Friday, December 31, 2021

Day 7

 7th Day of Christmas - 31st Dec 2021

The last post of 2021. 

We go into 2022 with renewed hope.

 In the meantime it's still the Christmas season , the season of hope. Yes, I'm keeping my crib up - probably till the 2nd Feb, the feast of the "Presentation of the Lord", when the Christmastide is definitely over. I'll keep my tree and cards up until after the feast of the Kings, The Epiphany, on 6th Jan. I invite you to join me in keeping Christmas. 

So, again 


Happy Christmas

 Alleluia, alleluia.

The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him he gave power to become the children of God.

Gospel: John 1: 1-18

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light.   That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.  Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.  And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


I love this Gospel passage. For me those first words say everything: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

My Jesus, you are the Word of God, you are God. You became man for me. Thank you, Lord. You died for me. Thank you, Lord. You love me, Thank you ,Lord. 

Help me to love you more each day of this coming new year.  To love others for you.

Here's to 2022 folks !!! Let's make it the best one yet!!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Day 5

 5th Day of Christmas 

     Happy Christmas

Today is the Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury.


Luke 22:24-30

I confer a kingdom on you, just as the Father conferred one on me

A dispute arose between the disciples about which should be reckoned the greatest, but Jesus said to them:

‘Among pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor. This must not happen with you. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves. For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The one at table, surely? Yet here am I among you as one who serves!

‘You are the men who have stood by me faithfully in my trials; and now I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me: you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.’


St Thomas was a loyal servant of King Henry 2nd. But when the King asked him to do something that went against God's will, he stayed faithful to the Lord. The King got irritated with Henry when he wasn't able to manipulate him and that  he persistently put God first. One day he said, maybe not meaning it, "Who will rid me of this wretched priest???" Some of the kings soldiers, believing it's what the king wanted, went off and murdered Thomas in Canterbury Cathedral 

How often do we encounter people or situations where we are faced , even in little ways, with a tug between choosing the Will of God or choosing what might be convenient and more beneficial in human terms. 

I know that God's will for me is my happiness. 

Thank you Lord for everything. The good, and what I think is the bad. Thank you, because with you everything is for the good. The pain, the shame, the rain - everything!

Thank you mostly for your love, which I will never get to the bottom of on this earth. 

Day 6

 6th Day of Christmas- 30th Dec2021

 Happy Christmas

Yes, OK, you've noticed, I'm a day behind in my twelve day journey. I hope to catch up today. 


Luke 2:36-40

Anna speaks of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem

There was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.


Jesus went back with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth and grew to maturity. I love to think about and ponder on that simple home, where Jesus learned everything from His parents. As he got old enough to sweep the floor or use the tools he would have worked beside Joseph in the workshop. 

I like to picture them as a family sitting down to eat the meal that Mary prepared for them, I like to picture them laughing together, discussing the events of the day or the problems of their relations. 

Jesus spent most of His life in this "hidden" way, seemingly just like any other young man. After all, He was already thirty when He started His public ministry. 

"the child grew to maturity and was filled with wisdom; and God's favour was with Him." 

Jesus may I grow to maturity, especially  in my Faith. May I be filled with your wisdom, so I stay close to you always in the company of your blessed mother. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Day 4

 4th Day of Christmas

        Happy Christmas

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

GOSPEL          Matthew 2:13-18
When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
"Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.


Herod was so  fearful of a baby who he thought would be a  rival for his position of power, that he was prepared to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. 

Yes he was wicked. I trust that I wouldn't be tempted to get rid of anyone in my way in such a manner. Yet, I ask myself, do I nevertheless, treat people badly when I don't get my own way, even in little things?  Do I treat everyone with respect and love, preferring their success over my own? Or is their a bit of the Herod in me? 

And do I sometimes, get the message to flea from danger, or from temptation? And do I, like Joseph, rise immediately and set off for safety? 

The little ones who died under Herod's orders are the first martyrs. They died for our Lord, even though they weren't aware of it. 

How many innocents are still being killed today? I think especially of the unborn, those who are deemed a bother or a burden to the lives of their mothers. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Day 3

  27th Dec 2021

3rd Day of Christmas

                   Happy Christmas

Today is the Feast of John, Apostle and Evangelist.

In the Gospel we have those words :

"On the first day of the week Mary of Magdala cam running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved." 

They tell us how John felt, they are his own words, about the  deep relationship he had with The Lord. 

I too, am the one Jesus loves. Do I really believe it?  I want to, that's for sure. 

