27th October 2014 - Pour forth we beseech you O Lord, Your Grace into our hearts Pt2
Last week I spoke about praying for Grace. Today I would like to reflect on using Grace as a greeting.

St Peter and St Paul in writing to the early Christian communities, constantly greeted them with the salutation of ‘Grace’. It must have been a common greeting among all Christians. What a wonderful one it was!

It is interesting and inspiring to go through these New Testament Letters. Remember ‘Grace’ is the ‘sum total of God’s gifts’ and this is what Paul and Peter were wishing, and praying, for their people.

•  “Grace and Peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ” (Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians & Philippians,)
• “Grace and peace from God our Father” (Colossians)
• “Grace and peace” (1st Thessalonians )
• “Grace and peace from God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ”. (2nd Thessalonians)
• “Grace, Mercy and Peace” (1 & 2 Timothy)
• “May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour give you Grace and Peace” (Titus)
• “Grace and peace be with you more and more.” (1 Peter)
• “May you have more and more Grace and Peace as you come to know our Lord     more and more”. (2 Peter)

Francis of Assisi, 1200 years later, greeted people with ‘Pace e bene’ - in Latin ‘Pax et Bonum’ (Peace and every  good). They are different words but with the same meaning.

We don’t have these greetings nowadays. Maybe we could take them up again- if not verbally, at least in our hearts, as we meet people throughout the day.

20th October 2014 - Pour forth we beseech you O Lord, Your Grace into our hearts Pt1
We come now to the concluding prayer of the Angelus. I want to unpack this compact and powerful prayer a little.

We are praying for God’s Grace to be poured into our hearts.

What is Grace? Grace is a beautiful word for gift. In our Faith and Scriptural language it actually means “The sum total of God’s gifts”.

When we pray for God’s Grace to be poured into our hearts, we express our trust that God knows the gifts we need and will give them to us. We also are ‘opening our hearts’ and increasing our desire for these gifts.

Whether we ask God’s Grace specifically or not, whenever we pray, whenever we spend time with Jesus, He will pour out his Grace upon us. Remember the Year of Grace? In the special prayer for that Year we prayed that as we spend time with Jesus (‘contemplating his face’) we might ‘experience a new wave of Grace’.

What a beautiful image! Any prayer time is a time when God’s Grace will wash over us. In turn, and as a result of prayer, the ‘light of Christ will burn more brightly in our lives’.

Nonetheless it is good, as I have said, to still regularly ask God for Grace, as we do in this prayer.

13th October 2014 - that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ Pt3
Here are a few more promises that Jesus made for us to reflect on, believe in and receive. These are in particularly in regard to life. Jesus promises and offers life in all that he says and does.

Some quotes are:-
“….I have come that you may have life and have it to the full” (Jn10:10)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (Jn3:16)
“…Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day”. (Jn6:54)

I haven’t heard it recently but many, and particularly young people, used to exclaim ‘Get a life’! Well we don’t have to ‘get a life’ at all because Jesus himself is offering it to us. All we need to do is open ourselves up in faith and gratitude to receive it. It is a life that not only enriches and colours our life here now, but flows over to life without end.

6th October 2014 That we may be mad worthy of the promises of Christ Pt2
There are so many promises of Jesus that we want to be worthy of - that is to truly believe and receive. 
• ‘Do not be afraid’. How many times Jesus says this to us! 
    “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”. (Mt10:31)
    “….Don’t be afraid; just believe”. (Mk5:36)
    “…Take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid!” (Mk6:23)  
    “Don’t be afraid; just believe and she will be healed”. (Lk8:50)
    “Don’t be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:32)
• “…I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mt28:20)
• “…My Grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness…” (2Cor12:9)
• “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt11:28)
• “…Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink”(Jn7:37)

What are some of the promises of Jesus dear to you?