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Sunday, September 25, 2016
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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - September 25th 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - September 25th 2016

We don't have to travel very far to see the contrasts of poverty and excessive luxury, its all around us especially in the urban areas and cities of our world. In London for instance, just underneath the recently built and grotesquely expensive Hyde Park flats (some unoccupied because their rich owners use them as investments) the poor can be found. In the underpasses or on the grassy spaces they lie, homes of cardboard and ragged sleeping bags. Some are transient, wandering from place to place, others have fallen between the cracks of society to

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Pope Francis speaks on difference between 'good' and 'bad' anxiety
Pope Francis speaks on difference between 'good' and 'bad' anxiety

Pope Francis contrasted the anxiety that comes from the Holy Spirit and the anxiety that comes from a bad conscience during his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta on Thursday he also spoke about vanity, which "masks" life, making it look like something it is not. The Gospel of the day describes King Herod (Antipas) as being perplexed or anxious because, after having John the Baptist killed, he now felt threatened by Jesus. He was worried just as his father, Herod the Great, was troubled after the visit of the Magi.

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Fr Tom Grufferty reflects on Thirst for Peace in Assisi
Fr Tom Grufferty reflects on Thirst for Peace in Assisi

I was in Assisi yesterday when many international religious leaders gathered for what is called 'Thirst for peace' - the World Day of Prayers for Peace. Pope Francis arrived amid great excitement by helicopter. ‏He was the host for the day as well as the Franciscans of the Sanctuary of St Francis. The pioneering work for this need to pray for peace was begun by St John Paul 11 thirty years ago. On that occasion the gathering was new and captured the headlines. For the second time in as many months Pope Francis has visited the special home of the

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Text: Cardinal Nichols at International Mass, Westminster Cathedral
Text: Cardinal Nichols at International Mass, Westminster Cathedral

‏The Scriptures we have heard this evening are very down to earth. The first reading is all about a corrupt economy. Some would say that all economies are at risk of corruption because exploitation can play such a role in financial success. But that contention is not the point of this reading. Rather we learn here that no corruption will be overlooked. The Lord tells us: 'Never will I forget a single thing you have done!' The Gospel reading is a tale of rogues. The steward is a crafty rogue. He has been found out so he goes and falsifies the debts of all who owe his

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 18th September 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 18th September 2016

I imagine every one of us has faced the challenge of being asked to tell the truth in a situation that is both complex and difficult. It may be that speaking the whole truth about a situation will destroy reputations and lives. I'm not being fanciful, just think what happens when we discover people haven't been honest in their dealings with others, leading double lives perhaps? Suddenly a world that seemed happy and normal collapses! At that point, when we know something and realize we are being called to bear witness, what do we do? The old adage

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Westminster: Homily by Canon Pat Browne at Mass of Thanksgiving for Canonisation of Mother Teresa
Westminster: Homily by Canon Pat Browne at Mass of Thanksgiving for Canonisation of Mother Teresa

Canon Pat Browne gave the following Homily at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonisation of Mother Teresa at Westminster Cathedral on Friday, 16th September 2016. The full text follows: What is a saint? It's a question I've often asked myself. As a child I found the ones I read about attractive. These heroes of our faith. David in the Old Testament confronting the giant Goliath. Peter in the New Testament losing his courage, finding it again through the patience and mercy Jesus showed him and leading the church into the future.

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 Pope Francis: Take refuge under the mantle of the Mother of God
Pope Francis: Take refuge under the mantle of the Mother of God

In a world that suffers the crisis of "a great orphanhood," we have a Mother that accompanies and defends us - that was That was the message of Pope Francis during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Pope Francis said: "The Gospel of the day brings us to Calvary. All the disciples had fled, except for St John and a few women. At the foot of the Cross is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Everyone is looking at her, saying: 'That's the mother of this delinquent! That is the mother of this subversive!'

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Pope Francis: Don't be afraid in times of discouragement
Pope Francis: Don't be afraid in times of discouragement

Don't be afraid in times of discouragement, poverty or difficulty because we can rely on God and He will provide solace, Pope Francis told pilgrims in St Peter's Square during the General Audience on Wednesday. Reflecting on the Gospel passage by Matthew in which Jesus says: "Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest." Pope Francis said: "We hear the Lord calling the discouraged, the poor and the little ones to himself, and telling them they can always rely on God."

