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How To Practice A Good Lent – Part 3

There is one means more whereby we are to secure ourselves the great graces of Lent; it is the spirit of retirement and separation from the world. Our ordinary life, such as it is during the rest of the year, should all be made to pay tribute to the holy season of penance; otherwise, the salutary impression produced on us by the holy ceremony of Ash Wednesday will soon be effaced.The Christian ought, therefore, to forbid himself, during Lent, all … Read More

How To Practice A Good Lent – Part 2

But it will be asked: ‘Are there, then, no lawful dispensations?’ We answer that there are; and that they are more needed now than in former ages, owing to the general weakness of our constitutions. Still, there is great danger of our deceiving ourselves. If we have strength to go through great fatigues when our own self-love is gratified by them, how is it we are too weak to observe abstinence? If a slight inconvenience deter us from doing this … Read More

Garabandal Hill of Hope

A Message of Great Significance: The appearances of Our Lady at Garabandal from 1961 to 1965 have not been approved by the Catholic Church. While they have also not been condemned, the lack of official sanction has meant that many of us Catholics have failed to pay them the attention they deserve. The Garabandal events are associated with messages and prophecies that are remarkable and that have huge connotations, which, as time has gone by, have merely made everything to … Read More

What is the Church?

Is the Church to be understood like a great department of spiritual welfare? Is it where we go when we need the kind of nourishment that can’t be obtained elsewhere? This is now the time when we Catholics should know how to talk about Holy Mother Church when so many simply understand her as an institution and when she is so prone to being criticised. Like government departments and the Health Service Executive, we recognise our dependence on these institutions … Read More

Water is the Scriptures

Holy Scripture presents water full of meaning. It is associated with birth and fertility, suffering and conversion. Throughout the Bible, water is presented as a means of purification and ablution ultimately preparing souls for the indwelling of Divine Life by baptism. Among the three other elements (fire, earth and air), water is the first to be described as created by God Himself, who grants it to whomever He pleases. Genesis distinguishes “the waters that were under the firmament, from those … Read More

How Can We Foster Vocations?

Some Insights from Irish PriestsThe bishop of Ossory, Dermot Farrell, recently made news when he predicted that the number of priests in his diocese would halve within the next ten years. It was rather surprising that this declaration reached the headlines, since the vocations crisis in Ireland is nothing new. In 1965, four hundred and twelve priests were ordained in Ireland, the highest number on record. Ever since then, the number has been falling steadily. Statistics on ordination are (unsurprisingly) … Read More

Mother Angelica’s Trust in God

Mother Angelica: a woman of great faith and wisdom.According to the media, 2016 was awash with celebrity deaths, probably no more than usual. Celebrities die every year, possibly more died in other years than died in 2016, or maybe that year was out of the ordinary, I don’t know and have no desire to find out. One thing that frustrated me though is that throughout most of 2016, some of these celebrities were being paraded as heroes. I’ve no doubt … Read More

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat.

The Triumph of the Risen Christ.The moving of the day celebrating the solemnity of Corpus Christi from Thursday to Sunday brought about changes, perhaps unforeseen. This applies particularly to the procession historically associated with Corpus Christi. In the past every school child was familiar with this great feast which meant not alone a free day, but very different things were happening involving the entire town or village. The Catholic Church is renowned for processions. There is a long history attached … Read More

Pentecost – The Birthday of the Catholic Church

WHITSUNTIDENo doubt there are some Catholics who remember the beautiful season known as Whitsuntide. This began with Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday, followed by Whit Monday and Whit Tuesday. Certain beliefs and practices associated with this time, though not necessarily spiritual, had nonetheless the benefit of focussing attention on the significance of the entire season of Pentecost. This liturgical season is preceded in importance only by Easter and Christmas. Before the reform in the liturgical calendar, every Sunday was named as a Sunday after Pentecost – the time we … Read More

Is the Church Militant militant enough?

In this new, weekly column. I shall speak my mind plainly but with affection for all and hatred for none. You will find no challenges to your faith here. One either accepts that the Lord of Life is Who He said He was and that His Church is what He said she would be or one does not. I do. So there. Faith, as the Catechism says, is a supernatural gift of God, by which we are enabled to believe … Read More

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