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Holy Soul's Altar

WAITING FOR HEAVEN

Each November we make a special effort to pray for the faithful departed, those whose names we know and those who are known to God alone. We pray for all departed souls whose salvation is assured but who are still in purgatory, waiting for their purification to be completed so that they may then enter heaven. The Holy Souls in purgatory know that they are on their way to eternal happiness. Their pains in purgatory are the pains of longing; they yearn for that blissful vision of God, of which they were given a brief and searing preview in the ...

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NEWMAN’S MIND

“And so in religion, we have need to watch against that narrowness of mind, to which we are tempted by the uniformity and tranquillity of God’s providence towards us. We should be on our guard lest we suppose ourselves to have such a clear knowledge of God’s ways, as to rely implicitly on our own notions and feelings. Men attach an undue importance to this or that point in received opinions or practices, and cannot understand how God’s blessing can be given to modes of acting to which they themselves are unaccustomed…….In this perplexity of mind the Church Catholic is ...

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September2018b

A LADY IN TEARS

Lourdes and Fatima are popular Marian shrines, among many others around the world. The apparition at La Salette on 19th September 1846 is much less well known and less closely followed, even though it received diocesan and then papal approval as being worthy of belief. Two ignorant peasant children, Melanie Calvat (aged 14) and Maximin Giraud (aged 11) were tending their cows one afternoon up on the slope of a high mountain. They saw what looked like a globe of fire come down onto the slope of the mountain. In the midst of the light sat a lady, weeping copiously. She ...

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August2018

QUEEN AND MOTHER

Each year at the Birmingham Oratory on the feast of the Assumption we entrust ourselves to our Blessed Lady. O Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Oratory, behold us now, your devoted sons, gathered in prayer before your image. Today we once again entrust to you our Congregation, this Oratory, our house, our home. We wish to belong entirely to you, O heavenly Queen and kindest Mother. We ask that by your glorious intercession you will bring us ever closer to your divine Son. We beseech you to obtain for us all the graces that we ...

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Precious Blood

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

In 1960 Pope John XXIII issued an inspiring Apostolic Letter about devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ (Inde a primis). He reminded us that the Precious Blood was poured out for us “first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden, in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from the great wide wound in his side which symbolises the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church’s sacraments”. From our Lord’s consecration to the Father in the temple until ...

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Corpus Christi 2017

OF THE GLORIOUS BODY TELLING

Corpus Christi is one of the most colourful and joyful feasts of the Catholic year. It is especially dear to us at the Oratory because it was a feast for which our founder St Philip Neri had a particular devotion. On Maundy Thursday at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the sanctuary bells rang out at Gloria in excelsis Deo. Why? To herald the arrival in this world of a startling new reality, Christ’s Eucharistic presence. At the Last Supper the Creator did something entirely new. He introduced a new mode of His own Personal presence within creation. No other ...

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May2018

DE MARIA NUMQUAM SATIS

Many of us who are converts to Catholicism were already in the habit of praying to our blessed Lady long before we became Catholics. Those prayers were undoubtedly a means of grace for us. But then, having entered the one fold of the Redeemer, we came to understand better than before that devotion to the Mother of God is not an optional add-on. It is a constitutive component of the Christian religion rightly understood and rightly practised. People sometimes ask where the doctrines about our Lady come from. Are they from the Bible? Yes they are. Are they from the ...

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CORPOREAL AND GLORIFIED

After the resurrection Christ’s bodily presence was puzzling, to say the least. The Lord’s risen and glorified body constituted a new type of reality not previously seen or known. The apostles had seen Him die and now He was with them once again, in the body, but strangely different. One major difference was that His glorified body was no longer constrained by spatio-temporal parameters. No wonder they were frightened, and it is not surprizing that they thought it might be a ghost. It is difficult to deny that phantasms do exist, in some sense.  Remember the Biblical episode of Saul ...

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HOLY WEEK WITH NEWMAN

“A great number of men live and die without reflecting at all upon the state of things in which they find themselves. They take things as they come, and follow their inclinations as far as they have the opportunity. They are guided mainly by pleasure and pain, not by reason, principle, or conscience; and they do not attempt to interpret this world, to determine what it means, or to reduce what they see and feel to system. But when persons, either from thoughtfulness of mind, or from intellectual activity, begin to contemplate the visible state of things into which they ...

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Holy Week Schedule 2018

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