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbon - 11 September 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbon - 11 September 2016

For those of us who saw it on television as it happened, or who might have been close to the Twin Towers in Manhattan on September 11th 2001, this day will forever be a day etched into memory! Yet, in the midst of the horror and pain still present in people's lives, the aftermath of that day has been remarkable in other ways. From it flowed creativity and compassion, forgiveness and love, poems and writings, stories and images, all part of the human capacity to find meaning in a place of no meaning, to bring forth from chaos something

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Pope Francis: Conferences won't achieve peace if hearts are at war
Pope Francis: Conferences won't achieve peace if hearts are at war

In the first daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta after the summer break, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of working for peace in small, daily actions, because, he said, it is in small daily gestures that peace on a global scale is born. It is not so much great international meetings that produce peace, he said. Rather, peace is a gift from God which is born in small places: in the heart, for instance; or in a dream, as happened to St Joseph when the angel told him not to fear to take Mary as his wife, because she would give

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Text:  Homily by Pope Francis for Canonization of Mother Teresa
Text: Homily by Pope Francis for Canonization of Mother Teresa

Pope Francis has celebrated the Rite of Canonization for Mother Teresa of Calcutta, at a Solemn Mass offered in St Peter's Square this morning. During his homily, the Holy Father said: "Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded." To the many volunteers in Rome for the Jubilee for Volunteers and Workers of Mercy, Pope Francis offered St Teresa of Calcutta as a "model of holiness."

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 4 September 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 4 September 2016

Once upon a time my holidays had a different quality, they allowed a rest and detachment from everyday life, but foolishly I take my mobile phone with me, which means that decisions and questions from work and church keep intruding, eating into what should have been a time of respite. It's my own fault, but it's also the way we have allowed the media easy and frequent access into our intimate lives. Is this a good thing? I'm not at all sure, but I have decided to restrict my use of phone, emails and media a lot more after the intrusions of this summer!

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Pope Francis: Christ offers salvation not rejection
Pope Francis: Christ offers salvation not rejection

During his General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square yesterday, Pope Francis spoke about how faith in Christ brings salvation. At the heart of his catechesis was the salvation of Christ to those who are rejected by men. The Holy Father was reflecting on the account in the Gospel of St Matthew in which Jesus cures the woman suffering from hemorrhages. The Pope said this woman is considered impure according to the law, "but she trusts in Jesus' mercy and saving power to free her from her illness and isolation."

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Pope reflects on need for humility and generosity
Pope reflects on need for humility and generosity

Thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square on Sunday to pray the Angelus with Pope Francis. Before the prayers, the Holy Father reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, from the Gospel of St Luke, in which Jesus dines as the guest of a leading Pharisee, and teaches a hard truth about pride and the Kingdom of God and issues a challenge to all present to focus their thoughts and order their actions to the promise of the Resurrection. As often happens, Jesus taught the Gospel lesson through parables,

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 28th August 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 28th August 2016

Time and time again the teachings of Jesus challenge me deeply! One of the interesting things about our life lived in God's companionship is how often it happens, that when we think we have got to the right place, feel as though something has at last been achieved, another new lesson from life comes along and we learn again! I know that we can half understand that life isn't perfect and half know that whatever we might do is never going to be fully complete, but it can be rather annoying at times!

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 21 August 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 21 August 2016

When I was a child the word discipline was often used both is a constructive and punitive manner. I can still hear somebody saying to me, 'what you need is a bit of discipline!' When I became a novice with the Benedictines the phrase 'follow the discipline of the Rule ' was a common utterance by my novice -master. Strangely I don't remember thinking this odd, it was part and parcel of an older European generation that had known the privation and hardship of two wars and had been forged by adversity. It's unfashionable now to talk about

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Pope: Our communion with Christ impels us to be servants of mercy
Pope: Our communion with Christ impels us to be servants of mercy

The General Audience with the Holy Father was held in the air conditioned Paul VI Hall on Wednesday. Pope Francis reflected on the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, from the Gospel of St Matthew. Jesus' compassion for the people who follow after Him is not a vague sentiment," the Pope said. Jesus "loves us so much, and wants to be close to us." Jesus' concern for the crowd is the impetus for the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Jesus, though, does not act alone, but wishes to involve His disciples in the miracle.

