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Moments from God.


The psalms are prayers that express the whole range of human experience. For example, the opening of Psalm 47 (All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness…Psalm 47:2) expresses a moment of spontaneous prayer, and a moment of incredible wonder, awe and gratitude. It is as though the sheer giftedness of life is reflected in this happening. Spontaneous prayer can be beauty, like seeing a snowy egret in a tree, or it can be an unexpected kindness. For example, it can be someone giving you directions in a strange city or it can be escape from harm - you might escape from blinding rain while driving on the road.

Let us pray: Dear God, thank you for these moments, most of all for knowing they are from, and with, you.

Compiled by Deirdre Powell

Source: Living Faith, Daily Catholic Devotions (adapted)

Jan 17 - St Antony of Egypt (1) 251-356 AD

Summary of St Anthony. Abbot. Born in 251 in upper Egypt; died in 356. At an early age he gave away his possessions and sought the austere life and solitude in the desert. Yet he remained involved in the theological controversies of his day, defending the divinity of Christ. He attracted disciples who formed communities of hermits. The account of his life by Saint Athanasius (2 May) was extremely influential in the development and spread of monasticism. Honoured as the father of western monasticism.
Abba Antonius (Ἀββᾶς Ἀντώνιος), and Father of All Monks, The Life of Antony, (Abba Antonius (Ἀββᾶς Ἀντώνιος), and Father of All Monks), was written by St Athanasius shortly after his death. It influenced the conversion of St Augustine and St Martin of Tours and became a classic of monasticism in the Middle Ages. Antony lived at first in total solitude but later allowed a monastic community to be formed around him. Patrick Duffy tells his story.

Early life
Antony was born in Upper Egypt in 251 to wealthy Christian parents, who died when he was about eighteen. Hearing in church the saying of Jesus in Mt 19:21: "If you wish to be perfect, then sell what you have and give it to the poor and come follow me", he did just that. He first made provision for the care of his younger sister with a community of nuns and then himself became a disciple to a local hermit. Gardening and the weaving of palm mats became his way of life and his discipline.

anthony's DemonsThe desert - his demons
For Antony the real desert was his own personality, where facing his interior demons and overcoming them was victory. According to Athanasius, the devil afflicted Antony with boredom, laziness, and sexual images; these he overcame by discipline and prayer.  When the devil saw Antony's intense ascetic life and devotion, he was envious and beat him mercilessly, leaving him unconscious. Antony's friends from the local village came and found him in this condition, carried him to a church where he recovered.

Total solitude
Later Antony went further out to a deserted fort at Pispir so he could be in total solitude. Here the devil resumed his warfare against him, this time in the form of wild animals who seemed as if they would destroy him. But when he emerged after twenty years (286-306), and people expected him to have wasted away, or gone insane, to their amazement he was healthy, serene, and had a bright light in his eye.

Anto 3A community nearby
Despite seeking solitude, Antony understood that discernment and relationship with others in charity were central in the spiritual life. He did not himself create a monastery, but a community grew up nearby him based on his example. Disciples sought him out for "words of wisdom" and those who wished to follow him needed the company of others to survive the harsh conditions.

Visits to Alexandria
During the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Maximin (311), Antony went to Alexandria openly wearing his identifying white tunic to encourage other Christians, but he was not put to death. On another occasion he went to Alexandria to encourage Athanasius in his struggle against the Arians. On this occasion Athanasius gave him his own cloak as a gift.

Emperor Constantine
It is said that the Emperor Constantine wrote to him seeking his prayers. Antony, seeing the surprise of those around him, said: "Do not wonder that the emperor writes to us, a man even as I am; rather be astounded that God should have written to us, and that he spoke to us by his Son."

Entrance to St Antony's Cave where St Antony spent forty years in solitude.

Visit to Paul the Hermit
Antony knew he was not the first nor the only hermit in the desert. Jerome tells us that shortly before the death of the first hermit Paul (345), Antony went to visit him. A raven miraculously appeared to supply a loaf for their meal and they engaged in playful conversation. Antony asked Paul to take him as his companion. Paul urged him rather to go and bring the cloak that Bishop Athanasius had given him. Antony went out to fetch the cloak coming back as soon as he could, fearing Paul might die while he was out. This indeed is what happened. To help bury Paul, two lions appeared and scooped out a grave with their paws. Antony removed the tunic of leaves Paul had sewn for himself as his garment and buried the holy man in the cloak of Athanasius he had brought. Each Easter and Pentecost ever after he always wore Paul's tunic.

