Monday, 06 April 2020

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Coronavirus information From 23 March 2020

 

An appreciation of medical staff, carers and community workers.

As the coronavirus pandemic exploded priorities were tested, with interesting results.  When asked if rugby or gaelic sports were worth risking life for even the most avid fans were happy to say “We can wait” despite their passionate attachment to their club or county and despite all the great community potential of sports activities. Restrictions on free movement and meetings were accepted stoically. On another level as it became clear that committed, courageous frontline medical workers would be risking their health the question was asked;can I reasonably expect another to risk life for me? What would I be willing to die for?

Assumptions were made. The British Government, observing the looming threat to the Health Service appealed to people to be ready to sacrifice themselves for the nation. According to the herd immunity theory 60% of the people would have to be infected before the nation became immune, but many would die in the process. The elderly faced the prospect of triage. However experts disagreed and the resounding public response was We’re not so sure about that”.

On RTE the Taoiseach delivered an eloquent speech about the inevitable curbing of freedom and the need for national co-operation due mainly to the lack of sufficient medical resources. The who would you die for question” was not ignored. It was assumed that the few would dedicate themselves to the health and safety of the many. I thought much of his language and sentiments was implicitly religious. As we approach Holy Week the Churches openly emphasise the transcendent value of self-sacrifice. Jesus our Lord willingly takes on the burden of suffering for others in order to be life-giving.

In imitation of Jesus we Christians find ourselves called to join ‘the few’ who are to be ready to sacrifice themselves in ways that go far beyond the call of duty. We identify with the selflessness of health workers and the predicament of the vulnerable elderly. How far should we go to help the least of our brothers and sisters in an emergency? St Francis de Sales presents Christian teaching simply. “the measure of love is to love without measure”.  St Therese says, “when one loves, one does not calculate”. Won’t Christians then contemplate with equanimity the prospect of an early death so that others may live? Prayerful worship of God is a delight in itself and a stimulus to unselfish charitable activity because we are living in Christ’s presence in eternal peace. Let’s explore these admirable altruistic sentiments.

According to the philosopher Boethius eternity is the total, perfect possession of limitless life. Eternal peace must then be about energy, joy, friendship, celestial music and sharing in the divine dance of the Blessed Trinity; dancing to the end of love. It is the fullness of life promised by Christ to those who follow his pathway. Eternity is sharing in divine love and understanding, being gifted and giving. Such is our hope. How is it realised?

Human beings do not bring forth eternity out of themselves; they receive it as a gift, as participation in the fullness of divine life.  We only enter into the joy of eternal life by the gift of God. It is from Jesus that we learn that it is by giving that we receive life to the full. On Holy Thursday our servant-Lord shows that he loves us infinitely and wants us to share in his love by helping others. The words and actions of Jesus as he washed his disciples’ feet are a reminder of our calling to serve in love too.

The Gospel of John stresses that eternal life is present now: “Truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life”.  We look forward to the final coming of Jesus but His hidden glory already appears with his coming into the world. The last hour is already present. The voice of victory is already sounding: it is the word of Jesus. It makes a difference to the way we act. It prepares us to recognise Christlike love in others no matter who they are or where they come from.

As the epidemic spread its baleful poison worldwide the signs of eternal life were obscured. Some experimented foolishly with dangerous foodstuffs, many felt entitled to party irresponsibly, many were dishonest. Now the healing response calls for heroism; we depend on each other and must deny ourselves so that others will live. Why not rely on Jesus, risen from the dead, who tells us that God hears his every word and that he walks with us and even lives within our hearts?

 

Now big decisions are being made.  Do you want to be part of God’s plan? Is there anyone you are ready to die for? Yes of course! There are many people you love more than life itself. Think of them and how sacrificial love gives life. It is clearly Christlike to help the least of our brothers and sisters right now. It makes sense to avoid putting innocent and vulnerable people in danger of the virus and to keep your distance and stay at home where necessary. At home or as you pass by the Church you and I pray for everyone including public leaders. We all matter to God. Politicians sensibly appeal to self-interest, to heroism, to national pride. They reasonably show tough love since sinfulness hampers many from doing what is right. Is it not an act of faith for them to appeal to a spirit of self-sacrifice? We listen because human beings have a spiritual dimension that directs us beyond material considerations only.

