Seminar / Workshop on God and Prayer - our "Interior Life" - Marriage Preparation Course "From This Day Forward" at St. Thomas à Becket Church - October 17th 2020

 Audio MP3 file      Silent Meditative Prayer Experience w Instructions & Debrief MP3 file  




You will find a folder with a variety of prayer aids, prayers, instructions, reflections - including praying with Scripture, praying alone, praying with spouse, praying with family, praying with icons and statues and more - as well as articles on prayer and spirituality in daily life HERE.


BIBLES

Canadian Bible Society 625 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, Quebec H3B 1B7 514-848-9777

Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition - at Amazon.ca   

The Catholic Prayer Bible Lectio Divina Edition - at Amazon.ca   

French: TOB - Traduction Oecuménique de la Bible Intégrale avec notes - Édition Kindle   


ONLINE BIBLES

NRSVCE - New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 
(The Scripture readings at Mass are often taken from this translation. You can select and compare other translations of the Bible at this site.)

TOBTraduction Oecuménique de la Bible




work in progress.... 

Thanksgiving Monday in Canada: God invites us to cultivate an attitude of gratitude so as to live in the freedom of the children of God. October 12th, 2020 at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, Montreal QC

 Homily MP3 file                                      A Poustinik's Prayer of Dedication PDF file  


THANKSGIVING IN CANADA - 2020 

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the gifts of life, family, friends, and most of all, your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ - son of Mary who with her husband Joseph mentor us in our family life - Glory be to You O God in your Holy Spirit for ever and ever! Amen!


A Poustinik’s Prayer of Dedication

For the renewal of my journey into and from the Poustinia – October 11-12th, 2020 – Thanksgiving

Dedication of my service to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, by the Father’s holy Will, you are united by the Holy Spirit in perfect love and you look upon us with mercy and caring.  You inspire in our hearts – through the same openness to the Holy Spirit – the same confidence you have in the Father’s love and the same eagerness to obey Him. 

Lord Jesus, with the prayer and love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to help us, I consecrate my heart, my life, my family, my fraternal community, the great Family of the Madonna House Apostolate – every parish community, leadership team, pastoral council, and fabrique – every diocese, every baptized brother and sister, and my ministry to You.

We know the beautiful example of your home in Nazareth – kept with love and devotion by Mary and Joseph – was meant to be a model for each of us and for our families.  We hope to have, with your help, the unity and strong, enduring love you gave to one another.  Mentor us in the ways we need to walk in order to live as loving children of the Father – men, women, youth, and children – especially those suffering from confusion in their sense of who they are as human beings. Fill our homes with joy, and may we always be close to your sacraments.

Bless those who are present, as well as those who are absent, both the living and the dead; may your peace always dwell among us.  Bring to your gatherings of faith everywhere all those You are drawing to yourself, and those who have drifted away, or are lost, and especially – in person or virtually – all those who are ill, homebound, disabled, or suffer in any way.

Grant your reconciliation to all those who have taken offence on account of us, and grant us the grace of being ambassadors of your reconciliation and peace. Keep us in communion with your United Hearts; may your guiding light and protection be with us always.

United Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I trust in you – hear our prayers.


Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family and Protector of Christ’s Mystical Body the Church, walk with us through daily life in God’s Love, and lead us unceasingly to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary. 

Holy Angels – especially our Guardian Angels – we bless and thank you for your faithful and precious assistance. Keep us close to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and far from evil ways.

Heavenly Father, I trust in You.  I offer You the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Triumphant Bleeding Wounds of Jesus, and the Tears of our Loving Heavenly Mother Mary.  Lord, your Will be done.  Amen.

