Sunday, 29 November 2009

"Who do you say I am ?"

Many Christians define themselves by the denomination to which they belong. I’m a Roman Catholic so I believe . . . . I’m a Methodist so I believe . . . . I’m an Anglican so I believe . . . I’m a fundamentalist so I must believe . . . I’m a reformed this or that so I believe this because . . . . Is there an alternative position ? Do we have to define ourselves by what we are for or more often against ?

Moreover, do we have to convince ourselves and others of our rightness. What is it about belonging that makes us define ourselves by what we believe or define ourselves by the denomination we belong to. ? Do we want to belong or be transformed by the Gospel ?

If we are asked to say something about how Jesus taught we’d probably say through parables. The parables usually contain messages that aren’t black or white, right or wrong or allow us to rest in the certainty we so often crave, often without realising. They have the authority to transform us, taking us beyond the realm of our ego.

Think also about how many times Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is like . . . .” He didn’t say the kingdom of heaven is . . . . Many Christians place certainty as the sign of rightness for their faith. Jesus didn’t ! He just said “The Kingdom of God is like . . . . “ In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says “The Kingdom of God is among you. Luke 17 : 21.

Many Christians live in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the promise of eternal life that follows from Jesus’ act of salvation. What was it that attracted people to Jesus before the salvific event? They couldn’t have known it was coming.

“Who do you say I am ?”

I hope I’m never certain of the answer. Not this side of life anyhow !

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Christianity Survey

Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch - one of the world's leading historians - reveals the origins of Christianity and explores what it means to be a Christian

The program is also taking part in an Open University survey of what it means to be a Christian. Why not take part ? Click the link here

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Being present to the Presence

Conservative thinks themselves above Liberal, Liberal thinks they are Liberal, Protestants set themselves against catholic, fundamentalists set themselves against everyone. All sincerely seek God in Jesus ! What the heck has it come to ?

More and more I see the contemplative mind as the antidote to all of the above. Being present to God in the NOW, being transformed by the Gospel of and the presence of Jesus, being transformed by God rather than entrenching my position as a liberal, Tridentinist, Franciscan or whatever. The presence of God is the presence of God is the presence of God.

I thank God so much for teachers like Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault. Also for loved ones and friends who reflect the presence in their life, the God in whose image they too were made.

God is present to us in the now, be transformed by God, not by belonging . . .

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Catholic TV

Having just recovered from a shocking chest infection with my back going in the middle of it all, I thought I’d share some of the ways the Internet and catholic TV on the internet helped me pass the time.

First of all, I’m not usually this insular, just searching for catholic TV, but if I widened my ‘view’ I don’t think I’d have ever watched anything.

If you have found any other good TV resources please let me know. I’d be fascinated to hear – honest ! Here goes

Watch and Pray. A whole range of places in Ireland to observe Mass, the Rosary, parts of the Office or Eucharistic adoration and some classic non-committal hymn singing.

Have a nosey at the grotto in Lourdes on live TV, join in with the Rosary or watch any of the archived programs.

The Catholic community of St Paul in Leesburg, Florida have a webcam online 24 hours of the day. Sunday Mass is a lively affair with a thoughtful homily. Occasionally you might come across choir practice or a weekday service. Part of the Catholic Community Television Network (CCTN) archived programs from St Pauls can be found here

CatholicTV.tv appears to be based in Belgium and has a number of archived programs. Beware, some are only trailers, though eventually you might find a really fascinating program such as this interview with Gerard W Hughes.

CatholicTV.com had some of the best and worst of programs I found. On the sad side take a look at this and I dare you not to cringe. However, the series, 'Catholic Destinations' give an insight to places of pilgrimage you might not have been to and would like to know more about, eg the Shrine of St Therese of Lisieux

“Salt and Light Television” based in Toronto have some brilliant documentary programs that can be watched online. You can watch a super documentary on Mary MacKillop and there are links to a range of programs on You Tube

Finally You Tube is always a varied source of inspirational and ‘outspirational’ offerings. I hope my two weeks in bed has been worthwhile for you and that my being called to stillness has been worth it.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Fr Gerry Malone CSsR Questions Mandatory Celibacy for Priests

Independent Catholic News are running this story relating to mandatory celibacy for Roman Catholic priests. Fr Gerry Moloney, CSsR says: “The issue of mandatory celibacy has to be looked at”. Recognising that married priests already minister in the Church through former Anglicans who joined the Catholic Church, Fr Moloney asks if the thousands of men who left the priesthood in order to marry could be readmitted. He further asks whether the Year for Priests has anything special to say to women?

He concludes that the Year for Priests is “a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our priests and the work they do but it must also allow for an open, honest discussion about the priest shortage, and what the Holy Spirit might be saying to us about this crisis.”

Have a look for yourself and thankyou so much Fr Moloney for daring to speak the unspeakable ! Find out more about reality magazine here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A Minute for Madeleine . . .

Please take one minute to watch this video of Madeleine McCann who was taken from her family whilst on holiday in Portugal. If you think you have any news, please contact the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre here

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Ecumenical Christian Chrch UK

The Ecumenical Christian Church UK has updated their website. Why not go and have a look ?
In the Ecumenical Christian Church UK you will find ...

a Sacramental Church that is open to all
an inclusive church for all, regardless of gender or orientation
a Church that is faithful to the historic teachings of the universal church
they are open to new expressions of that faith
but don't trust my word on that, go and have a look . . . .