Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A kingdom of priests...

At the last theology in the bar for this semester, Fr Tim spoke of the sacrifice of the Mass. We are very used to the idea of going to Church so w can be fed and nourished, both in God's Word given in scripture, or in the flesh and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion.

But our incredible dignity as Christians is revealed when we share in the sacrifice of Jesus made present in the Eucharistic prayer, made present for us through the consecration of the bread and wine which become the body and blood of Christ.

We do not just receive the fruits of that offering of Jesus - we receive the sacrifice itself, our lives become sacrifice. As we enter that mystery of Jesus dying in love for the whole human race, we are not just passive, but actively participate. If we are suffering, we can unite our suffering with his, so he can use it in his saving love. We can offer that mystery of the cross for those we love, for ourselves, or for the salvation of the whole world.

When we understand what's going on in the Mass, it's strange to think in terms of 'Sunday obligation' at all - what better place can there be, than in that mystery of the love of the Trinity bursting forth on the cross!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Relationship healing

Under the Old Law in the Old Testament there are certain precepts to establish and maintain relationships. The ceremonial commands are about the relationship with the Other or God: establishing, nourishing and restoring when lost a good relationship.
Christ comes to restore and elevate this relationship from one of creature to Creator to one of children to Father. We have discussed Baptism as the beginning of this restoration - a remaking - but as noted in the comments on that post, people still sin. Our relationships need nourishing and they still need restoring when we mess them up.
The sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession does just this - reconciles us to God and to each other in the Church, the Body of Christ, following our breaking of this tie.
Why do we need to speak to a priest about our failings in order to be reconciled?
To make it real. Part of our tendency to sin is our capacity for self-deception. We hide from ourselves our motivations, our failings, our fault. Speaking our fault brings it to reality and lets it go.
This is real reconciliation. It is real healing for this incomparable relationship with our Father who is in heaven.
    For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8.38-39)

Sunday, 31 January 2010

What do you think?

Please keep sending in your questions. The reflection on baptism is a short precis of Fr Bruno's talk at Theology in the Bar, which takes place at the Southsider pub every Tuesday evening at 8.15pm.

Thanks for the questions and comments received. Make a comment or send an email to ask a question, start a debate, or state your views.


Friday, 29 January 2010

Who needs salvation?

Christianity emphasises the importance of Baptism for anyone who wants to follow Jesus and be saved. This was Jesus's instruction (John 3.5). Baptism saves us from eternal death and brings us to a new life, a real life in Christ.
But who needs salvation?
'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3.23)
In order to understand Baptism, we need also to see that all human beings are flawed, broken, in need of restoration. This re-creation offered by Jesus is found in the washing of Baptism.
Baptism is the Sacrament by which we become Christians. It frees us from Original Sin, makes us children of God, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Church.
But it also points forward, allowing true human flourishing by the gifts of faith, hope and love by which God brings us to himself.
We are pilgrims: Christians are in the world but not of the world (cf. John 15.19) and the grace of Baptism begins and points towards the destination of our lives - Jesus Christ. This destination is only reached with God's work. This is begun in Baptism.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Church hunt

On Saturday the 23rd January, the CSU organised a sponsored Church hunt across Edinburgh in aid of KTDO. The idea was to try and visit all the 28 catholic parishes listed in Edinburgh in just one day. The event was a great success and raised well over £600, not to mention everyone having a fantastic – although very tiring time – doing it.

The CSU is very busy helping with fundraising for the new Chapel - for more information see

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Door is open again

We're starting Almighty Answers again, ready to receive any question about Christianity, from anyone, anytime...

From now on there will be a weekly post to which we will invite questions and comments, and we will also post on the life of the Chaplaincy here at George Square. Tell your friends to drop in to almighty answers....