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: 2 June

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: 1 June

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: 31 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: 30 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.

Ut unum sint

Christ taking leave of the Apostles, Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319); c.1310, Siena; Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana del Duomo, Siena

Fr Neil’s homily on the Seventh Sunday of Easter, 29 May 2022 — the Sunday after Ascension

The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me.¹

Here in the gospel John gives us a glimpse into the priestly prayer of Christ. It is the prayer he prays as he knows that he heads towards Calvary. Christ prays for his disciples and those who will come after them — you and me.

What he reveals in this prayer is the desire that his disciples might come to dwell in unity. Unity within a family, amongst friends and within a community is a precious thing that allows the individuals within that group to flourish and grow. However, unity is a fragile reality and we see all too often the damage done when family, marriages, friends and communities fall apart in divisive disunity.

The Fall speaks to this experience, both of longing for unity and the profound destructive reality of alienation and fragmentation on the stability of the self. Left to our own devices we so often find ourselves and others seeking to force people into a “unity” of thought, being and purpose that is actually our own. This desire to compel others into a forced unity reveals a will to shape others into our image and likeness. The rather cack-handed and spiteful attempt to crush the Latin mass recently seems a prime example.

Christ reveals that only in God can we find the true unity that we seek and long for. It is a unity that is only perfectly experienced in the Godhead itself, as Christ’s desire is “that they all may be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they may be in us.”²

In the book of Revelation Christ reveals that “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”³ And St Paul in Acts 17:28 states that “in him we live and move and have our being.”

Christ alone has the capacity to unite what is separated. For in him heaven and earth, human and divine, are held together in perfect unity. Therefore in him there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, old or young, tall or short, rich or poor, diversity of nationality or colour of our skin: all are made one in Christ.

Christ then is the only true source of unity and apart from him, our fragmentation deepens. We see this as society: families and individuals fall apart in pain, chaos, and destruction. It begins to become a dark, narcissistic, living hell for the individuals involved. At this moment in time, much of our modern society seeks to use our differences to separate us even more and our loss of identity in Christ has led to the rise of identity politics.

True unity is not something that we can obtain by our own efforts, by forcing people into conformity to a particular ideology. Even within the Church divisions are rooted in the greatest blasphemy of many trying to conform Christ, scripture and holy tradition to our own desires. Real unity comes about as the fruit of our focus, devotion and ongoing conversion to the likeness of Christ.

It is our unity in Christ that is the greatest witness of the gospel to the world, “so that the world may know that you have sent me and that I have loved them even as you have loved me.”⁴ The Latin Church in the West is rather lacking on that score with ever-deepening divisions within the body of Christ.

True unity can only become a reality when something outside of ourselves unites our common cause and direction. Given the breadth of our diversity it requires an objective eternal reality to unite us, or we will fall prey to petty divisions which are all to obvious today.

Christ states that only in him can true unity be held together as it reflects the perfect unity of the Godhead: Father Son and Holy Spirit — three persons, yet one God. Our prayer, worship and mission will only ever be authentic when it is directed to his revealed will and likeness.

Without the submitting of ourselves to the revelation of God in Christ, our prayer and mission will only be a sad reflection of ourselves which will attract no-one and lead to ever great divisions.

It is only in Christ alone that our rich diversity can be fruitful for the body as a whole and reflect the wonder and glory of the gospel to a world that is in dire need of eternal life and salvation.

¹ John 17:22–23
² John 17:21
³ Revelation 22:13
⁴ John 17:23

Pentecost Novena: Day 3: The Gift of Piety

Bordeaux silk French chasuble by Sacra Domus Aurea

Seventh Sunday of Easter: 29 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.