With the divinest word, the Virgin
Made pregnant, down the road
Comes walking, if you’ll grant her
A room in your abode.
John of the Cross

Thank you for your continued support.

Tim Hazelwood, Roy Donovan, Gerry O’Connor

Picture courtesy Pax Christi USA

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One Comment

  1. Peadar O'Callaghan says:

    Rays of Hope
    Looking East expectantly in winter our pre-history ancestors found at Newgrange a light of comfort in the tiny shaft of light that penetrated deep into their great mound. At this time of year another ray of light, divine, penetrates the mountain cave of Orthodox nativity icons illuminating within the swaddled God-Man. Coming so near the winter Solstice I’m sure the publication of Fiducia Supplicans (18 Dec.) brought a similar light of hope to many.
    Although the Declaration is meant as a response to “certain questions”, coming so soon after the close of the first session of the Rome Synod I think it reveals fruits of deep listening and open dialogue with the faithful People of God represented for the first time at a synod of bishops; dare I claim a welcome breath of the Spirit crossing the face of the Church.

    Reading the 5,000 ± word text of Fiducia Supplicans (excluding references) was a welcome diversion from the sparse Christmas radio and tv fare.
    While Fiducia Supplicans (FS) clearly provides/allows for blessings in sensitive pastoral circumstances it does not give texts of such blessings, and explicitly states “… one should neither provide for nor promote a ritual for the blessings of couples in an irregular situation. At the same time, one should not prevent or prohibit the Church’s closeness to people in every situation in which they might seek God’s help through a simple blessing.” [38]
    And since FS also says “…ordained ministers should also be formed to perform blessings spontaneously that are not found in the Book of Blessings” [35] one might feel at a loss when reading these passages as to where to turn when couples now turn up on one’s doorstep – since what is ‘spontaneous’ usually comes from the heart.

    May I suggest a helpful guide for the composition of ‘new’ blessings, in line with the Declaration, might be ‘The Celtic Vision’ – selected and edited by Esther De Waal, especially the three mother’s blessings (p.138-140) and the chapters on ‘Invocations and Good Wishes’ and ‘Blessings’ taken from Alexander Carmichael’s six volume Carmina Gadelica. De Waal says her “aim has been to make this great treasure storehouse of Celtic spirituality more widely and easily accessible, and to present the reader with something that he or she can actually use.”

    Orthodox churches have expressed serious difficulties with some aspects of FS as deviant from their faith tradition. I think this is avoidable in the western isles of Europe with the rich seams of spiritual wisdom from our Celtic ancestors to mine.

    This week, remembering the passing of Pope Benedict XVI we might recall too his words, in another context, but nevertheless relevant when looking to our Celtic roots for guidance in difficult matters where he said: “The Church of the Irish monks had no episcopal authority.” (Principles of Catholic Theology p. 254) Which could I think be taken as some guiding light to what is said in paragraph 37 of FS ”… it is not appropriate for a Diocese, a Bishops’ Conference, or any other ecclesial structure to constantly and officially establish procedures or rituals for all kinds of matters.”
    I must be off … my blessed solitude is disturbed by the Wren girls and boys rattling boxes at the door!
    A Blessed Christmastide and New Year to all.

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