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23rd Dec. 2018 - 4th Sunday of Advent C

posted 21 Dec 2018, 08:06 by Veronica Yarwood


 H.B.&Hw.

 

Tommy Feheley was a listener. Tommy sat at the front

Tommy held his hand to his ear. Tommy never missed a word

And Tommy Feheley was my grandfather. What a gift it is to

meet someone who really listens.

 

"Hear, 0 Israel" is the daily recitation of the devout Jew.

"Hear, 0 Israel". The psalmist exclaims, "0 that today you

would listen to his voice!" Cardinal John Carmel Heenan.

opened every conference with the same wording in a retreat he

gave us in the sixth form. "0 that today you would listen to his

voice, harden not your hearts." We listened!

 

A positive relationship with God begins with listening.

Listening is more important than any ritual sacrifice. This

morning's liturgy without listening is pointless.

 

The voice of God, really listened to, 'received by the ears of

the heart', always, always, always brings good news., It calls

us to freedom. It binds up our broken hearts. If we believe,

really believe what we hear, we are set free. We are healed.

But the tragedy of the human condition has the power to

destroy our faith.

           

So the prophet, Micah, points us to a positive future. Micah

also teaches us about the time of waiting and the time of

feeling deserted and abandoned. The 'mills of God' do inde

grind slowly. There is no other way!

 

So we all have to face belief in the face of seeming desertion,

trust and certainty against the odds. It takes a leap of faith on

our part and a trust that does not demand proof.

 

So, "when faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of

being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the

realm of nature doesn't work anymore, when survival is

threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an

individual human - or a species - will either die or become

extinct or rise above the limitations of their condition through

an evolutionary leap", a leap of faith. And radical crisis

becomes radical creativity. A new heaven and a new earth!

 

Mary takes the great leap of faith. Mary believes and permits

the divine voice to take flesh. The Good News takes flesh in

Mary because she listens and believes. And the joy of the Hot,

Spirit will fill us to the extent that we listen and believe.

 

As St. Ambrose says in his commentary on St. Luke's Gospel

"But you too, who have heard and have believed, are blessed.

Every soul who has believed both conceives and generates the

Word of God and recognises his works." And that is a new

consciousness, empowered to create a new heaven and a new

earth.

 

16th Dec. 2018 - 3rd Sunday of Advent C

posted 14 Dec 2018, 08:41 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. &Hw.

"What must we do?" (Luke: 3.10) We only know what we

must do if we know who we are. Our innermost sense of

self, our innermost sense of who we are is inseparable from

stillness. This is the "I am" that is deeper than our name.

This is the "I am" that is deeper than our form, male-female,

fat-thin, old-young, rich-poor, black-white, whatever. And

we can all say, "I am who I am."

 

Now where have we heard that before? The divine name is

revealed to Moses in the same terms". . . God said to

Moses, 'I Am who I Am'." (Exodus. 3.14). "The Lord", as

St. Paul says to the Philippians, "is very near." This is not a

question of proximity. It is all to do with relationship and

identity. It is all to do with who God is and who we are.

Zephaniah expresses it in terms of location. "The Lord your

God is in your midst." This is not divinity present

somewhere in the crowd; this is God through us, with us and

in us. Or maybe we should reverse the expression to: this is

us through, with and in God. This is who we really are.

 

This is our true self. A far cry from our false self, the egoic

self that searches for security, for power or control and for

esteem and approval. That in turn determines most of our

desires and actions, our ideas and emotions. Enslaved to the

false self and most of us are, we are invited to be our true

selves, to share Our all with all to be honest and just in all

our dealings, "No intimidation! No extortion!" (Luke: 3.12).

 

We are invited to acceptance and surrender, to contentment

in other words. No more "Why is this happening to me?"

And this is what we must do because we are who we are,

persons in relationship with persons, like Father, Son and

Spirit. It is called divinity and we are into ever "deeper,

more intimate, more reliable, more appropriate, more

delightful relationship" with God and each other.