At our Baptism Jesus engenders in us a new life in God, the Holy Trinity, introducing us into the Kingdom of God which permeates the kingdom of this world with divine Light. October 10th, 2020. Baptism of Coralie Benedetta Maria Fourmigué at St. Ignatius of Loyola, Montreal QC

 


BAPTISM CELEBRATED TODAY AT SAINT IGNATIUS PARISH IN NDG, MONTREAL QC CANADA

 Prayer of Dedication to Mary, Mother of God

          Mary, Mother of Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit; look favorably on Coralie Benedetta Maria Fourmigué and her parents Alain Fourmigué & Chiara Giacosa and her godparents Gabriele Giacosa & Katia Khoukaz.  In Jesus’ Name I now entrust them all to your care, as Jesus entrusted his beloved John to your care from the cross.  Help each person grow in love for God, inspire each couple to pray together and grow in their willingness to put their trust in the Father; as you yourself did.  Every day, bring us to Jesus.  He alone is Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Dear Friends, your children will find great peace, love, and consolation in coming to know Mary as their Mother in Jesus.  They are too little to pray now, so let us pray for them the words of greeting first said by the Angel Gabriel and by Mary’s cousin Elizabeth.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen!”

Let us call on St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, Protector of Jesus, and Patron of the Church in Canada and of the universal Church. 

PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH FOR OUR LIFE & VOCATION

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we go in our difficulties, and while asking for the help of your most holy Spouse, our Blessed Lady, we confidently invoke your patronage also. With the same love which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by the fatherly affection which you showed to the Child Jesus, we humbly ask you to remember that you are united to us by the glorious new life which Jesus shares with us through His Death and Resurrection and to help us in our need by your powerful intercession.

O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, protect us, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ; help us keep ourselves from falling into error and ways which are contrary to love for Jesus; united to us as you are in the communion of saints, assist us, O most powerful protector, in our struggle with the powers of darkness, and as once you rescued the Child Jesus from an attack against His life, so now defend the Mystical Body of Christ from those who try to divide and destroy Christ in His Holy People.

Shield each one of us with your unceasing patronage, that by imitating your example, and supported by your aid, we may be enabled to live a good life, die a holy death, and come to everlasting happiness in the presence of God. Amen.

“Saint Joseph, PRAY FOR US.”

 

From a leaflet dedicated to Saint Joseph from Saint Joseph’s Oratory, 3800 Queen Mary Road, Montreal QC H3V 1H6               514-733-8211

 

Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself / herself today to Your most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart. Be You King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to Your Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be You King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be You King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry, of violence in the name of Islam, or of fanatical distortions of religion, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, from long ago Your chosen people: of old some of them called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon all their descendants a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honour for ever." Amen.

The Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII. It was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum sacrum issued by Leo XIII as he consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The consecration was influenced by two letters written to the pope by Sister Mary of the Divine Heart Droste zu Vischering who stated that in visions of Jesus Christ she had been told to request the consecration. [1][2][3]

1.  Bainvel, Jean. "Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 6 Mar. 2015

2.  Laurent Volken, 1963, Visions, Revelations and the Church P.J. Kenedy Publishers

3.  Niels Christian Hvidt, 2007, Christian Prophecy: The Post-Biblical Tradition, OUP Press ISBN 0-19-531447-6 page 242

 

YOU WILL FIND ADDITIONAL PRAYERS BELOW

Go in peace to continue this celebration in the joy of your family.

Fr. Gilles A. Surprenant, poustinik

 

MAGNIFICAT


                       Teams of Our Lady

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exalts in God my Savior; because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.

Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed, for the almighty has done great things for me.

Holy is His name, and His mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear Him.

He has shown the power of His arm.

He has routed the proud of heart.

He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry He has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.

He has come to the help of Israel, His servant, mindful of His mercy – according to the promise He made to our ancestors – of His mercy to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

 


Our Lady, Queen of Teams, pray for us.

POPE FRANCIS

Prayer to the Immaculate*

Virgin most holy and immaculate, 
to you, the honour of our people, 
and the loving protector of our city,
do we turn with loving trust.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you there is no sin.

Awaken in all of us a renewed desire for holiness:
May the splendour of truth shine forth in our words, 
the song of charity resound in our works, 
purity and chastity abide in our hearts and bodies,
and the full beauty of the Gospel be evident in our lives.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you the Word of God became flesh.

Help us always to heed the Lord’s voice:
May we never be indifferent to the cry of the poor,
or untouched by the sufferings of the sick and those in need;
may we be sensitive to the loneliness of the elderly and the vulnerability of children, 
and always love and cherish the life of every human being.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you is the fullness of joy born of life with God.

