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Reflection – Fr Francis Nov 10, 2023

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary parish Caloundra
Parish Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary parish Caloundra

Being Over-Prepared for Christ’s Return

At first glance, Jesus seems to describe a wedding party from hell. A very late bridegroom. Running out of lighting. Getting locked out. Being on the guest list (bridesmaids at that) but being shut out (and not being recognised when they tried to get in).

It seems some things border on universal human experience, namely, that such key moments in life can be chaotic despite all the preparation around them. My own ordination was rushed forward to beat a lockdown. People who had timed their journey with no unreasonable leeway – so, every sane invitee – missed out. The ones that made it happened to live in Brisbane or work in the city.

As Jesus does, he uses our experiences as teaching moments. Today he asks: are you over-prepared?
We are now on the final lap of the year before the new liturgical year begins in Advent. The theme of the bridegroom, or master, or Lord, who is coming to us, will only continue up to and into Christmas eve.

How does your over-preparation look?

On the Thursday gone by, we had a fantastic turnout to the Ageing-Wisely session. It advised attendees on matters such as retirement planning, legal advice on estates, wills, etc. How are you ageing wisely with your Christianity? The parish is only ramping up its offerings to offer us each a chance to fill our various lamps. How is your grasp of what you believe and give your money to? We will be opening our RCIA Catechesis component to all parishioners. How is your dialogue and friendship with God? We began the first of our sessions on prayer on Thursday. How is your feeling of being in service to God or the community? There are no shortage of ministry teams to get involved with. Friends if you feel you are running on empty in any area of your faith-life, call up the office and we will put you in touch with the right people.

See you in the week.

God bless, Fr. Francis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visio Divina

by Fr Gerard

 

Did you know that viewing art can be a form of prayer? Since antiquity, artwork found in churches such as paintings, sculptures, textiles and stained-glass windows was used to provide imagery to accompany the biblical stories and Church Tradition. This was particularly useful for a large majority of church-goers who were illiterate. Prayer, while it may be the most natural thing one can do, also needs to be taught. I hope this short article might enhance your prayer life in some way, particularly as Teaching Prayer is the First Priority of the 2023 Apostolic Priorities of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

If prayer is simply communication with God, and if there are millions of ways to communicate, then there are millions of ways of praying, and perhaps you’ve only just scratched the surface. Each of us responds differently to stimulus, so it is my hope that this might be yet another mode of prayer you might like to use to connect with the Creator of the universe. The richest method of prayer engages all the senses (hence the ‘bells and smells’ at Mass). So, for the ideal prayer experience and for best results, find a quiet place where you can be alone, away from external distractions. Visio Divina, Latin for Divine Seeing, is a form of prayer in which one meditates on sacred art.

 

Steps of Visio Divina

 

Visio (Gaze)

 

Choose a sacred image, look at the artwork and notice what strikes you. Allow yourself to be surprised or puzzled. Is there anything you have not noticed before, or anything that should be asked or explained for this text to be understood?

Meditatio (Meditation)

 

 

Ponder the image once more. Prayerfully listen to the accompanying Scripture, being attentive to what words or phrases strike you. Spend time pondering how the Image of God sheds light on your life here and now.

Oratio (Prayer)

 

 

Having observed the Image of God, we now respond in prayer. Speak to God about what you’re noticing. This is a conversation from your heart with the Lord.

Contemplatio (Contemplation)

 

 

This is the purpose of visio: to hear the living Word of God today. What does God say to me? Simply rest with God. This is a time of divine intimacy.

Actio (Action)

 

 

Ask God how he wants you to live out anything that came up during this time of prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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