[caption id="attachment_74837" align="alignright" width="322"]Sayings of St Anthont Sayings of St Anthont[/caption]

Some of the sayings and a story of Antony
Here are some of the sayings and a story of St Antony:

This is the great work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.
Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Without temptations no-one can be saved.
Do not trust in your own righteousness do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach.
I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."
A hunter in the desert saw Abba Anthony enjoying himself with the brethren and he was shocked. Wanting to show him that it was necessary sometimes to meet the needs of the brethren, the old man said to him, 'Put an arrow in your bow and shoot it.' So he did. The old man then said, 'Shoot another,' and he did so. Then the old man said, 'Shoot yet again and the hunter replied 'If I bend my bow so much I will break it.' Then the old man said to him, 'It is the same with the work of God. If we stretch the brethren beyond measure they will soon break. Sometimes it is necessary to come down to meet their needs.' When he heard these words the hunter was pierced by compunction and, greatly edified by the old man, he went away. As for the brethren, they went home strengthened.
Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 17th January, 2019

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Hebrews        3:7-14
As long as this 'today' lasts, keep encouraging one another.

The Holy Spirit says: encouage othersIf only you would listen to him today; "Do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: 'How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways!' And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this 'today' lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm    Ps 94
Response                          O that today you would listen to his voice! 'Harden not your, hearts.'

1. Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.                               Response

2. O that today you would listen to his voice!meribah
'Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work     Response

3. For forty years I was wearied of these people
and I said: "Their hearts are astray
these people do not know my ways
Then I took an oath in my anger:
"Never, shall they enter my rest.'"                            Response

Gospel  Acclamation      Ps 118: 88
Alleluia, alleluia!
Because of your love give me life,
and I will do your will.

 Or                                          Mt 4:23
Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom
and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark        1:40-45
The leprosy left him at once and he was cured.

leper came to him and pleaded on his knees: 'If you want to' he said 'you can cure me'. Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. 'Of course I want to!' he said. 'Be cured!' And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, 'Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery'. The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would cometo him.

The Gospel of the Lord

Gospel Reflection            
Thursday        First Week in Ordinary Time        Mark 1:40–45

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus heals a leper. In the gospels Jesus often heals people by means of his word. In healing the leper, however, Jesus not only spoke to him, but he touched him. In touching the leper Jesus did what no one else would have done. For the sake of communal hygiene, if for no other reason, people kept lepers at a distance, and lepers were expected to keep their distance from others. Jesus, however, kept no one at a distance, not even lepers. No one was beyond his reach; no one was untouchable in his eyes. He came to touch our lives, all of our lives, in a very tangible way, regardless of our condition. The leper did not doubt Jesus’ power to heal him, but he wasn’t sure whether Jesus wanted to heal him, as is clear from his opening words to Jesus, ‘If you want to, you can cure me’. Jesus showed how much he wanted to heal this leper, by touching him. Jesus wants to touch all of our lives, because he wants to bring life to us all. Nothing we do or fail to do, no circumstance in which we find ourselves, need place us beyond his life-giving reach. As Paul says in his letter to the Romans, ‘nothing can come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus’. The Lord touches our lives, where we are, as we are. All we need is something of the leper’s daring initiative in approaching Jesus.

The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.

The Gospel reflection comes from: Weekday Reflections for the Liturgical Year 2018/2019; I Want to Know Christ   
by Martin Hogan, published by The Messenger  c/f









Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 17th January, 2019
Sliocht as  Leabhar

Sliocht as Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Eabhraig       3:7-14
Fad a bhíonn “an lá inniu” seo ann, bígí ag gríosú a chéile.

encouage othersA bhráithre, deir an Spiorad Naomh: “Má chloiseann sibh a ghuth inniu, ná cruaigí bhur gcroí faoi mar a tharla sa Cheannairc agus ar Lá úd na Féachála san fhásach mar ar chuir bhur n-aithreacha féacháil agus triail orm cé go bhfaca siad mo ghníomhartha ar feadh daichead bliain. Sin é an fáth ar tháinig fearg orm leis an nglúin sin agus go ndúirt mé: ‘Tá croíthe guagacha ag na daoine seo i gcónaí; níor fhoghlaim siad mo bhealaí riamh.’ Dá dheasca sin thug mé an mionn seo uaim le corp feirge: ‘Ní rachaidh siad isteach i m’áitreabh suaimhnis choíche.’”

Féachaigí chuige, a bhráithre, nach mbeidh drochchroí chomh díchreidmheach sin ag aon duine agaibh agus go dtréigfidh sé an Dia beo choíche. Gach lá, fad a bhíonn “an lá inniu” seo ann, bígí ag gríosú a chéile ar eagla go ndéanfaí aon duine agaibh a chruachan le mealltacht an pheaca. Mar ní bheimid i gcomhpháirt le Críost ach ar an gcoinníoll go gcoinnímid ár gcéadmhuinín daingean go dtí an deireadh.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra     Sm 94
Freagra                      Á, dá n-eistfeadh sibh lena ghuth inniu: 'Ná calcaigí bhur gcroí.'

