THEHOOKOFFAITH.COM

Digitally proclaiming the Gospel in the diocese of Ferns and beyond

‘The Hook of Faith’ is brought to you by ‘FERNS C.A.F.É’ (Catholic Adult Formation and Education) – a group in the diocese of Ferns, Ireland who are committed to the work of evangelisation and adult faith formation. It seeks to bring the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on all sectors of society in a way that offers life and meaning to everyone. We recognise the challenge of this task at a time in the Church that needs healing and hope. The mission of ‘The Hook of Faith’ is to ‘Digitally proclaim the Gospel in the Diocese of Ferns and beyond’. Our hope is that the light that comes from our faith will reach a wide audience through this new age of digital media and will help transform lives through the joy of the Gospel.

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VIDEO: BISHOP BARRON ON LENT

Another part of a video series from Wordonfire.org. Bishop Barron will be commenting on subjects from modern day culture. For more visit http://www.wordonfire.org.

POEM: ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY by Philip Quirke Time presses humus to turf, turf to coal, and coal to diamonds. In the furnace of the galaxies the elements were forged. Earth formed from the dust is graced with these elements. Out of the earth, its clay and dust we emerged. Our glory arises from the humility of dust. ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust return’ is our dispensation from the beginning. Our return will be to God’s earth, to be held in God’s compassionate embrace. We are but dust, but dust divine, who pray, fast, and give charity, and in God’s time we will be pressed into indestructible diamonds. This is the ineffable Grace which is given to us. This is the good news we are called to receiv

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP DENIS BRENNAN ON WORLD YOUTH DAY

This week we catch up with Bishop Denis as he shares with us the adventure of his recent visit to Panama where he joined Pope Francis and thousands of young people all over the world for World Youth Day. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/bishop-denis-brennanmp3

EXPLORING MARTYRDOM

In the coming week, we celebrate the feast of the Chair of St Peter the Apostle (Friday 22nd Feb.) and St Polycarp, bishop and martyr (c. 69-155 AD). As we recall the witness of both St Peter and Polycarp who both died for their faith, it is good to reflect on an important question. What is the difference between an Islamic fanatic dying for his faith and the martyrdom of the early Christians? “They are both about dying for faith,” one hears. Leaving aside for now the issue of Islamic fundamentalists, this is a good time to reflect on why Christian martyrdom is not really about death. St. Thomas follows the classical tradition in classifying actions according to their object, or end. So the

THE CHANGING LANGUAGE AROUND ABORTION

There are many things that changed in Ireland after the vote on the 25th May 2018 and the historic legalisation of abortion in Ireland. Many will argue those changes are for the better and many will argue that they are for the worse. But we can all agree that there is certainly a change in attitudes and values. One change that is particularly noticeable in the coverage of the issue is the language used to describe it. The Minister of Health and much of the media now refer to ‘abortion services’ that are available in Ireland. Furthermore, the provision of abortion is now under the rubric of ‘health care’. Without doubt, this language around the issue of abortion is new. In the past we may hav

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO - CATHOLICISM: BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT PART 2

‘CATHOLICISM: Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ is a home-grown Catholic evangelisation series by Clonmacnois Press available on YouTube. It presents a compelling case for Catholicism over 7 episodes. This is Episode 2. Also suitable for secondary schools, parish evangelisation and as a useful tool for any Catholic faith group or individuals wanting to share about faith, this resource is available free of charge to watch or to download. Links to all episodes are listed below.

HOMILY FOR SEVENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

The movement of the Liturgy of The Word today is calling us to complete conversion in Christ. In the First Reading from Samuel, David is presented with the golden opportunity to kill Saul, his finer feelings are commendable, his conscience comes into play and he will not kill the king, declaring “The Lord forbid that I should raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed”. There is however no indication that had the enemy not been in possession of kingly anointing, David may have lacked the finer development of conscience and indeed slain the un-kingly enemy. In Luke 6: 27 – 38, Jesus calls us to a more complete and radical outreach to all our enemies, irrespective of Kingly Anointing, that is i

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP NICK HUDSON OF THE DIOCESE OF WESTMINSTER, LONDON.

This week we travel to London to speak with Nick Hudson who is an Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster. Bishop Nick was formerly Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome where I knew him. In the interview Bishop Nick shares the efforts of his diocese to evangelise and to give hope to thousands through charitable works, proclaiming the Gospel message and the celebration of the liturgy. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/nick-hudsonmp3

TWO PRAYER-POEMS FOR ST. VALENTINE’S DAY

YOU AND ME TOGETHER If there is too much ME, there is too little YOU Yet I know that Love if it is to be true Needs the gift of letting be; If there is too much YOU, there is too little ME Still I know that Love as it works towards being true Has the eyes fixed firmly on WE. ST. VALENTINE, PRAY FOR US In our teens and 20’s: in our yearning and longing In long term togetherness: in our hoping and trusting When hard times come: in our waiting and enduring When hairs turn grey: in our gratitude, and, with luck, still yearning and longing. Love is a grace and a challenge day by day. We try to say ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’, and sort out anger by bedtime. St. Valentine, pray for us, in all th

