Facebook, Forgiveness, and Love

Browsing Facebook the other day, I came across a picture that had been ‘liked’ 60,000 times and ‘shared’ more than 20,000 times. It was a quote about forgiveness that said:

“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace”.

It’s very easy to see the appeal of this quote, it essentially makes a very difficult act, so easy. It’s like the drive through fast food version of love – if I’m hungry and I just want a quick fix to satisfy me, I don’t really care about the nutritional level of what I’m going to eat, I’m more concerned with satisfying my hunger pain.

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Awakening Ourselves to Mercy

Mercy is at the very heart of the Christian faith. Throughout the Gospels, this theme pulses strong and powerful. Unlike the gods of other mythologies, who sought to withhold life from humanity and acted in competition with the world, the Christian claim is that God, the creator of all things, stepped into this world and became a part of it. He did not act against it. Instead, he acted for it. And this, really, is the mercy of God. It is the most beautiful expression of forgiveness that He would reach out in order to restore the broken and shattered lives of those in this world.

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This Wonderful Sacrament

Excerpt from the Pastoral Letter of the Bishop of Parramatta

This year marks the 750th anniversary of the papal bull, Transiturus, by which Pope Urban IV promulgated the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Our Lord, for the Universal Church. He also commissioned St Thomas Aquinas to write the prayers and hymns for the feast we still use in the liturgy today.

Let me share with you some thoughts about the importance of this wonderful Sacrament for our daily lives and how we might better express this.

An ancient love-song, Psalm 62, begins with the hunger in the human soul: “O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting, my body pines for you.” This theme recurs throughout the Old Testament. With the coming of Christ it became clear that He is the food and drink we most deeply desire.

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Snippets of Sacraments: The Constancy of Holy Orders

When I was in primary school, a priest visited our year 3 class and he took great care in asking everyone where they were from. When he got to me, I told him I was Fijian and he laughed and told me about a trip to Fiji where he had taken a cab and asked the driver to take him to the seminary, and had actually ended up in front of a cemetery instead.

We all had a good laugh about it, well he did, at the time I didn’t know what the difference was but I joined in the laughter anyway. Of course though like most things that confused you as a child, clarity dawns with the onset of maturity. That situation is one often replayed in my mind mostly because I can now fully appreciate the humour in the priest wanting to be taken to the seminary: the place where the word means ‘to cultivate or grow seeds’ – and instead, he was taken to the memorial place of the dead.

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From the Dean's desk

Farewell and God Bless

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

With the recent untimely death of Rev Fr David Hume, Bishop Anthony has requested that I accept a new appointment as Parish Priest of St John XXIII Parish, Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens.

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