Sunday, 17 May 2015

Based upon Psalm 139


I love Psalm 139 it is a beautiful expression of the wonder of God’s creating inspiration. The words of the psalmist echo through the centuries, capturing the soul's search for God. Responding to such words is an exercise of prayer, and I wrote these words based upon the psalm as a prayer, imploring God’s inexhaustible mercy, and a contemplation of wonder, at his creating love!

Based upon Psalm 139

A prayer of wonder and a cry for mercy.

When I find that I am loved, it is almost too much for me!

As I sit in the comfort of my thoughts

or stand to worship, my beloved knows me!

Each of my ways holds no secret to the one who created me.

My moods, my angst, my joy’s, my hopes, my dreams

are familiar to the one who always loved me.

My words spoken softly, are heard,

as I close my eyes, I am surrounded from all sides

enclosed with an embrace of love,

touched, guided, by a creating hand, held steady.

What an immense knowledge, that overwhelms me so!

Where would I go, that your spirit would be absent?

How would I escape the thought of you?

My life ascends to the very heights of ambition, you are there.

My life sinks to the depths of grief, you are there too.

I hide from the gaze of men, seeking silence for my friend,

yet you are there, beyond the land and sea,

beyond all I will ever imagine, you are there!

Your creating hand guides me still.

When I experience the darkness of doubt your light shines!

When I feel utterly alone, forlorn, lost, you have already found me!

I am not surprised when I contemplate my loving creator God,

when I think of my tiny frame, safe within my mother’s womb.

Here in the hidden, sacred temple, life is formed,

designed, shaped, a unique person is loved into life!

Beautifully moulded, by divine fingers, expressing delight!

My days are not unknown to love’s sweet beckoning,

each page of my life’s work, so delicately written.

So tiny am I, compared with my creators love!

All of those designs are forged with incredible detail,

those works, vast, more than the number of the stars,

more than every grain of sand that ever caressed the earth.

Despite the knowledge that I am so loved, I fall.

Weak and sinful, I give in to anger, despair, my insistent enemies,

I invite hatred under my roof, this weakness wounds me,

shames me, invades my desire to love, in return for such great love.

From the knowledge you have of my fragile heart,

enable me to seek after your inexhaustible mercy.

Lead me, my beloved creator God, along that ancient path,

the one that leads to thanksgiving, adoration, and worship

to humble service and forever a loving, eternal happiness!

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Homily Notes: The Ascension of the Lord

Looking up at the sky at night can be a rewarding activity, the beauty of the stars and the immensity of the heavens above can be most captivating. It can make us marvel at what is actually up there. Men have spent billions upon billions to fly rockets into space and some wonder if the money could have been better spent alleviating hunger and eradicating poverty. A preoccupation with looking upwards can result in neglecting what is important below.

I remember once being in Chester for a few days and walking on the walls of the city. I was looking at something ahead high up and I missed my footing on the last couple of steps and came crashing to the earth. Concentrating on what was above my head made me stumble as I did not concentrate on where I was walking!

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles the disciples are looking up to the sky as they have just witnessed Jesus ascending to his Father and two men dressed in white say “men of Galilee why are you standing there looking up at the sky?” For Jesus had ascended. The disciples could have been forgiven for wanting to remain in that moment, caught up in the glory of God that they had witnessed. But the disciples reaction is shown in the words of the gospel when it says that the disciples went forth and preached everywhere the Lord working with them.

The temptation may be to look to the sky and remain in the rapture of the glory of God but the reminder today on the feast of the Ascension is that there is much work to do here on the earth to proclaim the gospel.  Our task as disciples is to go out and preach the word of God to all peoples. That preaching embraces caring for the poor and needy and being compassionate to the weak and troubled. It means being concerned with the world we live in and making it a better place for all.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Marian Month of May

Marian Month of May

I wake up this dawning new day in the Marian month of May
Contemplating the Mother of God’s journey, her faithful way
Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, despise not my speech
I seek your gentle inspiration, I meditate on all that you teach
You say, “do whatever my Son tells you, he gives eternal life
hold him close, call upon his name, he will lead you from strife”
Hail Mary full of grace, favoured by the Lord from the beginning
Blessed amongst women, devotion upon our hearts imprinting
The whisper of your “fiat” like a warming breeze, delights creation
The first to experience heaven, you are the hope of every nation
As flowers blossom, luscious fruits ripen, we praise you this day
Mary, our faithful inspiration, rightly, the Queen of the May!

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

Friday, 8 May 2015

Homily Notes 6th Sunday Easter Year B

Love one another as I have loved you. The words of Jesus are proclaimed in the gospel during the celebration of Mass. The Mass is the demonstration of Jesus’ love in action. His abiding, enduring, presence with us is revealed in the Mass. When we bow down before him in reverence, we are reminded that he is our inspiration for living, our reason for living with great joy and our lasting hope for heaven. We are called his friends today and as friends we enter into relationship with him, we become partners in the task of proclaiming the gospel to all. No longer slaves following instructions, we are called friends by Jesus, who collaborate in the process of the gospel.

Friendship is about support, mutual trust, it grows and deepens, the more that is revealed of another the deeper the bond of friendship. The more that is experienced together the stronger the friendship becomes. As friends we set out on an adventure of life, exploring ways of remaining friends.

Now friendship can be fleeting or it can be permanent depending on the type of friendship we are willing to engage in. Friends can be acquaintances, or good friends or even best friends.