 

"The Lord will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day

of festival" (Zephaniah. 3.18). So all God wants is a

universal party, an infinite 'bash'! No one and no thing

excluded. We are Gaudete Sunday people, a people of

festival and joy because we know who we are, beneficiaries

of the unconditional love of God who is forever giving

herself/himself to us completely. We live with "A feeling of

expectancy" because it can only get better and better as we

know better and better, who we really are. So "why not

accept the largesse of God? And why not allow Christ to be

Christ in us and unfold our lives in union with the ingenuity,

intelligence and healing that is the way and purpose of (the)

Christ?" (Fr. Thomas Keating) This is profound joy and

eternal festival. Gaudete! Rejoice!

 

9th Dec. 2018 - 2nd Sun. of Advent A

posted 6 Dec 2018, 07:48 by Veronica Yarwood


Bible Sunday

You notice we stand to greet the Gospel. You

notice we greet the Gospel with Alleluias.

When we have enough servers we attend the

book with lights. We honour the book with

incense. The reading from the Bible is

announced. Everyone says, "Glory to you,

Lord." And when it is finished we say, "Praise

to you, Lord Jesus Christ." It is as if Christ has

been present in the reading and spoken in

person. The kiss which the reader gives to the

book is a mark of respect and affection which is

not even given to the Eucharist. Clearly what

the whole ceremony emphasises is the

sacredness of the Bible, the whole Bible. It is

one book, and all of it is the word of God.

 

The word today is of harmony and peace - the

young calf and baby lion feeding together with a

little boy to lead them, while the cow and bear

make friends. We accept the imagery as

beautiful poetry but hesitate over the implied

reality, except that this harmony and peace is

of Christ. Paul sees a unity in the whole

economy of God's saving actions which have

been performed for all. Whether one is a Jew

or a Gentile now no longer matters. What is

crucial is that people should treat one another in

a Christ-like manner, accepting difference but

doing everything to avoid splintering into

dividing factions.

 

Let's face it, we splinter and we divide all day

and everyday. It is the way we have been

nurtured and educated, in a culture which always

divides the field and knows no other. It is

always 'either or' with us, never 'both and'. So

it is them and us, black and white, Muslim

Christian, Catholic and Protestant. We even run

our country on opposition politics and believe it

to be an enlightened way of going on. Our

everyday lives are littered with division,

difference and divorce.

 

You name it we will divide it because we are

dualistic thinkers, all of us. We even divide the

indivisible. And it is like splitting the atom.

Its effects radiate everywhere and for ever.

Speaking of which, atomic weapons are not the

threat. Our dualistic thinking is the threat and

leads to the use of such. And we shoot and we

bomb and we slay and we slaughter, sometimes

with bullets and high explosive, sometimes with

our thoughts, words and deeds. That is us,

controlling, protecting, managing and

manipulating and for ever dividing, all for the

sake of a false self, national, international or

personal.

 

So in the light of the Gospel we make for the

exit. We get out of the dualistic mind. We get

out of the false self and make for the way of the

Lord, the direct route to salvation for all. We

get out of the way and let God teach us the unity

of all his works, the unity of all persons, the

unity of all  places, the unity of all things. We no

longer divide the field. Then we do no hurt, no

harm, for the country is filled with the

knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the

sea. This is the word of the Lord, who is harmony

and peace, the Infinite Being and very God.

 

Untitled

posted 1 Dec 2018, 05:16 by Veronica Yarwood


2nd Dec. 2018 - 1st Sunday of Advent

posted 30 Nov 2018, 14:05 by Veronica Yarwood


So what are we to make of all this talk of our futures?

How are we to cope with apocalyptic images and

catastrophic symbols? What we do is: we go for the

essential revelation, the heart of the message. We open

our minds and hearts to the message of consolation and

hope We are not headed for an eternal void and

deathly silence We are into encounter with the creator

and each of us is loved into life upon life upon life

This is what all the waiting is about. Throughout the

human story we have awaited the Christ. We expect,

we hope and we look out for the Christ This is our

Christian condition, evermore ready for, always

expectant, excited even.  We are bubbly, irrepressible

and passionate about what has happened, is coming to

pass and will be consummated through, with and in the

One who comes We are Advent people Please

excuse our irrepressible, restive excitability. We can't

help ourselves! Our lives are Advent lives characterised

by joyful expeótatión.

