All My Days



Till the end of my Lord,
I will bless your name,
Sing your praise, give thanks,
all my days.

You have made me little less than a god,
and have lavished my heart with your love,
With dignity and honor you’ve clothed me,
given me rule over all.

Till the end of my Lord,
I will bless your name,
Sing your praise, give thanks,
all my days.

You have blessed me with good things and plenty,
and surrounded my table with friends.
Their love and their laughter enrich me;
together we sing your praise.

Till the end of my Lord,
I will bless your name,
Sing your praise, give thanks,
all my days.

Your sun and your moon give me light,
and your stars show the way through the night,
Your rivers and streams have refresh me.
I will sing your praise.

Till the end of my Lord,
I will bless your name,
Sing your praise, give thanks,
all my days.


#ShortNews: Pope Francis to write message on nonviolence

“Nonviolence: a style of politics for peace” is the theme of the 50th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1.

“Such a political method is based on the primacy of law,” the Holy See Press Office said in an August 26 statement announcing the theme. “If the rights and the equal dignity of every person are safeguarded without any discrimination and distinction, then non-violence, understood as a political method, can constitute a realistic way to overcome arm[ed] conflicts. In this perspective, it becomes important to increasingly recognize not the right of force but the force of right.”

“At the same time, however, it does not mean that one nation can remain indifferent to the tragedies of another,” the press office added. “Rather it means a recognition of the primacy of diplomacy over the noise of arms.”

The 2017 World Day of Peace will be the fourth of Pope Francis’s pontificate. The theme in 2014 was “fraternity, the foundation and pathway to peace”; the 2015 theme was “no longer slaves, but brothers and sisters”; and the 2016 theme was “overcome indifference and win peace.”

#ShortNews: French court overturns burkini ban– after official says it should apply to nuns’ habits

A French appeals court has overturned a ban on the wearing of the Islamic burkini on beaches.

The Council of State said that a burkini ban in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, on the Riviera, was unwarranted because officials had not “proven risks of disruptions to public order nor, moreover, reasons of hygiene or decency.” The ruling would appear to apply to other towns that have instituted the same ban.

The court ruling came just after the deputy mayor of Nice told a BBC Radio audience that a ban on the burkini was warranted because it is a “provocation” for women to wear the garment, which covers their entire bodies. “When you go to the beach you wear a bathing suit,” said Rudy Salles.

The Nice official went on to say that the rule against wearing a burkini should apply to Catholic nuns wearing the habit. He argued that the public wear of distinctively religious clothing is a violation of secularity. “Religion is the affair of each one, but each one at home, each one at church, not each one in the street.”

Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, had earlier voiced his fear that the logic of a ban on burkinis could be applied to nuns’ habits. “I can think only of our nuns,” he told Corriere della Sera in a comment on the policy. “The freedom to be granted to religious symbols should be considered on a par with the freedom to express one’s beliefes and to follow them in public life.”

#ShortNews: China’s Catholic population hitting plateau after years of rapid growth

After a period of rapid growth, the Catholic population in China has reached a plateau, and the number of new priestly and religious vocations is dropping, a leading researcher reports.

Writing for the AsiaNews service, Anthony Lam Sui-ky, an analyst for the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong, estimates that China’s Catholic population is now about 10.5 million. The Beijing government cites a much lower figure, but the author notes that the government’s estimates have consistently been well short of Catholic Church figures.

The “plateau,” the analyst explains, occurs when a slowdown in the number of new converts occurs after a period of dramatic growth. While new converts continue to enter the Church, these new arrivals only equal the number of older converts who die each year. “This means that the increase in new members just replaced the number of lost members but failed to achieve any further growth.” He observes that the same “plateau” phenomenon is evident in both the “official” and “underground” Catholic Church.

Love Is Who You Are

Love Is Who You Are

Richard Rohr’s daily meditation
Your True Self is who you are, and always have been in God; and at its core, it is love itself. Love is both who you are and who you are still becoming, like a sunflower seed that becomes its own sunflower. Most of human history has referred to the True Self as your “soul” or “your participation in the eternal life of God.” The great surprise and irony is that “you,” or who you think you are, have nothing to do with your True Self’s original creation or its ongoing existence. This is disempowering and utterly empowering at the same time. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more; and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less. All you can do is nurture your True Self, which is saying quite a lot. It is love becoming love in this unique form called “me.”
According to St. Paul (Romans 8:28), becoming my True Self seems to be a fully cooperative effort, affirmed in my own limited experience. God never forces himself/herself on us or coerces us toward life or love by any threats whatsoever. God seduces us, yes; coerces us, no (Jeremiah 20:7; Matthew 11:28-30). Whoever this God is, he or she is utterly free and utterly respects our own human freedom. Love cannot happen in any other way. Love flourishes inside freedom and then increases that freedom even more. “For freedom Christ has set us free!” shouts St. Paul in his critique of all legalistic religion (Galatians 5:1).

We are allowed to ride life’s and love’s wonderful mystery for a few years–until life and love reveal themselves as the same thing, which is the final and full message of the Risen Christ–life morphing into a love that is beyond space and time. He literally “breathes” shalom and forgiveness into the universal air (John 20:22-23). We get to add our own finishing touches of love, our own life breath to the Great Breath, and then return the completed package to its maker in a brand-new but also same form. It is indeed the same “I,” but now it is in willing union with the great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). It is no longer just one, but not two either.

Gateway to Silence

“There is nothing better or more necessary than love.”

–St. John of the Cross

Saint Oliver Plunkett

Saint_Oliver_PlunkettOliver Plunkett was born on the 1st of November 1625 in Loughcrew, County Meath, Ireland, to well-to-do parents with Hiberno-Norman ancestors. Oliver as a young boy, was tutored by a cousin, Fr. Patrick Plunkett, titular Abbot of St. Mary’s Cistercian Abbey in Dublin, who ministered from the chapel at Killeen castle until Oliver was sixteen years old.

As an aspirant to the priesthood he set out for Rome in 1647, under the care of Father Pierfrancesco Scarampi of the Roman Oratory. He was admitted to the Irish College in Rome and proved to be an able pupil. He then was ordained a priest in 1654, and deputed by the Irish bishops to act as their representative in Rome. On January 1, 1654, Oliver was finally ordained a priest in the Propaganda College in Rome.

Due to religious persecution in his native land, it was not possible for him to return to minister to his people. Oliver taught in Rome until 1669, when he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. Archbishop Plunkett soon established himself as a man of peace and, with religious fervor, set about visiting his people, establishing schools, ordaining priests, and confirming thousands.

1673 brought a renewal of religious persecution, and bishops were banned by edict. Archbishop Plunkett went into hiding, suffering a great deal from cold and hunger. His many letters showed his determination not to abandon his people, but to remain a faithful shepherd. He thanked God “Who gave us the grace to suffer for the chair of Peter.” The persecution eased a little and he was able to move more openly among his people.

In 1679 Oliver was arrested and falsely charged with treason. The government in power could not get him convicted at his trial in Dundalk. He was brought to London and was unable to defend himself because he was not given time to bring his own witnesses from Ireland. He was put on trial, and with the help of perjured witnesses, was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. With deep serenity of soul, he was prepared to die, calmly rebutting the charge of treason, refusing to save himself by giving false evidence against his brother bishops.

Oliver Plunkett publicly forgave all those who were responsible for his death on July 1, 1681. At the age of 55, Oliver was the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England. His body was initially buried in two tin boxes, next to five Jesuits who had died previously, in the courtyard of St Giles in the Fields church. On October 12, 1975, he was canonized a saint. His feast day is July 11.