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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QUOTES AND PRAYERS FROM ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA

This Monday 29th April, we celebrate the feast of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1390). She is one of the outstanding figures of medieval Catholicism, by the strong influence she has had in the history of the papacy. She is behind the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome, and then carried out many missions entrusted by the pope, something quite rare for a woman in the Middle Ages. Her writings are marked by deep insight and thought. She is one of the most influential writers in Catholicism, to the point that she is one of only four women to be declared a doctor of the Church. This recognition by the Church consecrates the importance of her writings. Below is a radio interview with Bishop Rob

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS ON SUFFERING AND FAITH

During a three year stay in Wales which was a great blessing to him, Hopkins was commissioned by his superiors to write a poem regarding a disaster in the Thames estuary in 1875 where a ship floundered and about a quarter of the passengers including five Franciscan nuns were drowned. The poem of 35 densely packed stanzas named The Wreck of the Deutschland, reflects on the mystery of suffering and God’s presence in this disaster. It explores how God is present in the darkness of life’s experiences as much as God is present in the beauty of nature. In the later poems arising out of his personal experience of abandonment and desolation Hopkins maintains this faith. He does not lose sight of G

HOMILY FOR SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER: DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

In the early Church -Baptism – probably exclusively of adults - was celebrated on Holy Saturday night. The newly baptised proudly worn their white baptismal garments for the rest of Easter Week to publicise their new status as full members of the Christian community. On one occasion in a sermon to them on the following Sunday - this Sunday - St. Augustine reminded them that as they removed their white garments today, from now on THEIR LIVES must continue to distinguish them as Christians. From the highs and joys of their first Easter, they must now come down to earth today – LOW Sunday as it was called - and live in the light of what they have learned – Christ has died, Christ has risen, Chr

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MR STEVE WARNER

This week, we speak to Steve Warner of University Church, St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Steve is well know to us here in Wexford and especially in the parish of Clonard in Wexford Town. For 35 years, he was the Director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir in South Bend Indiana and was involved in setting up the community houses of Teach Brid in Clonard and Dublin where American students live and serve in parishes. In 2016, Steve moved to Dublin with his wife Michelle, becoming the Associate Director of the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason, an international program housed in University Church on St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin. His work continues to build on the tradition of full, consciou

HOMILY FOR EASTER SUNDAY

In Charles Dickens’ novel ‘CHRISTMAS CAROL’ the ghost of Christmas past is the first of three spirits to haunt Ebeneezer Scrooge. We all have memories of Christmas past. But it is very unlikely that any of us have any memories of Easters past. That is not surprising – we find it easier to identify with a crib than with a tomb. But the crib and the tomb are central in our religion and to our faith. Jesus’ birth at Christmas was a major step forward in God’s plan to save us. Jesus risen at Easter continues that plan through all time. Jesus Christ the same - yesterday, today and through all ages, as we just said over the Easter Candle. Jesus birth was vital but if his life ended with His death

POEM: GOOD FRIDAY - EASTER

In the garden, sadness came over him and great distress. If only the cup would pass. How often like Jesus is our own life, when we feel like him, and pray like him, asking for our trials to pass, asking not to be put to the test. But is he not walking with us? Good Friday is where people are in pain, where injustice thrives, where love is absent, where politics become corrupt, the poor abused and where people are crucified. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? What happened then is history and beyond history: his burial robe folded in the empty tomb, the women who were first witnesses terrified. Jesus was seen alive, touched, heard, saying ‘peace be with you, do not be afraid’, Jesus,

HE DESCENDED INTO HELL: HOPE FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

I have always been intrigued by the article of the Apostle’s Creed which states that Christ ‘descended into hell’. But what does it mean and what hope does it offer? In Christian Tradition, Christ’s descent into hell has been understood in terms of his going down into the world of the dead to offer the just the fruits of his resurrection and victory over death. By ‘hell’ was meant the place of the dead, occupied by those deprived of the vision of God. By really dying, Jesus entered into solidarity with all who had died and in that place, he brought the light of his salvation as ‘the first fruits of all who have fallen asleep’ (1 Cor. 15:20). With this article of faith, the Church proclaims h

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH MS. ENA GRAY - 'HEALING THE PAST - THE QUESTION OF RELATIONS BETW

This week’s interview is with Ms. Ena Gray who lives in Ferns and is the author of the book ‘Healing the Past: Catholic Anti-Semitism Roots and Redemption’. In this conversation with Ena, she speaks insightfully on the relationship between Christians and Jews and the need for healing – an important topic as we listened to the Passion narratives during the Easter Triduum. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/ena-greymp3

WHAT NEXT FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS?

