Friday, 31 May 2013

Credo Series - Episode 7

In this seventh episode in our series on the Nicene Creed we look at the phrase: "and rose again on the third day in accordance with the scriptures." Fr. Terence Crotty OP will talk with Fr. Ciaran about the resurrection.

Please share this series if you like it with your friends. We will release a new episode every week until we have gone through all the articles contained in the Creed.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Credo Series - Episode 6

In this sixth episode in our series on the Nicene Creed we look at the phrase: "for our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried." Rosemary Swords will talk with bro. Ronan about Christ's Crucifixion.

Please share this series if you like it with your friends. We will release a new episode every week until we have gone through all the articles contained in the Creed.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Credo Series - Episode 5


In this fifth episode in our series on the Nicene Creed we look at the phrase: "and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate by the Virgin Mary and became man." Bro. Damian Polly OP will shed some light on the topic of the incarnation.

Please share this series if you like it with your friends. We will release a new expisode every week until we have gone through all the articles contained in the Creed.




Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Some thoughts about Pentecost


We are now in the time between the Ascension and Pentecost. Last Sundays Gospel narrated the story of Jesus taking leave of the disciples and being carried up into heaven. The nine days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday is the first novena which was ever prayed, in which the disciples gathered together with Our Lady to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

In this Sundays Gospel Jesus says that He will sent down what the Father has promised, the Holy Spirit, but what does this mean? If the ordinary comprehension of the disciples of what Jesus is about is an indication I would suggest they didn’t have a clue either. And while they were full of joy when they saw Jesus being taken up into the clouds, we can read in the Gospel of Luke that when Pentecost came they were afraid as usual and locked themselves up in the upper room. However we now know what happened to them, and how it transferred the disciples from being hidden and locked up by themselves into the preachers which stand up boldly and address the crowds telling them that Jesus has risen!

Does this event have any relation to my own praying of the novena for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, do I regard it as something that is actually going to happen, or an event in the past only held in a memorial? That is a difficult question. And a related question is really if I want it to happen. Do I really want to be a preacher like Saint Peter and Paul, being persecuted, flogged, scorched, stoned and eventually killed for my witness to the Good News? It is something to think about I think...

In the difference between reflecting on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a past event, and the desire to receive the grace to go out and make disciples of all the nations lies a fundamental difference. The one can maybe be said to focus on me, and my direct surroundings, and can maybe be seen to be more inward. The second however is concerned with the outgoing to the outside, to spread out. It strikes me that the commandment to “go and make disciples of all the nations” is something that needs to be taken serious, and has to be taken literary. We need to go out and make disciples. We need to go out and tell people about Jesus. We need to go out and share the joy we ourselves discover when we try and live an authentic Christian life in communion with God!

It is very easy to become inward looking, to focus on what our own direct surroundings or our own community in the Church. I dare to say that the fact that a lot of ‘ministry’ is only seen as being related to the liturgical celebrations is one of the effects of this. But instead of looking inwardly, we are called to look outward, to go out and to share. It is not about gathering up what we have and create our own comfortable place in the world, but in stead a calling to go out and gather those who are not part yet of the fold.

The joy which it is to know Jesus is something which should set out heart on fire. It puts our heart on fire to share with others who might not have experience this as yet, be in near to us, or farther afield. This time between ascension and Pentecost is maybe a time to pray especially for the grace to be able to stand up for our faith, and to have the courage as the apostles did after their Pentecost!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Credo Series - Episode 4

In this forth episode in our series on the Nicene Creed we look at the phrase: "I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father."

Bro. Conor McDonough OP talks with Dr. Carol Brown who will shed some new light for us. 

Please share this series if you like it with your friends. We will release a new expisode every week until we have gone through all the articles contained in the Creed.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Through accepting Jesus’ love we automatically accept His life giving message


Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Last Sundays Gospel, taken from the 14th chapter of the Gospel according to John, is part of the farewell discourse Jesus gave to His disciples to prepare them for the change which is about to happen; Jesus is going to be crucified and die for the sins of the world, but He will rise on the third day to open Heaven and allow us to become children of God. Jesus’ passing opens a complete new reality for us, and Jesus is preparing His disciples so “when it does happen [they] believe.” For us too, now in the time of preparation for Pentecost, it is a chance to think again about what it means that Jesus is risen and that He is with us, that it too might strengthen our own belief.

Earlier in the chapter Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except by me”. Only through Jesus can we come to the Father and to eternal life; only by listening to Him can we accept and grasp the meaning of what it is to be true children of God. It is however not an easy thing to understand how we can become children of God, and how God is going to live in us! Indeed it is a teaching that can only be understood through faith. 

