What brought about the shameful torture, humiliation and excruciating execution, as a criminal on a Roman cross is what we need to ask and answer everyday not just during Holy Week. Hundreds of thousands of true Christians around the world suffer persecution, torture and death these days because they are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and put into practice his spiritual values that give meaning to life itself. Why is there such opposition to a message, a way of life that espouses; love of the outcast, freedom, human rights and dignity, equality and the defence of children and a better life

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Shrewsbury: Chrism Mass homily of Bishop Mark Davies
Shrewsbury: Chrism Mass homily of Bishop Mark Davies

In February this year this church of St. Columba was filled with couples celebrating Christian Marriage: 2,495 years of married life in anniversaries alone. After Mass I asked one couple how many years of married life they were celebrating and they repeated a phrase that I often heard from adults in my childhood but we rarely hear today: "but for the grace of God" they said. Acknowledging that their long and faithful marriage was not their achievement but what the grace of God had made possible for them. And this is surely more than a pious expression but a clear and sober statement of the reality of

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Pope Francis on Palm Sunday
Pope Francis on Palm Sunday

Pope Francis delivered the homily at the Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter's Square today, the beginning of Holy Week, 2015. The official English translation follows: At the heart of this celebration, which seems so festive, are the words we heard in the hymn of the Letter to the Philippians: "He humbled himself" (2:8). Jesus' humiliation. These words show us God's way and the way of Christians: it is humility. A way which constantly amazes and disturbs us: we will never get used to a humble God! Humility is above all God's way: God humbles himself to walk with his people, to put up with their infidelity.

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Palm Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Palm Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

Though we like to perceive the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey as moment of 'humble access', it wouldn't have been without precedent. There was a regional custom that called upon nobles and rulers to enter Jerusalem in procession riding on the back of a donkey and animal that was a symbol of peace and good intentions rather than the horses of warrior and conqueror. The palm fronds strewn before him were a traditional way of welcoming a King and carried all kinds of meaning from victory to eternal life.

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Reflection on Archbishop Romero: The Martyr's Progress
Reflection on Archbishop Romero: The Martyr's Progress

Thirty-five years ago this week, on March 24th 1980, a great, holy man was martyred. Oscar Romero, the Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador, was shot by agents of a right wing death squad while celebrating mass in a hospital chapel. On May 23rd this year he will be formally beatified. A cautious, quite conservative bishop when he was appointed to the largest diocese in El Salvador in February 1977, Romero had always spoken about Catholic Social Teaching and the need for justice, albeit vaguely - some might call it diplomatic, others simply timid or appeasing.

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Live Webcast: Holy Week Retreat Talks with Fr Laurence Freeman
Live Webcast: Holy Week Retreat Talks with Fr Laurence Freeman

Once again, all the retreat talks given by Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, during this year's Holy Week Retreat on Bere Island, County Cork, Ireland from Palm Sunday 29 March to Easter Sunday, 5 April, will be made available on webcast by the World Community for Christian Meditation. The free subscription will allow you to get notified on upcoming webcast and other news about the retreat.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons  - 22 March 2015
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 22 March 2015

I've always had a rebellious streak in me, obedience was never an easy vow. I've found that authority figures don't always act in one's best interest despite what they say. So for me issues of justice and truth are never far from my dealings with people. Sometimes I've been too impulsive, like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but there are other moments when the world is a troubling place and I can only respond by standing with people, even if it means misunderstanding from others! I see Jesus as one who made that type of decision so often, done with deep compassion. To follow him means that I too, like all disciples of Jesus, need to open my heart to God with my own loud cries and tears!

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Watch: St Patrick's Breastplate
Watch: St Patrick's Breastplate

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! See As I Arise Today - a beautiful visual reflection from the Salesians - with words from Saint Patrick's Breastplate.

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Fourth Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Fourth Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

If you were asked the question, 'do you live by the light of truth?', I hope (as no doubt you do) that the answer would be a resounding 'yes!' But the evidence from our media is that plenty of others prefer darkness to light, and as this Sunday's gospel points out, prefer to hide from the light of truth in case their actions should be exposed. Each and every day tales of atrocities done to life, human and animal, greedy and wanton violation of earth's resources at the expense of others fill the pages of our papers and the screens of our TVs.

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Reflections of a Different Lent - Fr Robin Gibbons
Reflections of a Different Lent - Fr Robin Gibbons

I am sharing different Lenten insights with you from our Eastern sisters and brothers, but one thing strikes me as essential, that no matter what church we belong to, we see Lent as a journey together in prayers and faith, where all our differences cease to matter because we all belong to the Christian family. Whilst we have the luxury to live out our observance in relative comfort, many of my own Church as well as so many Eastern Christians are not only observing a harsh Lent but a daily Via Dolorosa, a real Way of the Cross!

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Third Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Third Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

I'm glad I had a monastic training, even though I am now a Melkite priest, the Rule of Benedict still helps me work out the checks and balances of my life both personally and as a priest and academic. It points me at the gospel working in life and reminds me that I am still a 'monos', a seeker of God, who must 'put nothing before the love of Christ!' (RSB 4.)* That's why the reading from Exodus 20 means a lot to me, especially the first three commandments about God. Jesus in the New Testament adds that wonderful touch by reminding us

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Second Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Second Sunday in Lent - Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

I have a big problem with the story of Abraham’s sacrifice on Mount Moriah, and I know I am not alone. Richard Dawkins for one calls it a ‘disgraceful story’ with overtones of abuse. Soren Kierkegaard in his work ‘Fear and Trembling’ tackles the tale by imagining four ways in which Abraham experiences the event, including the kind of perpetual trauma and unease he would have about his understanding of God forever after, and what about poor Isaac? But even Kierkegaard does not understand Abraham, he says he can only admire him!

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Fr Robin Gibbons: Reflections on a different Lent
Fr Robin Gibbons: Reflections on a different Lent

Sometimes it is good that we move out of the confines of our own tradition and discover what other Christians do. This is particularly important in seasons such as Lent because it might help us sharpen up our own attitudes. Because our Middle Eastern communities are now participating in a Lent that makes them real sharers of the sufferings of Christ, I felt that we could learn a little more about their customs and spiritual tradition to help us reflect on Lent. These are our sisters and brothers, part of the great Church of Christ, suffering for their belief in Jesus, modern confessors of the faith!

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Stations of the Cross from the Maronite Archbishop of Syria
Stations of the Cross from the Maronite Archbishop of Syria

This Lent, Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, has sent us Meditations on the Stations of the Cross in his capacity as Episcopal Shepherd of the Syrian Commission for the Family. They are deeply moving and I hope that you will appreciate them and encourage the Parishes to pray them in solidarity with the Persecuted Church. Syria has now entered a 5th year of continuous war .. there is nothing more to say .. and in presenting us with the Stations of the Cross the Archbishop of Damascus.

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Ignatian reflections for Lent on the environment
Ignatian reflections for Lent on the environment

Later this year, Pope Francis will release a much anticipated encyclical on care for creation. In preparation for the encyclical and Easter, the Ignatian Solidarity Network are offering a Lenten reflection series. Authors from around the world have written short reflections from their experiences of caring for creation and the day’s readings. These daily reflections examine our faith and how we practice environmental stewardship. Writers for the first five days were: John Shea, SJ, Brian O'Donnell, SJ, Kathy O’Keefe, Garrett Gundlach, SJ and 

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 448
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