Archives for Eastbourne Ordinariate Mission

Pentecost Novena: Day 7: The Gift of Counsel

Chasuble by G F Bodley, from St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge

Thursday of the seventh week of Easter: 20 May

Heal our wounds—our strength renews;
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel,
help and guide me in all my ways,
that I may always do Thy holy will.
Incline my heart to that which is good;
turn it away from all that is evil,
and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments
to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 6: The Gift of Understanding

Bordeaux silk French chasuble by Sacra Domus Aurea

Wednesday of the seventh week of Easter: 19 May

If Thou take Thy grace away,
nothing pure in man will stay,
All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds,
that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation;
and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light;
and in the light of glory
to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 5: The Gift of Knowledge

Chasuble from Maris Stella Vestments

Tuesday of the seventh week of Easter: 18 May

Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth — in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretence of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge,
and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father;
show me the nothingness of earthly things,
that I may realize their vanity
and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation,
looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards.
Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Pentecost Novena: Day 4: The Gift of Fortitude

Chasuble by G F Bodley, from St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge

Monday of the seventh week of Easter: 17 May

Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude,
uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity,
sustain my efforts after holiness,
strengthen my weakness,
give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies,
that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee,
my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

In the world but looking to Heaven

Daniel in the Lion's Den, Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), c1615; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Fr Thomas’s homily on the Sunday after Ascension, 16 May

“I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.”

The difficulties of the world, its pains and sorrows and even the evils which are around us, present some of the greatest challenges to the Faith. When S. Thomas Aquinas considered the fundamentally basic question of the existence of God, he thought that the problem of evil was the strongest argument for thinking that there is no God; before going to explain why God certainly does exist. But yet right from the outset, the message to Christians is that evil and suffering is what we should expect. Christianity is not a magical escape from our problems, indeed by embracing it there may well be extra problems which come our way. But what it does offer us is the ability to deal with those problems and challenges, and ultimately to overcome them and enter into a world entirely free from difficulties, a place of eternal rest and enjoyment.

Sin and death came into the world because of our falling away from God. Ever since our first parents disobeyed his commandment and ate of the tree of knowledge, this has been where we live. A world where evil prowls around like a roaring lion, as S. Peter puts it.

Christ’s answer to our fall away from God was to come down into this world; to spend time among humanity, to experience everything which we experience — including the many problems of the world. We know that he wept at the death of his friend Lazarus — even though he was shortly to restore him to life again — and we can be sure that he felt the same human sadness over the deaths of others close to him, not least his foster father, S. Joseph. He went into the wilderness knowing full well that Satan would come and tempt him. He allowed himself to be seized and dragged before Pilate for torment, beating, and ultimately death. Christ knew that our world was one of trouble and challenge, but yet he chose to come into it.

Christ’s method of saving us involved coming and sharing everything which we have — the pains and sufferings among them as much as the joys.

We in our turn are called to follow Christ, to imitate him, to become as like him as we can. Just as he came into our world, out of love for us, to serve us and call us back to God. So too, we imitate him as we stay in this world, and out of love for him and our neighbour we serve other people and call them back to God. Christ’s way of salvation involved his coming into our world — our acceptance of that salvation involves us staying here for a little while.

But that doesn’t mean that we are simply to be part of the world. Christ says clearly ‘they are not of the world’ — through Baptism we have been born anew. We were part of this world from our beginnings, we came into the world with original sin, as part of that cycle of sin and death. But yet, in the waters of Baptism we have been reborn — born not as part of that world where death reigns, but as part of that glorious kingdom above where Christ reigns. Where death has been beaten by his resurrection. Where his goodness fills everything. We are called to stay in the middle of this world for a time, but our minds are not to be here — our minds and our hearts now belong to God, and they should be directed upwards to him.

This life, where our minds are focused on God, but we still live surrounded by this fallen world, is a place of challenge. We, like Christ, are subjected to many temptations — unlike him, we often succumb to them. We often embrace those temptations and the sins which follow from them. When we do this, we turn our faces away from God and towards the world. We walk away from that new birth which we have been given in Baptism back to our old lives.

If and when we do this, Christ waits for us; he knows what those temptations are like, he knows that we are often weak. He waits for us to turn back to him, to ask for a renewal of his grace in our lives; to ask that he help us to turn our faces back towards God and away from this world. He waits holding in his hand the forgiveness that he longs to give to us, and will give us when we approach him and ask for it.

Through the long cycle of falling away from God, then coming back to our senses and returning to God; through all of this, Christ continues to offer that same prayer to the Father. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.” Praying that even as we stay for a while in this world with all of its evils, that we can have that protection — that we are kept safe from all of those forces which are set up against us, and want us to fall away from God, to leave him behind, and embrace the world.

That prayer is no meaningless mumbling of words either; this is the prayer offered by Christ from his throne in heaven. This is the intercession which he offers for us every moment; which he offers especially when we have those times of trial or temptation. There is no more powerful prayer which can be offered for us.

When we feel the world closing in around us; when its pressures seem too much to bear; when its temptations keep burying their way into us; that is when we should turn to God most especially. Asking for his support and grace in that moment — asking for that support and grace knowing the Christ is offering this prayer ‘that [God] should keep us from the evil one’, and that as he offers it, all of the Saints join with him.

We are being called to live for a while in this world, but as we do so to keep our focus on our new world — our true homeland above. The more our minds and our hearts are turned to God, the more we are open to receiving the benefit of this prayer which Christ offers for us. Let us turn to God in our moments of challenge and difficulty, and let us do so in confidence knowing that Christ is offering this prayer to the Father — that he will keep us from the evil one.

Pentecost Novena: Day 3: The Gift of Piety

Bordeaux silk French chasuble by Sacra Domus Aurea

Seventh Sunday of Easter: 16 May

Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labour.

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety,
possess my heart.
Enkindle therein such a love for God,
that I may find satisfaction only in His service,
and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace;
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Then the Gloria is said seven times

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Act of Consecration

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.