 

So our waiting and our expectation is guaranteed

fulfilment. After all, we await the One who has already

come and who walks with us even now. It is a question

of depth and the fullness of life in Christ is limitless,

infinite. There is and always will be more, more life,

more love

 

 Hence the expression in our tradition of 'life

upon life upon life'. We should add love upon  love upon

love'; but then they are the same. And the Advent Christ

is among us, not only in the Eucharist, in the Word, in

the poor, in the Church but by grace, he lives in our

hearts and in faith we experience this presence.
(Seamus Tuohy. QP.)

 

So our waiting is not an empty biding of time. In Advent

we do not let time pass. We are evermore spiritually

aware of what is going on all around us; "The Son of

Man is coming ... with power and great glory". "(Our)

liberation is near at hand". The real Christmas rush is

that of the Spirit increasing our love and making us love

one another and the whole human race.

So the words we hear today. . are not directed to

audiences Other than us. These are appeals that we

must heed in the midst of the difficulties and

uncertainties of these times (Jose A. Pagola)

 

Have an exciting Advent. Be adventurous! "We are waiting in

hope for the blessings of the glorious coming of our Saviour".

 

 

25th Nov. 2018 Our Lord, Jesus Christ the King

posted 24 Nov 2018, 08:31 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B. & Hw.

His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty. There is no

gainsaying this. This is the unalterable fact. The absolute

truth. It's majestic, mighty and powerful. It's immovable,

firm and eternal. Or rather he. He is majestic, mighty and

powerful. Immovable, firm and eternal. Jesus not only bears

witness to the truth. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is Lord, Jesus is

King.

 

Not that we, are into power politics, multi-nationals and

territorial claims. We are talking about the ultimate power who

sustains the whole creation, the Cosmic Christ. "This is not a

problem-solving Christ, not a denominational or cultural

Christ, not a Christ domesticated by the churches. This Christ

names in his life and person what matters, what lasts and

finally what is. He holds it all together in significance, reveals

the redemptive pattern that we call the life and death of things

and holds the meaning and value of our lives outside of

ourselves!" (Richard Rohr, 'Radical Grace', p. 387)

 

In tune with the Cosmic Christ we enter the true rhythm of life.

Out of synch we experience discord, dissonance and

discomfort. That deep down contradiction. Never at ease. At

odds with ourselves and others. Babel and pandemonium

where we never get it right.

 

Whereas our calling is to identity. We are invited to share all

that Jesus is and has. To live life fully in the truth. To serve

and to pray. That's it in a nutshell. To serve and to pray. To

be kings and priests and prophets. What! Me! Yes, you! In

fact that is today's revelation and apocalypse: "He loves us and

has washed away our sins with his blood and made us a line of

kings and priests to serve his God and Father." (Apoc. 1:5-8)

 

We, like Jesus, are "born for this," come "into the world for

this." That's the truth. To be and do any other is like banging

our head against a brick wall. Only far worse! It's the ultimate

in frustration. There is only one way of life. To live by the

truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and the truth is

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Universal King and Cosmic Christ.

 

11th Nov. 2018 - 32nd Sun of the Year Yr. B

posted 9 Nov 2018, 14:17 by Veronica Yarwood

 

HB & Hw

 

No woman and mother gives her last morsel to

a stranger without a certain attitude of mind.

No widow gives her last few pence away

without a certain attitude of mind. No one lays

down his life for his friends with out a certain

attitude of mind.

 

This attitude says that there is more to life than

the self and self interest. It says that life is for

living. Or, paradoxically, life is for dying in the

sense that our lives are given us to give away.

Not just to end it all, you understand, but to

enhance it all and bring our lives to fullness and

flowering.

 

As the inspired poet puts it:

"Jar of meal shall not be spent

Jug of oil shall not be emptied

Before the day when the Lord sends

Rain on the face of the earth."

 

This is the language of completeness and

fulfilment. This is the language of life upon

life upon life, eternal, indestructible life, life as it

is meant to be. Our Psalmist expresses this

fullness of life as justice full blown, satisfaction

and freedom. Our Psalmist expresses this

fullness of life as understanding, vision and

wisdom. The Psalmist expresses the quality of

a life lived to the full and given away as love,

security and total affirmation.

