Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A little early for Easter eggs?

Even while the shops were selling off surplus stocks of Christmas cards and crackers, chocolate Easter eggs began to appear. But while at least some of the cards did convey something of the meaning of Christmas, none of the eggs convey the meaning of Easter. I have often struggled to get chocolate lambs rather than chicks, believing at least that they did relate to Jesus as the Lamb of God. So when one of our HFG members sent me this link for the blog I am more than happy to include it. What a great initiative! so may the eggs you give this year be truly the real deal! Go to www.realeasteregg.co.uk and order yours now!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A timely reminder for parents

On Sunday I watched on EWTN as Pope Benedict XVI baptised 16 babies in the Sistine Chapel. This is an annual ceremony which takes place on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The children baptised belong to couples who work in Vatican City. What a privilege and what a wonderful memory for the family album and yet what is happening is more marvellous than the occasion or the Michelangelo decorated venue. The Pope in his homily tells the parents,
"Baptism, which you ask for your children today, inserts them into the reciprocal exchange of love that exists in God between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; by this gesture that I am going to perform, the love of God is poured out upon them, inundating them with his gifts. By being bathed in the water, your children are inserted into the life itself of Jesus, who died on the cross to free us from sin, and rising, conquered death. So, spiritually immersed in his death and resurrection, [these children] are freed from original sin and in them the life of grace begins, which is the very life of the risen Jesus."
Wow! So that is what happens when the sacrament is administered. Present day catechetics often fails to draw attention to the removal of original sin at baptism and concentrates in preference on welcoming the child into God's family. We are duly reminded by our Holy Father that, much more than being a sign of unity, baptism has a salvific nature.
Once parents grasp the awesomeness of the sacrament they will be helped to take more seriously their own task as the first and foremost educators of their children. As the Pope also said,
"it is necessary that after baptism {the children} are educated in faith, instructed according to the wisdom of sacred Scripture and the Church's teachings, so that the seeds of faith that they receive today can grow, and they can reach full Christian maturity."
Let us pray for all parents, that the Holy Spirit will help and guide them in their work of passing on the faith in the context of their little domestic church.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy Feast!

Today the Christmas season is brought to an end with the wonderful Feast of Epiphany. It is time for the three Wise men to enter our crib scenes as they did in Bethleham on the first Christmas. We save a small gift for today to represent the gifts of the Magi. In Spain this is the main gift giving day.
Today, ask a priest at Mass to bless a piece of chalk for you and when you return home perform the blessing using the chalk as follows:- 
+Epiphany Blessing Of A Home+

All make the Sign of the Cross.
Head of Household: "Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be..... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Using chalk, write on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance, numbers and initials:

This stands for the first half of the current year, Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ bless this house) followed by the second half of the current year 
The intials may also stand for the three Wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take your decorations down but leave your crib in place - the Magi have just arrived after all! It can remain until the Feast of Candlemas in February. We also leave a tiny piece of tinsel in there to represent the Christmas joy we have just experienced.
Some readers might also like to write to their Bishop today and ask him to return the feast to its correct day (in the UK it is moved to the nearest Sunday) but whatever you do go to Mass and celebrate.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My New Years Honours List 2012

This year my awards go to

Clare Carver, a young girl who has spent the whole year in hospital following an accident ‎which left her on life support and in a coma with horrific injuries. Thanks be to God she has made remarkable progress and has been an inspiration to many.

My mother who died in January,  just because she's my mother and I miss her.

Familiaris Consortio on the 30th Anniversary of its publication. Thank you Blessed John Paul II.

The Dominican Sisters and the Maryvale Institute for their Anchor Catechetical Programme. A void is at long last filled!

'The Way' movie which allowed my husband and I as well as many other movie goers to experience the Camino in all its splendour and truth.

The Anglican Ordinariate. Thank you Pope Benedict!

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury who seems to be acting like a Catholic Bishop - is he a voice crying in the wilderness?

Father Robert Barron and his series 'Catholicism'. Oh please when can we see it in the UK?

The new translation of the Roman Missal

Sister Angelina, one of 26 missionaries killed last year. She was bringing medical aid to refugees in Sudan.

Our Holy Family Guild families, living and sharing their faith together in an increasingly secular society.