Help us never to forget the meaning of our earthly journey:
May the kindly light of faith illumine our days,
the comforting power of hope direct our steps,
the contagious warmth of love stir our hearts;
and may our gaze be fixed on God, in whom true joy is found.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
Hear our prayer, graciously hear our plea:
May the beauty of God’s merciful love in Jesus abide in our hearts,
and may this divine beauty save us, our city and the entire world.

Amen.

*Act of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (8 December 2013)


PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH TO OBTAIN A SPECIAL FAVOUR

O Blessed Saint Joseph, tender-hearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I pray to you to join with me in praising God the Father through His divine Son who died on the cross and rose again to give us sinners new life. Through the holy Name of Jesus, pray with us that we may obtain from the eternal Father the favour we ask for…

We have been unfaithful to the unfailing love of God the Father; beg of Jesus mercy for us his brothers. Amid the splendours of God’s loving presence, do not forget the sorrows of those who suffer, those who pray, those who weep. By your prayers and those of your most holy Spouse, our Blessed Lady, may the love of Jesus answer our call of confident hope. Amen.

“Saint Joseph, PRAY FOR US.”

From a leaflet dedicated to Saint Joseph from Saint Joseph’s Oratory, 3800 Queen Mary Road, Montreal QC H3V 1H6               514-733-8211

 


Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Henri Caffarel

Teams of Our Lady

God, our Father,                     
You planted deep in the heart of your servant, Henri Caffarel, a fountain of love which bound him totally to your Son and inspired him with a wonderful capacity to speak of Him.

A prophet for our time,
he revealed the dignity and beauty of the vocation of every person in the words Jesus addresses to each of us: “Come follow me”.

He made couples enthusiastic about the greatness of the sacrament of marriage,
the sign of Christ’s fruitful love for the Church and of His union with her.

He showed that priests and couples
are called to live a vocation of love.

He was a guide to widows: love is stronger than death.
Prompted by the Holy Spirit,
he accompanied many Christians on the path of prayer.
Seized by a devouring fire, he was a dwelling place for you, Lord.

God, our Father,
through the intercession of Our Lady,
we ask you to hasten the day
when the Church will proclaim the holiness of his life,
so that people everywhere will discover the joy of following your Son
in accordance with their particular vocations in the Holy Spirit.

God our Father, we invoke the intercession of Father Caffarel for………

(indicate the particular favor being sought) 

Prayer approved by Monsignor Andre Vingt-Trois – Archbishop of Paris.
“Nihil obstat”: 4th January 2006 – “Imprimatur”: 5th January 2006

In the case of a particular favor obtained through the intercession of Father Caffarel, contact:

The Postulator,, Association of “The Friends of Father Caffarel” 49 rue de la Glaciere – F 75013 Paris, France.

 

For more information about TEAMS OF OUR LADY:

END - Secteur Montréal secteur.montreal@equipes-notre-dame.ca

fathergilles@gmail.com

https://teamsofourlady.ca/



Jesus calls us to do as missionary disciples what He Himself teaches and does. October 5th, 2020 - Memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska


 MP3 - Homily    MP3 - Universal Prayers    PDF - Homily    PDF - Universal Prayers    PDF - Mass 

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

Welcome on this memorial of St. Faustina Kowalska to this celebration of the daily televising of the Mass from Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal made possible by an anonymous contribution for the intentions of the faithful attending this Mass in person as well as through Salt + Light TV and Facebook and also for the recovery of our local priests Fathers Ernie Schibli and Joseph Cameron who are currently in hospital. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Associate of Madonna House Apostolate.

We are all grateful to Salt + Light Media for this new initiative of a LIVE Daily Mass in English in addition to the LIVE Daily Mass in French which has been on the air for some time. These initiatives enrich the lives of Catholics across Canada and beyond for those who tune in from around the world via the Internet, particularly during this worldwide Covid Pandemic.

Yesterday, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Dowd celebrated here the inaugural LIVE Sunday Televised Mass for Salt + Light. Today begins an ongoing series of daily WEEKDAY Masses in English from this Montreal Cathedral dedicated to Mary Queen of the World where locally she is known by her French title Marie Reine du Monde. Welcome, one and all. Sign of the Cross

HOMILY

Brothers and sisters, “the parable of the Good Samaritan” is perhaps Jesus’ most familiar parable. Notice how Jesus welcomes conversation with the lawyer and responds to the lawyer’s questions with a question of his own. Luke tells us the lawyer then felt a need to justify himself and put a second question to Jesus: “And who is my neighbour?”

