Prayer for Laura Hart

Torch of The Faith News on Monday 06 October 2008 - 23:08:03 | by admin

laura_rip.jpgPlease pray for Laura Hart, our beautiful friend whose funeral will be tomorrow, and that her family and friends would know God's peace, strength and love -

Let our prayer come into your presence, Lord,
as we humbly ask for mercy:
and as in your love
you counted your handmaid Laura Hart, among your people in this world,
so bring her now to the abode of peace and light,
and number her among your saints.

We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, world without end

(Prayer from the Psalter of the Divine Office - Office for the deceased).

Rosary for Life

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 05 October 2008 - 17:09:21 | by admin

baby.jpgAs they say in the 'blogosphere' Hat-Tip or H/T to Catholic Mom of 10 (see links) for reminding us all that today is the National Day of Prayer for Peace and the Sanctity of Life - during which we are asked to pray a rosary for these intentions.

I also noticed on the National Director of SPUC, John Smeaton's blog a reference to Fr. Morty O'Shea unveiling a monument to the victims of abortion at St. Mary's in Carmarthen. 

Fr. Morty said that this memorial is a 'solitary and prophetic witness to the abortion holocaust that continues in our midst.' He also said that 'There is no reason why such a memorial could not be erected outside the front of any church.'

On the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, next to the replica of St. Francis' Portiuncula chapel (where 24 hour Adoration takes place), stands the Tomb of the Unborn which contains the mortal remains of Clare, Francis, Agnes, Jeremiah, and Michael - all victims of abortion. A couple of miles away on the grounds of Holy Family Catholic Church one finds the following memorial, (complete with American spelling);

pro_life_monument.jpgFr. Morty is right; such solid and tangible witness is needed to draw attention to this most silent of holocausts as there are no well known graves in the UK for the victims. Could British parishes not set aside a small area like this and include a mention of the mothers, fathers, and families broken by abortion. If so, then babies may be saved and many women may find a place of reference to point them towards full reconciliation and healing.
Could your parish?

First Saturday

Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 04 October 2008 - 11:20:13 | by admin

helens_photos_030.jpgOur Lady of Fatima asked that we make reparation to her Immaculate Heart for all the sin and blasphemies against her and against the Most Blessed Trinity.

She asked that on the first saturday of each month, the First Saturday devotion be kept, which includes -

Holy Mass and Holy Communion of Reparation

Praying of the Holy Rosary

Meditating for 15 minutes on one of the rosary mysteries

And all of this in a spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart and to the Blessed Lord. Our Lady warned that God was already much offended, and that humanity had lost the sense of sin - that was in 1917! Let us make this day out of love for our Heavenly Mother and her Son Jesus Christ who suffered so much because of sin, and to redeem us from it. Let us make it as reparation for our own sins and the sins of our brothers and sisters in Great Britain who do not realize the peril of these times.

The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 03 October 2008 - 19:51:25 | by admin

cao_004.jpgThe solemnity begins tonight at the Pantasapsh Franciscan friary in anticipation of tomorrow's feast day. At 6.00pm the friars are sharing their Evening Office in public and then at 6.30pm celebrating the Transitus (or Passing) of St. Francis which is a time of readings and prayers recalling this beautiful saint's last words to his friars before passing from this transcient world, with all of its suffering, into everlasting glory. At 10.00am tomorrow the Holy Mass for the feast day will be offered in the friary church of St. David.

First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 03 October 2008 - 19:14:26 | by admin

first_friday.jpg'Behold the heart that has loved mankind so much and received so little love in return.' The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Margaret Mary.

This being the First Friday of the month (the day on which Jesus encourages us to go to Holy Communion for nine consecutive months to love, honour and make reparation to His Sacred Heart), I thought I'd share this little prayer card that I picked up when I was in America. It was produced by Shepherds of Christ Ministries in Morrow, Ohio. On the reverse is the following Prayer for Union with Jesus which may be helpful to making a short thanksgiving after Holy Communion and Mass.

Come to me, Lord Jesus, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with you and let You work in my heart.

I am Yours to possess. I am yours to use. I want to be selfless and only exist in You. Help me to spoon out all that is me and be an empty vessel ready to be filled by You. Help me to die to myself and live only for You. Use me as You will. Let me never draw my attention back to myself. I only want to operate as You do, dwelling in me.

I am Yours, Lord. I want to have my life in You. I want to do the will of the Father. Give me the strength to put aside the world and let You operate my very being. Help me to act as You desire. Strengthen me against the distractions of the devil to take me from Your work.

When I worry, I have taken my focus off You and placed it on myself. Help me not to give in to the promptings of others to change what in my heart You are making very clear to me. I worship You, I adore You and I love You. Come Lord Jesus, and dwell in me now. Amen.

Imprimatur: Most Rev. Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnatti Archdiocese. 

Evangelium Vitae

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 03 October 2008 - 18:57:18 | by admin

first_friday_2.jpgSome words from Pope John Paul II's pro-life message Evangelium Vitae, from 1995, provide further food for thought in light of yesterday's blog post.

In paragraph 95 the Holy Father explained,

We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting.  