THE EVOLUTION OF HUMANS

by Sean O’Leary Atheists argue that humans evolved in a purely natural process without any need for God. If one believes in the ‘Theory of Evolution’, this can sound somewhat plausible. As a former biologist, I tend to ask the question of whether evolutionary biology can explain every aspect of human nature, including consciousness and the phenomenon that we mean when we call ourselves persons i.e. our awareness of being a self, being an ‘I’, relating to the other as a ‘you’? This article describes how I understand the reality of human evolution today, but it remains an ongoing struggle to write about this very difficult topic because it requires us to address several big questions at the sa

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO - CATHOLICISM: BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT

‘CATHOLICISM: Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ is a home grown Catholic evangelisation YouTube series by Clonmacnois Press. It presents a compelling case for Catholicism over 7 episodes averaging about 15 minutes each. It is ideal to share with your friends and family, to engage in discussion about the important questions of life. Also suitable for secondary schools, parish evangelisation and as a useful tool for any Catholic faith group or individuals wanting to share about faith, this resource is available free of charge to watch or to download. Links to all episodes are listed below.

HOMILY FOR SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

In the Liturgy of the word today there is the most distinctive call to the individual human heart to enter deeply into, almost, mystical relationship with the eternal God as he is made especially manifest to us in Christ. The prophet Jeremiah waxes beautifully on this subject of relationship with God as he glimpses God through the shadows of the Old Testament Spirituality: “A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord …. he is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream, when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green and it never ceases to bear fruit”. The Responsorial Psalm continues in the similar vein; “Happy is the man who has placed his trus

SEXUAL ABUSE - TACKLING THE ROOT CAUSES

This Friday, 15th February, is the annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Sexual Abuse. Approved by Pope Francis in 2016, the day is a central part of the healing process for survivors and victims and a very important element in raising consciousness in the Church of this terrible problem. This Friday at the 10am Mass, Bishop Denis will light a candle in St Aidan's Cathedral as sign of hope and the commitment of the Church to the healing of wounds and the safe-guarding of children and vulnerable adults in our Church. Each bishop in every Cathedral in Ireland will do the same. As part of this liturgy the Bishop will pray the following prayer of atonement: 'Lord, forgive us our man

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW - ARCHBISHOP KIERAN O'REILLY

This week's interview is with Kieran O'Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. In this conversation, Archbishop Kieran shares with us his thoughts for the future, his hopes for renewal and his efforts to move the word of God to a most prominent place in the lives of Catholics. He also asks us to pray for the safe release of an Italian missionary Italian priest currently kidnapped in Africa. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/kieran-oreillymp3

HOMILY FOR FIFTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

In today’s Gospel the miraculous catch of fish prefigures the ministry to people which is the mission of all the Baptised; Lay, Religious and Ordained. From our different vantage points within the church we are to become fishers of people. We are, in the words of Jesus, to “Catch Them”. In the Gospel passage, the literal catch of fish tears the nets. Our mission within the church will be filled with equal success if we are prepared to put out into the deep. This means steady and unfaltering conviction. By commitment and teaching, preaching and example by going the extra mile in service we go out into the deep of our time and place. Such life style will accomplish the miraculous catch. The qu

A REFLECTION ON LISTENING AND HEARING

The intricacies of the ear, particularly the human ear, are marvellous. The visible curls and lobes, the hidden-hammer-anvil-stirrup-drum. There is wonder in the design, structure, function and effect. Listen to the ocean. Then cup your hand over your ear and listen to the waves. How do we come to know things? We know things from being told; whether through the spoken voices of others, or through reading, or by attending to the myriad forms of social communication. The world of advertising is populated by extremely strident voices. So it is essential to be alert as to who is doing the telling, because there is always an agenda, a focus, an attempt to allure, or deceive or convince; or

THE LINK BETWEEN RELIGION AND GREATER HAPPINESS

The primary function of religion isn’t to make you happy. It is to draw you closer to God and make you a better person. In addition, every spiritual writer, every great novelist, every thinker worth their salt knows that sometimes we only become better people through suffering, which anyone who has ever cared about someone else has experienced. But lots of research has shown that religious people happen to be happier on average anyway. Happiness is a very subjective thing, of course and we can argue about the cause and effect of the link till the cows come home, nevertheless, the research shows what it shows. The Pew Research Centre for Religion and Public Life has published the results of a

OUR INTERVIEW THIS WEEK: MR. LIAM GRIFFIN

Our interview this week is with a man who needs very little introduction, especially to the people of Wexford. Liam Griffin is a successful businessman and hotelier. But perhaps is best known for his leadership and management of the Wexford hurling team that won the All Ireland title in 1996. Here Liam speaks to us about his own faith, leadership, the youth, sport, virtue and his desire for the Church to regain its voice and confidence in Irish society today. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/liam-griffinmp3

27th WORLD DAY OF THE SICK: 11TH FEBRUARY 2019

Recently, I spent a few days in hospital with a serious illness. Thank God I have recovered fully but it could have been worse. Such a brush with mortality makes you think deeper and changes your perspective. You move into a different space that is already occupied by millions of sick people whose plight you were aware of but did not consider as much as you should. Here I share a few thoughts from this experience of illness as we prepare to mark the 27th World Day of the Sick on Monday next, 11th February, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We hear much about the institutions of society that are the shapers of culture – the media, universities, politics, TV, the internet, movies, art, music,

 
 

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