So what exactly is going on here? Jesus gives us a clue in the words He uses: “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” And again: “Go and do likewise.”

There we have it: we know the difference between knowing or speaking and doing. We know the expression: “Actions speak louder than words.” Jesus is here always with us to lead us to the Father, and with his Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is all about action. In the Psalm we praised God saying prayerfully: “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” One day Jesus said: “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” That is in John chapter 5 verse 17.  God is calling every one of us to action.

We see only a little of Jesus’ Mother Mary in the Gospels, which say that whenever God did something amazing and at times surprising, Mary pondered these things in her heart. We know from her life that the Mother of God didn’t only ponder God’s works, but she also gave herself wholeheartedly to collaborating with God in his work in the world, especially in supporting and following her Son and Lord Jesus. She spent her life praying and encouraging the disciples.

In writing to the Galatians, Saint Paul employed strong language, in chapter 3 even asking them: “Are you so foolish?” What was happening is that the Galatians had welcomed the Gospel announced by Paul with their whole hearts, but then some other people came – also claiming to be Christians – who were in effect proclaiming a softer Gospel. We know all about that today with any number of TV evangelists giving the impression that if we follow Christ we can expect to live a prosperous life and that following Jesus is a key to success in this world.

Well, if you believe that, I hate to be the one to tell you, but that is a lie. Jesus made it clear, as reported by all four evangelists, that if we want to be his disciples, we must accept to carry our cross and follow Him. Most of our cross is simply putting up with our own self, admitting our faults, confessing our sins regularly, and every day trying to live a life of conversion so as to better follow Jesus. Carrying our cross daily helps us to endure lovingly the faults of others.

This means then that if we let God shine his light and truth through our actions and attitudes as well as our words, we can expect no better treatment than what Jesus got himself. In other words, we can anticipate persecution – because this world is under the dominion of the prince of this world, the devil, Satan – and, because of our mortal condition, when people are caught up with the values of this world, they “love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil”. Jesus said this as quoted by John in chapter 3 verse 19.

So, have you been getting your share of cold treatment, evil gossip, false accusations, and other forms of persecution? Rejoice and be glad! On the other hand, if I am too popular among people around me, I might wonder whether I am really living like Jesus and following Him.

The important thing is to open up each day, many times a day, including at prayer times, to the Word of the Lord, and to watch for the light and guidance the Holy Spirit shines within us. Jesus is the only One we are to follow, because Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Once we taste how good and wonderful it is to have the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us; then we are glad to endure all the aggravation of putting up with people who have not yet known the mercy of God. And remember, dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus, we carry the priceless treasure of God’s Presence within us in poor earthen vessels.

So let us continue to pray for one another that – with the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of the World, St. Joseph Patron of Canada, St. Faustina, St. Brother André and all the saints, we might accept the encouragement and grace of the Holy Spirit to act as missionary disciples and open wide our heart, our mind, our spirit and even our body to the Presence and the love of God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Holy Spirit wants to help us accept others and serve them out of love. September 27th, 2020

Homily MP3 File 

            Good day dear brothers and sisters! It is good to be here, gathered together, in faith and in joy in the Presence of the Lord. It has been a difficult and perplexing week. Our public health authorities are very concerned – as we all are – about the rise in cases of Covid-19 infections in Québec. In fact the measures taken a week ago in the middle of the night between Sunday and Monday morning give the impression of a reflex action suddenly taken in a spirit of panic.

How else are we to understand such harsh measures to suddenly, and without warning or consultation, demand that churches reduce the maximum number of people for worship from 250 to 25 in the orange high alert region of Montreal? It takes at least a few weeks for churches to communicate effectively with all of their members. In addition, we could well ask the question: “Are churches in actual fact hot spots for the propagation of the virus?”

All reports indicate that it is in bars and other social centers where people mingle freely that the virus is most quickly propagated. Planned and spontaneous gatherings with no social distancing are also at high risk for spreading the virus that causes the Covid-19 infection. With our safety measures here in church we are quite safe from spreading the virus if any already infected come and don’t know they are carrying the virus. If we have symptoms of infection we all know we must stay home and of course isolate ourselves until the infection is over.

