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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POPE FRANCIS' MESSAGE FOR LENT

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2020 “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20) Dear Brothers and Sisters, This year the Lord grants us, once again, a favourable time to prepare to celebrate with renewed hearts the great mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the cornerstone of our personal and communal Christian life. We must continually return to this mystery in mind and heart, for it will continue to grow within us in the measure that we are open to its spiritual power and respond with freedom and generosity. 1. The paschal mystery as the basis of conversion Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the Good News of the death

WAYS OF OBSERVING LENT

In this episode of the Word on Fire Show, Bishop Robert Barron shares with us his insights into prayer, fasting and almsgiving and what form they might take in the daily observance of Lent. CLICK HERE TO WATCH:

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH JAKOV, ONE OF THE VISIONARIES FROM MEDUGORJE

During a pilgrimage with the parish of St Aidan's Enniscorthy last year, we had the privilege of being present when Jacob, the youngest of the visionaries of Medugorje, came and addressed the large crowd gathered. Here he talks about Our Lady's messages and request for prayer and for peace. Inspiring stuff. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-297441672/medugorjemp3

SATAN'S TACTIC OF DECEPTION, DIVISION, DIVERSION AND DISCOURAGEMENT

Many of us have heard the Wolf Tones sing the song ‘Some say the devil is dead’. It goes ‘some say the devil is dead and buried in Killarney. More say he rose again and joined the British army’. So what do we think? Do we believe in the existence of evil or think the devil is dead and does not exist? When we look at the world today, it is hard not to believe that there is some force of darkness at work that is the opposite of good. Wars, violence, lives destroyed by drugs, human trafficking, the destruction of family life, the list goes on. We have even seen evil in recent years in the Church with the abuse crisis that one Bishop called ‘the Devil’s masterpiece’. Here I identity four ways th

HOMILY FOR FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT (A)

One of the truly great inspirational leaders of our time has been Nelson Mandela. Most of us will have seen the film 'Invictus' that is all about him; his early days as President; allusions to his years of imprisonment on Robin Island, and his relationship with the South African Rugby team and how he inspired them to win the World Cup. Reading into his story we can only imagine some of the temptations he had to overcome before he became the man of greatness and destiny that the world so admired. Before he changed anything he first had to conquer himself, as is true for us all. Remember he spent the best 30 years of his life locked up in a tiny prison cell, a victim of the unjust apartheid re

DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF ABUSE - 28TH FEBRUARY 2020

The annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Sexual Abuse will take place on Friday 28 February 2020, the first Friday of Lent. The bishops of Ireland have blessed and dedicated candles of atonement for use in their Cathedrals and parishes throughout the country on 28 February and thereafter during the celebration of Mass and other liturgies. Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “In lighting these candles we will bring to mind our brothers and sisters, and their families, who have been left with a lifelong suffering as a result of abuse, whose trust was so deeply betrayed and whose faith has been so cruelly tested within the sanctity of the Church by perpetrators of abuse. “I have been pri

STATIONS OF THE CROSS WITH TROCAIRE

In the link below, you will find an imaginative Stations of the Cross that has been compiled for us by Trocaire. We pray this familiar prayer to be with Jesus Christ, who walked this journey carrying the cross, the instrument of his death, out of love and commitment to us. We pray it also because we wish to become close to Jesus, who loves each of us so deeply. We walk this journey to get a glimpse at the heart and mind of Jesus Christ, who is alive today and experiencing the journey of the cross wherever our sisters and brothers are suffering throughout the world. We give thanks as we walk this journey. His Way of the Cross has brought hope and the possibility of new life into the dark plac

ARE WE SAFER AND HAPPIER IN A NEW PROGRESSIVE IRELAND?

During the general election campaign, many spokespeople from political parties said that they stood for a new and progressive Ireland. In hours of TV debate, the ideas of 'progress' and being 'progressive' were uncritically associated with life being better, our communities being safer and we being happier. But does this hold up to scrutiny? What exactly do we mean by progress anyway and the building of a progressive society? In this video, this question is asked and evidence is provided that the social change that Ireland has seen in the last 30 years or so, cannot always be assumed to have led to progress and human flourishing. There are indeed worrying signs that we are less safe and less

PREPARING FOR LENT

In this video, the now Bishop Robert Barron explores the meaning of Lent as a time to deepen our lives of genuine faith by committing ourselves to fasting, prayer and works of charity.

HOMILY FOR SEVENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)

The gospel today and for the past few Sunday’s has been taken from the Sermon on the Mount which is contained in Chapters 5-7 of St. Matthew’s gospel. These chapters are a collection made by St. Matthew of the moral teaching of Jesus, arranged under certain headings and provided with an introduction and a conclusion. Such a collection would have been useful for teaching purposes in the early Church and this may be one of the reasons Matthew incorporated it into his gospel. The Sermon on the Mount remains the most comprehensive discourse of Jesus of which we have any record, and it was regarded by St. Matthew as a fair summary of what Jesus taught. We are unlikely to find a better picture

O BEAUTIFUL FOOD!