Jesus, you love me just as I am. Teach me your Love. I want to be in Love with you - Always 🙏

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Day 2

 2nd Day of Christmas.

               The Feast of the Holy Family

             HAPPY CHRISTMAS

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Today the Gospel gives us the story of Jesus being lost when He was twelve years old. 

After three days of looking for Him  and travelling all the way back to Jerusalem Mary and Joseph find Him in the temple. As a mother I know I would be beside myself if one of my children went missing for even a short time, but three days? 

We are told:   "They were overcome when they saw Him and His mother said to Him, "My child, why have you done this to us? See  how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.""

Jesus was born into a family, with a mother and father ( albeit foster father) , and, for me this episode in their family life gives us a peak into the reality. We don't have many of our Holy mother's words recorded for us , so these are important to us. God wants us to ponder on them. They are so beautiful, so human. 

Maybe Mary  could say the same  to you, to me. Maybe she comes looking for me when I  sometimes get lost, and, unlike Jesus,  find myself going in the opposite direction to my Father's house. 

I love this feast too because it speaks of the importance of family.

Being with some of my grandchildren this Christmas has highlighted the great need our society has for good families. 



Saturday, December 25, 2021

Day 1

1st Day of Christmas



“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah


Wishing all my faithful readers the Peace, and the Joy and the love of Christmas.

Picture from Pixabay 


Sunday, December 19, 2021

4th Sunday of Advent

19th Dec 2021 

                                                               We're nearly there. Today is:

The 4th Sunday of Advent

O root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples:                                                                        before you Kings will shut their mouths,                                                                                                    to you the nations will make their prayer:                                                                                            Come and deliver us, and delay no longer

Time to light the fourth candle:

Gospel - Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’


I love this scene. Elizabeth is six months pregnant. Mary, after being told by the Angel Gabriel that, not only was she herself going to be the Mother of God, but that her cousin Elizabeth had in her old age, had miraculously conceived, because "nothing is impossible with God". What wonderful news for Mary, who set off straight away to visit her. She would have known how sad Elizabeth and Zachary had been, how near they they had come to giving  up hope of ever having a child and must now have been so happy for them.  Mary stayed and helped Elizabeth and Zachary until John was born. Maybe she helped with the cooking , the cleaning, the preparations for  baby to be born.  What a gorgeous human detail for us. 

Help me to be always willing to serve, Lord.

Something else:

I came across a mad thing a few weeks ago:

Someone posted this message:

"This year, I'm going to gift someone with the Twelve days of Christmas....I'll begin on Tuesday Dec 14th so the last day will fall on Christmas Day. "

I have said this before, and probably all of my readers know this , but the Twelve Days of Christmas starts on Dec 25th  and begins the Christmas season, which ends on Jan 6th with the Feast of The Kings (Epiphany). 

Now wouldn't it be lovely to wish everyone Happy Christmas for those twelve days? I have tried this and even in Church get people telling me it's over now. And when I say Happy Christmas when everyone else is wishing me a Happy New Year, mostly they think I've lost the plot and got confused.

We keep the season, too, by having many little Christmases during the twelve days. We have to with our large family. 

Anyway, enough of me ranting on. 

Let me know how you keep the season.



Friday, December 17, 2021


 17th Dec 2021

There are only eight days left till Christmas. How??

I don't know about you but I am so unprepared it frightens me. Then I think, what does it matter if I don't achieve everything on my list, as long as I am ready to receive Jesus into my life more fully when the Feast comes. 

What am I thankful for this week?

Don't you find it's hard to be grateful when sleep evades you and your body is suffering pain and just getting through the day is a struggle? It's been a bit like that for me this week. But, I am thankful, even for this time, because it teaches me I cannot rely on myself, I have to place my trust in the Lord. It's a lesson in letting go. That saying comes to mind - Let go and let God. By myself I can do nothing, but with Jesus everything is possible, even happiness in suffering. These last days, I'll try to stay close to Mary and Joseph as they travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. 

Thank you , Lord that I opened my eyes this morning to a brand new day. That I've got another opportunity to get to know you and to learn how to Love.

Thank you, Lord for the family you've given me. All amazing in their different ways, all beautiful people. Keep them wrapped in the warmth of your eternal embrace. May we grow ever more close, in appreciation and service of one another. 