1. Tagaigí adhraimis agus sléchtaimis,
feacaimis ár nglúine don Tiarna a rinne sinn.
Óir is é ár nDia é, agus is sinne
pobal a aoireachta agus caoirigh a lámh.                Freagra   

2. Á, dá n-eistfeadh sibh lena ghuth inniu:
'Ná calcaigí bhur gcroí'
mar a tharla i Mériba,
mar a tharla an lá úd ag Masa san fhásach
meribahmar ar chuir bhur n-aithreacha cath orm,
mar ar thriail siad mé cé go bhfaca siad m'obair.' Freagra

3. Ar feadh daichead bliain chuir an ghlúin sin tuirse orm, .
agus dúirt mé: 'Is pobal iad atá ar seachrán ina gcroi;
níorbh aithnid dóibh mo shlite.
Ar an ábhar sin dhearbhaigh mé i m'fhearg:
"Ní rachaidh siad isteach i mo shuaimhneas.'"     Freagra


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Marcas         1:40-45
D’fhág an lobhra é láithreach agus glanadh é.

JesusHealsLeper2San am sin tháinig lobhar chuig Íosa ag achainí air agus é ar a dhá ghlúin: “Más áil leat é,” ar seisean, “is féidir duit mé a ghlanadh.” Ghlac Íosa trua dó, shín amach a lámh agus bhain leis: “Is áil,” ar seisean leis, “glantar thú!” D’fhág an lobhra é láithreach agus glanadh é.
Labhair Íosa go corraiceach leis agus chuir chun siúil é gan mhoill ag rá leis:
“Ná habair focal le haon duine, féach, ach imigh leat agus taispeáin don sagart thú féin agus déan, de chionn do ghlanta, an ofráil a d’ordaigh Maois mar fhianaise dóibh.”
Ní túisce a d’fhág an duine an láthair, áfach, ná bhí guth ard aige ag leathadh an scéil, ionas nach bhféadfadh Íosa dul isteach go hoscailte i gcathair feasta, ach fanacht lasmuigh sna háiteanna uaigneacha agus bhítí ag triall air as gach aird.

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 20th January, 2019
Scripture Themes
The fulfillment of God's promise is compared to a wedding feast. The wine that flows in plenty speaks of the joy of the kingdom.


A reading from the book of the Prophet  Isaiah       62:1-5
As the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.

About Zion I will not be silent,
about Jerusalem I will not grow weary,
until her integrity shines out like the dawn
and her salvation flames like a torch.

feast2The nations then will see your integrity,
all the kings your glory,
and you will be called by a new name,
one which the mouth of the Lord will confer.
You are to be a crown of splendour in the hand of the Lord,
a princely diadem in the hand of your God;
no longer are you to be named 'Forsaken',
nor your land 'Abandoned',
but you shall be called 'My Delight'
and your land 'The Wedded';
for the Lord takes delight in you
and your land will have its wedding.
Like a young man marrying a virgin,
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,
so will your God rejoice in you.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm     Ps 95
Response                         Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.

l. O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.          Response

2. Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples. Response

3. Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power,
give the Lord the glory of his name.         Response

4. Worship the Lord in his temple.
O earth, tremble before him.
Proclaim to the nations: 'God is king.'
He will judge the peoples in fairness.     Response


A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corintians        12:4-11
There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit.

One SpiritThere is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognising spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them.1 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel  Acclamation       Jn 6: 63
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your words are spirit and they are life:
you have the message of eternal life.

Or                                           2 Thess 2: 14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Through the Good News God called us
to share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


A reading from the holy Gospel according John        2:1-11
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee.

CanaThere was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine'. Jesus said 'Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.' His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.' There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water', and they filled them to the brim. 'Draw some out now' he told them 'and take it to the steward.' They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from - only the servants who had drawn the water knew - the steward called the bridegroom and said; 'People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now'.

This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.

Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 20th January, 2019


Sliocht as Leabhar Fáidh  Ísáia        62:1-5
Mar is cúis ghairdis a chéile don fhear nuaphósta, beidh tú féin i do chúis ghairdis ag do Dhia.

Ar mhaithe le Síón ní fhanfaidh mé i mo thost,
agus mar gheall ar Iarúsailéim ní mian liom bheith socair,
nó go dté a fíréantacht amach mar an maidneachan
agus a slánú mar bheadh lóchrann ag lonrú.

Is ann a fheicfidh na ciníocha d’fhíréantachtfeast2
agus na ríthe uile do ghlóir;
agus tabharfar ainm nua ort,
ainm a fhógróidh béal an Tiarna féin.

Beidh tú i do choróin taibhseach i láimh an Tiarna,
i do cheannbheart ríoga ar bhois do Dhé.