Jesus said he came to enlighten our minds and open our eyes to goodness. Therefore we honour and respect those nurses, carers and doctors who are truly risking their health for other people.  God bless them. We cherish those whose smiles and simple gestures in this time of uncertainty bring hope. It is not the greatness of our actions or their difficulty that matter but the love with which we do them.

The elderly priest accepts in advanced years that he belongs to the chosen few who perhaps will not get the respirator that may be needed by others. But he trusts that he will get the best of palliative care as resources allow.  As Christians we believe in Christ’s promise that eternal life begins now.  It is a good time to be alive for indeed we live forever. The eternal love of God really does cast out fear and opens our eyes to goodness and joy.

So rejoice to see those committed servants of love who witness by their actions that we human beings are made for more than self. They are gifted to go beyond fear and selfishness and do what is honourable, life-giving and Christ-like.

 

Bimpe Archer wrote on this theme in the Irish News on Monday 30 March.  

 

 

Stations of the Cross for Holy Week -  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 12 noon and 
7 30pm on Good Friday.  

 

Below you will find prayers to enable you to follow - 

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Introduction

The Stations of the Cross is a devotional practice focused on the historical passion and death of Jesus, his sacrifice of love and mercy.

His whole earthly ministry was a process of making right what had gone astray.

Jesus absorbs sinfulness and its effects into his own loving heart.

Consider the injustice, callous cruelty, selfishness and weakness of Pilate, Herod, the chief priests and his own disciples. They represent humanity.His whole earthly ministry was a process of making right what had gone astray.

His victory is achieved not by destroying the sinner but by taking those burdens on his own shoulders on our behalf.

By his sacrificial love he reveals how suffering becomes a source of love and in this spirit he asks us to walk with him today.

On the way of the Cross we share in divine love greater than any other as Jesus the Son of man lays down his life for his friends leading us to God.  In union with his Father and the Holy Spir he saves the world from sin and death 

When the Lord Jesus suffers in his own human nature he transforms the suffering of his friends through all the ages because we are members of his Body.

God's plan of love can be shared in today by men, women and children,

who bear their own crosses in faith, and consciously or not are joined with Christ as he works with the Father on our behalf.  

On the way of the Cross we can get new motivation, new hope and courage because we walk with Christ beyond death to the everlasting springtime of life.  

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE FIRST STATION: 

                                        alt

 

JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus is a man of sorrows who leads to the joy of eternal love.

His own people have chosen a murderer before him. His friends have forsaken him.

The kiss of treason burns on his cheek.

He lays down his life for his friends. This is the greatest love a man can show.

He has put on our humanity. He represents you and me.

He has made himself weak with our weakness.

Faint with our faint-heartedness he is going to die our death.

Lord!  let me receive the cross gladly,

let me recognize you in the experiences of many brave frontline workers today in hospitals, homes and caring organisations.  

Do not let me shrink from accepting my share

in making reparation for thoseglobal  injustices which seem too big for me,

and do not let me fail in sympathy for those who make small gestures of love that my seem trivial.  

Let me always remember that those sufferings known only to myself,

which seem to be without purpose and without meaning,

are part of your plan to redeem the world.

 

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.  

 

THE SECOND STATION:

                                     alt

 

JESUS RECEIVES THE CROSS

 

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

 

The cross is loaded on Jesus’ shoulders:

Jesus emptied himself even to the extent of becoming a slave;

Jesus was humbler yet even to accepting death, death on a cross.

 

Lord Jesus, at my baptism I was claimed for you, my Saviour,

by the sign of the cross.

It was traced on my body, as a kind of brandmark sealing me for your service

I accept the cross, by which the world is crucified to me and I to the world.

Teach me to accept myself –

my own temperament,

my temptations,

my limitations and my failures,

And in communion with all humanity,

and above all with you,

let me accept death with courage,

and overcome with you the fear of death –

my death and the deaths of those whom I love.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

  

THE THIRD STATION:

 

                              alt

JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

 

The weight is too much to bear.

He is on his knees, crushed by the burden of the cross.

Lord Jesus with my own eyes I have seen you on your knees.

I have seen you in the poor, crushed by their poverty;

I have seen you in the sick, the disabled, the alcoholic, the addict.

Lord let me help you to your feet.

We pray that we will be thankful to you

because you have identified yourself with ordinary, weak mena and women.

You have made yourself one with those who fail,

who are humiliated,

who are overcome by circumstances,

those who fall at the beginning of the way.