Thank you, Lord for all the little things.  We have many cards dropping through our letter box. Not that I'm saying it's a little thing for someone to take the trouble to think of us at Christmas.  Far from it.  To think that someone has taken the trouble to spend time thinking , buying, then writing  us a card, is quite extraordinary. And I feel totally blessed that so many have me in mind for even that short time. I haven't finished writing my cards yet, but with everyone I write I know that I have that person, that family in mind when I do. Also, I deliberately send only cards with the true Christmas message. My thinking is, maybe it will be the only image of what the season is all about. I don't mind sending them "late" either, as long as they arrive during the season. That is, during the 12 days - 25th Dec- 6th Jan. 

Thank you Lord for the joy I experienced this week with my very autistic grandson who played a game with me for the first time. My heart melted in that connected moment. Hope came in with each high five.

Thank you, Lord for my dear hubby who is so patient with me when I am miserable because I'm tired. He is always there, always trying his best, always loving. 

Thank you, Lord, for the warmth and comfort of our home. I pray for those, who are homeless or don't have the basic food and shelter for themselves and their families. Teach us how to be generous in this area. 


Some reflections that we can mediate on in  our prayer as we await the Child Jesus’ arrival at Christmas.     (From:

THE LORD is near. The intensity of our longing increases each day, each hour. Our hearts are focused on the arrival of Emmanuel. Today’s Gospel (Matt 1:1-17) presents us with the long chain of generations that have waited for the Messiah’s arrival: from Abraham to David, and right up to Saint Joseph. We were born much later but we are heirs to the same promise. It is not easy to imagine how eagerly so many generations of the Jewish people awaited the promised Messiah. The liturgy offers us a clue when it gives voice to the joyous outburst at the imminent arrival of Jesus: Rejoice, O heavens, and exult, O earth (Is 49:13).

Abraham is the beginning of this long chain, the first in a family that will endure forever. He trusted in the Lord and his promise of a multitude of descendants: Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them (Gen 15:5). God has used his fidelity and that of so many others to send us his Son and make God’s intimacy with mankind possible once again. Our dignity has been restored and raised to unthinkable heights: no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor 2:9). Our heart is filled with the deep joy of knowing that we are saved, rescued and healed: “And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory.” (Preface II of Advent.)

Our singing may not always be in tune, but the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words (cf. Rom 8:26). We would like to respond with the same divine measure. It is impossible to put into words God’s intense desire to come into the world to save us, or his insistence in preparing his people: fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen until the deportation to Babylon, and another fourteen until Christ (cf. Mt 1:17). And it is God himself who will rejoice and give thanks in us.

WE ALL have our own family tree. Jesus wanted to have his. And in Mary, his mother, God himself comes to live with mankind, uniting himself to us forever. He comes to bring hope for all men and women of all times and places. With the incarnation, God takes on himself everything human. He unites himself to the story of each person’s life in order to offer us eternal life. The Creator of heaven and earth has wanted to belong to the human family.

“In the stable at Bethlehem, heaven and earth meet. Heaven does not belong to the geography of space, but to the geography of the heart. And the heart of God, during the Holy Night, stooped down to the stable: the humility of God is heaven. And if we approach this humility, then we touch heaven. Then the earth too is made new.” (Benedict XVI).   How often it seems to us that God cannot be where weakness, fragility or mediocrity is found. If we do not make a pact with sin, but rather strive to embrace the true goods in life, then the humility of God does not reject the stable of our heart, and brings heaven into every moment of our ordinary life, of our home.

For many generations, that long list of Jewish people experienced a yearning that only the arrival of the newborn in Bethlehem would fulfill. Some probably didn’t fully understand what they were longing for. Others, in their confusion, turned to idols that were apparently closer and more accessible. This same longing for salvation continues to be present in every person’s heart, often without understanding it clearly or being able to put it into words. We are fortunate to grasp clearly the good news of Christmas. We await the arrival of Jesus and are eager for this good news to reach the neediest heart in the furthest corner of the world.

“WE BLESS YOU, Lord God Most High, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.” (Pope Francis).  Sometimes we do just the opposite: we try to see ourselves as great and powerful. As Saint Augustine knew so well: “You, man, wanted to be God and perished. He, God, wanted to be man and saved you. Human pride was so powerful that it needed divine humility to heal it!” (Sermon 183).

It is Christ who lifts us on his shoulders up to heaven. Pride brings a brief glory that lasts only a few moments and quickly demands its price. It brings with it anxiousness and unease. Pride constantly needs to seek new ways to stand out above others. It never brings peace or tranquil fulfilment. Saint Josemaría once admitted: “I know a donkey of such bad character, that if he had been in Bethlehem beside the ox, instead of humbly adoring the Creator, would have eaten the straw in the manger.” ( Intimate Notes, no. 181).