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 Pope: Church doesn't need bureaucrats but passionate missionaries
Pope: Church doesn't need bureaucrats but passionate missionaries

The Church doesn't need bureaucrats, she needs impassioned missionaries with fire in their hearts, Pope Francis told pilgrims in St Peter's Square during the Angelus on Sunday. He warned that without this fire, the Church risked becoming a cold or merely lukewarm Church, made up of cold and lukewarm Christians, and urged his listeners to reflect on their own attitudes. Quoting from Jesus' words where he said: "I have come to bring fire to the earth and how I wish it were blazing already!"

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Text: Homily by Bishop Patrick Lynch at  Mass for 99th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero
Text: Homily by Bishop Patrick Lynch at Mass for 99th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero

About two months ago I attended a meeting in the Diocese of East Anglia about the phenomenon of human slavery in the area around Peterborough, Wisbech and Boston. I was horrified by what I heard. Two young police officers working in the area - one from Lithuania and the other originally from Slovakia - spoke movingly about how unscrupulous recruiters often travel to Lithuania, Slovakia and Albania and entice many hundreds of young men and women with all kinds of false promises

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - The Assumption of Our Lady Saint Mary
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - The Assumption of Our Lady Saint Mary

For several weeks I've been busy on my Oxford University Department's Summer Schools. We've just finished the last, the Theology School, which runs for two weeks and is held at Christ Church. It's a wonderful occasion, hard work for the students in their seminars, but equally hard for the team that supports them. I work as Pastoral Director with the Academic Director, my friend, colleague and fellow canon, Angela Tilby. It's a great atmosphere with people from different countries and Christian backgrounds,

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 Reflections from Thinking Faith: Lazing on a summer afternoon
Reflections from Thinking Faith: Lazing on a summer afternoon

Action-packed summer adventures are all the rage, but there's a lot to be said for a 'less is more' approach to holidays, says Sister Teresa White in the online Jesuit journal Thinking Faith. A clear diary can be an opportunity to see and hear what we overlook or ignore in our everyday lives - there's no such thing as wasted time if that time leads us closer to God. It is only when we are not being practical and concentrate on useless things that we move out and find the world is opening out. (Ernesto Cardenal)

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 7 August 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 7 August 2016

There is a wonderful phrase in the letter to the Hebrews; 'Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen. (Heb: 11.1). The author of this letter uses this phrase as an example of a type of faith, in this case Abraham, which does not demand evidence or proof of the existence of God, but instead builds on a deeper, inner, relationship of trust that Abraham has discovered with God. This intimacy produces for those who open themselves to Gods presence, the gift of hope, so that hope becomes one of the all-encompassing aspects of our

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South African Reflection: What to be: Rabbit or Turtle?
South African Reflection: What to be: Rabbit or Turtle?

My wish is to live in a universe where the turtle always wins, not only in the story but in reality. "The turtle once challenged a rabbit to have a race with him as he used to make fun of his slowness. The rabbit accepted the challenge. The race started, the rabbit ran very fast. The turtle took its time and was left far behind. The rabbit stopped to take rest under a tree. He fell asleep. The turtle passed him and reached the winning post. The rabbit woke up and ran as fast as he could but couldn't win as the turtle had already reached the finish line first."

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   Reflection: praying about sport
Reflection: praying about sport

Fr David Stewart SJ writes: This month, Pope Francis has asked us to join him in a prayer for, and about, sports - that sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world. Do we ever think about sports as a topic for our prayer? Maybe, only when our favourite team is about to participate in a big match or prestigious tournament! Maybe the only time we ever might link our prayer and whatever sport we follow, or play, is at that moment, and it's commonplace to spot a player

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 31st July 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 31st July 2016

As I get older I have noticed a change in me that I hadn't thought possible at one point in my life. Maybe my mother's death has helped me to move because it's a gradual stripping away, inside myself, of deep attachment to those small articles and treasures of life that make up our store of memories, hopes and enjoyments. It's been a strange experience. I still love and appreciate my icons and other artifacts and I've no intention of getting rid of them, but I'm now more aware that they are only for my use for a time. Why? Well because like the rich

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 681
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