Wednesday, August 20, 2008

History: a personal perspective

"Time present and time past
Are both contained perhaps in time future
And time future contained in time past”
T.S Eliot “ The Four Quartets”

“the past I felt was a ghost with the spirit and soul of some mischievous child. Which hid somewhere along my way, and popped out suddenly to tickle my consciousness and tap on my memory and be gone again before I had time to put a name on it. It crept up slightly and pretended to be the present, and then nipped away again leaving me wondering if there really were any way of telling one from the other.”
From “an experiment in Education” by Sybil Marshall

Before coming home to the Catholic Church, we attended each Sunday, a traditional Anglican church.
The building by Australian standards was old and beautiful.
Each Sunday we would sing hymns by John Henry Newman).

(At the same time my spirit was being awakened by His Spirit to the beautiful words in the Gospel of St. John Chapter Six.)

Each Sunday just prior to communion I would sense “the communion of saints” surrounding us and lifting their voices in worship before the throne.
The dilemma was always the same: how could I receive each Sunday what I knew was only a symbol of Jesus when I had the opportunity to receive Him in full.

And so eventually one Sunday with tears in my eyes I told my puzzled husband why I could no longer receive communion at the Anglican service.
I desired,
longed for,
hungered to receive all of Jesus
and be in full communion with all those who had gone before.

Of course how we all subsequently came into the Catholic church one glorious Easter Vigil is not what I am writing about in this post. No, rather it is that sense of the church, past, present and still to come that fills me still at each Eucharist with awe and wonder and yes greatfulness.
Truly we can raise our hands in praise to God for His church begun in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Assumption

Bishop Theoteknos of Livias (c. 550- 650) concerning the Assumption: "For Christ took His immaculate flesh from the immaculate flesh of Mary, and if He had prepared a place in heaven for the Apostles, how much more for His mother; if Enoch had been translated and Elijah had gone to heaven, how much more Mary, who like the moon in the midst of the stars shines forth and excels among the prophets and Apostles? For even though her God-bearing body tasted death, it did not undergo corruption, but was preserved incorrupt and undefiled and taken up into heaven with its pure and spotless soul."

Here is our craft activity for the feast of the Assumption of Mary:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I answered your call

We spent last weekend celebrating with Duncan, Tony, and Joe as they took their first vows as Capuchin Friars. They had been in the U.S since June last year .
Their profession of vows took place at St Anthony's Shrine which is the National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua.The church is very beautiful inside. We were welcomed as part of their family by the friars as we waited for the Mass to begin. Duncan asked Caleb to read the psalm and Lachlan volunteered to help bring up the gifts.
Duncan was particularly pleased that his grandmother could travel from New Zealand to help celebrate the occasion.Her faith and those of her sisters is an inspiration to him. His maternal great-grandfather was brought up on lighthouses in isolated parts of New Zealand and Mass must have been a very rare occurance yet the light of faith of these good people has been passed down through generations.And even when those of newer generations such as myself have not always been true to this faith, the turning back to it has indeed been a "coming home".

Saint Francis has always played a part in our family's development. Both Clive and I were enrolled in the third order as Anglicans(and prior to us becoming engaged Clive had considered joining the Anglican friars in Auckland!)Then when we came into the church Clive took St Francis for his confirmation saint. And since that time St Francis' intercession has always been asked for in the "trimmings" we add to our family evening rosary.

Here are the words Duncan spoke as his profession :

Praise and glory to the Most Holy Trinity!

I Brother Duncan, moved by divine inspiration, wish to live the Gospel and follow more closely in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, in the presence of my Brothers here assembled, and at your hands, Brother Julian, with solid faith and steadfast will: I vow to God the Father, Holy and Almighty to live in obedience, without property and in chastity for the term determined by my superiors. I promise to faithfully observe the life and Ruleof the Friars Minor confirmed by Pope Honorius according to the Constitutions of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor. therefore with all my heart I commit myself
to this Fraternity, so that, through the working of the Holy Spirit, the example of Mary Immaculate, the intercession of our Father Francis and all the Saints and with the help of my Brothers, I may attain the fulness of love in the service of god, of the Church, and of all people.

Duncan is home with us for 3 weeks before returning to Melbourne.