Lectio Divina: News

For this Second Week of Advent we light another candle, the Bethlehem Candle, which is a symbol of the preparations being made by Mary and Joseph on their Way to Bethlehem to receive and cradle the Christ child. These preparations bring us to the knowledge of the Peace of Christ.

Today some of our Lectio Group were able to return to the Oratory to reflect and pray together. You can read their thoughts and those of other group members further afield here.

Spirituality Centre: News

On Saturday 27th November we had our monthly Xaverian gathering for Eucharist and Social. Around 30 friends of our community gathered together to remember our deceased loved ones and begin our Advent journey.

Our next event will be Saturday 18th of December for our Penitential Service, Eucharist and Social… with a Christmas flavour. All are very welcome.

A heads up, we will have our Burns Supper in January and due to limits, book early.

On Friday we celebrated the feast of our patron St Francis Xavier. May his zeal and his love for spreading the Kingdom be ours. And may he bless each of us with courage in spreading the Good News… wherever we are.

Reflection for 1st Sunday of Advent: 28 November 2021

Daily Focus for Advent

May these stars of Divine Love and Light shine through you this Advent season.

  1. Let the Star of Hope blaze through discouragement, doubt, and disgruntledness.
  2. Let the Star of Kindness radiate through your words and actions.
  3. Let the Star of Remembrance glitter in thoughts of good people and good deeds.
  4. Let the Star of Satisfaction shine through your expectations, wants and desires.
  5. Let the Star of Understanding beam love to those with whom you cannot relate.
  6. Let the Star of Laughter sparkle in your eyes and in your smile.
  7. Let the Star of Openness be a wide ray of love in your heart for those in need.
  8. Let the Star of Acceptance nudge you to receive the unwanted ones.
  9. Let the Star of Forgiveness draw you nearer to those with whom you are alienated.
  10. Let the Star of Courage grow bright in whatever requires your inner strength.
  11. Let the Star of Joy dance in the corners of your heart that have forgotten to sing.
  12. Let the Star of Gratitude encourage you to be generous with your gifts.
  13. Let the Star of Patience permeate that which you find difficult and irritable.
  14. Let the Star of Wonder draw you to appreciate the beauty in and around you.
  15. Let the Star of Justice lead you to make a positive choice for those in need today.
  16. Let the Star of Equanimity glow through your concerns and struggles
  17. Let the Star of Faith beam through you, reminding you of the Core of Love in you.
  18. Let the Star of Appreciation gleam in your thankfulness to all who bless your life.
  19. Let the Star of Charity keep you balanced in your needs of self and others.
  20. Let the Star of Enthusiasm sparkle amid your tiredness and hurried pace.
  21. Let the Star of Compassion draw you into the world’s wide expanse of suffering.
  22. Let the Star of Delight lift your spirit and help you to see joy in simple things.
  23. Let the Star of Devotion glisten in your work and in the care you offer to others.
  24. Let the Star of Love shine through you to the persons you would rather avoid.
  25. Let the Star of Peace be a ray of steadfast calmness and tranquility within you.

Joyce Rupp

Advent reminds us of, and returns us to our true roots, to God’s first dream for us.

Daniel O’Leary

Lectio Divina: News

Our ever active Lectio Group took the reading for this coming Sunday. You can read their personal reactions to the scriptures here.

Remember that Lectio will be Live next Friday 3rd December, at the Xaverian Spirituality Centre, 10:30-12:00, and that everybody is welcome. In addition we will continue our Lectio Online.

Poetry and Book Club: News

Five of us met to discuss ” How Green Was My Valley” by Richard Llewellyn.

There was great praise for the vivid style and interesting characters portrayed in this emotional look at a mining community in the late Victorian era.

Please look carefully at the programme for next year. We will discuss this at the next meeting.

There is a slight change to the book for the next meeting on December 15th.

Please read and prepare to discuss ANY book by Michael Morpurgo; his books can be easily obtained from local Libraries and are all a quick and easy read.

