Finding Christ in friend and stranger

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God’s look of love

St John of the Cross (1542-91), the great Carmelite mystic, writes about God’s look of love.  He says it is God looking at us in love that makes us loveable and beautiful.  In prayer, why not simply sit for a few moments and allow God to gaze upon you – to look at you and love you.

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Advent Prayer

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

(Henri Nouwen)


First Sunday of Advent

Blessing of the Advent Wreath

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Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: 
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, 
he is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us, 
he is the Saviour of every nation.

Lord God,
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. 
Amen.

(From the Book of Blessings)

 


Winter Clothes for Syrian Refugees

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If you were wondering what happened to all the winter clothes we collected during the summer for the Syrian refugees… They’ve arrived thanks to Nora Carlin & Refugee Aid North West.


Break down the walls that divide us

Last week, in an interview with Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis urged Catholics to become engaged in politics again, not for power, but to tear down walls and inequalities:  “The question of refugees and immigrants.  Only a small proportion of them are Christians, but this does not change the situation as far as we are concerned, or their suffering and distress.  The causes are many and we are doing everything possible to remove them.  Unfortunately, often these policies are opposed by populations that are afraid of losing jobs and of lower wages.  Money is against the poor as well as against immigrants and refugees, but there are also poor people in rich countries who fear the arrival of their fellows from poor countries.  It is a vicious circle and it must be broken.  We must break down the walls that divide us:  we must try to increase well-being and make it more widespread, but to achieve this we need to break down walls and build bridges that allow us to reduce inequality and increase freedom and rights.  More rights and greater freedom”.