You inspire them to get up once more.

 

We pray that we will turn the humiliation caused by our vanity into your humility,

and we will be lifted up with your power and with your courage

to take the cross and to start again on the way,

trusting now, not in themselves but in you.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE FOURTH STATION:

 

                           alt

JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus was confronted by angry faces, clenched fists

and scoffing people, all unrecognisable.

Suddenly he sees a familiar face,

an interval of peace in the turmoil of hate.

Jesus recognizes Mary in the crowd.

and detects the sorrow in her face

and appreciates the intensity if her compassionate suffering.

He is thankful for the comfort she gave him.

Help me, Blessed Mother,

you who said let it be done to me according to God's will

to see with your eyes,

to think with your mind,

to accept with your will.

Help me to believe

that it is Christ who suffers in those who lose their children,

in those who die in the flower of youth,

and in those who are sacrificed for others.

He walks with them.  He meets them face to face.

 

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

  

THE FIFTH STATION:

 

                                   alt

SIMON HELPS JESUS TO CARRY HIS CROSS

 

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Lord Jesus the cross comes uninvited into our lives too.

We are pressed into service.

You have told us that every yoke is easy and every burden light

when we walk and work with you.

You call us to discern your presence in the weak and to offer help.

Lord,

give us faith to know you in the most unlikely people.

In those who do not look like us,

who do not speak like we do,

who perhaps do not even know you..

Give us patience and fortitude

to put self aside for you, to help those who are faltering.

We may provide a strong shoulder to bear the burden,

we may help to do hard work, we may have material goods to give,

we may have time, which we want for ourselves, but give to others.

Grant me to know that everybody’s suffering

is our business too,

We must be willing to go out of our way

and to leave our own interests in order to help those with crosses to bear.

Give us,  most humble Saviour,

the humility to forget ourselves

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE SIXTH STATION:

 

                                alt

VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus is the image of the unseen God;

and in his image all things were created.

Now that face of infinite majesty is unrecognizable

after the long sleepless nights of trials and judgement,

after the blood and sweat of his torture.

Veronica is moved by compassion and as a result of her kind gesture

Jesus left the imprint of his divine face on the cloth that Veronica handed him.

She finds that the face of suffering hides the beauty of God.

We pray to the Saviour of the world,

that he will take our hearts which shrink from the ugliness of suffering,

and expand them with his love.

So that those who are suffering may find Christ within themselves. 

We pray that nurses and doctors may be given healing hands,

hands that minister to the blind by their touch,

gentle hands that cleanse from mental pain those who are distressed by suffering.

Give your healing hands to carers who tend the wounds of the body

and the wounds of the mind. 

Allow me to be among those who come forward out of the crowd,

to bring help.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE SEVENTH STATION

 

                                    alt

JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus Christ,

exhausted on the long road to Calvary,

falls for the second time, under the weight of the Cross.

Christ makes himself need the help of others to redeem the world.

Lord Jesus,

For the one under stress it is often a tiny provocation, a sudden temptation,

a mocking word that brings a person tumbling down.

Let me be aware of their difficulties and problems

as they struggle to share in the work of your love.

Lord I pray that I may never disassociate myself from the fallen Christian,

who is down in the dust, overwhelmed by addiction, made powerless by blackmail,

worn out by the struggle against temptation,

who has to struggle against circumstances, against public opinion,

and the opinions of his own people,

crushed by the burden of humiliation, failure and shame.

Give me grace

to help to lift up those who have fallen under the burden of material misery.

Bless the carers who raise up those suffering physically at this time.

 

And when I fall

send me those who will lend their hands to lift my burden,

and enable me to follow you to Calvary.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE EIGHTH STATION:

 

                                   alt

JESUS SPEAKS TO WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

                    because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

When the women separated themselves from the crowd

Jesus told them not to weep for him as he was on the way

to complete his Father’s mission.

They should weep for the children who would suffer in the future

because of missed opportunities to welcome the Saviour.

They should prepare to show compassion

along with those who will carry Christ’s cross through the years to come.

Lord you gave help to the daughter of Jairus,

to the woman who suffered from the haemorrhage.

You freed the woman who was being condemned by the hypocritical elders.

You were there to comfort those women in their need.

Do not let my heart be moved by pity

for the painted Christ on the wall,

while it remains a stone, hard, insensitive to Christ suffering in people today .

