Receiving a blessing at the First Mass of a newly ordained Priest
by Sr Tamsin Mary
Sometimes in the humdrum of our lives we wish we had the gifts of some other person, and this wish is not always ignoble – or if it is it very skilfully disguises itself – ‘If only I could be the great saint who converts my country, or who sacrifices all and puts an end to abortion, or who preaches so magnificently that my religious Congregation is restored to its former vitality’ or whatever floats your boat. There may well be some genuine sorrow there for the ‘might-have –been’ that we have conclusively ruled out because of our sins. I wish I had been more generous earlier and become a sister in my twenties, for example.
A talk given for a ‘teams of Our Lady’ retreat by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach
When we were discussing themes for this year’s retreat and day of recollection two ideas emerged – the theme of prayer and the theme of confession. As I was reflecting on what I could say I thought that I could talk about both – that perhaps to see the sacrament as a way of prayer would shed light on the whole theme of confession, and to talk about confession as prayer would shed light on the idea of prayer.
Start then with prayer: Prayer is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God. There are traditionally four main strands in prayer – petition, adoration, contrition and thanksgiving. Conveniently for remembering this there is the acronym ‘PACT.’ So in the confession of sins all these elements should be present, although maybe not quite in that order. Firstly, we may find in our life of prayer some sense of blockage, woundedness, a sense of being called to a conversion we are not ready to make.
by Sr M. Jadwiga
I call you friends not servants because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father.
This, of course, is a passage from John, but in the passage which Sr M. Joanna read to us the other evening, Simon Tugwell says that Dominic did not found the Order, rather he friended it: he was the friend of those who joined him in preaching, and gave them an Order to found. The note of friendship is, indeed, one that sounds throughout Dominic’s life. We are told that he was a friend of Simon de Montfort – an unlikely person, one would have thought, for Dominic to be friend to; even more famous, perhaps, and the subject of a number of pictures is his friendship with Francis; - a prayer attributed to Bl. Jordan (Dominic’s successor as Master of the Order) talks of Dominic’s friendship with Christ.