There has been much discussion about the future of Catholic Schools in recent years and the issue is not likely to go away anytime soon. In this interview, Irish Catholic columnist Maria Steen shares why she believes it is time for the Church to consider a radical new approach to Catholic Schools. CLICK HERE TO WATCH: https://www.icatholic.ie/catholic-schools-maria-steen/?jwsource=cl

HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY

“THE ROBE” was a major Biblical film made in 1953 about the crucifixion of Jesus.. A Roman tribune named Marcellus was in charge of the unit of soldiers given the task of putting Jesus to death. Remember the Gospels say that the soldiers cast lots for the robe Jesus wore? According to the film, Marcellus won the robe. He had no religious beliefs but his slave DEMITRIUS had and he took the robe. The films shows Marcellus and Demitrius arriving in Jesusalem at the very time Jesus was arriving on Palm Sunday. The film never shows Jesus. All you see are the crowds lining the away, the dust, the colour. You hear the noise, the music, the shout of welcome of the people. And you see all this thro

GEORGE HERBERT'S POEM 'LOVE': A COMMENTARY

GEORGE HERBERT (1593 – 1633) George Herbert had a life of public service before committing himself to the Anglican priesthood, in 1630, and served as a ‘country parson’ for three years. He was a learned man, and sensitive to the challenges of being faithful to Christ. He wrote poetry in the style of the early 17th century which to our ears seems sometimes forced and stilted. The sometimes daring and unexpected stretching of the possibilities of an image is one feature of the style. Herbert’s devotional poetry was a vehicle to explore religious themes. He shared his work with his friends, and was published only after his lifetime. Of his many devotional poems LOVE is a standard in many a

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH SR MARY ROWSOME FROM BALLYVALLOO RETREAT AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, BLACK

This week's interview is with Sr Mary Rowsome, a St John of God Sister who is team leader of Ballyvalloo Retreat and Conference Centre in Blackwater. Sr Mary hails from the parish of Monageer but spent many years working in parishes in the United States where her late brother Msgr. Morgan Rowsome was based. Sr Mary returned to Ireland to work in the parish of Clonard in Wexford Town and since last September has been based at Ballyvalloo. Here she explains the mission and work of the retreat centre and her hopes for the future. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/mary-rowsomemp3

WHAT IS TRUTH?

As we approach Holy Week, the question asked by Pontius Pilate ‘Quid est veritas?' during the trial of Jesus is a question that has always fascinated me. What is truth? Pontius Pilate’s unusual question as recounted in the Gospel of John (18:38) is one of the most challenging questions ever asked. I still remember coming across this question as a child when I was watching a movie about the life of Jesus Christ. It struck something deep within me. It may even have been the significance of this question that fed my curiosity about science and maths. Some of the world’s most famous philosophers have attempted to answer this perplexing question, yet it remains the most crucial of all questions.

HOOKED BY FAITH

I came across this piece of writing this week by John Tauler, a German Dominican born at the beginning of the 14th century. It captures what the mission of ‘the Hook of Faith’ is all about – pointing out ways in which God is luring us lovingly to faith in him. ‘God has thrown into the whole universe and over all creatures beneath our feet, before our eyes and before our soul, his fish-hook, his bait, his net to draw us to him by means of all the things of this world’ - John Tauler, Sermon II for Holy Thursday. With these words, Tauler reminds us that we are not the angler hoping to catch God; it’s God who is the angler patiently waiting to lure us with the bait of love and beauty. His words

COHABITATION OR MARRIAGE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

A new survey -the first of its kind in Ireland - examines the self-reported quality of relationships and family life between cohabiting couples with children compared with married couples with children and finds stronger levels of commitment and satisfaction among married couples. The lower stability of cohabiting relationships is associated with poorer outcomes for children. The survey took place across 11 countries and The Iona Institute is presenting the Irish findings. The key results are as follows: Cohabiting couples have stronger doubts about relationship Only 18pc of married couples with children have had “serious doubts” in the last 12 months that their relationship with their partn

HOMILY FOR FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

Jesus’ life has been summed up in a very catchy clever phrase:- HE COMFORTED THE DISTURBED AND DISTURBED THE COMFORTABLE. Today’s Gospel is a fine illustration of that. The religious leaders of the time were very comfortable in their role as teachers of the law and interpreters as to how their followers should allow that law to govern their lives. They realised early on that this Jesus was in the business of challenging - disturbing - that cosy situation. On at least two occasions they presented Him with circumstances, where they felt they had Him cornered – like handing Him grenades with the pins taken out – expecting the devices to explode in His hands. However – to continue the analogy-

 
 

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