Acquaintances are those type of friends that can come and go in our lives. Friends can be fair weathered friends, those who pass us by in life. We did know them, something brought us together but not keeping in touch, we soon lose contact and friends like that can drift apart.

Good friends are regular visitors taking an interest in what each is doing. Support is welcomed in good and bad times much is shared through this type of friendship.

Then there is best friend these are people we care about deeply, whose welfare is important to us. Keeping in touch on a daily basis, taking a keen interest in each others lives, spending time with each other, all contribute to the making of a best friend.

Jesus calls us his friends and we are to determine just what kind of friend we are to Jesus.

Is he an acquaintance who we neglect at times though the business of life or preoccupation with other things. Perhaps as an acquaintance we may send him cards on birthdays, Christmas, Easter not too fussed to hear from him at other times. We soon lose touch.

Is Jesus a good friend one that we keep in touch with often, not only sending cards but actually coming to see him and taking an interest in his life as he does in ours.  Good friends rely on each other for support and find common ground to speak often and deepen in friendship.

Best friends take delight in knowing about the other. They make it their priority to be busy about the other. A best friend finds out all they can about their best friend by sharing thoughts, words, visiting daily, speaking daily communicating often by any means possible.

Prayer is the spoken word, good deeds are the fruits of that best friendship with Jesus. What kind of a friend are we being to Jesus in our lives?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Falling for Freedom

Falling for freedom
Youthful searching,
crumbles to sinful falling,
until inspired, with only faith required,
a whispered conviction, an invocation,
an invitation to follow a vocation, a calling.

Desiring after truthful yearnings,
for fulfilments longings,
engaged in life’s mystery,
hoping for its eternal destiny,
seeking roads to walk upon
as time races by, forever gone.

Carefree meanderings,
faithful acquaintances,
familiar associates,
punctuated by family interactions,
love’s truth spoken, in unbroken sentences,
blest by the ordinary everyday, and feast days,
values wrestle with free will’s gentle ways.

Choices decided, made in seasons, joyful or sad,
experience reminds that rain falls on good and bad,
from the advantage of a conscience’s freedom;
a conscience informed, taught, imbued with wisdom,
that springs from the flowing waters of prayer,
that taps the shell of the soul and says, “go on I dare!”

An experience of closeness,
of presence, of a promise to abide,
of the Christ like touch of holiness,
aware of the depth, and the riches of Christ’s teaching,
where our walking becomes our most potent preaching.

I am falling for freedom,
learnt by kneeling before his broken crucifixion,
the sacrifice chosen, to bring redemption,
as I am forgiven, offered salvation,
falling in love with his command to bring about his kingdom.
Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mary, Queen of the May

Mary, Queen of the May
The month of May is dedicated to Mary, Queen and Mother. Crowning a statue of Mary is popular in many parishes. The roots of this devotion goes back many centuries, and Pope John Paul II refocused the piety of crowning a statue of Our Lady, particularly on a visit to Fatima; which Pope Benedict recalled in a visit in May of 2010
“Pope Benedict XVI then remembered how when John Paul II visited the shrine he offered Mary one of the bullets that struck him in the 1981 assassination attempt. Pope John Paul II was hit by four bullets fired at him by Mehmet Ali Agca of Turkey on May 13, 1981 in St. Peter's Square. Recalling that the bullet brought by John Paul II was placed in Our Lady's crown, Benedict XVI said, "It is a profound consolation to know that you are crowned not only with the silver and gold of our joys and hopes, but also with the 'bullet' of our anxieties and sufferings."
The Crowning of Our Lady is a reminder of the place that prayer and piety play in our faith.
Usually in May we involve the primary schools, and witness class after class gathering in the church to sing hymns and bring flowers and crown Mary’s statue. The closeness of Mother to her son Jesus, is part of our devotion. Mary is a model for Christian living and that closeness to Jesus gives us an indication into understanding why. Mary’s closeness to Jesus enables her to say to those around him. ”Do whatever he tells you” and in these words she indicates how we are to view Mary. She always points to her Son, never to herself. We hold Mary in great devotion so that we can come closer to her Son, Jesus.
The Queen of the May
With May’s sun smiling, shining brightly, we begin
Devoutly we move, slowly forwards to process in
Singing Marian hymns with voices raised to heaven
Bringing joyful hearts, a reminder of holiness’s leaven
Some carrying the rarest flowers, freshly purchased
Others hold one fragrant stem, as God is worshipped
Mary is not our God, but our queen and our Mother
A women so faithful, so radiant, blessed like no other
A gleaming golden crown rests upon a white cushion
Gently lifted and upon Marys head, the crown is put on.

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved

Weary Bones

Weary Bones
Weary bones,
covered with ageing flesh,
peering at the world through battle worn eyes. 

Age is a celebration
of collected wisdom,
the passing of years, a reconciliation with past sighs. 

Eventful years
punctuated with tears, both sad and joyful,
wrinkles adorn the surface of experiences stoically embraced. 

The searching soul grows,
through a seeking heart’s inquisitions,
useless worries are placated, as each temporal problem is faced.

Rejuvenated, freed
from juvenile preoccupations,
pondering the future, bright with eternal surrendering’s.

Weary bones,
giving service to their untiring creator,
until finally released, in unfettered abandon, gleefully sings!

Fr. Patrick Brennan © 2015 all rights reserved