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FROM PURGATORY TO PARADISE

We should fervently hope that at our particular judgement God’s mercy will allow us into purgatory. Pray hard to get into purgatory. Will it hurt?  Yes, it will. What are the pains of purgatory? Having been judged, and having by God’s mercy escaped damnation, the soul ‘wakes up’ in purgatory to find itself bereft of all its previous bodily senses, and therefore lacking anything resembling what we usually mean by consciousness. No sounds, no sights, no sense-experience. No longer part of the material world, the soul now apprehends the overwhelming gigantic reality of the spiritual and moral universe – the ...

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All Souls 2017

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All Saints 2017

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ANGELS AND ANIMALS

When Christ our Lord was fasting in the wilderness He was with the wild beasts, and angels ministered unto Him. From scripture and tradition we know quite a lot about angels. They were created before us and greatly outnumber the human creation. Angels are greater than us in intelligence, knowledge, power, and beauty, notwithstanding the unique dignity bestowed on human nature by the hypostatic union in Christ, and the fact of our redemption. The primary task of the angels is to glorify and serve our Creator. Their secondary task is the protection of His human creatures and the care of ...

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SEPTEMBER – MONTH OF THE HOLY CROSS

Thanks be to God that His wisdom often turns dysfunctional human plans upside down and inside out. We see this in the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The instrument of torture becomes the throne of glory. He Who was nailed to the Cross like a criminal is in fact the King of kings before Whom one day every knee shall bow. Every knee: the final clarification of all those interesting inter-faith discussions. The splendour of the Holy Cross guarantees that in our war against the forces of darkness we are already well and truly on the winning side. The principal ...

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BY GRACE AND PERSONAL INFLUENCE

From all eternity God’s wisdom has planned our individual salvation. He has so ordered His creation that even apparently chance occurrences can play a part in the unfolding of our salvation. In the complex and multi-faceted kaleidoscope of daily life, countless instances of human interaction (mostly unplanned by us) all combine in a dynamic synergy of cause and effect. From our limited vantage point, in place and within time, we rarely appreciate the providential coherence of those interactions. On 26th August we commemorate a 19th century missionary priest and preacher, Blessed Dominic Barberi, of the Passionist Order. Fr.Barberi felt called ...

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NEWMAN ON OUR LADY’S ASSUMPTION

“It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the Queen of them. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the Rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful. But moreover, she is the Mystical, or hidden Rose; for mystical means hidden. How is she now “hidden” from us more than are other saints? What means this singular appellation, which we apply to her specially? The answer to this ...

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Transfiguration

TWO NATURES IN ONE PERSON

Many have tried to reduce the Person of Christ the God-man to something comprehensible. To try and render Him fully understandable is to try and make Him other than what He is. We must accept that the constitution of His unique Person is ultimately a mystery. The mystery of His two natures in one Person was revealed iconographically (so to speak) at His Transfiguration on the mountain. Then at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 a definitive doctrinal formulation was pronounced:     “We confess that one and the same Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, must be acknowledged in two ...

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IHS-at-the-Gesu

SAINT IGNATIUS LOYOLA

Ignatius was born in 1491, the eleventh and last child of a Basque noble, the doyen of the castle at Loyola in Guipuzcoa, Northern Spain. His early life was at court and in the army. In 1521 a canon ball fractured his shin and thigh. The broken bones in his leg were wrongly set, so it was decided to break them again. That bodged surgery left Ignatius limping for the rest of his life. When convalescing he immersed himself in what we would now call books of military fiction. He found that war stories were exciting enough at the time ...

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Precious Blood

PRAISE THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

Our faith in the salvation which the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ offers mankind also imposes on us a grave responsibility to tell others about it. If we really believe what we say we believe, then we should want to shout it from the rooftops. The desire to tell others the truth about Christ the Redeemer should motivate us every day, whatever our state in life, whatever our role in the Church. As we pass through the crowds of people on the streets, we do well to remember that we are rubbing shoulders with a race of immortals; uniquely privileged ...

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