Sunday, 7 March 2010
Dr Hahn's Bible Reflection:
Readings: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15. Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8. I Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12. Luke 13:1-9.
In the Church, we are made children of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the God who makes known His name and His ways to Moses in today’s First Reading.Mindful of His covenant with Abraham (see Exodus 2:24), God came down to rescue His people from the slave-drivers of Egypt. Faithful to that same covenant (see Luke 1:54-55, 72-73), He sent Jesus to redeem all lives from destruction, as today’s Psalm tells us.Paul says in today’s Epistle that God’s saving deeds in the Exodus were written down for the Church, intended as a prelude and foreshadowing of our own Baptism by water, our liberation from sin, our feeding with spiritual food and drink.Yet the events of the Exodus were also given as a “warning” - that being children of Abraham is no guarantee that we will reach the promised land of our salvation.At any moment, Jesus warns in today’s Gospel, we could perish - not as God’s punishment for being “greater sinners” - but because, like the Israelites in the wilderness, we stumble into evil desires, fall into grumbling, forget all His benefits.Jesus calls us today to “repentance” - not a one-time change of heart, but an ongoing, daily transformation of our lives. We’re called to live the life we sing about in today’s Psalm - blessing His holy name, giving thanks for His kindness and mercy.The fig tree in His parable is a familiar Old Testament symbol for Israel (see Jeremiah 8:3; 24:1-10). As the fig tree is given one last season to produce fruit before it is cut down, so too Jesus is giving Israel one final opportunity to bear good fruits as evidence of its repentance (see Luke 3:8).Lent should be for us like the season of reprieve given to the fig tree, a grace period in which we let “the gardener,” Christ, cultivate our hearts, uprooting what chokes the divine life in us, strengthening us to bear fruits that will last into eternity.
St Non was the mother of St David. David was born to her, as one tradition has it, in a small house on the Pembrokeshire coast. This dwelling became a chapel, and the bay above which it stands became known as St Non's bay. The ruins of the chapel, and a holy well - St Non's well, of course -can be visited to this day:
St Non's Chapel.
In the early 1950's the Passionist Fathers came into possession of the land upon which the chapel and well stand. The Fathers erected a shrine of the Blessed Virgin nearby:
Just before the outbreak of WWII, a pious layman had a new chapel built, in the traditional, early-medieval, Welsh style, which was dedicated to Our Lady and St Non, nearby:
The whole shrine is now in the care of the Sisters of Mercy, under an agreement with the Passionist Fathers. 'St Non's Retreat Centre' can be found here .
Friday, 5 March 2010
Act of Consecration to the Sacred HeartO Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.Amen.St. Margaret Mary AlacoqueAt todays Exposition:Am I believing, truly, that the Host before me is the second person of the Trinity? If not, why not? Is it impossible to really comprehend? Merton wrote of St Anthony of the Desert: '...[He] was more of a person than they had ever seen, because his personality had vanished within itself to drink at the very sources of reality and life'. (Waters of Siloe) All the more was 'present' to be 'seen' through the vanishing of his personality.When I approach the Eucharist, I approach 'I AM'. When I approach the Eucharist, there is only doubt about the 'I'.More on the Eucharist next Friday.
Monday, 1 March 2010
Being the solemnity of our national patron, today I constructed the (long-planned) icon of St David for our home. His shrine will be situated in the hallway, near the entrance to our house. The frame is 3 inches thick, whilst the height and width are 17" and 12" respectively. Dewi is represented standing among the hills, valleys and mountains of Wales.
O Almighty God, Who in Thine infinite goodness has sent Thine only-begotten Son into this world to open once more the gates of heaven, and to teach us how to know, love and serve Thee, have mercy on Thy people Who dwell in Wales. Grant to them the precious gift of faith, and unite them in the one true Church founded by Thy Divine Son; that, acknowledging her authority and obeying her voice, they may serve Thee, love Thee, and worship Thee as Thou desirest in this world, and obtain for themselves everlasting happiness in the world to come. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for Wales.
Saint David, pray for Wales.
Saint Winefride, pray for Wales.