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Second Friday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 12/12/2014

To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:25-31)

A French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, considered in his writings the in-born longing of the human race for God. In his book “Thoughts” he wrote this: “If man was not made for God, why is he only happy in God? If man was made for God, why is he so opposed to God?” (No.: 438). We are only completely happy and at peace when we discover God in the core of our own life and experiences. It seems strange that today there are so many influences that turn us away from encountering God. It also seems strange that we often get stuck with earthly things and possessions, instead of using them to reach our Lord and God. What do you think? In the same book “Thoughts”, Pascal offers us another consideration that puts our human longing for God into perspective. He comments: “There are only three kinds of persons; those who serve God, having found him; others who are occupied in seeking him, not having found him; while the remainder live without seeking him and without having found him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy; those between are unhappy and reasonable. (No.: 257). To what kind of person do you think we belong?

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Second Thursday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 11/12/2014

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. (Psalm 98)

Later on in his “Confessions” Augustine looked back on his life and memories. He examined why he had sought to discover God in his life, and how he discovered God. Perhaps we can find something of our own life-experience in his thoughts? He wrote: “And what is this God? I asked the earth, and it answered, “I am not he”; and everything in the earth made the same confession. I asked the sea and the deeps and the creeping things, and they replied, “We are not your God; seek above us.” I asked the fleeting winds, and the whole air with its inhabitants answered, “…I am not God.” I asked the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars; and they answered, “Neither are we the God whom you seek.” And I replied to all these things which stand around the door of my flesh: “You have told me about my God, that you are not he. Tell me something about him.” And with a loud voice they all cried out, “He made us.””(Confessions X,6)

In each one us there is this thirst for God and for union with God. When we finally notice that possessions and material things will never satisfy us, they will call out to us: “We are not your God; seek above us.” How would we describe our search and longing for the Lord? Have there been times in our lives when we sought him more than at other times? Is there anything holding us back from giving our undivided heart to the Lord? What difference would it make if we found him?

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Second Wednesday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 10/12/2014

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27)

Take the time to be aware of God’s presence in your own heart and home. Become aware of your longing for God. This is a short prayer we could use: Eternal Father God, let me never forget that I come from your fatherly heart, and that I will have a place in your heart forever. Let me never forget that I will called one day to take up that place – fully revealed and understood – for eternity. Lord, in your fatherly heart I will find my home. Amen.

(Joseph Kentenich)

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Covenant Mass in Advent


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 09/12/2014

The Tiberias Group are preparing our Covenant Mass in Advent on Thursday 18th October at 7.30pm at the Shrine and would like to welcome you. This is the final month of Schoenstatt Hearts Afire and to conclude this Mass we will visit the Shrine to pray at the Crib eagerly awaiting the great feast of Christmas and the celebration of the gift of our redemption. Following Holy Mass we will sing Christmas Carols and enjoy a Christmas refreshment with one another. Please come and join us on pilgrimage to Christmas. Recently our new Bishop John Arnold invited us to pray with him: “Stay with us Lord on our Journey.”

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Second Tuesday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 09/12/2014

Thus says the lord: “I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)

If God is the aim of our longing, why is it that we often struggle to find the way to him? Two answers: We expect too little from God, secondly, we expect too much from God. We expect too little when God is still too much of an idea. Where do I get my help and support from? Do I really count on the Lord, do I really believe that he is at my side? God is often too little of a reality for us. That’s why he can’t be our “rock”, or our guiding “staff”. We expect too little from him because we haven’t sufficiently experienced his presence and love in our lives. We haven’t sufficiently experienced his power, his kindness, his complete faithfulness. We can also expect too much from God. We think to ourselves: He should explain things to us; he should put his cards on the table. He should explain why our lives are the way they are. Things should be made clear and understandable. We want to tell him how he should do things. Why do we have to suffer anyway, why does this happen to us? He should show us his plans and then we will understand him better. Then he should give us what we ask! Isn’t it a part of Advent longing that we try to understand God’s plans for us? Should we be trying to change his plans to suit our own designs? Or should we change?

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Second Monday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 08/12/2014

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” (Isaiah 40:9)

What are my personal longings – here and now? Advent is that special time when we ask for the insight to “look through” and “look beyond” all our everyday longings and discover the greatest longing of them all – our thirst for God. Advent longing is a longing for God – longing for the God of life, for the God of our hearts. It is a longing to live in the deepest union with the Lord until we feel that our entire self is taken up into his presence. We long for Immanuel to come to restore us and renew us, although we also know that on this earth our longing will never be completely satisfied. Let us examine our everyday and ordinary longings. Can we “look through” and “look behind” them to discover the living God?

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Taste and See Family Mass in Advent


by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 07/12/2014

You are invited to Tastes and See Family Mass on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Sunday 14th December at 3.30pm at the Shrine. After Mass we will share our Advent Table and prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. Highlight of our celebration will be our pilgrimage to the Shrine to see the crib with the manger awaiting eagerly  the promised Saviour. Please come along and join in our Advent Family celebration. We look forward to welcoming you!

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