October 21, 2013
With October flying by it might be timely to remind ourselves (again) that this is the month that is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. That prayer has been one of the distinctive parts of Catholic devotion for centuries. The calm, unhurried repetition of the prayers help us to focus on the mysteries that the Rosary celebrates. That repetition creates a space for us to picture and ponder the life, death and resurrection of Christ and of Mary’s part in that story of our salvation.
Down through the centuries the saints have loved the rosary. Countless Christians have found it a source of great solace and comfort. We can pray the rosary silently or out loud, in public or in private, alone or with many others. It needs no books, or method, no special space or time. It is a universal prayer.
It is important that we pass on a great love of Our Lady to the next generation. Mary is the example of the faithful follower of Jesus that we are all called to be. In school perhaps we could find time to lead the class in the recitation of just one decade of the rosary if we cannot make time for more.
October 4, 2013
Today we celebrate the feast of one of the Church’s best loved saints, Francis of Assisi. Unfortunately he has suffered somewhat from a rather saccharine portrayal over the years as some sort of pantheistic simpleton. The truth is very different.
Francis’ reverence for creation was not the result of any sentimentality or woozy Gaia type confusion of the difference between Creator and created but rather deeply rooted in that very distinction. He loved the created order precisely because it was created, called into being out of the immense love of God. Its dependency was a sign of the importance of the Creator and his free act to choose to create. God was not bound to create, He does need his creation, He was not lonely without us. On the contrary creation is a testament to the boundless and selfless love of God. And that is why it is so marvellous and worthy of respect.
In recent years we have started to recover a more profound meaning of what it is to say that God is our creator. May St. Francis pray for us that we may come to realise that truth more profoundly each day.