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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VALUING THE ONGOING WORK OF ACCORD IN THIS TIME OF LOCKDOWN

ACCORD is the Catholic Marriage care service run by the Irish Bishops Conference. In these difficult days, they have opened a helpline to support couples and families who are struggling. Over 100 callers report relationship problems on Accord’s support phone lines · Main problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 restrictions: effects on children, family tensions, domestic finances, mental health, difficulty living in a confined space, inability to grieve properly when a loved one dies, pressure on work and study at home Accord’s new and confidential ‘Relationships Support Phone Line’ is a free counselling service for people experiencing pressure in their marriage and relationships due to

LETTER FROM POPE FRANCIS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

Just last week, Pope Francis wrote a letter to all the faithful and especially families, urging them to pray the rosary for the month of May. He also included two beautiful prayers to Our Lady that families can pray together. LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO THE FAITHFUL FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2020 Dear Brothers and Sisters, The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view. For

POPE FRANCIS' MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS 2020

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 2020 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS 3rd May 2020 Dear Brothers and Sisters, On 4 August last year, the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, I chose to write a letter to all those priests who daily devote their lives to the service of God’s people in response to the Lord’s call. On that occasion, I chose four key words – pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise – as a way of thanking priests and supporting their ministry. I believe that today, on this 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, those words can be addressed to the whole people of God, against the backdrop of the Gospel passage that recounts for us the remarkable experience of Jes

VOCATIONS PROMOTION VIDEO AND RESOURCES

HOLY HOUR OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE A Holy Hour of prayer will take place in St Aidan’s Cathedral on Sunday afternoon, 3rd May from 3 to 4pm. This hour of prayer will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live on https://www.churchservices.tv/enniscorthycathedral. As a diocesan family, please join us to pray for vocations and encourage every community to cherish a culture of vocations. PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL FOR VOCATIONS SUNDAY 2020 We pray for the Church, that her members may care for each other with the spirit of the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his flock so that we might have life and have it to the full. Lord hear us. On this Voc

HOMILY FOR FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER -VOCATIONS SUNDAY

EVERY CHRISTIAN has a vocation. The recently canonised Saint JOHN HENRY NEWMAN wrote: “God created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me , which He has not committed to another….I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.” That is the privilege of every human being – created for a very select purpose by God, Our Creator. There are no menial tasks in God’s eyes; all are vital to His purpose- that His glory be seen in the human being fully alive. A Christian’s vocation therefore is “ to go through the world changing water into wine”( Andrew Long). “A Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks/ a heart throu

THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTUNEMENT

An elderly farmer was visiting his friend in town. While walking down a crowded street he stopped and said, listen to the sound of that cricket. His friend was amazed and said how can you possibly hear a cricket above all the noise and traffic. Easy he said, just watch. Taking some coins from his pocket he let them fall on the pavement. They didn’t make much noise but lots of people stopped in their tracks and followed the sound. You see, said the old man, it’s only a question of attunement. Becoming sensitive to the whispers of the spirit is an art we can acquire and refine. Usually that whisper carries a sense of excitement and often a challenge that will move us out of our comfort zone. S

MASS READINGS FOR THURSDAY 30TH APRIL 2020

Friends, today's first reading from the Acts of the Apostles sees the encounter between a foreign man who is not Christian and Philip who is a Christian. The Ethiopian (non-Christian) is sitting in his chariot reading from the prophet Isaiah. This tells us that although the man was not Jewish, he was searching for meaning in the Word of God. When Philip came across the man, he asked him 'Do you understand what you are reading?' 'How can I' the man replied 'unless I have someone to guide me?' Then we are told that he invited Philip to sit by his side and explain the Scriptures to him. This encounter led to the man being baptised and becoming Christian. Here is the archetype for spiritual dir

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Christ must have shocked his followers when he said; When you pray do not babble like the pagans thinking that the more they multiply words the greater their chances of being heard. The words still shock those who have never known any other way of praying and who are caught with set formulas and having to adhere to a set number of prayers and at certain times. Becoming a listener in prayer is of the utmost importance if we are going to have anything worthwhile to say. Words that are born of silence have a ring of authenticity that is absent in idle chatter. Having spent time in silence we may not be aware of having heard anything, but afterward the quality of our presence is very different a

PRAYER IN FOCUS

From feedback received from the open letter of last week regarding how to pray against the virus it is clear that some of these reflections need to address the issue of how to pray in faith. First it may be important to reflect on the way we have traditionally been taught how to pray and presumably this is still the way still practice. Usually this amounts to saying our prayers, having a conversation with the Lord about our cares and concerns, letting him know our needs, and generally hoping that he will look after things and that all will be well. All of this is an important way of deepening our relationship with him. However, the word disciple carries the sense of being a learner and a lis

