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The Counter-Reformation Saints Club and its Natural Leader, St Philip Neri (video talk and text)

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Saint Philip Neri was a friend and mentor of saints. He put his friendly and jocular personality at the service of the apostolate in which he played a part in the vocation of many saint friends in their work for the counter-reformation. His asceticism, love of the confessional and of the Holy Mass, his yearning for the missions and love for the poor were echoed by great saints who lived after him. His influence on the culture is something we can learn from today.

(While you are on YouTube, I would be most grateful if you were to click or tap on the button to "Subscribe" to my channel.)

Here is the text if you prefer just to read it:

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[Text] The Counter-Reformation Saints Club and its Natural Leader, St Philip NeriLaudetur Iesus Christus.
Praised be Jesus Christ.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.


Fr Henry Sebastian Bowden of the London Oratory, in his Miniature Lives of the Saints says that the life of St Bernadine was St Philip’s favo…

The Ascension and Heavenly Liturgy (video talk and text)

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What is the Ascension really all about? Is it just an event when Our Lord said Goodbye to the apostles and went up into the sky? In this short talk I look at the way in which Jesus Christ, the great and eternal High Priest fulfilled the feast of the Atonement. By His Ascension, Christ took our humanity into heaven and established the eternal Liturgy in which we participate each day at the Holy Mass. There could be nothing more important for our lives than this living link with heaven.

(While you are on YouTube, I would be most grateful if you were to click or tap on the button to "Subscribe" to my channel.)

Here is the text if you prefer just to read it:

The Ascension and Heavenly Liturgy
Laudetur Iesus Christus.
Praised be Jesus Christ.

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.


I suspect that for many of you, the feast of the Ascension is a bit of a puzzle. What are we remembering and celebrating? Is this just an interlude between the resurrection and Pentecost? This journey up…

Transcripts for recent videos – “Have it your way!”

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After recently posting two new video talks on YouTube, it occurred to me that often I skip content that comes through various sources: Twitter, Inoreader (which I use to follow people’s blogs), Google news and others. To watch a video takes longer than reading the content.

Interestingly, some podcasts are put out via YouTube as well as the standard podcast apps and people then just listen to the content without being tied to watching the picture. The advantage of having content just to listen to, is that you can be doing something else. In my case, I find that it is useful to listen to podcasts when I am cooking and eating. Essentially it is good to get content to people in whatever way they prefer to access it. Some prefer watching, others prefer listening while they are doing something else.

Many of you may be like me and prefer to read something, thus getting through it much more quickly than hearing it spoken out loud. It makes sense therefore to make my own video content availa…

Video: Fatima, the Rosary, and St Joseph

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Yesterday I recorded a short talk on the anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance at Fatima. After looking at St John Paul's epigrammatic summary of the Rosary, I give some hints on praying the Rosary, and explain why the Rosary is a devotion greatly favoured by the Church. At the end I offer a short reflection on the relationship of St Joseph to the Rosary. I hope you find it helpful.

(While you are on YouTube, I would be most grateful if you were to click or tap on the button to "Subscribe" to my channel.)

Here is the text if you prefer just to read it:
The RosaryLaudetur Iesus Christus.
Praised be Jesus Christ.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.


When our Blessed Lady appeared to the three children of Fatima, she insisted repeatedly that they say the Rosary every day and that they encourage others to do so. When she made her last appearance on 13 October 1917, before the astonishing miracle of the sun which was seen by ov…

Video: Lessons from the English Martyrs

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Yesterday was the feast of the English and Welsh Martyrs and so I recorded a sermon in which I considered not only the courage of the martyrs, but also the prejudice, abuse and dirty tricks they were subjected to. It is helpful to remember that the actual experience of the martyrs was not always a simple progress to glory, and to learn from the difficulties they faced. We may also have to face prejudice, lies and nastiness and we should be prepared for that as a part of carrying the cross with our Blessed Lord.

Against this background the verve, spirit, and good humour of the martyrs is all the more inspiring, and a good lesson for us. I hope you enjoy the video.

Here is the text if you prefer just to read it:

TEXT for "Lessons from the English Martyrs"Laudetur Iesus Christus.
Praised be Jesus Christ.
Our Lady, seat of wisdom. Pray for us.

I am speaking to you today from my little domestic chapel in Lewisham which I have informally dedicated to Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom.

Mart…

Overcoming temptations with Christ

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The temptations of Our Lord by the devil in the wilderness are contemptible. The devil fails to understand who Christ is, and appeals to greed and pride. It is ludicrous for the devil to ask Our Lord to worship him, because Our Lord is truly God. It is stupid to offer Christ all the kingdoms of the world – Christ is the creator of the universe. Even His human nature, being sinless, is not vulnerable to temptations to greed and pride.

