It’s a fabulous thing that a number of people have decided to commit to helping the thousands of refugees seeking safety and security in the UK. Some people have even agreed to house some of the refugees until they get themselves on their feet and secure their own accommodation. It is a truly remarkable gesture and together with David Cameron’s promise to bring thousands more refugees to the UK, heralds a shift in both the perception of refugees and the way we are willing to treat them.
Venerable Fulton Sheen
Isn’t it fair to say that our Catholic faith is under attack from many angles in our world today? The growth of relativism, aggressive secularism, and even attacks from within our own ranks, by people who suggest that Church teaching is wrong on certain matters.
In my own experience it is becoming abundantly clear that more and more self-proclaimed Christians (especially Catholics) are attaching less and less importance to the role of faith, and ultimately Christ, in their lives.
From Sunday’s Gospel (John 6:24-35):
‘I tell you most solemnly,
it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven,
it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven,
the true bread;
for the bread of God
is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.’’
Reading this Gospel passage and, in particular, the words of Jesus leave us in no doubt.
Sunday’s Gospel (John 6: 1-15):
‘Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.
Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do.
Enrico and Chiara Petrillo
If you haven’t yet read the story of Chiara Corbella Petrillo and her husband Enrico then now is perhaps a good time for you to compose yourself and prepare to be blown away. Because what this couple had to endure is perhaps the most difficult, most tragic situation anyone could imagine. Yet, in spite of this, they found great joy, peace and hope. Why? Because of their unconditional faith in God; because of their trust in His infinite love for every single human being He created; and because of their eternal perspective on all matters of life.
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has spoken out against the disregard for human life we often witness in today's western society, comparing it to the human sacrifices offered up by the Aztec people.
Bishop Davies said that “We can see a resemblance with the declining civilisation of the western world which in similar ways sacrifices and discards the lives of millions of human beings in abortion; in embryo experimentation and fertility treatments; and now threatens the lives of those who pose the greatest financial burden – the sick and the aged in assisted suicides and euthanasia.
Andrea Bocelli is a man of great faith
Famed for having one of the most incredible voices on the planet, Andrea Bocelli is also well known for being a man of great faith and devotion to God.
Bocelli, who was born with congenital glaucoma and has been blind since a young age, is only alive because his mother rejected the advice of doctors that he be terminated. This decision not only brought about a beautiful son, grandson, nephew and so on for their family, but it also brought about a genius musician with a voice to rival all others.
This insteresting BBC article explores the recent increase in vocations to the religious life in England and Wales and considers why more and more women are becoming nuns.
A number of women who have recently joined various religious orders speak openly about their experiences in the article, though none more frankly than 29 year old Theodora Hawksley who recently joined the Congregation of Jesus in North London.
Theodora says: "If our society is obsessed with money, sex and power and the games people play with them, then vows of poverty, chastity and obedience represent a profound freedom.
Sunday's Gospel (John 17:11-19):
'Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
keep those you have given me true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them,
I kept those you had given me true to your name.
I have watched over them
and not one is lost
except the one who chose to be lost,
and this was to fulfil the scriptures.
But now I am coming to you
and while still in the world I say these things
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them,
Only this man has the power to save us
Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 4:8-12):
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said: ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today.