Father Bob Writes – February 22nd and March 1st

As we enter into another Lenten season, below are some reflections given by Pope Francis while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires:

“In the life of the disciple, Lent becomes an important time for inner reflection – a turning point – to shake our hearts out of the routine and laziness of comfort.

Lent, in order to be authentic and fruitful, far from being merely a time of observance, must be a time of conversion, of returning to the roots of our life with God. It must be a time of conversion that flows out of gratitude for all that God has given us, for all that he has accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the world, in history and in our own personal lives…

During Lent, through conversion, we go back to the roots of our faith by contemplating the immeasurable gift of redemption, and we realize that everything has been freely given to us by God’s own initiative. Faith is the gift of God that cannot but lead us to a gratefulness that will manifest its fruit in love. Love shares everything it has and reveals itself in communication. There is no true faith that is not manifested in love. And love is not Christian love if it is not generous and concrete. A decidedly generous love is a sign of faith and an invitation to faith. When we care for the needs of our brothers and sisters, like the Good Samaritan did, we are proclaiming the Kingdom and making it present.

Thanksgiving, conversion, faith, generous love and mission are key words for prayer during this time…I wish you a holy Lenten season.”

Happy Lent, everyone!!

 

Fr Bob Writes for February 15th

Here are some inspiring words from St Bonaventure on the importance of bible study:

“The source of sacred Scripture was not human research but divine revelation. This revelation comes from “the Father of Light “…From him, through Jesus Christ his Son, the Holy Spirit enters into us. Then, through the Holy Spirit who allots and apportions his gifts to each person as he wishes, we receive the gift of faith, and through faith Christ lives in our hearts. So we come to know Christ and this knowledge becomes the main source of a firm understanding of the truth of all sacred Scripture. It is impossible, therefore, for anyone to achieve this understanding unless he first receives the gift of faith in Christ. This faith is the foundation of the whole Bible, a lamp and a key to its understanding…

The outcome or the fruit of reading Holy Scripture is by no means negligible: it is the fullness of eternal happiness. For these are the books which tell us of eternal life, which were written not only that we might believe but also that we might have everlasting life. When we do live that life we shall understand fully, we shall love completely, and our desires will be totally satisfied. Then, with all our needs fulfilled, we shall truly know the love that surpasses understanding and so be filled with the fullness of God. The purpose of the Scriptures, which come to us from God, is to lead us to this fullness according to the truths contained in those sayings of the apostles to which I have referred. In order to achieve this, we must study holy Scripture carefully, and teach it and listen to it in the same way.”

Why not make a decision to attend our parish bible study during Lent as part of your desire to grow closer to Jesus Christ? As St Jerome wrote: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus Christ ” 

Fr Bob Writes – February 8, 2015

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

The following is taken from the book “Rebuilt” by Michael White and Tom Corcoran:

“Jesus commanded, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself ” (Matthew 22:39). To love your neighbour as yourself, you’ve got to, well – love yourself. Disciples love themselves not by indulging themselves, but rather by taking care of themselves.

Jesus invested time in his own self-care. Time and again in the gospels he withdraws from the crowds and even from his friends for quiet time alone. There he refreshes himself and renews his relationship with the Father. Obviously he pours himself into the lives of others, but only after he allows himself to be filled up. That’s the example disciples follow.

While modern society pushes people to their limits, disciples preserve margin in their schedules. Because it is in the margins that rest and refreshment are found and relationships happen. Disciples accept the responsibility to care for themselves in other ways, too, building the energy and resources they need to live as God commands. Physical exercise and good nutrition are part of the process. A weaning away from self-defeating habits like alcohol abuse, nicotine addiction, anger mismanagement, and bad behaviours like gossip, profanity, or pornography, are what disciples do too. As Matthew Kelly aptly sums it up, what we’re talking about is a lifestyle change. 

Our self-care is preparatory to loving one another. The Church we read about in the Acts of the Apostles was so attractive precisely because they loved one another in a selfless, wholehearted way. And Jesus promises that love like that will be the definitive identification of his followers (cf John 13:35). It is the most evident fruit of the Holy Spirit and powerful proof of the truth of the message we preach. As Rick Warren (author of “The Purpose Driven Life”) says, if congregations actually love one another, “you’ll have to lock the doors to keep people out.” 

So what are YOU doing as a disciple of Jesus Christ to love yourself and love your neighbour?