In paragraph 96, His holiness taught that consciences must be formed,and he reminded that the links between life and freedom, and freedom and truth need to be re-established

He concluded that paragraph with these words,

Where God is denied and people live as though He did not exist, or His commandments are not taken into account, the dignity of the human person and the inviolability of human life also end up being rejected or compromised.

In paragraph 97 he continued,

Closely connected with the formation of conscience is the work of education, which helps individuals to be ever more human, leads them ever more fully to the truth, instils in them growing respect for life, and trains them in right inter-personal relationships... There can be no avoiding the duty to offer, especially to adolescents and young adults, an authentic education in sexuality and love, an education which involves training in chastity as a virtue which fosters personal maturity and makes one capable of respecting the 'spousal' meaning of the body.

Parents - Know your rights... and duties!

Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 02 October 2008 - 17:57:44 | by admin

all_that_i_am.jpgIn 1995 the late, great champion of the right to life, Cardinal Trujillo signed off this wonderful document for the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Many Catholic parents have spent at least a decade labouring against untold pressures to implement it. Often those pressures came from places they should not have; I know of one priest that was also the education officer in a diocese who claimed at a public meeting that this document only related to the Church in Rome 'as we have here an English church...' (Students of the English Reformation may shudder to find that remark eerily familiar...).

Nevertheless, many parents have still never heard of it. Let us reiterate that this is essential reading for parents. It outlines your rights and duties regarding the education, and in particular the education for love and chastity, of your children. The document stresses throughout that the parents are the primary educators of their children and that education for love is normally and fundamentally 'a personal dialogue between parents and their children, that is, individual formation within the family circle.' (Part VII, para 129, italics in the original text).
Pertinent points include;
1. Each child is a unique and unrepeatable person and must receive individualized formation.

2. The moral dimension must always be a part of their explanations.

3. Formation in chastity and timely information regarding sexuality must be provided in the broadest context of education for love.

4. Parents should provide this information with great delicacy, but clearly and at the appropriate time.

The document also recommends that parents help each other to defend these basic rights whenever they are threatened.

St. Therese of Liseux

Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 October 2008 - 15:47:40 | by admin

st_therese.jpgSt. Therese is one of our favourites! Over the years she has given us little roses in the most unlikely of circumstances, and at times when we most needed affirmation, all of which we have taken as a sign of her help and intercession.

When one considers how much this little saint packed into her 24 years in terms of spiritual growth it is amazing!

At times we can grow very discouraged, especially in our frailty or when looking at the problems in the church or at the state of the world. Yet, St. Therese helps us look upwards to heaven with renewed hope. She desired to be a missionary, yet was restricted to her cloister. There she learned a great key to peace and fulfillment, which she wrote in her journal,

I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul. 

Love is the key. This is something well worth remembering in all our apostolic and evangelical efforts. Another is the fact that many of the seeds she sewed in hearts and in culture did not bear fruit until long after her lifetime on earth. Several years ago we went to honour her relics which were then visiting the shrine of Knock in Ireland. The basilica was packed with swathes of pilgrims. Somebody in the long line remarked with vigour 'Who says the faith is dead in Ireland?' Unknown during her life, she was now fulfilling her missionary endeavours. We can't wait for the visit of her relics to England next year!

St. Therese of Liseux, Doctor of the Church - pray for us!

Our Lady of La Vang

Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 October 2008 - 15:21:25 | by admin

gao_trip.jpgPlease pray for Cao as he leaves for a period in Vietnam, during which he will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang.

During the harsh persecution which left over 100,000 Vietnamese Catholics martyred Our Lady appeared at La Vang in 1798. A group of Catholics were hiding in the jungle and they gathered together to pray the rosary for protection. Our Lady appeared to them with the child Jesus in her arms and two angels at her side. She told the people to boil leaves for medicine and promised to answer the prayers of souls who came to the spot. Over the years the pilgrims came until a church was opened by Bishop Gasper there in 1901 with 12,000 pilgrims in attendance.

In 1961 the Bishops of Vietnam selected La Vang's church as the National Marian Centre, and the following year it was elevated to Basilica status by Pope John XXIII. Tragically it was destroyed during the Vietnam War in 1978. Pilgrims continued to flow however, and in 1988 Pope John Paul II drew fresh attention to its importance as a recognized shrine whilst canonizing 117 Vietnamese martyrs.

We pray that Cao will be kept safe in his travels and will have a blessed pilgrimage.

bootle_day_005.jpgInterestingly we discovered that Cao and I were both born in 1972. And Cao recently bought a classic Honda 350 which had been imported from America. It's year of manufacture? 1972. Yep, it was a vintage year! 

(Although I'm not sure which is creakier; me or the bike!)

Thank you for the Masses and Prayers

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 30 September 2008 - 13:02:45 | by admin

pope_pius_ix_011.jpgThank you to everyone who has been praying for the soul of our friend Laura and for her poor parents and family at this tragic time. Special thanks to the two priests who contacted us to say that they had offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Laura's eternal repose. Please continue to pray for her poor family in their grief and sorrow.

May God Bless you all for your kindness.

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