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Dwelling on the Word of God: Trusting in God’s Will as Joseph did (Wednesday 18th December 2013)

 
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 1:18-24):
 
‘This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.

Dwelling on the Word of God: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Unborn (Thursday 12th December 2013)

 
Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38):
(please note this is the Gospel spoken during Mass in the Americas today, in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a different Gospel passage from the one for the UK today)
 
‘The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.

Our Lady in Art and Prayer around the World

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We remember that the Blessed Virgin appeared in a familiar form, as a pregnant native woman dressed in everyday clothing.  Accepting the Good News means changing your life and orienting your heart towards Christ, but we also remember that God and His heavenly messengers come down to meet us in our everyday lives. Jesus came to set us free to worship him in our own way, within our own culture.  With this in mind we consider the venerable images of Our Lady depicted around the world and remember that she is the Mother of us all.

Evangelii Gaudium: Pope Francis on our Blessed Mother, Mary

 
‘Jesus left us his mother to be our mother. Only after doing so did Jesus know that “all was now finished” (Jn 19:28).
At the foot of the cross, at the supreme hour of the new creation, Christ led us to Mary.’
Pope Francis
 
 
Here is what Pope Francis says about Mary:
 
‘With the Holy Spirit, Mary is always present in the midst of the people. She joined the disciples in praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst which took place at Pentecost.

Dwelling on the Word of God: The Annunciation (Monday 9th December 2013)

 
Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38):
 
‘The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.

Evangelii Gaudium: Pope Francis on Women and the Church

Our Blessed Mother, Mary
 
‘The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood. I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection.

Pope Francis Suggests Praying the Rosary is the Best Medicine

 
During his Sunday Angelus Pope Francis offered some medicine to the 80,000 strong crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square.  Holding up a small medicine box upon which an anatomical drawing of a human heart could be seen, the Pope said: “I want to recommend some medicine for all of you.  It’s spiritual medicine.”
 
He then confirmed that the medicine box didn’t contain any pills but that it actually contained a set of rosary beads and said, “Don’t forget to take it.  It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.

Glasgow Shines Brightly as the Pro-Life Movement Takes Centre Stage

Our Lady's statue is carried through Glasgow
 
Last night the centre of Glasgow witnessed the joy and splendour of life, wrapped up in a beautiful Rosary, dignified procession, and passionate celebration of the Mass.
 
It was pro-life night and the people of Glasgow took to the streets to spread the Good News of life.  Around 300 people were present in George Square and it was evident that numbers were slightly up on last year which was encouraging. 
 
The Rosary, led by Father John Keenan of the University of Glasgow and St Patrick’s, Anderston, was a beautiful show of devotion and honour to Our Blessed Mother whose statue, held ably aloft by two young volunteers, looked lovingly over the crowd as it prayed.

Dwelling on the Word of God: Humility better than Boasting (Thursday 17th October 2013)

From today’s First Reading (Romans 3:21-30)  
 
‘So what becomes of our boasts?  There is no room for them.  What sort of law excludes them?  The sort of law that tells us what to do?  On the contrary, it is the law of faith, since, as wee see it, a man is justified by faith and not by doing something the Law tells him to do.’  
 
 
Do we boast?  Is that a trait we find in our own character?  St Paul suggests there is no room for boasting and he justifies this, not by the law of the land, but by the law of faith.

Learning the Catholic Faith: Is Suffering Necessary for Salvation?

 
Suffering.  It’s a nasty thought.  Nobody wants to suffer, whichever form that suffering may take.
 
But do we have to suffer?  And do we have to embrace our suffering?  Today’s world suggests suffering is a bad thing and is to be avoided at all costs.  Nobody should have to suffer; we should be free from any suffering. 
 
The Christian view is, as we will discover, quite different.  Let us first consider this text from St Peter:
 
‘My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire.
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