Keep warm

Gospel Reflection on Christ the King: 21st November 2021

Christ the King of the Universe

The official name of today’s feast is Christ the King of the Universe. What does this mean? Jesus himself rejected the title of king. “That’s not what I’m about. I just came to reveal the Big Truth, not to be a king in your worldly sense.” Jesus didn’t come to proclaim any kind of domination or control of history. He simply says, “I am naming the deepest meaning of history and the deepest meaning of humanity.” The Franciscan understanding is that the first idea ( the Alpha) of history is that God who is spirit, who is shapeless, who is formless, wanted to take form; that creation, every creature, everything that exists in the material universe, would reveal the invisible God. In a moment in time, this eternal Christ mystery came as a person that you and I call Jesus. This is the deepest, the biggest and vast meaning of the feast of Christ the King of the universe. Rather than ‘king’ maybe we should use the words ‘the first revelation of what’s going on’, ‘the inner DNA of everything.’

There has to be a correspondence between how the universe started and where it’s going; there has to be a connection; there has to be a direction. The second reading tells us that the direction and the meaning were set from the very beginning. “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God. The Alpha and the Omega are the same thing. When we experience the universe as Christ-soaked, when we know that the universe is both the hiding place and the revelation of God, when we grow in awareness that in Christ all things were made, we will experience that we are inside of something very sacred, very beautiful, inherently holy and eternal. Each one of us can say, ‘In my beginning is my end.’ (T.S. Eliot)

Jesus bears witness to the Big Truth. The longer I live, the more I believe that truth is not an abstraction or an idea. Truth is who we are.

Adapted: Richard Rohr

Gospel: John 18:33-37

“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked. Jesus replied, “Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?” Jesus replied, “Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.” “So you are a king, then?” said Pilate. “It is you who say it” answered Jesus. “Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”

Verse 38 (not included in today’s reading):

Truth? said Pilate. What is that? And with that he went out again to the Jews.

Your Advent Invitation

Just a wee reminder that we are celebrating the start of Advent on Saturday, November 27th at 4pm with Mass. We are hoping that you can join us for this special moment in the Church’s life and to continue to catch-up with friends! There will be some food for after Mass (maybe not as much as last time!) and a wee donations box as well! Please let other people know and ask them to join us as we prepare for the Birth of Our Saviour!

Thanks

Paddy

Lectio Divina: News

This is the last Lectio Divina of this Liturgical Year B, next week we will start Advent and Year C.

Have a look and see what thoughts the group had when studying this the last Gospel passage of the year the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, OT B.

John 18:33-37 It is you who say that I am a king.

Lectio Divina will return Live, once a month; though we will continue with our online sessions as well.

Our first Lectio Live will be on Friday, the 3rd December 10:30- 12:00. All are welcome.

Gospel Reflection on 33rd Sunday: 14th November 2021

Creating a new environment

‘Mark 13, along with parallel Gospel passages, is a primary example of apocalyptic literature which uses hyperbolic images, as we see in today’s gospel. While we primarily use the word “apocalypse” to mean to destroy or threaten, in its original context apocalypse simply means to reveal something new. Kaluptein is the Greek word for ‘to cover’ and apo means ‘un’, so apokaluptein means to uncover or unveil. The key is that in order to reveal something new, we have to get the old out of the way. Neale Donald Walsch says: ‘Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. We cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that we want something new. There is only one way to bring in the new. We must make room for it by clearing out the old—old ideas, old stories, old priorities, old ways of thinking—especially if we’ve become overly attached to them.’ That’s what apocalyptic literature does. It helps us make room for something new. Apocalyptic literature is not meant to strike fear in us about the end of the world, but to encourage in us a radical rethinking of the worlds that we have created.’1 Inevitably the letting-go process is accompanied by what we would describe as the painful experience of emptiness, a vacuum. “There is no such thing, either in the world or in the heart, as a literal vacancy, as a vacuum. And whatever space is really left by death, by renunciation, by parting, by apparent emptiness, there is God.”2

As we approach the end of the liturgical year we are invited to reflect on the truth that in the worlds we have created nothing lasts forever. ‘Everything changes and nothing remains the same. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself.’1 The current climate change conference is a stark reminder of this. Today’s gospel invites us to uncover the veil created by our inner pollution, to find ways to re-create a new inner environment which will enable us to touch upon that which lasts forever. And in those moments when we do find eternity we may have a déjà vu experience as we realise that we what we have discovered is not new. It is an experience of remembrance: we are remembering who we are in God.

Adapted: [1] Richard Rohr [2] Karl Rahner

Today is Remembrance Sunday, a day to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom. During November, the Church invites us to remember those who have nurtured us in body and spirit, our loved ones who have gone before us, our teachers and guides who have encouraged us and enabled us to be where we are today.

Gospel: Mark 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man , then too he will send the angels to coming in the clouds with great power and glory and gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.

“Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you, when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.”