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NEWSLETTER INSERTS - ON THIS SUNDAY'S READINGS


THE FIRST READING - ON SCAPE-GOATING


‘One of the dynamics of sin that we recognise from the story of the Fall in Scripture and from our own experience is that when we are found out, our instinctive reaction is to look for a scape-goat and blame someone else: ‘It wasn’t me’. We can even blame God: ‘You made me this way’. This is the blame game played by Adam and Eve once they had sinned. But if someone else is always to blame but never me, we never take responsibility and don’t mature. That is why Confession is still so important for us Catholics, beginning with the opening words that stops the blame game in its tracks and focuses instead on the naked truth about myself: ‘Bless me father, for I have sinned’. This honest truth is the starting point for my conversion and change. Facing ourselves and the truth of who we are begins with honesty. It is no coincidence that as the blame culture rises, the numbers availing of God’s mercy in Confession is falling’.


Fr Billy Swan

 

THE SECOND READING ON OUR OUTER AND INNER SELVES


“The inner self is ‘purified’ by the acknowledgment of sin, not precisely because the inner self is the seat of sin, but because both our sinfulness and our interiority tend to be rejected in one and the same movement by the exterior self and relegated to the same darkness, so that when the inner self is brought back to light, sin emerges and is liquidated by the assuming of responsibility and by sorrow.”


Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation


‘The inner self is renewed day by day even though the outer self is falling apart either because of starvation or ill health or an accident or increasing age. This last breakdown from age is inevitable even for those who have enjoyed a lifetime of good health. The solution is to raise up the spirit of that inner self where you will not die when your outer self begins to deteriorate. In your inner self you will not waste away even when your life has become weighed down with years’.


St Augustine, Letter 147, 2.

 

THE GOSPEL - ON UNITY


‘By means of your accord and harmonious love, Jesus Christ is sung. Form yourselves one and all into a choir, that blending in concord and taking the keynote of God, you may sing in unison with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father, that he may hear you and recognize you through your good deeds to be members of His Son. Therefore, it is profitable for you to live in blameless unity, that you may always enjoy communion with God’.

St Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Ephesians, 4.

'Our life is stamped with the beauty of his (Christ’s) thought. The inner and the outer person are harmonized in a kind of music”.


St Gregory of Nyssa, Treatise on Christian Perfection.


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