Make me caring and helpful when there is misunderstanding,

when people say the wrong thing.

 

May I be compassionate to those who are sorrowful or depressed.

May I be thankful for help generously offered.

 

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE NINTH STATION:

                    alt

                                               JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

                    because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

 

Lord,

fallen under the Cross for the last  time,

grant to me  your courage, and your humility:

to rise in your strength

and, in spite of failure and shame,

to persevere to the end.

We pray that we will never despair.

Let us go on in your power, even after we have fallen,

when those who trusted us are disillusioned by our weakness. 

Help us to rise again

when those who sought a sign of Christ are scandalized

because of our failures.

Give us courage to go on, in your name..

Let us rise in your strength.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE TENTH STATION:

 

                                     alt

JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

                      because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

 

Jesus is made ready for execution and exposed to shame,

as the one who saves us by being a suffering servant..

 

Lord Jesus, expose us to the influence of your Spirit.

Give us openness of heart to be alert to your word

and ready for its transforming power

Jesus, stripped of your garments upon Calvary,

give me the courage and the humility,

to be stripped of all pretence before the world.

I pray that I may show myself just as I am,

even to those whose good opinion of me

is vital to my happiness.

Help me to resist the temptation to impress others by outward show

May I be stripped of everything that could hide the truth of my soul,

the truth that I depend totally on your mercy.

Give me your own courage,

your humility, your independence,

which compelled you, for love of me,

to accept humiliation even at the point of death,

as you gave up everything for our salvation.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE ELEVENTH STATION

 

                                     alt

JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

A strange quiet descends on Calvary

The Son of God, the Judge of man and angels

is being nailed to the cross

a criminal and slave.

The Lord and Saviour, is totally surrendered to the will of his Father

and wholly identified with us.

He prays for his persecutors,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what it is they are doing”.

We pray that you will give us the wisdom and the strength

to pledge ourselves, to bind ourselves irrevocably to the Law of your Love,

as priests, as husbands and wives, as religious, as converts. 

We pray for those who have suffered a violent death;

we remember those subjected to torture;

we pray for those unjustly deprived of liberty

especially those suffering for your name’s sake.

We pray with you for the forgiveness of the oppressor.

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE TWELFTH STATION:

 

                                 alt

 

JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus said, “It is accomplished”

and bowed his head and died.

He died for our salvation.

He died to redeem the world.

Christ lives in us and asks us to say with absolute faith,

for ourselves and for those whom we love,

“Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”

It is with his heart that we love the Father in the hour of death;  

because he has given us new life on Calvary.

We pray that we will not feel alone in the hour of death. 

because when the time comes we know that

Christ identified himself with us so closely

that we have nothing to fear in the hour of death.

We pray that fear gives way to trust and peace. 

 “Peace is my bequest to you, and the peace which I give you is mine to give;

I do not give peace as the world gives it.  Do not let your heart be distressed, ” 

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE THIRTEENTH STATION

 

                                   alt

JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

 

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

 

Mary, Mother of God, receives the dead body of Jesus Christ her son,

taken down from the Cross and laid in her arms.

Mary, we are sinners,

but save us from despondency and despair,

save us from the anxiety which kills the soul,

save us from dwelling on the past. 

Take our heads into your hands and turn them gently

to look upon the light of God.

Let us feel the warmth and radiance of God’s healing sun,

although we are still too weak  to bear the blaze of its glory.

By the dead body of Christ laid in your arms,

save us from the death of sin.

As Therese of Lisieux said,

“ in moments of great grief, one feels the need to look up to heaven;

there they are not weeping but all are joyful,

because Our Lord has one more among his elect;

all are in the rapture of divine esteem,

they marvel that we can give the name of death to the commencement of life”.

 

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

THE FOURTEENTH STATION:

 

                                     alt

JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

“We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you

because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world”

Jesus is buried in the tomb,

he is our life and the source of life.

He is the seed in the earth,

the secret of the Eternal Spring.

At our baptism we died with Christ;

we went down into the tomb with him and lie dead with him.

We are dead to sin and to all the malice that caused Christ to die.

May we know the peace that comes from following you to the end.

Let us, poor sinners, die and be buried with you

and so rise with you in your glory.

We have nothing to fear.

Christ will be with us all, saint and sinner alike, in our rising from the dead.