God’s love, in contrast, can fill our hearts as nothing else has ever done. When speaking about his love, we will always fall short. What we don’t know about God's immense Love is much more than what we do grasp. Our Lady who, as the preface of today’s Mass says, “longed for him with love beyond all telling,” will tell us in the intimacy of our prayer these secrets that she knows so well. A mother always knows how to express, with a gesture, with a caress, what can’t be put into words.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

3rd Sunday of Advent

 12th Dec 2021

3rd Sunday of Advent

Today we light the rose coloured candle . Rose is the liturgical colour for joy. Just for today, as we approach Christmas, we break with our penitential theme and we look forward with joy. We say "Gaudete!" or "Rejoice!"  The light gets brighter with each passing day. We are getting nearer to The Light of The World. Am I preparing well? Are you?

GospelLuke 3:10-18

'Someone is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire'

When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.’ There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’ He said to them, ‘Exact no more than your rate.’ Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’

A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’ As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.


We see here John the Baptist giving us a way to behave, a way to lead a good life. They thought he might be the Christ but he is quick to put them right. . He was preparing the way for the Christ to come. John announces  the Good News and asks his followers to be ready for the one to come, whose sandal straps he is not fit to undo. A good life, however excellent, is not enough, we have to accept Christ into our lives and live for Him. 

What am I doing to prepare for Jesus to come into my life more fully this Christmas? In the busyness of Turkeys, pigs in blankets, puddings, Christmas cakes, Christmas cards, decorated trees, parties, carol concerts, and visits with family,  I will take time out to walk with Mary as she heads towards Bethlehem riding on a donkey, with faithful Joseph walking beside her. 

I will try to prepare my heart to fall in love again with the Christ Child. 


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Do You Want To Be Happy

 11th Dec 2021

Do You Want To Be Happy?

We all want to be happy, don’t we? But what makes us happy?

There are many suggestions out there, many ideas that are bandied about on this subject.

When I’ve asked family and friends, almost without exception they talk about things like more money, a bigger house, a different job/career, a person who loved them, a fancy car, expensive clothes/holidays/jewels, power, fame, status, etc etc…

But do any of those things, any of that “stuff” actually make us happy?

If we stay with the theory for a minute that riches equate to happiness and if we take the risk of making the suggestion that suicide is a sign of deep unhappiness, surely poorer people in deprived countries would be more likely to end their misery. But no, the US has, supposedly, the highest suicide rate in the world with many being among the wealthy.

No, stuff doesn’t make us happy.

So, what does?

I believe it comes down to a decision that we can all make.

Being grateful, for what we do have. “I have woken up today, to a new day, thanks be to God!” There are many things, even in this tough life, that we can be thankful for. The homeless man, outside Victoria Station said it made him so happy that I stopped to talk to him.

A friend, a carer, tells the story of an elderly woman she accompanied to her new nursing home. This woman had to give up living at home and move over fifty miles away. My friend was very fond of her and felt sorry for her, thinking how lonely her life was going to be. She thought the old lady would find the whole event quite traumatic. She was surprised to observe that on the journey, dear Gladys looked out of the window with a smile on her face. Her cheerfulness remained as they took the lift up five flights of stairs to her room. My friend opened the door and was shocked to see how small the room was and also how miserable it looked with hardly any light coming in. The curtains were shabby. She wiped a tear from her eye.

Then, Gladys edged by her and entered the room herself. After gently walking walked around the room, she turned to my friend with a beaming smile and said,

“I love it. Thank you my dear. It’s beautiful. I’m going to be very happy here.” My friend was taken aback and said,

“But, Gladys, you are blind, how do you know it’s beautiful?” Not letting on, of course that it wasn’t all that special. Gladys replied,

“Oh, my dear, I made that decision before we came. It’s what I do every day. I wake up and decide, today I will be happy. And I am. I’m sure everything looks wonderful.”

I think Gladys has a point.

We have the power to make ourselves happy.

Without knowing it, Gladys was giving back. My friend was so impressed by the attitude of Gladys, that she found herself able to make the decision to be happy, even in difficult times. At the time she took Gladys to her new home, she was trying to change her job. She’d become fed up with caring and thought she deserved more. Now, she goes to work with joy in her heart, and a smile on her face, knowing that she can make a difference to others, in small ways.

If I decide to be happy I will laugh more,

Have good relationships with Family and friends,

Enjoy time alone to ponder

Do more things that I love

Find myself having time for others

Love myself by eating well and getting enough exercise.