 

What a mockery, then, to reduce life to long

robes, popularity and pride of place, even if it is

in the name of religion. And what cynicism to

use life to deprive others near or far off of their

just deserts and rights, even if we do spend

hours in prayer.

 

Life and love are not about left overs and spares.

Life and love are about sharing our last crust,

putting in everything we possess, all we have to

live on, laying down our lives. Life is about

total commitment to life. Its about risk and

adventure.

 

Such commitment raises our quality of life onto

a different plain. We excel ourselves. And

there is no man-made measure to gauge such

excellence. We have to admit that" eye hath

not seen nor ear heard" the like. We are into

our supernatural dimension of love and

generosity, of life given away in total

commitment to others.

 

It is unique, never to be repeated, never needing

to be repeated, a release of power and plenty,

this life of total commitment. It is of a piece

with the sacrifice of the Lord which is once and

for all. Our sacrifice feeds into his, is a part of

his once and for all and final offering which is

powerful to eradicate sin and plentiful in

succour, salvation and unending joy.

 

4th November 2018 - 31st Sunday of the Year B

posted 2 Nov 2018, 10:05 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B.&Hw.

The unreserved love of God is the key to infinite treasure,

human resource and abundance. Our exclusive adherence

to the Lord opens us to a God of strength, a 'rock', a

'fortress', a 'shield', a 'stronghold' And at the heart of it

all is love: hence our prayer, "I love you, Lord, my

strength."

 

However, of equal weight to 'love of God' is love of

neighbour. This is the novelty of Jesus' teaching Jesus

amplifies the great commandment and expresses the

complete reality. And it is love of God and neighbour, far

more important, it must be said, than any empty ritual!'

 

So we love God because God loves us first. It is because

God is love that we are enabled and called to love in return.

This is the bedrock, resource, help and strength -that frees -

us to love one another. And here we are, thinking we do it

all on our own! We depend utterly on a deeper word that

must be written in our hearts so that our deeper instincts are

redirected and reshaped in the direction of love.

 

And that word that must be written in our hearts is Jesus.

Jesus is the unique mediator who unites and reunites us to

the God who is love. Jesus makes compassionate love

visible in person. Jesus is heavenly sanctuary and eternal

love offering. In union with Jesus and only in union with

Jesus do we ever make a true offering of love for love to

the Father.

 

As St. Paul puts it: ". . . but you, God has made members of

Christ Jesus and by God's doing, he has become our

wisdom and our virtue and our holiness and our freedom.

As scripture says: 'if anyone wants to boast, let him boast

about the Lord." (1 Cor. 1:30) So this is where we stand.

"We stand with Christ so that his self-offering may become

ours. The new covenant (of love) is received as food and

drink so that, instead of remaining words on a page, it may

be written deep into our bodies, on our hearts."

(Columba McCann, O.S.B.)

 

28th October 2018 - 30th Sunday of the Year B

posted 26 Oct 2018, 08:18 by Veronica Yarwood


H.B.&Hw.

So how do we cope with the massive wreckage of our

cherished world? We return to a deep theology of suffering

as the basis for the construction of new possibilities and

restoration. We think what seems culturally unthinkable.

We think beyond conventional wisdom and well beyond the

apparent permanence of the recent past. We follow the path

through suffering to hope. We turn difficult experiences into

sources of life.

 

And we find a very hopeful Jeremiah speaking to us this

morning. He speaks of restoration, smooth journeys and

abundance. This is "new earth" speke.

 

The Lord is Father of all, on whom he bestows blessing upon

blessing. All a far cry from the doom and gloom we normally

associate with Jeremiah. He enters our English language even

as Prophet Grumpy. Jeremiah then, sees the light at the end of

the tunnel. Exile is not the end of the story for God's people

and we are God's people. Rather, the final outcome. is

complete restoration, "a new earth" to use the apocalyptic

expression.

 

So what bearing does all this have on our present experience?

Just this, that we are a church or community in exile, more

religious than spiritual, it has to be said. We worship the idols

of security, power and certainty and end up in the exile of our

own infallibility. It is the ever recurring experience of idol

worshipping communities.