We pray for an appreciation of the value of silent prayer in our lives

so that in the clamour of a restless world

we will catch the breathing of the Spirit

summoning us to rise from the dead and enter newness of life.

 ‘‘Peace is my bequest to you, and the peace which I give you is mine to give;

I do not give peace as the world gives it. 

Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid”  (John xiv 27). 

So be it – Come! Lord Jesus, come! “Into your hands I commit my spirit.’’

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.

I repent with my whole heart of ever having offended you.

Never permit me to separate myself from you again.

Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.

 

 

 

 

 

29 March 2020

Lent 2020: Confession and coronavirus?

 

Lent seeks a change of heart that we may truly celebrate Easter.  In preparation for this great feast many celebrate this "change of heart" in the Sacrament of Penance.   Confession to a priest is an essential part of the Sacrament of Penance but what are we to do this year, when because of coronavirus, Church services are suspended and everyone is to stay at home?  Pope Francis spoke about this situation recently and said that we should do what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says.  The Catechism reminds us that the confessor is not the master of God's forgiveness, but its servant.  Only God forgives sin and God, who is the Father of tenderness, always waits for the return of the Prodigal and always welcomes with a loving embrace - God's forgiveness is immediate!  In our present uniquely difficult situation, when it is not possible to come to the Church for Confession, speak to God from your heart; acknowledge truthfully what you have done or failed to do, and with all your heart ask forgiveness with a sincere Act of Sorrow confident that God always forgives the contrite.  Later, when coronavirus has released its grip, we can return to the Church and avail of Confession, and celebrate the forgiveness that has been so freely given.

You may find the following helpful.

An Act of Penance

Lent 2020

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Lord,

hear the prayers of those who call on you,

forgive the sins of those who confess to you,

and in your merciful love

give us your pardon and your peace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew               16:24-26

“Jesus said his disciples, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.  Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will save it.  What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life?  Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection:

When we speak of “taking up the cross”, often we think of uniting everyday difficulties and problems with the sufferings of Jesus.  Although this in itself is praiseworthy, there is another important aspect to “taking up the cross”; it is making the decision to follow the way of Jesus, to live as he taught.  This involves willingly entering into the struggle against evil, in my personal life and in the world around me.  This we do in many ways, but the most important and effective way is by celebrating the Sacrament of Penance - this Lent, because of coronavirus, we do it with a sincere act of sorrow in our hearts.  It is here that we formally renounce our sinful ways and are renewed in the spirit of Jesus.  We take the way of the cross, as Jesus did, so as to share in his victory over sin and death.

Examination of Conscience 

(This reflection is based on extracts from the Passion according to Saint Matthew).

“The elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and made plans to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death.”  (Matthew 26:3-4)

Have I spoken falsely of another?

Have I set out to destroy the character of another?

Have I twisted the truth to suit myself?

“Then one of the twelve,  the man called Judas Iscariot, went the chief priests and said, "What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?"  They paid him thirty silver pieces.”  (Matthew 26:14-15)

Have I compromised myself for material gain?

Have I neglected love for ambition?

Have I allowed the circumstances of life make me bitter?

“Then Jesus came with them to a plot of land called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Stay here while I go over there to pray.......He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, 'So you had not the strength to stay awake with me for one hour?'"  (Matthew 26: 36; 40)

Have I prayed frequently and fervently or only when in difficulty?

Have I persevered in prayer?

Have I neglected to worship with God's people on a Sunday?

 

“Peter started cursing and swearing, 'I do not know the man.'  And at once the cock crowed.  Peter remembered what Jesus had said, 'Before the cock crows  you will have disowned me three times.'”  (Matthew 26: 74-75)

Have I denied my faith in Jesus by my actions, or by my silence?

Have I neglected to defend the good name of another?

Have I betrayed those who trust me most?

 

“Pilate said to them, 'What am I to do with Jesus who is called the Christ?'  They all said, 'Let him be crucified!'........So Pilate took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, 'I am innocent of this man's blood......he handed him over to be crucified”  (Matthew 27:22; 24; 26)

Have I shirked responsibility for my actions?

Have I been lazy, or neglectful of my responsibilities?

Have I turned a blind eye to that which is wrong?

 

“The soldiers took Jesus with them into the Praetorium....they stripped him....twisted some thorns into a crown.....made fun of him.....they spat on him.”  (Matthew 27: 27-30)

Have I been violent in word or action?

Have I made little of others, put others down, been cynical or sarcastic?

Have I abused my own dignity or that of others?

 

"On the way out, they came across a man from Cyrene, called Simon, and enlisted him to carry his cross"  (Matthew27:32)

Have I been indifferent to the sufferings of others?

Have I lacked compassion for those who asked for my help?

Have I been bitter or resentful because of the cross I must carry?

 

General Confession of sins.

I confess to almighty God

and to you, my brothers and sisters,

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

They strike their breast saying:

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,

all the Angels and Saints,

and you, my brothers and sisters,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Act of Sorrow.

O my God,

I thank you for loving me.

I am sorry for all my sins,

for not loving others

and not loving you.

Help me to live like Jesus

and not sin again.  Amen

Proclamation of praise.

We join with our Blessed Mother, Mary, in praise of God's mercy.

 

R/. The Lord has done marvels for me: holy is his name.

My soul glorifies the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.

He looks on his servant in her nothingness;

henceforth all ages will call me blessed.    R/.

 

The Almighty works marvels for me.

Holy his name!

His mercy is from age to age,

on those who fear him.    R/.

 

He puts forth his arm in strength

and scatters the proud hearted.

He casts the mighty from their thrones

and raises the lowly.    R/.

 

He fills the starving with good things,

sends the rich away empty.    R/.

He protects Israel, his servant,

remembering his mercy,

the mercy promised to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children forever.    R/.

Concluding Prayer and blessing.

God and Father of us all,

you have forgiven our sins and sent us your peace.

Help us to forgive each other

and to work together to build your peace in our society.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

The Blessing.

 

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CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Public sacramental celebrations for our congregations will no longer take place

for the forseeable future.  ALL CHURCHES WILL NOW BE CLOSED.  

For Funerals priests will assist with family prayers at the graveside.  

Priests will celebrate a private daily Mass (behind closed doors) which will be broadcast on CB radio and Facebook - Ballymena Kirkinriola Parish.   All are welcome to listen, from their homes. 

Vigil Mass 6 00pm and Sunday 10 00am will also be broadcast.

In the current emergency we are asked to pray for divine healing.  

 

Daily Mass is aired at 10am daily on Radio Maria Ireland on Freeview Channel 826 or 812.  

On RTE News Now at 10 30am.  EWTN is also a Catholic resource which can be accessed online.

 

 

Sacrament of Reconciliation   -  Message from Bishop Treanor  27.3.20 

As mentioned by the Holy Father in his Homily of 20 March 2020, it is vitally important that the faithful know, if they cannot access, then, by making an act of sorrow, by being truly contrite for all their sins with the intention not to sin anymore, and with the intention of going to confession as soon as it is possible, they are reconciled with God and obtain the forgiveness of their sins, even mortal sins. 

 

 

BLESSING FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

A blessing of healing hands for all our healthcare workers:

Yours are the hands full of experience and skill.

Yours are the hands reaching out with compassion.

Taking time to show care, swiftly taking action.

Yours are the hands gently touching your patients,

You touch families, too.

Yours are the hands that show you care.

You lift the hearts of those who suffer.

Your hands celebrate the joy of healing.

Your hands bless all they touch with the spirit of compassion.

Thank you for sharing your abundance and gifts.

For touching lives and lifting spirits.

Blessings and thanks for the many works of you hands.  

 

(Taken from the Irish Catholic)

 

 
Contact details for Parish Office & Parish Centre

Parish Office - 028 2564 1515

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Parish Centre - 028 2563 1236

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Welcome

fr delargy 2011 

Hello!

I'm Fr Paddy Delargy, Parish Priest of Kirkinriola, the Catholic parish of Ballymena.  Welcome to our parish website.


Ballymena is a large market town in the middle of County Antrim, one of the most northern counties
in Ireland.

We're in the shadow of Slemish mountain.  In this area our means of communication have changed radically since Saint Patrick's day, but the message remains the same:

Christ be beside me
Christ be in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ be in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ be in every eye that sees me
Christ be in every ear that hears me
slemish1thumb
 
Parish contact details

Parish Office - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  028 2564 1515

open weekdays - 9 30am-12 30pm & 2 00pm-5 00pm

 

Parish Centre - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  028 2563 1236 

 
© All material on this website is copyright of Ballymena Parish

 

 


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