The following is an extract from the writings of St John Vianney. Beautiful words about beautiful food! ‘O my soul, how great thou art! God alone can satisfy thee! The food of my soul! What is it but the body and blood of God! O beautiful food! God alone can be the food of the soul! God alone can suffice her! God alone is able to fill her! God alone can allay her hunger! She feels an imperative need of her God! How happy are pure souls that unite themselves to our Lord in Holy Communion! In heaven they will sparkle like beautiful diamonds because God will shine through them’. ST JOHN VIANNEY (1786-1859)

A HARVARD PROFESSOR'S CONVERSION TO CATHOLICISM

In this video, meet Roy Schoeman, a former Professor at Harvard Business School, as he speaks about his acceptance of atheism when he went to university and how it dragged him into a pit of hopelessness. He shares how God personally intervened in his life in a miraculous way. Now working as a catholic speaker and inspiring thousands of believers and nonbelievers with his story, he has found the true meaning of life and the overflowing ocean of God's Love.

TO ERR IS HUMAN

Alexander Pope’s poetic phrase, which appeared in ‘An essay on Criticism Part II’ published in 1711, still resonates today: ‘to err is human; to forgive divine’. In Pope’s view, our aspiration to do as God does leads us naturally and wisely towards charity and forgiveness. In Ireland, recent decades have seen significant societal changes that must inevitably prompt Christians to question the role of religious faith in public life. Contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion, school patronage and the focus of sex education feature significantly in public discourse. Similarly, the clerical abuse crises, the scandals of the Magdalene laundries, the close association of the hierarchy wit

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH FR MARTIN PENDER

On November 30th last year, Fr Martin Pender spoke at the annual 'FAITH ON FIRE CONFERENCE' at the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy. The topic of Fr Martin's talk was about our Christian heritage and our sacred task to cherish it and understand it better. Martin was speaking as someone who knows what can happen when we lose or bin our Christian heritage or culture. For many years, Fr Martin worked as a missionary in Sweden and South Africa and he has seen at first hand what can happen when faith is divorced from culture and when our Christian heritage is denied or reduced to the private sphere only. This is an important conversation for us to have as a Church, especially as we approach St

SAY 'YES' IF YOU MEAN 'YES' AND 'NO' IF YOU MEAN 'NO'

The title above is taken from the Gospel this weekend ( Matt. 5:37) where Jesus directs his disciples towards honesty, truthfulness and transparency. In an age of 'Fake News', the following is an extract from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that elaborates on this fundamental calling of Christians, to be people of honesty and truth. 'I. Living in the Truth 'The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His "faithfulness endures to all generations." Since God is "true," the members of his people are called to live in the truth. In Jesus Christ, the whole of God's truth has been made manifest. "Full of grace and truth," he came as the

HOMILY FOR SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)

Success can be achieved in many ways - through good fortune, through a certain gift or ability, but most of all through commitment and dedication. Whether it is a sport or hobby, a business or career, dedication to it is essential to success. Today's gospel invites us to reflect on our dedication to living the Christian life. The commandments set the law in black and white. They set minimum standards which most people are capable of meeting. Jesus built on the commandments. He broadened the commandments to include all things related to them. This allows us to look beyond our actions, to our attitudes and intentions that form what we do. Jesus is telling us in today's gospel that getting by w

BE AMAZED!!

"Live a life of real spiritual amazement through placing it completely in me. The surrendered prayed life is one of peace, joy and gentle holding. Yes, this is for you. My dream for you is for life to the full and eternal peace in my presence. Be glad and rejoice that all has been won for the good and achieved through my love. Simply live in my love and rest completely. Allow my dream for you to come to full fruition and be of service to others on your way. Pray amen to all in the sure knowledge that I go with you always as your guide." "There is no scarcity in my abundance. For all that needs to be done, under my spirit and timing, there is rich abundance. Strike out into prayed ac

'THE CHURCH IN IRELAND: THE PRESENT STATE AND PATH AHEAD'

The following is a recent talk delivered by Fr Vincent Twomey SVD at University Church, St Stephen's Green at the Faith and Reason Centre. 'When it was first published in 2003, the question mark in the title of The End of Irish Catholicism? was often overlooked, giving the (wrong) impression of a book bewailing the present state of the Irish Church. When I set out to write the book while on sabbatical in Boston, the question I posed to myself was: why has the Irish Church been unable to meet the challenges of the present with that courage, imagination and initiative which was the mark of early Irish Christianity and which in different ways continued down through the centuries, at least up to

FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love”. (1 Cor 13;13). These three Virtues that Paul names in his first letter to the Corinthians, have always fascinated me. They are very closely linked, fundamentals of our Christian faith. So let’s look at each one of them in more detail. What is faith? It is hard to define what faith is. It means something different to all of us. However, it can ultimately be described as trust. Trust, in that God is always with us and that he loves us. Faith and trust are in fact very closely linked together. One cannot exist without the other. We cannot believe and not trust just like we cannot trust and not believe. If y

LESSONS THROUGH ILLNESS

Just over a year ago, I spend 6 days in hospital with illness. Thank God I have recovered fully but it could have been worse, even fatal. Such a brush with death 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 and how it impacts on our call to evangelize. We hear much about the institutions of society that are the shapers of culture – the media, universities, politics, TV, the internet, movies, art, music, literature, etc. It may seem odd to describe hospitals as shapers

 
 

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