However the devil returns later “at the appointed time” to torment Our Lord with the weight of all the sins of the human race. This is at the time of the passion of Christ, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In His infinite love for us, Christ is overwhelmed by the disaster of evil as it has afflicted his beloved children. The anguish of this is even greater than the physical torture of the passion. St Luke tells us that Our Lord sweated blood, a graphic detail which shows the psychological and spiritual agony to which He was subjected. We sometimes …

Bournemouth Oratory Appeal

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Over the past year, during the time that I have been recovering from illness, the Bournemouth Oratory-in-Formation has generously welcomed me to celebrate Mass in the beautiful Church of the Sacred Heart every day, and have become good friends in what is sometimes an isolated existence while I wait for accommodation in my own Archdiocese. They have recently launched an appeal which I am keen to pass on to you in case you may be able to help.

Bishop Philip Egan, a sound and courageous Bishop, has encouraged the Oratory, not only by giving them the Sacred Heart Church as a permanent home, but in supporting them in an ambitious plan to develop their work and become:
A powerhouse of prayerA focus for formation in the faithA hub for the community in the heart of Bournemouth The Community has increased the availability of daily Mass and provides regular daily times for confession, twice-weekly times for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as “Oratory”, the twice daily time of silent…

Our Lady Immaculate, our model for preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ.

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Listening with respect to the message of the angel, and prudently questioning him on how it was possible for her to be the Mother of Christ, Our Lady gave her immediate, willing and whole-hearted consent. From then on, her prayerful expectation of the birth of Christ is a model for us of the devout attitude we should endeavour to adopt during the season of Advent.

From the moment of her conception in the womb of Saint Anne, Our Lady, by a singular privilege, was free from original sin and never committed a single venial sin. Educated in the Temple from childhood, she faithfully and obediently followed the law of God as it was then in force for the Jewish people. She took part in the worship of the synagogue on the sabbath and went to Jerusalem for the great feasts. She observed those feasts with devotion, aware of their meaning which pointed to the Messiah, her own child, the One who is to come.

At those feasts, the psalms formed a major part of the liturgy. She would have known them…

Academy of the Annunciation: a new initiative in Bournemouth

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I am very happy to pass on news of the founding of the Academy of the Annunciation in Bournemouth. The Academy plans to offer conferences and study days for lay people to equip students to evangelise effectively in the vineyard of the Lord. It is also looking to provide conferences for priests, religious, and seminarians.

The Academy will be based at the Sacred Heart, the home of the Bournemouth Oratory-in-Formation which is a beautiful setting: stunning Church and lovely environment with the beach and gardens only a few minutes' walk away. The Angel of the Annunciation logo (above) is taken from an image on the reredos of the Lady Chapel at Sacred Heart.


Bishop Philip Egan is seen here with Dr Denise Oliver (left) and Dr Christina Pal (right) who taught in Rome at the Pontifical North American College (seminary) and other places – Dr Pal at Christendom College and Dr Oliver at the Angelicum, the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas and elsewhere.

The first offering of the …

How to make an act of perfect contrition

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How can you go from imperfect to perfect contrition? Gabriella D from Australia asked me this on Twitter today and I want to give an answer because I think that many people misunderstand what we mean when we talk about “perfect contrition.”

Perfect contrition is sorrow and detestation of sin arising out of the love of God. One way of exciting this contrition in our hearts is by considering the passion of Jesus Christ and making acts of love for Him. We can also think of the infinite love which God has for us, and express sorrow in our heart in the presence of this great love which we have offended.

Imperfect contrition is sorrow and detestation for sin arising from a consideration of the ugliness of sin or out of the fear of hell. Disgust at the ugliness of sin is more common today than fear of hell. That is because we do not preach enough, or with sufficient conviction about the four last things.

If a person commits an act of impurity, for example, perhaps by deliberately looking at a…

Maximum Illud and the missionary month; we do actually need to believe in the salvation of souls.

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October 2019 is designated as an Extraordinary Month of Mission. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops for the Amazon has distracted our attention from this other extraordinary celebration, but we should never forget the missions. This was impressed on me effectively during my childhood when we were asked to pray for the missions and to give some of our pocket money to support them. I remember the APF missions box in our hall; it carried a quotation from Pope Pius XII, "For there are none so poor as those who lack the knowledge and the grace of God." That really impressed me with the importance of helping the missions.

Pope Francis asked us to observe this month as an Extraordinary Month of Mission in celebration of the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud (1919) of Pope Benedict XV "On the Propagation of the Faith Throughout the World." Pope Benedict XV was in some respects a tragic character. During the first World War he worked heart and soul to bring a…

Popular posts from this blog

Video: Lessons from the English Martyrs

The Counter-Reformation Saints Club and its Natural Leader, St Philip Neri (video talk and text)

The Ascension and Heavenly Liturgy (video talk and text)

Video: Fatima, the Rosary, and St Joseph

Transcripts for recent videos – “Have it your way!”