Ní déarfaidh siad Uaigneach leat feasta,
ná ní ghairfear Fásach do do dhúiche.
Ach is é ainm a bheidh ort féin “Bean mo rúin”
agus “an Céile” a bheidh ar do dhúiche.
Óir lig an Tiarna a rún leat
agus gheobhaidh do dhúiche é mar chéile.

Díreach mar a phósann ógfhear cailín,
is é an Saor féin a phósfaidh thusa;
agus mar is cúis ghairdis a chéile don fhear nuaphósta,
beidh tú féin i do chúis ghairdis ag do Dhia.

Briathar Dé. 

alm le Freagra               Sm 95
Freagra                              Fógragí éachtaí an Tiarna do na náisiúin uile.

1. Canaigí amhrán nua don Tiarna;
Canaigí don Tiarna, a thalamh go léir.
Canaigí don Tiarna agus molaigí a ainm.                      Freagra  

2. Fógraígí a shlánú ó lá go lá.
insígí a ghlóir i measc na gciníocha
agus a éachtaí do na náisiúin uile.                                  Freagra

3. Luaigí leis an Tiarna, a chlanna na gciníocha,
luaigí leis an Tiarna clú agus cumhacht,
luaigí leis an Tiarna glóir a ainm.                                   Freagra

4. Tugaigí adhradh don Tiarna ina theampall.
Bí ar crith ina láthair, a thalamh.
Fógraígí do na ciníocha: 'Tá an Tiarna ina Rí'
Tabharfaidh sé breith chóir chothrom ar na daoine. Freagra


Sliocht as céad Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Coirintigh        12:4-11
Tá tíolacthaí difriúla ann ach an t-aon Spiorad amháin

One SpiritA bhráithre, tá tíolacthaí difriúla ann ach an t-aon Spiorad amháin; tá feidhmeannais difriúla ann ach an t-aon Tiarna amháin; agus tá oibreacha difriúla ann ach is é an Dia céanna a bhíonn á n-oibriú go léir in gach ceann riamh acu. An léiriú a dhéantar ar an Spiorad in gach duine ar leith, is chun tairbhe an phobail mhóir é. Mar shampla faigheann duine amháin labhairt go heagnaí ón Spiorad agus faigheann duine eile labhairt go feasach ón Spiorad céanna. Faigheann duine eile creideamh tríd an Spiorad céanna, agus duine eile buanna leighis tríd an aon Spiorad. Faigheann duine eile cumas míorúiltí agus duine eile fós bua na tairngreachta agus duine eile arís na spioraid a aithint ó chéile. Bíonn teangacha éagsúla ag duine amháin agus míniú teangacha ag duine eile. Ach is é an Spiorad ceanann céanna a bhíonn ag oibriú sna tíolacthaí seo uile agus é ag dáil ar gachm duine faoi leith de réir mar is áil leis féin.

Briathar Dé.  

Alleluia Véarsa         Eo 17: 17
Alleluia, alleluia!
Is fírinne do bhriathar.
Déan sinn a naomhú san fhírinne.


Siocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh  Eoin       2:1-11
Rinne Íosa an chéad cheann sin dá chomharthaí i gCána sa Ghailíl

CanaSan am sin bhí pósadh i gCána sa Ghailíl agus bhí máthair Íosa ann. Fuair Íosa cuireadh chun an phósta freisin, agus a dheisceabail. Chuaigh den fhíon agus dúirt a mháthair le Íosa: “Níl aon fhíon acu.” Dúirt Íosa léi: “Cad ab áil leat díom, a bhean? Níl m’uairse tagtha fós.” Dúirt a mháthair leis an lucht freastail: “Déanaigí cibé ní a déarfaidh sé libh.” Bhí sé soithí cloiche ansiúd le haghaidh íonghlanadh de réir nós na nGiúdach; choinneoidís a dó nó a trí de mheadair an ceann. Dúirt Íosa leo: “Líonaigí na soithí suas le huisce.”Agus líon siad go béal iad. Dúirt sé leo: “Tarraingígí as feasta agus beirigí go dtí máistir na fleá é.” Rug siad, agus nuair a bhlais máistir na fleá an t-uisce ina fhíon, agus gan a fhios aige cár tháinig sé as (bhí a fhios, áfach, ag an lucht freastail a tharraing an t-uisce) ghlaoigh an máistir ar an bhfear nuaphósta, agus dúirt leis: “Cuireann gach duine an fíon maith ar an gclár ar dtús agus nuair a bhíonn siad ar meisce, an dara grád. Ach choinnigh tusa an fíon maith go dtí anois.”

Rinne Íosa an chéad cheann sin dá chomharthaí i gCána sa Ghailíl, agus thaispeáin sé a ghlóir agus chreid a dheisceabail ann. Ansin chuaigh sé síos go Cafarnáum, é féin agus a mháthair agus a bhráithre agus a dheisceabail agus d’fhan siad ann beagán laethanta.

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart