'Lord, you made us a kingdom, and priests to serve our God': The priesthood of the laity

by Sr Tamsin Geach o.p.

When I undertook to give this talk it was the fruit of a long-standing frustration I have had with some Catholics, who when you mention the priesthood of the laity and how important it is will say ‘Yes indeed, there should be more readers, more extraordinary ministers of communion, and lay people should be allowed to preach in church.’  Regardless of whether one agrees with the sentiments thus expressed, this is not the priesthood of the laity.  This is the priesthood of the clergy, in which the laity may assist in various ways, but which is not proper to them.  Although as Canon Law states: " When the necessity of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion in accord with the prescriptions of the law" [Code of Canon Law, Can. 230, par. 3.] this does not make Pastors of the lay faithful: Only the Sacrament of Orders gives the ordained minister a particular participation in the office of Christ, the Shepherd and Head, and in his Eternal Priesthood [Cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 2 and 5.]

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The Holy Preaching 2.1 In the Imitation of Christ:  An Introduction to the Beatitudes

In the Imitation of Christ:  An Introduction to the Beatitudes

by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3–12)

As it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church ‘The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1717). One of the main differences between Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is not a system of thought, according to which you gradually perfect yourself.  Rather it is an invitation to relationship with God the Father in God the Holy Spirit, through God the Son.  At first glance the Beatitudes do seem to present a systematised programme for action.  And so indeed they do, but that is not all.

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Pride: Humanity’s Paradise Lost.

by Sr Rose Rolling o.p.

A photograph by Lawrence Lew o.p.
Expulsion from Eden.  Picture by Lawrence Lew o.p.

Introduction Over the course of the last eight months we have journeyed through the Eight Evil Thoughts, those eight capital vices identified by the Desert Father Evagrius of Pontus that wound our fallen human nature and tempt us to sin. Tonight, we have arrived at the final – and most destructive – of the evil thoughts, which is pride.
Definition So what is pride exactly?  Pride can denote either a vice or a healthy ego state.  Let’s take the latter view first. Pride in this sense is what we may better term ‘self-respect’. It’s an unfortunate linguistic feature that our language uses the same word to mean two such opposite traits, since it can be a source of confusion or even outrage when Christians are heard to condemn pride and the meaning of the word is interpreted to mean self-respect or self-esteem.

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Vanity – Beauty’s Ugly Step-Sister

By Sr Ann Cathereine Swailes o.p

We are coming close to the end of our series of talks on the Eight Evil Thoughts, and this is the second of these sessions I’ve been privileged to lead. In both cases, I jumped at the chance to tackle the particular evil thought in question, though for rather different reasons. Back in the Autumn, I spoke about sadness, and I was particularly keen to do so because that topic chimed with a lot of thinking I’d been doing in connection with my research as a (very) mature postgraduate student writing a thesis on the theology of suffering. Tonight’s theme was, by contrast, something I’m not sure I’ve ever thought very much about, and so I looked forward to the challenge, on the other side of finishing my studies, of getting to grips

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Necrology Sister Mary Cecily Boulding

Cecilia Boulding (Sister Mary Cecily) was born on July 7 th 1933 to Reginald and
Josephine Boulding, she was the fifth child of six and one of her brothers, Peter
became a secular priest and her youngest sister joined the Benedictines
becoming the renowned Dame Maria Boulding of Stanbrook Abbey.

Cecily’s father was a pioneer in the development of Radar for defence
purposes and received the OBE for this at the end of World War One and was
again involved in its development in World War Two.
Cecily was baptised when she was two days old and received her education at
the Ursuline Convent School in Wimbledon where the family lived.

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