The encounter with Jesus is an encounter with genuine love, and an encounter which can open our hearts to accept the Truth He is offering to us. Through accepting Jesus’ love we automatically accept His life giving message, and through this acceptance we receive the grace we need to see and understand reality as it really is.

If we love Jesus we automatically accept His message, we automatically keep His word. There is no separation between who Jesus is and what He teaches. While for people who do not have faith Jesus’ teaching can be obscure and unacceptable, for those close to Him they are life giving, and they indeed recognised it as the teachings of God Himself.

When I discovered my faith about 10 years ago this was exactly what happened in my life. The encounter with the Truth suddenly makes so many things which were obscure before as clear as glass. For me the initial encounter was through reading the Word of God, especially the Gospels, and through the love of Jesus  experienced in prayer. This new discovery opened up for me a whole new perspective of the world. It changes everything! 

If we listen to the Word of God and keep it, then God really comes to dwell within us! He comes to us and helps us to become the persons we are really meant to be, the persons we are as God intended us to be when He made us. By allowing God into our lives we open ourselves up to a new reality in which our daily lives are not limited to the finitude of our day to day business. No, it opens up our experience to already participate in some of the blessings we will receive in Heaven. 

The true light comes into our lives and sheds light on aspects we did not notice before or maybe rather did not want to see. In my own personal experience I have seen this in the whole Pro-life struggle here in Ireland. When I grew up in the Netherlands there was never a hint of the baby in the womb being a person. It was just something which was never mentioned, a question never asked, and something never thought about. It was one of those things which was hidden in the dark, in the shadowy corners of the world, to be left ignored and left obscure. But with God in our lives it becomes clear. 

The closer we are to God the better we can see what is really happening around us. This gives a security, and indeed a peace which Jesus promises us. A peace which the world cannot give. Even though seeing everything clearly is not always the easiest, it is much better to go through life in daylight then stumbling all the time in the half dark, not knowing exactly where we are going.

If we don’t accept Jesus’ Word, and do no accept His teaching, or when we reject God and close our hearts to His love we somehow lose the sense of this reality, we shun the light which can enlighten the half-dark corners of this world. Reality lived in the shadows is not real anymore but becomes an enclosed world centred on ourselves where we cannot see much further then what is within our reach. Instead of living a life which is opened by love, we live an enclosed life. This is a life which is incompatible with a life with Jesus at its centre, and by its very fact of that way of living it is possible to shut God out and reject the gifts He wants to give us. When we do accept Jesus in our lives then we find the peace Jesus promises, a peace which if we look for it in the world we cannot find, a peace the world cannot give.

This is true, and this is real. I stand up to it myself, and wouldn’t be here if I did not belief it. Walking in the light is not always easy, and sometimes we prefer the dark. However, God is always there to help and guide us. He wants to be with us, and he wants to help us, He wants to be our light. Moreover, God has sent His Holy Spirit to guide us and enlighten us. As he promised in todays Gospel, the Holy Spirit will always guides us in finding the true way, to help us to understand, and remind us of what Jesus is saying to us and who will teach us to become better people.

Finally, we are not alone, there are many people around us who have discovered the treasure of our faith too. They too have encountered the Word, and embraced it! They have found this peace Jesus is offering. They are the people who are described as kind and gentile, and they radiate a happiness which seems to some almost unreal. This is what is offered by God, only to be accepted by us as a gift.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Credo Series - Episode 3


In this third episode on our series on the Nicene Creed we talk about creation in the article: "maker of heaven and earth". Bro. Conor McDonough OP joins us this week to give some new insights. 

Please share this series if you like it with your friends. We will release a new expisode every week until we have gone through all the articles contained in the Creed.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Year of Faith: Refocus on the Faith that is given us

Pope Benedict XVI has called this year the 'Year of Faith' to put a renewed focus on the importance of what faith really is. As I have only come to believe in God about 10 years ago, I can still clearly remember what it is to discover the gift of faith. The experience that suddenly everything I knew is transformed into a new fuller reality which can only be seen through the eyes of faith. It is the light shining in the darkness, making clear so many things which were vague or unknown before. It is through faith that we discovery and come to experience that God really exists and that He loves us and wants to know us. Everything we experience in this world is subsequently coloured from this perspective. This initially experience can be almost overwhelming! 

However then, over time the ‘newness’ wears off and the excitement of the encounter can turn into a dull routine. This year is an opportunity to make an effort to once more be touched and surprised by the encounter of faith. To grow in faith and communion with our Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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