There are many other reasons why we experience trouble in life today. One reason is because of our faith in God. Our God the Creator of the universe is infinitely attractive and fascinating, and people are either drawn to God or else they turn away from God with anger and hatred or simply indifference. This is what happened to Jesus. In today’s Gospel, it is the time when Jesus is coming to the Temple in Jerusalem and will soon be arrested and put to death. The chief priests and elders of the people have hardened their hearts against Jesus and refuse to be impressed or even consider the truth of his words or the wonder of his miracles.

Instead they are obsessed with knowing what authority He claims to have and the origin of his authority. This is because they are convinced that Jesus speaks with authority and that He is a threat to their own authority over the people. Well, they are right. They refuse to consider that it is actually God who invests Jesus with authority and that Jesus is God’s own authority in Person. They refuse to accept that the authority that Jesus exercises is motivated by divine love.

For these and other reasons many people love Jesus and others hate Him. Through the prophet Ezekiel God showed the people how their way of thinking was unfair. God declared that if a good person abandons their goodness and turns to evil and does evil acts, and if they remain in their wickedness; then they will die and be lost. On the other hand if a wicked person has a change of heart and turns away from their evil ways and repents; then they shall not die but live and in this way they shall gain their life also for eternity. Some people don’t like the Lord’s ways because they are attached to their evil ways or to evil desires they keep secret.

The possibility that a good person might change and do evil might frighten us, but this is a warning to us to keep a guard over our hearts and remain vigilant over our words, attitudes, emotions, and behaviours. The Holy Spirit comes to us as God to bring light to our minds, hearts, and spirits and peace to our consciences and bodies. As we welcome the Holy Spirit He opens our minds, hearts, and spirits to Jesus, and it is Jesus who leads us and shows us the way in every moment and situation of our daily living. Jesus fills us with his love and the love of the Father and They show us how to love others in the same way that They love us.

Saint Paul teaches us to make efforts to “be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

The Holy Spirit can show us how to become more like Jesus if we are willing to pay close attention to the guidance the Holy Spirit gives us inside our own mind and heart. Let me give you an example. For most of my life since I was a child, I became aware of the ways in which other people were kind and good to me or, in contrast, how they were mean or unkind or rude or unpleasant and so many other ways in which people can be a cause of suffering.

Then, when I was middle aged, I suffered losses when two wonderful young priests who had lived with me were moved and assigned elsewhere. Soon after I suffered another loss when my time ended and I had to leave a parish where we loved one another. Then I found it painful to live with a certain priest and suffered additional grief after the death of my mother and then a year and a half later the death of my father. As a result I suffered a mild clinical depression. As I received treatment, I began to receive hints that it might also be difficult at times for other people to live with me. That possibility had never occurred to me until that moment. For many years I lived my life without thinking what it might be like for others to live with me.

That was a major turning point in my life. The light the Holy Spirit gave me, with the help of doctors and other health professionals and priests and women counsellors, opened a whole new chapter in my life. I was now able to relax in the presence of others and not worry anymore about how other people behave or whether I like their behaviour or not. I was finally able to accept others just as they are, just as God accepts all of us just the way we are. God still offers us divine grace and help to move away from evil and do more good and in this way to grow in our willingness to be loved and our eagerness to love others in the ways they need to be loved.

So let us continue to pray for one another that we might accept the encouragement and grace of the Holy Spirit to open wide our heart, our mind, our spirit and even our body to the presence and the love of God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us take a few moments in silence to reflect on this Good News spoken to us by the Lord.

Afraid of God or angry with God? Jesus asks us: "Who do you say that I Am?" Jesus reveals the Father's love to us and the Holy Spirit helps us be silent and listen to Jesus. August 23, 2020

Homily MP3 File 


    
        Good day dear brothers and sisters! Are you and your family well? I hope that you are indeed all well in the Lord. These continue to be very strange times, and they are challenging times for everyone. Once again today our God assures us that He is very close to us and that He carries in his heart all of our needs and preoccupations. In fact, with his Son Jesus in the Holy Spirit our God and Father cares for us and our families even more than we care for ourselves.

