Showing posts from April, 2016


Thursday, April 30, 2015 WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? Bearing in mind our posts of the last couple of days, "Love"    and "Love, Tolerance and Labels " we can draw it all together in this significant post, which is worth reading and re-reading.
One of the participants in the Battle of Gettysburg almost 152 years ago spoke of the sound of the battle at its height as a monstrous roar unlike anything he had known - certainly other than human. One can reflect on the turning of the earth and the vast cacophony of human activity - good and bad, beautiful and ugly - and imagine it like a giant humming top emitting its combined cries of joy and pain, creation and destruction in a immense chorus into the heavens. All of it too much for us, but all of it is known continually, immediately and forever to God.
In 2006 Abbot Hugh Gilbert of Pluscarden Abbey preached on the subject “Christ the Light” and posed the question, “What’s really going on in life in the world? What on earth is …


The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ are of critical importance for mankind - this is God Himself speaking directly to Man. So that when He gives us a command we have no more important thing to do.But did He do that?

" A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." And the Lord goes on to say : " By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34)

That is crystal clear.

But in the modern Western world an alternative is proposed and generally accepted unthinkingly because it has become " politically correct" . TOLERANCE is the civic ideal. But we need to remember that mere tolerance is NOT a Christian Virtue. Love is what is expected of us , for as we are told, where there is Love , there is God for"God is Love"( 1 John 4:8).

What is the nature of the " Love" proposed? Saint Thomas  Aquinas tells us that Love means wanting …


Love, the song tells us: “Love, changes everything….” This was of course written about romantic love, with its myriad complications. But it is no less true of all other forms of love and there are numbers of them.
Where do we see Love? We can most readily recognise it by its concomitants:
Communication, Respect, Joy, Spontaneity, Loyalty and Attention.
Yes, even outside romantic Love, Love changes everything. It is important to test our relationships with those we love along these lines, to see how well we are playing our part.
But when we come to consider the ultimate non-romantic Love – our love for God Most High, our testing needs to be intense, for this is a matter of an entirely different order, and some of those concomitants even change their realities and their  names.
For Communication we have Prayer, for Respect we have Worship and for Attention we have Devotion. 

Joy, Spontaneity and Loyalty, in regard to our love of God, seem, strangely to become, in many cases,  victims of the …


Mention the name Pontius Pilate, and the most rapid word association for most people is "washing his hands". No doubt his failure to free Our Lord, whom he believed to be without fault, was the gravest injustice in the history of the World , because it was done to God Himself made Man.

Without diminishing that horror by one iota, I think we should accord Pilate great responsibility for putting a finger on one of the main issues of all human history.The issue was critically important then , and it is robustly so to-day.


I came to think about this matter in a three step process. For some years now, my Lenten reading has been "The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ"by the late Archbishop Alban Goodier S.J. In it, Archbishop Goodier leads us very carefully through the scenes of Jesus before Pontius Pilate. He recounts the troubled history of Pilate's term in office which had already seen him in trouble with Rome. He was by no means free to act in a …


 Now was the acceptable and necessary time.

"I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

How we marvel at the beauty, the glorious beauty of these words! Revelation!!

But there remained in the crowd proud Pharisees, hearts and minds shut firmly against the Truth. 

"You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true!"

They challenged Truth Himself! Now the drama will unfold!

Jesus responds : 

"Even if I do bear witness to Myself, My testimony is true, for I know whence I have come, and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I have come, or whither I am going. You judge according to the flesh, I judge no-one. Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and He Who sent Me."

Jesus, knows their hearts and minds, their dishonesty and hypocrisy. Now He will confront them even more clearly with the Truth and in unavoidable starkness.

"In your …


Few passages in Sacred Scripture are as dramatic and compelling as those in Saint John's Gospel in Chapter 8.

It is a pity that it is not made more familiar, not only on account of its drama but because it shows us Our Lord and Saviour directly and analytically confronting and absolutely condemning the Jewish leaders of the people. It is also important for the clarity of Our Divine Lord's statements concerning the Devil - a being whom the world to-day seeks to ignore, though it is so much in his grasp!

As always, it behooves us to pay close attention when Our Lord speaks, and, when He speaks so emphatically, indeed -  vigorously - we ought to concentrate most intensely.

The Setting

From the earliest days of Our Lord's Public Life, the Scribes and the Pharisees have been drawn in hostile fashion toward this Jesus of Nazareth, who began to come to notice in backwoods Galilee. They knew this region and its less cultured people. This preacher had made a mark amongst the Galileans,…


32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
St. Leo the Great "By + Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
11 November 2012
Yesterday was the feast of St. Leo the Great, who was bishop of Rome and therefore pope from 440 - 461 A.D. With Gregory the Great, who sent early missionaries to England in 597 after the Church there had petered out because of the Saxon invasions, and our own Pope John Paul the Great, Leo is one of the three popes to whom history has given the title "great".
We all know that the position of St. Peter is well established in the New Testament as head of the apostles. It was Jesus who renamed Simon as Peter i.e. the rock man (I tell the youngsters Jesus renamed him as "Rocky") on whom the Church was to be built. He was regularly listed first among the apostles; received the keys of the kingdom and the power to bind and loose from Jesus. He was also called to strengthen the faith of his brothers and feed the lambs and sheep.


Readers unfamiliar with St. Benedict's Broadway,Sydney might care to also see:

Father Therry of whom His Eminence speaks with admirable candour below, was indeed a great hero of the Church by any measure. He had born the heat of the day for many years, and it is true he was not always easy to get along with. But the cause was sensitivity and volatility and never arrogance, as the following story shows.A young Priest ordained only a few years , Dr William Bernard Ullathorne  O.S.B.( 1806 -1889) was appointed Vicar General for the Colony of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land in 1833. He had been ordained Priest in September ,1831. In less than 2 years he had responsibility for the whole of Australia as it would become, but was not yet. Born in 1806, he was about 27!
He arrived in the Colony unannounced. He already knew a great deal about the personalities and difficulties of the colonial Church via the Vicar Apostolic in London and others. He was well aware of Father Therry'…