MASS READINGS AND REFLECTIONS FOR TUESDAY 28TH APRIL 2020

In today's Gospel Jesus teaches that he is the 'bread of life' and that anyone who 'comes to me will never be hungry; and the one who believes in me will never thirst'. This means that no substitute for God can ever full our desire for Him. St Theresa of Avila once wrote that: ‘the soul is never content with anything less than God’ (Life, 29). In the opening words of the Catechism: ‘The desire for God is written in the human heart, because it is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will man find the truth and happiness he never stops yearning for’. This was the conclusion of St Augustine who for many years tried in vain to seek the happiness he

THE FRUIT OF THE WORD

With the benefit being able to look back on twenty years of working with wood, all coming from that surprising whisper, Go to the wood, it was the beginning of one of my life’s greatest adventures. Particularly during this time of lockdown it is an interest that sustains and keeps me afloat. While first using the symbols at a seminar in St Peters College, it was suggested that I commit the material to paper using the pieces as illustrations. This was how the Wood You Believe series of books began and so the Word began to expand exponentially. There are currently nine in the series and I am currently working on the tenth book. These have sold in their thousands and are now in every corner of

MASS READINGS AND REFLECTION FOR MONDAY 27TH APRIL 2020

In today's first readings, the Christian Stephen is being noticed by the authorities. He is filled with the Holy Spirit, has an eloquence and wisdom and is working miracles in the name of the risen Jesus. He dialogues with elders and doctors of the law but they could not muscle him away because of his wisdom and gifts. They then tried more sinister tactics to silence him and undermine him. They made up lies about him and eventually they would kill him. In Stephen's life we see the same pattern repeated as with Jesus -they don't like what he said and taught and so in order to silence them they use violence. But you can't kill truth. It comes back with Christ from the dead and will eventually

THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

The Emmaus story is probably my favourite passage in the NT and it has lots to say to us about where we find ourselves just now. It is really about two disciples trying to make sense of their lives that seem to have been set spiraling in the wrong direction. Much like ourselves, where our world is reeling from the effects of this Corona virus, we may feel as if we are journeying away from Jerusalem, the place of our hopes dreams and expectations. At least there were two of them and they were talking. That is a big thing because when something happens we tend to go into isolation where we just talk to ourselves but can’t make sense of anything. The stranger joins them and they tell him their

MASS READINGS AND REFLECTION FOR THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER - 26TH APRIL 2020

Friends, in today's Gospel, we are presented with the magnificent account from Luke's Gospel of the encounter of the risen Lord with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus and walking away from Jerusalem. There are so many themes of this text that is so rich with meaning and new hope. One of those themes is that the risen Lord walks with us and seeks us out, even if we are walking in the wrong direction on the path of life. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-163044907/mass-readings-and-homily-for-third-sunday-of-easter-2020

THE UNFOLDING OF THE WORD

Continuing from yesterday, my facility to work with the lathe and to create very complex pieces of work took me completely by surprise. After six months I had an exhibition and sold the pieces which raised nearly five thousand euro for children that had been orphaned through Aids in Uganda. For several years later the local community continued to fundraise and raise a similar amount for the same charity. This was administered by a medical missionary sister who was working on the ground. I was engaged in secondary school teaching at the time and very quickly began to notice the improved level of interest in class when I would bring in a piece as a teaching aid. At the end of the year when ask

MASS READINGS FOR SATURDAY 25TH APRIL 2020

Dear friends. Today we celebrate the feast of St Mark the Evangelist who was a companion of both Peter and Paul. His was the first Gospel to be written and relies heavily on the witness of Peter. One of the central themes of Mark's Gospel is that Jesus was the suffering Messiah and that to be a disciple of the Lord is to share in his cross. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-163044907/mass-readings-for-saturday-25th-april-2020

'PRAYING WITH THE SCRIPTURES' - JESUS AS HEALER, PART 2

Find a quiet place and a comfortable position, allow your whole body to relax. Deep breathing, the lighting of a candle or some quiet music can help. Focus your awareness that you are in the loving presence of God, , God around you, God enfolding you, God within you Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be attentive, to pray and to be open to whatever gift God has to give. Read the Scripture passage a few times slowly and mindfully. Today we take Mark 10: 46 – 52. 6 And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae′us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae′us, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he

DIGITAL RESOURCES TO NOURISH OUR FAITH

Here at the Hook of Faith we are doing our best to keep you connected to the Lord with resources that nurture our faith in him in these days when we can't gather as a community. Here are just some of the many online resources that you can access at this time. 1. Pope Francis's daily Masses at Casa Santa Marta and the Sunday Angelus are being streamed live on the Vatican's YouTube channel. No need to watch live, tune in at any time. https://youtu.be/DSktDt9-6PQLaudate App 2. Laudate - Free Catholic App Laudate combines a large number of Catholic religious resources into a single app, giving you instant access to everything you could need, from a copy of multiple versions of

 
 

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