So, what do you carry with you today as you have come into the Sunday Assembly of the living God? As you were preparing to come to church today, what preoccupations were you carrying in your mind and heart? This past week, or during the whole time since you were last here, where were you applying your efforts and energies? What are your responsibilities? What are your burdens? What things of yours are you bringing to the Lord today as your offering to put on his altar so you can make a whole hearted offering of yourself with Jesus to the Father?

Last Sunday the Lord declared that He intends for all people to be welcome in his house because He wants to show his mercy to every human being. The Lord knows that we are locked in battle with our own human weakness and with the troubles of this world, and He sympathizes with us, caring profoundly for us. God intends for every human being to experience his mercy, his great love which we could never deserve. Jesus even teased the foreign woman who begged Him to heal her daughter by using the derogatory term of “dogs” with her, but not in the way that Jews at that time did. People had contempt for foreigners, but Jesus showed her kindness and tenderness with the tone of his voice and the warmth of his eyes. He encouraged her to say what she wanted and she did; and then He granted her heart’s desire.

This is very good news, that God is kind and merciful to everyone, and that He wants all people to come to Him with trust in his divine mercy. But there’s a problem. Too many people don’t know that God is kind and merciful; so they keep their distance. People stay away from God and from his Sunday Assembly. Many people don’t pray because they are either afraid of God or they are angry with Him because their troubles in life are not being resolved. God says words of kindness to people but they have closed their ears, closed their minds, and closed their hearts. That is why our God needs messengers to declare the good news that He offers kindness and mercy to everyone. Now, who will be messengers of good news for our God?

We Catholics are known to be “allergic” to talking about God to others. We might feel close to God ourselves, but we feel too shy or reserved to talk about God to others, even to our own family members. The problem with this is that no one can get to heaven on our own, all by ourselves. This is because we are all in this life together, we are all connected to one another; we are all part of the living body into which we were initiated at Baptism. We cannot be indifferent to anyone else. All together we are the body of Christ continuing to live in this world, and Jesus is our Head. Jesus needs us to be his body living, speaking, and loving in this world. He has already done his part, his mission as a human being, and now, as the Son of God He continues his mission in us and through us.

So, Jesus is putting his questions to us today. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Think about it. Who is Jesus for your family members, for those who don’t often come to the Sunday Assembly? Who is Jesus for your neighbours and friends, for your co-workers or fellow students?

Then, once Jesus has asked us about all the other people in our lives; then He becomes very personal and asks us the really tough question: “But who do you say that I am?” In English we don’t get it, but in their language of Aramaic, as in the more formal language of Hebrew, it was forbidden to say the expression “I am” – no one was allowed to say “I am” anything, I am tired, I am hungry, no, never “I am”, because these are the words God used when the voice of God spoke to Moses from the burning bush on the holy mountain. Moses asked what name he should use to tell the people when they would ask him who it was that spoke to him. God’s answer to the question “Who are you?” was simply: “I am. I am who I am.”

As a human being, Jesus needed those close to Him to know, to understand, and to believe who He really is, the Son of the living God. Otherwise, there’s no way that the apostles would have been willing to become Jesus’ messengers in the world, whether people wanted to listen to them or not. The same is true for us. People may or may not want to listen to us when we speak to them about God, about his kindness and mercy, about his desire to become more involved in their lives. There’s no way we will be willing to endure people’s reactions when we speak to them about God; not unless we become convinced ourselves of who Jesus really is.

God has to become more real to us than simply a mysterious being who grants wishes. God is not a “genie” in a bottle who grants 3 wishes. The living God is a Holy Trinity of divine persons in an eternal community of love which gives life: the Eternal Father, the only-begotten Son who became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, Jesus the risen Lord and the Christ, and the Holy Spirit – together from all eternity they have been the most Holy Trinity. When we see Jesus we see the Father, because as a human being, Jesus is the perfect image of who the Father really is. The Father and the Son continually pour the living water of the Holy Spirit into us, giving us inspiration, strength, vitality, peace, love, and joy even in the midst of trials and suffering.

So, Jesus’ question will not go away. “But who do you say that I am?” We won’t come up with an answer from our own minds and hearts. None of the apostles answered Jesus except Peter, and Jesus declared plainly that it was not any human power that revealed the truth about Jesus to Peter, but it was Jesus’ Father in heaven. There is no other way for us either. Only the Father can reveal Jesus to us. We will not discern the quiet voice of the Father speaking to our spirit deep within us as long as we remain afraid of silence, of interior silence.

