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Showing posts from March, 2015

Triduum at St Peter's

Mothering Sunday and the spiritual family

Mothering Sunday approaches, but it is hard to find Jesus making many positive comments about biological parenthood. On one occasion, according to Matthew (12.47), when Mary and members of his family come to see Him, he leaves them standing outside, and says that his disciples are his true mother and brothers. Elsewhere, he says that anyone who loves his mother or father more than they love Him is not worthy of Him (Mt 10.37). Matthew's Jesus even says that He came to "set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother" (Mt 10.35).
Also in Matthew is that phrase much loved by anti-Catholics where Jesus tells His disciples to "call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven" (Mt 23.9). So, they say, we should not call priests "Father." The fact that in the same breath He tells us to call nobody "teacher" seems to pass their attention, especially when they are quoting their favourite Doctor So-and-so to…

Lent 3 - An Exhortation to venerate the Cross on Good Friday

Jesus “went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified.” 
Over the last couple of weeks, Fr Tim has been preaching on Holy Week so that we can all engage more deeply when we get there. Today, we come to Good Friday, so it’s rather a shame that we didn’t get to hear the Epistle appointed for today: part of St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, in which he proclaims the Cross, which he says “is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 
Well, there’s no fool quite like an English fool, and there’s an old English custom about Good Friday that may well look foolish to those who aren’t in the know, and might even be a bit embarrassing for those who are. We venerate the Cross – now there’s nothing particularly English about that; it started off with relics of the True Cross in Jerusalem in the sixth century, latest – but it is the old English way that is especially funny-looking, and ha…

Today: Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs

On the Commemoration of Perpetua and Felicity, remember that this still goes on: 
From the story of the death of the holy martyrs of Carthage Called and chosen for the glory of the Lord
The day of the martyrs’ victory dawned. They marched from their cells into the amphitheatre, as if into heaven, with cheerful looks and graceful bearing. If they trembled it was for joy and not for fear.      Perpetua was the first to be thrown down, and she fell prostrate. She got up and, seeing that Felicity was prostrate, went over and reached out her hand to her and lifted her up. Both stood up together. The hostility of the crowd was appeased, and they were ordered to the gate called Sanavivaria. There Perpetua was welcomed by a catechumen named Rusticus. Rousing herself as if from sleep (so deeply had she been in spiritual ecstasy), she began to look around. To everyone’s amazement she said: “When are we going to be led to the beast?” When she heard that it had already happened she did not at first b…