Penance as Prayer

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.

Read more: Penance as Prayer

St. Dominic and friendship....

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.

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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)

Read more: CEPHAS 2017: Faith and Reason

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. 

Read more: On the Mother of God and Grace

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