CEPHAS 2017: Faith and Reason

Report on the recent conference at Stone

‘Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta, in the poetry of Homer, in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives’ (Fides et ratio, 1998)

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On the Mother of God and Grace

Talk for the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Stone by Fr Benedict Jonak o.p.

We say this prayer many times every day. In fact, for many of us who say the Rosary regularly, it is the prayer that we say most often: ‘Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mather of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Amen.Why do we have such a great devotion to the Mother of God? Is it simply a matter of a well established Catholic sentiment?

 

I'd like to explore with you today what it means for us to say that 'Mary is full of grace'.Let us do it by considering the life of the Mother of God in its three crucial stages:

The first stage is from her Immaculate Conception in the womb of St Anne to the moment of Annunciation: when Christ, the Word of God, the Son of God, begins His Incarnate life in the womb of His mother. 

Second, from the moment of Christ's incarnation to His Ascension to the right hand of the Father.  And third stage of Mary's life: from Christ's Ascension until now.

 Let us begin then. 

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Aquinas and The Mysteries of Light

On Saturday 25th March the Rosary Shrine hosted its first day conference in Blackfriars Hall. Four talks were given on the insights into the mysteries we contemplate in the Rosary which are found in the works of the great Dominican theologian St Thomas Aquinas.  The following is Sr Ann's talk.

The other talks at the conference may be found at the following link: http://rosaryshrine.co.uk/conference-talks/

"Et in mundo conversatus, sparso verbi semini" St Thomas on the Mysteries of Christ's Ministry, and on the lessons of His lifestyle. by Sr Ann Swailes o.p.

 

photo by Lawrence Lew o.p.

The eagle eyed among you will recognise that, in the way today's conference has been structured, the four papers correspond to the four chaplets of the rosary, the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries.

This is both obviously and deeply appropriate in this place, where the rosary is literally built into the fabric of the church next door, but at first sight, perhaps I could be forgiven for thinking that, in being asked to speak here, of all places,  about the mysteries of light, the mysteries, as my title puts it, of Christ's ministry, I've drawn something of a short straw compared with my three dear brothers in St. Dominic

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To Praise, To Bless, To Preach.