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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SATAN AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus calls Peter Satan who is an obstacle to his path. In this article, I reflect on four ways that the Evil One tries to deceive, distract, divide and discourage us from God and his will. Imagine for a moment that you are a general in the military in a combat zone. One day, someone hands you a book that contains the strategies of the enemy together with commentary. Think of how valuable that book would be. This is what came to my mind recently as I re-read Fr Louis Cameli’s book The Devil You Don’t Know (Ave Maria Press, 2011) as a spiritual exercise for Lent. The book is divided into four sections that expose Satan’s tactics as he seeks to damage or destroy our

ASCETICISM AND SPEAKING GOD'S LANGUAGE - PODCAST FROM 'CALLED TO MORE'

The Gospel this weekend sees Jesus teaching on the importance of losing one's life, taking up one's cross and following him. This will mean sacrifice, discipline and asceticism - things that sound demanding and unattractive to modern sensibilities. Yet in this podcast and interview, Don Perrem explores these things and how they tune us in to the life and language of God. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://www.calledtomore.org/listen

THE POSITIVE ASPECTS OF HUMAN LONELINESS

A recent survey conducted by ‘Young Minds’ - a leading mental health charity in the UK, focusing on children and young people, revealed that striking 87% of respondents felt lonely or isolated at the height of the Coronavirus lockdown[1]. Those findings could easily reflect the entire population not just those up to the age of 25. The fact of the matter is we all have experienced loneliness in our lives. While the Coronavirus impacts on our economies, societies, and everyday lives, it can be argues that little time is devoted to the devastating impact it had and continues to have on our mental health. The firm restrictions imposed by governments across the globe, limiting our interactions, m

MARKING WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SEASON OF CREATION - TUESDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER 2020

Tuesday 1st September marks the World Day of Prayer for the Season of Creation 2020, which runs from September 1st until October 4th, the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, whose compassion for creation continues to inspire us. The Season of Creation encourages us to think about how we can best respond to Pope Francis’ appeal in Laudato Si to care for our common home and undergo an ecological conversion. This year is particularly special because it’s the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si. While it is clear that the earth has limited resources, it remains a challenge as to how we can compassionately use the earth’s resources and help creation to survive and flourish. Climate change, species ext

THIS WEEK'S INTERVIEW WITH EXORCIST FR PAT COLLINS

Fr Pat Collins is a Vincentian priest based in Dublin who works in the ministry of exorcism. He has recently written a new book entitled 'Freedom from Evil Spirits'. In our interview this week, Fr Pat talks openly about the presence of evil in the world and the importance for Christians to pray continually for deliverance from evil as we do in the Lord's prayer. Fr Pat has appeared on the Late Late Show, is an author, speaker and trusted expert in this field. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/user-163044907/interview-with-pat-collinsmp3

HOMILY FOR TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)

Dear friends. Opinion polls are interesting to study, especially in the run up to elections. But while they can point in the direction of what the result might be, they are not always reliable. There is always a gap, big or small between what the dominant opinion might be and what the truth really is. The same is true in general for what is right and wrong, true and false. The majority opinion is no guarantee that it corresponds to what truly is right and true. The reason for this is because we are part of a fallen nature. Our opinions are too closely tied to our own interests and desires. When we look at the Gospels, part of Jesus’ mission was to expand the minds and hearts of all. He invit

THE HIDDEN TREASURE

In one of his teachings Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a treasure that has been hidden in a field. A man who is ploughing the field accidentally uncovers the treasure. He feels that this is what he has been searching for all his life but never knew what it was. He then goes off and in order to buy the field he must sell everything that he owns to ensure that the treasure will be his. While the parable is more succinct, such is its essence. Our true self is hidden in the field that is our life. It is only in embracing the whole field of our lives, with all its poverty and frailty included, that the treasure can become ours. The entire field of our humanity needs to be bought. Any spirit

THE GIFT OF THE PAPACY TO THE CHURCH

This Sunday's Gospel sees Jesus respond to Peter's act of faith with the words 'You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven'. Ever since the reformation, the meaning of these words of Jesus have been disputed. The reformed Churches interpret them as meaning Jesus would build the Church on the rock of Peter's Church but nothing more. For them, Jesus did not mean the rock as being Peter himself, much less his successors. The ministry of the pope is founded on the role that St. Peter had in the college of apostles. There is strong evidence in the scriptures that Peter was appointed by

SOUL PURPOSE - BY LORCAN BRENNAN

Pray for the light of gentle eternal things that reveals all the love that surrounds you. How blind you can become to the myriad ways my presence holds you in love. It is my love that will reveal all you need to live mindfully and fully present in the here and now. Yes, live in the precious moment. Be alive in the blessed and ordinary acts of living. Drink deeply from my love so freely given. Celebrate the simple fact of being alive, participating in the ordinary glory of creative and living things. Rest. Sit down deeply in the singing melody that is your life. "Yes, rest and trust in my way for you. My will is for the unfolding of love for you and all you greet. Be not afraid. Go int

FEAST OF ST AUGUSTINE - FRIDAY 28TH AUGUST 2020

St Augustine’s stature as a giant of the Church is partly because he wrote such a extensive volume of works. There are commentaries on Scripture, works on the Trinity, the City of God and of course his famous autobiography his ‘Confessions’. Some of what he wrote is heavy and academic but much is very quotable and relevant almost seventeen centuries later. Here is a selection of quotes from St Augustine, published in honour of his feast day on Friday 28th August. ‘He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that? Why heaven and earth cry out: God made me!’ ‘God is more deeply present to me than I am to myself’. ‘If you see charity, you see the Tri

WHO AM I?

