Brian Fahy reflects on how a life well lived affects us not just during the person’s life but long after they have departed this world.
The gospel of the transfiguration is read on this lenten Sunday each year, to remind us to hold firm to a vision of glory, on dark days. Easter and its joy will follow this season of penance, just as the resurrection followed the passion and death of Jesus.
Brendan Hoban in the Western People outlines the campaign being waged against Fr. James Martin. “What’s clear is that Fr. Martin is no heretic. He’s in good standing with his Church, supported by his Jesuit colleagues and respected in his ministry. He’s not rejecting church teaching. He’s doing what Pope Francis himself has done, creating a space in the Catholic Church for LGBT people and creating greater awareness of the need to respect them”.
“The truth is that, in America, the presence of homophobic groups who place themselves under the umbrella of ‘Catholic’, are spewing unimagined levels of vitriol on anyone whom they believe is compromising what they see as ‘Catholic teaching’. It is a sinister and corrosive development that runs counter to the gospel, to the mercy Pope Francis consistently underlines and even to minimal standards of civility and respect.”
Following deliberations it has been decided to introduce some changes with how comments are posted on the ACP website.
Joshua J. McElwee reports in the National Catholic Reporter on the long running dispute in the Nigerian diocese of Ahiara.
“The priests had complained that Bishop Peter Okpaleke was not from Mbaise, the region surrounding their diocese..”
Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent. All over the world today, people of all ages are beginning their preparation period for baptism at the Easter Vigil. Like them, we begin our own preparations for Easter, looking forward to renewing our baptismal vows and being blessed with Easter water.
Chris McDonnell writing in the Catholic Times offers some thoughts on how to make the best of Lent.
He suggests “So how about a ‘Listening Lent’ this year? ” Chris offers what could be very useful advice for us all when it comes to social media! “In our western culture, listening is an acquired skill. We have lost the experience of quiet time, silence, that space between words, the opportunity to consider what we hear before we rush into making a response, is scarce.”
Writing in his blog tonyflannery.com, Tony Flannery questions why changes were made in some of the literature circulated by the organisers of the world meeting of families. He suggests that “the message that is being taken from withdrawal of the (original) leaflet is that only marriage relationships that are in complete accord with Church teaching are welcome at the event.”
‘Whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.’ The words are St Paul’s, from today’s second reading. We gather here to give glory to God, praying for the sick, marking the Day of Prayer for Temperance and preparing for the Lenten Spring.
Faced with the ‘lucky bag’ of glossy advertising material about the world meeting of families regularly reaching most parochial houses, Seamus Ahearne pens a few thoughts, and hopes, about this upcoming event.
“We need the messed up, chaotic struggle of most ordinary and real families to be centre stage. We have to reflect the life of the family in Ireland and not some idealised version.”
“I don’t dismiss or undermine anything of the mighty work being done in preparation. I am concerned that it can reflect something of what we see daily.”
Joe O Leary offers these thoughts for next Sunday, World Day of the Sick. (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)
“Lourdes shows a loving, healing God bending over the mass of human filth and misery, like Christ at the pool of Bethdaida, or like Christ in today’s Gospel compassionately touching the unclean leper.” …….
“So many people are locked in spiritual and psychological paralysis — and the physical paralysis that he cures could be a result of that spiritual paralysis; so many people are impoverished and marginalized and treated as lepers in our society; so many people are possessed or obsessed by demons of various kinds — by prejudice, hatred, fear, greed, enslaving attachments and addictions. The healing activity of Jesus is a blow to liberate us from all these forms of bondage.”
As we Christians come together for worship, each of us brings worries, anxieties and fears. We gather them all together and entrust them to the one who heals his suffering people.
Seamus Ahearne casts his eye over some recent events and wonders at the chaos and if the world has gone mad; he wonders if there is ‘an absence of proportionality’ about grieving over public figures. At the funeral of a friend he is struck by his family’s ‘utter conviction of faith in all that they did’.
Statement from The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) regretting both the removal of pictures of same-sex couples from World Meeting of Families (WMOF) booklets circulated to Irish parishes and the barring of the former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, from a conference to be held in the Vatican on “Why Women Matter.”
Tony Flannery, on his own website, responds to a letter to the Irish Times from Angela Hanley. Tony suggests that “the organizers of the World Meeting of Families have made a major mistake by redacting their booklet, and getting rid of any reference, by picture or text, to same sex couples.”
Another regular correspondent, Brian Eyre, asks if married priests and their families will be welcome at WMF.
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