For the past four thousand years the only people who came to know God were those who were willing to slow down, stop, and be still in order to allow themselves to enter into their own spirit inside of themselves and, there, to enter into silence. When we try to do that, when we try to pray and meditate on the words of God and the things of God, we at first encounter interior noise, lots of noise: the noise of our many thoughts and feelings, our list of things to do, of fears and preoccupations, of our suffering and disappointments, of our concerns for others, of our many duties, an on and on and on, a lot of noise, which can be intimidating….

We don’t need to be afraid, because the Holy Spirit is always with us, within us, to guide us along the way of silence, the way of meditation and contemplation, the way of prayer and listening to the Word of God. From the cross as He was dying, Jesus entrusted us along with his beloved apostle John to the care of Mary as our Mother. In the Rosary she guides us to Jesus. Mary is an expert in pondering the things of God in her heart and she is eager to help us do that. Shall we pray?  Fr. Gilles prayed spontaneously for everyone

Let us now take a few minutes to reflect quietly on this Good News the Lord has spoken to us.

Fr. Joseph A. E. Sullivan - 1st Anniversary Memorial Mass at St. Edmund of Canterbury Parish in Beaconsfield QC

 Homily MP3 File 


Universal Prayer

Priest’s Introduction          To God the Father almighty, dear brothers and sisters, may every prayer of our heart be directed, for his will it is that all humanity should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.       (The Response is)   R.   Lord, make us missionary disciples.

For all families during summer time – especially in the face of difficult challenges – that all may find peace in your Most Sacred Heart, we pray to You Lord….  R. Lord, make us missionary...

For indigenous peoples worldwide and in Canada as we fight against Covid-19; at all levels of Canadian society and government may we honour indigenous peoples in their dignity, be receptive to their rich heritage, and engage in Nation to Nation building, we pray to You Lord…        R.  

For Father Joseph Albert Earl Sullivan and all souls, that they may forever contemplate your beauty and enjoy your love, and for the intentions of their families, we pray to You Lord….  R.

In union with Pope Francis’ worldwide intention for July, we pray “that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance, and especially, that they may be protected by the State", and for the Church in China, we pray to You, Most Holy Trinity.        R. Lord, make us...

That young people may find much joy in seeking your Sacred Heart, O Jesus; by living the Gospel may they help to renew the world, we pray to You, Lord.      R. Lord, make us missionary disciples.

For victims of sexual abuse or violence, for their families and communities; for all those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, elderly, lonely, sick, in trouble, in prison, refugees, abandoned, or suffering injury or loss due to calamities, we pray to You, Most Holy Trinity.    R. Lord, make us missionary...

That married couples may grow closer by trusting in your love, Father; that families may support each other with their faith in You, O God; and that engaged couples preparing for marriage and family life may make room for You, we pray to You, Lord.  R. Lord, make us missionary disciples.

For those who are preparing to celebrate Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, and Marriage; that they may find joy in preparing; so that their life in Christ may continue to grow, we pray to You, Lord.     R. Lord, make us missionary disciples.

That men called by You, Sacred Heart of Jesus, to serve as priests may with courage and trust in You say “Yes!” to your call as Mary and Joseph did, and that the shepherds of our souls may govern generously and wisely the flock entrusted to them by You, we pray to You, Lord.    R.

That our communities, as we emerge from isolation, may patiently observe the health measures and bear witness with great devotion to your Most Sacred Heart, we pray to You Lord….  R.

For our own personal intentions....  (SILENCE followed by the priest’s prayer)

Priest’s Prayer                    O God, our refuge and our strength, hear the prayers of your church, for you yourself are the source of all devotion, and grant, we pray, that what we ask in faith we may truly obtain, through Christ our Lord.                          R. Amen.      

Seminar / Workshop on God and Prayer - our "Interior Life" - Marriage Preparation Course "From This Day Forward" at St. Thomas à Becket Church - October 17th 2020

  Audio MP3 file       Silent Meditative Prayer Experience w Instructions & Debrief MP3 file    You will find a folder with a variety of...

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