SCROLL DOWN FOR FURTHER NOTICE
WORLD SERVICE IS THE NAME WE ARE GIVING TO A WEEKLY SUNDAY SERVICE AT 3PM. ITS PURPOSE IS TO PRAY FOR THE NEEDS OF THE WORLD. EACH WEEK A DIFFERENT WORLD PROBLEM WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED AND PRAYED FOR. THE SPECIALLY CONSTRUCTED SERVICE WILL TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT EXPOSED. IT WILL LAST ONE HOUR.
Do you pray enough? Do you meditate enough on the deeper aspects of your Faith? Does being a Catholic give you a deep-seated joy? Does it change your whole outlook on life?
Today, Sunday, is the 2 November. October is already history, the month traditionally devoted to the Holy Rosary. Look back on the month. How many times did you say the rosary? Maybe you didn’t say it at all. Does it matter if you don’t say it? It is not obligatory, as, for example, Sunday Mass attendance is.
The Church has recommended the Rosary for centuries. Pope Saint John Paul ll wrote an Apostolic Letter in October 2002 called Rosarium Virginis Mariae, where he explained the value of the Rosary, expanded it to include meditations on Our Lord’s three year public life, and encouraged Catholics throughout the world to find sanctity in their lives by using this prayer regularly.
He recommended that the appropriate scripture passage should be read before, and a suitable prayer should be said after each of the mysteries (the decades). To facilitate this, I drew up a four page document in which each mystery was dealt with individually, each with its introduction taken from Saint John Paul’s document, its proper reading from the Scriptures and I composed an appropriate prayer to conclude each mystery. Reciting the Rosary in this way ensures that there is, as there should be, a period of reflective prayer in our daily lives. .
Bishop Egan of Portsmouth has recently created a CD on the Rosary which he has distributed freely throughout his Diocese. He said in a pastoral letter: I want to encourage you to use this CD often…It will help you reflect on the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the Catholic Faith…As you know, the Rosary is a prayer centred on Jesus… For centuries, the rosary has helped Christians grow in the spiritual life. It is a deeply scriptural prayer, as Pope Pius Xll said, the “compendium of the entire Gospel”.
I can’t offer you a CD to help you with the Rosary, but I can print out for you what I did for the parish—four pages (each dealing with one set of Mysteries) in colour and laminated. To cover the costs (colour printing is expensive) the set would need to cost a couple of pounds. If you would like a copy, please let us know and one will be prepared for you
What I always stress abut the Rosary is that God, throughout the Scriptures, insists that his followers, first the Jews and then ourselves, should always remember the wonderful things he has done. The Jews remembered the mighty deliverance of their people from slavery when God led them dry shod through the Red Sea and introduced them to their own land of freedom. But we have so much more to remember than they. Though He was the Eternal God, Jesus “emptied Himself” (as St Paul says) to share our human nature, remembered in the Joyful Mysteries; his revelation of God by his teaching is remembered in the Luminous Mysteries; his redemptive Death for us, in the Sorrowful Mysteries; and his Resurrection which guarantees us eternal life in the Glorious Mysteries. The Rosary sets out with the sole purpose of reminding us of these magnalia Dei, these wonderful works of God. No wonder God insists that we remember! The Rosary ensures that we do. What an insult to Him if we didn’t.
On a Sunday afternoon, we now pray, as we have a duty to do, for the pressing needs of our world, in what we now call our World Service. But I’m wondering whether a better format than the one we have used so far would be the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament, with its Scripture readings and prayers? Do you know what the Rosary did in 1571? Pope Pius V (the one who excommunicated Elizabeth l) called upon the whole Catholic world to pray the Rosary to stop the advance of Islam which was, at the time, threatening to overrun Christian Europe. At the decisive Battle of Lepanto, which saved Christian Europe and put an end to the Crusades, even the sailors on the galleys said the rosary before the battle (fancy that happening today!). The Pope marked the victory by making the anniversary (7 October) the Feast of Our Lady of Victories, since changed to Our Lady of the Rosary. If the Rosary could do that for the Church in 1571, what could it not do for the world today?
If, last week, you persevered to the end in reading my award-winning newsletter (for the most boring newsletter ever!), you will know that tomorrow we will be holding a special service at 6pm for the people of our Parish Family who have died over the past three years. If you are a relative or friend of any one of these people, or if there is any one of them whom you held in special esteem (and I am sure there will be very many of these) please try to come. “
And finally, cheer up, for heaven’s sake! Tuesday was the Feast of Sts Simon and Jude. We don’t know a lot about these two Apostles, though to know that they were members of the Twelve, that they learnt the Faith from Jesus’ own lips, that they spent three years in his company, that they were martyred for him, that they became foundation stones of Christ’s Church, is surely enough! Anyway, at the beginning of Mass, I told the congregation that St Jude has traditionally been regarded as the patron saint of lost causes and hopeless cases. I wished the congregation a happy feast day. And nobody smiled!
God bless, Fr Antony
Next Sunday, being the First Sunday of November, we will be taking up our Tribute Collection
CALLING ALL PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS
The Preparation for Confirmation Classes begin on Tuesday 11 November. They are held at 4pm every Tuesday at Stella Maris for Years 7 and 8.
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