 

So Jeremiah's word is music to our ears. There is restoration

and things will never be the same again. There is no going

back. And the restoration is a condition of mind and heart and

will. It is restoration to a right mind, a loving heart and

righteous will; a totally new consciousness, now. And we all

have the power to make a difference. A New Earth begins

with a new me.

 

We note the restorer. He is one like us. He even takes our

exiled condition on himself and accepts the consequences of

our egoic idolatry. Jesus accepts our condition totally and

deals with it.

 

In the first place he rejects the security, power and certainty

offered by the Devil or the ego as some would call it and

identifies completely with the Father's will. In this, he

demonstrates where enlightenment and life are to be found.

John has Jesus' say, "I am the Light of the World. . . anyone

who follows me will have the light of life." (John: 8.12). Paul

sums it up differently,". . . Jesus abolished death (all that

false security, power and certainty nonsense) and has

proclaimed life. . ." THE life, the Godhead.

 

It is amazing, marvelous deliverance from bondage to our ego

and our collective ego, something we never dreamed possible.

 And so we are essentially a people of song, joy and laughter,

deep peace and perfect bliss. Even the heathens themselves

say, "What marvels the Lord worked for them." Our

consciousness is being restored. We need only throw off the

cloak of our exile and blindness, have the courage to come to

the Lord Jesus, tell him what we want, believe in him and then

follow him, now, in the power of now.

14th Oct. 2018 - 28th Sunday of the Year B

posted 13 Oct 2018, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B.&Hw.

"I prayed and understanding was given me;" (Wisdom: 7.7)

This understanding is a gradual dawning of the truth. We

come to realise the truth by being prayerful. We come to live

in the power of now.

 

Raising the mind to God gives us the advantage of an

irreversible power in our lives. A mind-bending operation

unfolds in prayer. So, for example, we begin to look on

persons, places and life situations in a new light. This light is

a divine light and the true light. And we are being

enlightened.

 

We raise the heart to God in prayer and our whole being is

plunged into divinity. More accurately, we recognise the

divinity that is through us, with and in us.

 

These claims for prayer may seem extravagant. But this is

what we are involved in when we are prayerful. We let

ourselves go in a sacred environment of life and love, Father,

Son and Holy Spirit. Prayer is God business. And even that

needs an apostrophe: prayer is God's business, as Sr. Wendy

Beckett puts it. We come to prayer in an outburst of the

divinity. God's is the initiative always, even when we think

we have chosen to pray.

 

Prayer is common to all World Religions. It is the one

common commitment, eagerly expressed in a thousand

cultures of prayer. Prayer is the spiritual instinct of our

common humanity. Spiritual beings as well as physical,

prayer is the oxygen of our human existence.

 

Prayer is the way to God's pity, love and joy, even in the

midst of total affliction and utter misfortune. The glory,

favour and true success of the Lord are ours in prayer. In

prayer we watch and know that our thoughts and emotions

the stuff of our unconsciousness and ego and false self. In the

sacrament of the now we are true self through, with and in

THE self, the deity.

 

Prayer reveals the mysteries of the kingdom to those of us who

pray out of our utter dependence on the one, true God. If our

prayer is the prayer of the poor in spirit, ours is the kingdom

of heaven. The judgement is now and the kingdom is ours,

now!

 

For the rich young man this is the point of departure. Jesus

leads off and says, "Follow me." Follow me in a life of pray

and complete intimacy with the very Godhead. But the

consciousness-raising of a life of prayer is too much. After

all, it means the surrender of our security, control and

certainty. And that is too much for most and certainly for on

rich young man. Securing the future, the rich young man loses

the present and THE presence and the now.

 

So potential is unfulfilled as is always the case with neglect of

prayer. After all, it means the power lines are down. We are

without the light of life. We are without the warmth of a true

relationship with God and we have no interpersonal

communication with the Father through Jesus in the spirit. We

are in the death zone.

 

This kind of exposure does not make sense in an adventure of

love and that is what our faith is. It is a passionate thing; it is

not a programme of rules and prohibitions which quickly

degenerate into superstition. When the Lord says, "Come.,

follow me", it is for life and the larger life, now. And there is

only the now. 

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