There is a question that younger people ask frequently that those of an older generation rarely thought of asking. It’s the age-old identity question, ‘who am I’ and the Gospel today is all about identity. Jesus asks his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am.’ It wasn’t that he cared a great deal what anyone thought since he was so much his own person. Yet he did ask, what is the opinion others have about me? It was an easy one for them to answer, ‘some say John the Baptist and others Elijah’. He used that to ask the bigger question, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ To which Peter is able to give his big confession of faith, ‘You are the Christ the son of the living God’. How could those quest

RACISM - A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

Reported in the media last weekend were two serious incidents of racial abuse in Ireland. The first was in Dublin where a Chinese woman was verbally abused before being pushed into the Royal Canal by a group of young people. The second incident took place in Cork where two Chinese men were assaulted. There was a time when we heard stories of how the Irish were discriminated against and racially profiled in a derogatory way abroad. Sadly, we are now seeing incidents where we Irish are responsible for racist jokes, language, attitudes and actions that belittle and even attack people from other countries. One might object that it is only a small minority who are responsible. Still, we all need

FEAR IS A VIRUS

A nurse who worked under a renowned doctor for many years noticed how well he managed his own health even though he was dealing with sickness almost every day. One day she asked him how he managed to stay so healthy while being exposed to bugs and viruses of all kinds. He said, ‘I never give them a chance to get near me’. ‘Explain’, she asked. ‘First I have learned to do my work without fear. Viruses and fear operate at the same low frequency of energy. Fear and anxiety lower your immune system to the level that bugs can attack so the more you reduce fear, stress and anxiety the more you will maintain your health’. The thing we fear most often comes our way because the door has been left ope

HOMILY FOR TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)

Dear friends. A few years ago, we travelled to Krakow for a parish pilgrimage. While we were there, we visited the concentration camp at Auschwitz where horrific things happened during the Second World War. It was not an easy visit. As you heard about the terrible crimes and were given an idea of what millions of people suffered there, you could not help but ask the question: ‘Where was God in Auschwitz?’ Closer to home, the same question often arises when bad things happen to good people or especially when children suffer. Where is God in all of this? The example of Auschwitz and the suffering of children are only two examples of things that happen that leave us speechless and without answe

FEAST DAY OF ST BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX; THURSDAY 20TH AUGUST 2020

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the second founder of the Cistercians, the Mellifluous Doctor, the apostle of the Crusades, the miracle-worker, the reconciler of kings, the leader of peoples, the counselor of popes! His sermons, from which there are many excerpts in the Breviary, are conspicuous for genuine emotion and spiritual unction. The celebrated Memorare is ascribed to him. Bernard was born in 1090, the third son of an illustrious Burgundian family. He was of a noble family and received a careful education in his youth. At the age of twenty-two, with his father, brother and thirty noblemen he entered the Benedictine monastery of Citeaux (where the Cistercian Order had its beginning) and per

THE EUCHARIST AS SACRED MEAL

For us Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. It is the place where all of the Christian life flows into and flows from. The Mass is both a sacrifice and a sacred meal. But what does it mean to describe the Mass as a sacred meal? What is the Jewish background to the Mass as a sacred meal that began with the Last Supper? In this podcast, Bishop Robert Barron answers some of these questions and throws new light on the Mass in a way that draws us deeper into God and our share in His life. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://www.wordonfireshow.com/episode244/

THE SIN OF RACISM - A CHURCH RESPONSE

Since the death of George Floyd in America on 25th May, the issue of racism had raised its head in full force around the world. While we might talk about the problem in America from a safe distance, we know that it is a problem in Ireland as well - a problem all of us must take responsibility for and a sin that needs to be acknowledged and repented for. In this week's interview wee speak with Fr Martin Pender who spend years as a priest in Sweden where the issue of immigration and the problem of racism are ongoing challenges. Fr Martin also spend many years as a missionary in South Africa where he also experienced racism himself as a white person. Joining us in this interview is Mr Terence S

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS LIVING STILL

“THE PEOPLE PAPER” OF APRIL 25TH 1908 referred to Penal Laws passed in 1703 which laid down that Catholic Parish Priests should register themselves with the state; that they should not have Curates; and that no further priests should succeed them. Priest members of Religious Orders were not to be tolerated at any cost and a high price was placed on their heads. The aim here was that when existing Parish Priests died off, the Catholic religion would disappear from Ireland. One priest is listed in the Register thus:- JOHN O’CONNOR ; Abode-New Ross; Age -52; Parish- St.Mary’s New Ross; Ordained- 1687; where- Alesham, near Basle, Switzerland; by whom – Bishop Jasper Selmorris of Basle; guaran

THE GAP OF DUNLOE

I recently spent a few days break in Killarney. Co. Kerry, one of the most beautiful places on earth. One spectacularly beautiful place is the Gap of Dunloe. There I composed this poem. Like a thimble under a waterfall Does my soul feel Trying to take in this beauty before me. Memories at nineteen remain And come alive by the beauty that I see again. So many changes with me, but this wonder has stayed the same. The colours and sunlight l see, the sounds of water and silence I hear. Felt immensities that make me small and make God bigger. My soul feels connected to all around me As I bask in the lonely loveliness of this place And stand Between the gap of the mountains between heaven and eart

 
 

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