Go on, give it a try yourself,

Decide to,


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Immaculate Conception

8th Dec 2021 

The Immaculate Conception

Gospel - Luke 1:26-38            

 'I am the handmaid of the Lord'

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

 Today, I share with you commentary I got from the Opus Dei website: 

On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church’s liturgy invites us to meditate on the moving scene of the Annunciation. Saint Josemaria liked to enter into it, as with all the Gospel scenes, as another person present there: “Don’t forget, my friend, that we are children. The Lady of the sweet name, Mary, is withdrawn in prayer. You, in that house, are whatever you want to be: a friend, a servant, an onlooker, a neighbour... —I, at this moment, don’t dare to be anything. I hide behind you; full of awe, I contemplate the scene…” St Josemaria

In the original Greek, the angel Gabriel addresses Mary with the words: Jaire, kejaritoméne! The term jaire, although often translated as “hail,” is a greeting whose literal meaning is “rejoice.” For whenever God is close, a serene joy fills the soul. “The word reappears during the Holy Night,” Benedict XVI points out, “on the lips of the angel who says to the shepherds: ‘I bring you good news of a great joy’ (Lk 2:10). It appears again—in John’s Gospel—at the encounter with the risen Lord: ‘The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord’ (20:20). Jesus’ farewell discourses in Saint John’s Gospel present a theology of joy, which as it were illuminates the depth of this word. ‘I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).” Pope Benedict

The word jaire is related in Greek to jaris, which means grace. The term kejaritoméne, often translated as “full of grace,” means literally that Mary “has been abundantly the object of grace.” God has chosen Mary to be the Mother of his Son made man, and therefore, in light of Christ’s merits, she has been preserved from original sin from the moment of her own conception.

Mary will conceive her Son virginally, without the help of a man, by the work and grace of the Holy Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (v. 35). During the wandering of the people of God through the desert in search of the promised land, the presence of the Lord was revealed though a cloud covering the sanctuary; now it is the Holy Spirit who will cover with his shadow the Sanctuary of God’s presence that is Mary’s holy womb.

Mary, simply by saying “yes,” becomes the Mother of the Son of God made man. Benedict XVI remarked: “the Church Fathers sometimes expressed this by saying that Mary conceived through her ear—that is to say, through her hearing. Through her obedience, the Word entered into her and became fruitful in her.” Pope Benedict

“The mystery of the Immaculate Conception is a source of inner light, hope and comfort. Amidst the trials of life, both interior and exterior, Mary, Mother of Christ, tells us that Grace is greater than sin, that God’s mercy is more powerful than evil and able to transform it into good … This woman, the Virgin Mary, benefited in advance from the redeeming death of her Son and was preserved from the contagion of sin from the moment of her conception. Therefore, with her Immaculate Heart, she tells us: entrust yourselves to Jesus, He will save you.” Pope Benedict

At Lourdes Our mother told Bernadette " I am the Immaculate Conception

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Lost Sheep



Matthew 18:12-14

The one lost sheep gives him more joy than the ninety-nine that did not stray

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.’


Being  physically lost yourself or losing a loved one, even briefly is  a terrible feeling. I remember the anxiety, the fear the panic I felt when I lost my daughter for a short time whshe was small. We were in a shopping mall and it was only a few minutes, but nevertheless the gulf of separation that wrapped itself round me was terrifying. Mostly we live in security, in comfort, in safety. I thank God for that. Jesus, the Good Shepherd offers us this security in our spiritual lives and constantly seeks us out when we are lost, carrying us back to the right path if we allow Him to.

So, this parable tells us how much God loves me, He is always looking for me, no matter how much I turn away. and if I just  turn back to Him,  He is overjoyed. And so am I.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Dec 6th St Nicolas

 Dec 6th 2021

Today's Gospel

Luke 5:17-26

'Your sins are forgiven you: get up and walk'

Jesus was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing.

 Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus.

 Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ 

The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 

But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralysed man – ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’


It seems that the authorities heard about Jesus and sought Him out to see what he was up to.

When they heard Him say, "...Your sins are forgiven you." it made them angry, for, only God can forgive sins. 

Then He performed the miracle and healed the man and He walked "home praising God". 

Do we know that we are sinners too, that we need to be forgiven, that we need to repent? 

This is much more important for our spiritual health than any cure of a physical nature. 

You are my God.

Help me to know when I offend you, Lord, to come to you, because I  need your forgiveness. 

