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The helper and the helped, the blessing and the blessed

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 01:10am on 1st June 2016
Many human encounters clearly delineate between one who helps and another being helped.  The ‘helping professions’ insist that helpers shouldn’t reveal any personal information to those they help, thus maintaining an image of themselves as strong and capable, so those in need of help receive adequate and appropriate care.  But...

Who shows mercy?

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 11:17am on 28th May 2016
How have you heard about the Year of Mercy?  Who has told you about it?  Where have you experienced it?  I wouldn’t be surprised if your answer was: mainly from priests and in Confession, since many parishes have observed the Year of Mercy by providing more access to the Sacrament...

Theotokos

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 03:26am on 9th March 2016
Training liturgical ministers, I invite participants to reflect on images around the church where Christ is held, embraced or cradled, since when distributing Communion or proclaiming the Word, ministers will likewise be holding Christ.  A statue of St Joseph might depict Jesus as an eager, lively toddler, while by contrast,...

Laudato Si'

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 03:08am on 12th November 2015
Laudato Si’ is addressed to all humanity (Laudato Si’ (LS) 3).  It’s about human relationships, as much as plants, creatures, and climate.  Individuals will read and react to it, but the encyclical is clear that each individual action impacts on other people, other creatures, and the environment.  What is described...

Set in stone

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 04:00am on 29th June 2015
Stone features in most of our churches, but its significance as a symbol in worship is sometimes overlooked.  It’s there in the foundations, walls, and furniture, but it seems primarily functional.  It forms the permanent fixtures symbolising what abides for ever, unchanging.  Of course, this can be comforting or obstructive.  The...

United in Harmony

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 05:24am on 19th April 2015
The outcome of the general election on Thursday 7th May is unpredictable.  Immigration has proved a significant issue, and Alex Massie heralded this as ‘the outsiders’ election’ in the Big Issue (February 23 – March 1, 2015) since more than 25% of the electorate are migrant voters, born overseas but...

Plus ca change

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 03:30am on 10th March 2015
... or how to please at least some of the people some of the time What do you wish for most of all?  Conversely, what is your greatest fear?  For the best or worst to come to pass, change is necessary, and sometimes even small changes awaken intense and deeply rooted...

But ...

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 07:24am on 31st October 2014
But …   Dudley Moore and Peter Cook drew much humour from the shortest, simplest words: Not Only … But Also.  The phrase might also be adopted for theological purposes to explain simply the mystery of the incarnation of Christ – not only human, but also divine.  ‘But’ is a key preposition...

Moved

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 02:22am on 2nd July 2014
Liturgy is a moving experience.   The processions of every Mass (most noticeably to Communion) symbolise journeying in faith towards God, then sharing with others after an encounter with Him.  The faithful move together daily, weekly, and via lifetime milestones: weddings, baptisms, 1st Holy Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Ordination and installation, healing...

Singing the Psalms

by Frances Novillo
Posted at 13:39pm on 13th May 2014
Many churches claim not to sing psalms. I think they mean there’s no evensong with its rich tradition of chanted psalmody, or that a hymn is sung between readings, not a responsorial psalm. In fact, much church music finds its source in the psalms. In exploring the issue of how...
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