Help me to be like you and forgive those who hurt me. Even when it is the hardest thing to do. 

Help me also to ask forgiveness of those I have hurt. 

 Today, 6th Dec,  is the Feast of St Nicolas ( Santa Claus)

Find out all about him here

The St. Nicholas Center




Sunday, December 5, 2021

Advent 2021 / 2

 5th Dec 2021

2nd Sunday of Advent

Today we light 2 candles on our Advent Wreath. The journey towards the Feast of Christmas continues. Today, in the Gospel we hear about John the Baptist.


Luke 3:1-6

The call of John the Baptist

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice cries in the wilderness:

Prepare a way for the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Every valley will be filled in,

every mountain and hill be laid low,

winding ways will be straightened

and rough roads made smooth.

And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.


St Luke sets the historical scene for us, with the names of important people. People who will play a part in the story as it progresses. 

Then he gives us the beautiful detail that The Word of God came to John in the wilderness. I think, does the Word of God come to me in my wilderness. Am I ready for it, am I still, I am listening?

John was given His mission, which he went out to complete. What about me? Have I heard God's Word? Have I heard what my mission is? And am I determined to carry it out , like John did? 

We all have a special mission, a vocation, a calling from God. Let's ask Him to show us what it is He wants. 

Till next time.

God bless.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Two Blind Men

3rd /Dec 2021

Today's Gospel:

Matt 9: 27- 31

As Jesus went on His way two blind men followed Him shouting, "Take pity on us, Son of David." And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with Him and He said to them, "Do you believe I can do this?" They said, "Sir, we do." Then he touched their eyes saying, "your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you." And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, "Take care that no one learns about this." But when they had gone, they talked about Him all over the countryside.

It is interesting that Jesus asks the two blind men if they believe he can cure them. And then He goes on to say that their Faith deserves it. How is my Faith when I ask something of Jesus, when I pray? Do I believe that He can, that He will help me? Sometimes my Faith is weak, sometimes my love is wanting. Sometimes I am blind and need Jesus to help me to see. 

Take pity on me, Son of David. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Advent 2021 / 1

 28th  Nov 2021.

What will we be able to do for Christmas this year, given the new Omicron variant is with us. 

It seemed we had moved on somewhat from where we were at this time last year.

Do you remember? There was lots of talk of Christmas and how we were going to be able to celebrate with our families and friends under the strict restrictions. 

We were encouraged ( some would say, forced) to choose a "bubble" of 2 other households to be with over the 5 day holiday. 

How were we to do that? Just with my own children, there's 8 households. Logistically, for us, it was difficult. 

I mean, ALL the children and ALL the grandchildren want to see us at some time during the Christmas season.  

Fortunately for us, we keep the 12 days of Christmas, so we thought we'd manage ok. 

But then, it was all taken away from us and being in tier four we could only celebrate with those in our own  household. What a trying time it was.  Maybe you've got a story to tell from last year? I'd love to hear it.

Here's a few words I wrote exactly a year ago today:

The Parachute 

My life is in freefall, heading for a crash,

so many concerns eating me up.

I'm going so fast,

the grounds coming towards me,

no time to think...

But then,

I reach out to you, 

throw my burdens on you.

You, in your tenderness and kind compassion,

offer me a parachute.


everything slows, 

the wind no longer distorts my face


the warm breeze blows soft against my cheeks,

clouds, fields, trees,

no longer race by sore eyes - unrecognisable.

Instead,  form,  beauty, colour ,

the rising, the  falling of the landscape,

are captured,

each one a place to dwell,

a place to be refreshed.

Gently, slowly, I descend,

land lightly on grass that kisses my feet,

land beside a river, where the rippling

water is healing.

Here, I'll rest,

for now. 

This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent.

Here is our Advent wreath for this year:

Tonight we shall light the first candle, as we will every night this week. Next Sunday we'll light a second. 


Luke 21:25-28,34-36

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.

‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

My comment:

"...stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand."

Liberation from what, I wondered. St Augustine says something about the truly rich man being the one who has no needs. Our needs, or what we think we need, ties us down, chains us up, keeps us bound. We all need liberation. Practicing detachment then is a spiritual task a task if carried out prayerfully and not just to live a minimalist life, will bring us closer to God.  

Advent is a good time to take stock, to see where my heart is, to clear the way a little bit so that I'm more free. How many of my needs are, in reality only wants. 

Could I live this Advent with a more generous spirit. 

And thereby be more read to meet Jesus when He comes at Christmas.