St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

You are invited to join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on:
Every Sunday 2017. Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
Email
Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
Check here for any additions or cancelations of services.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas 2015


Don't spend Christmas alone.
Join us 11am Friday 25th December at the school chapel
(all saints college) Victoria Street Maitland NSW
for praise, worship and holy communion in the Anglican Catholic tradition.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Saint Hilda of Whitby

Saint Hilda of Whitby is the patron Saint of our Anglican Catholic Parish in Maitland NSW Australia.
 
In modern times  Saint Hilda of Whitby is commemorated on the 18th of November, but the mediƦval commemoration was a day earlier, on the actual anniversary of her decease.
 
Edward Bridle has translated her entry from the ninth-century Old English Martyrology for us, which describes the signs which marked her birth and her passing:

“On the seventeenth day of the month is the passing of the holy abbess in Britain whose name was Saint Hilda. She was the first builder of the minster which is named Whitby.
Her father’s name was Hereric and her mother’s name was Bregoswyth; and to her mother was shewn on sleep, when she was pregnant with the child, that a jewel was thrust into her bosom, and it began to shine over all Britain. That betokened the fame of the maiden’s holiness. And Saint Hilda was three-and-thirty years in the secular state, and three-and-thirty years under the holy veil, and then she departed to Christ. And one of her nuns [literally, “of her handmaids-of-God”] saw how angels led her spirit to Heaven, and she glittered in the midst of the angels like the shining sun or a newly-pressed garment; and the same handmaid of God heard, at the same hour when she departed, the sound of a wondrous bell in the sky, and she saw also that angels raised up before her spirit a very great and wondrous Christ’s rood [cross], and it shone like a star of Heaven. And with such bliss was Saint Hilda’s spirit led to the royal glory of Heaven, where she now beholds our Lord for ever and ever, Whose will she did before, the while that on life she dwelt in her body.”
 
Please join us to commemorate St Hilda next Sunday 22nd November 2015,
at the school chapel in St Marys Campus of the All Saints College.
Entrance to the chapel is via Victoria St Maitland NSW.
 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Five Anglican Saintly Men

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3)
 
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you”. 

On the Octave Day of All Saints, we commemorate Anglican Saints and “Worthies”. This year we will briefly talk about five: Blessed Lancelot Andrewes, Blessed John Coleridge Patteson, William Wilberforce, Lord Shaftesbury, and Edward Pusey.
 
Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 1626): A 17th Century Church of England bishop and scholar, respected by all, he was chosen as a chaplain by the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. He oversaw the translation of the King James Version of the Bible (or Authorized Version). Even King James I minded his manners in awe of him when in his presence. He is considered a great defender of the Catholic heritage of the Church. He celebrated the liturgy with beauty and reverence, including, e.g., the use of incense. Lancelot Andrewes defended our catholicity and orthodoxy against Roman and Protestant opponents. He was immersed in both the Bible and the early Church Fathers. He gave much of his resources to the poor and much of his time in prayer to God and study. His private devotions were collected and published after his death, enriching many lives.

John Patteson (1827 – 1871): As a missionary to South Pacific peoples,  he became an accomplished linguist, learning 23 of the islands' more than 1,000 languages. In 1861 he was consecrated first Bishop of Melanesia. It was not an easy calling: the islands were scattered over 1,800 miles of ocean. He was not always welcomed, particularly since the native peoples were subject to abuses at the hands of blackbirders. These essentially impressed men as labourers, transporting them away under harsh conditions. He was a devout High-Churchman, willing to live a life of constant work and hardship. He was humble, gentle and loving with them. He was known to have protested against their wicked, illegal enslavement. Unfortunately he may have been martyred due to being mistaken for an agent of these slave-ship kidnappers and subsequently clubbed to death, but he had faced danger before (for example, Once when he and his assistants were about to leave Santa Cruz, they were shot at with arrows. Patteson's assistants were wounded, and the arrows turned out to be poisoned, since both ultimately died from the wounds). Despite having great respect for Anglican tradition, he also respected the local cultures and said they should not be trying to make Englishmen of the Islanders.
 
William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833): In 1785, he became an Evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform. He was a famous politician who worked, successfully in the end, for the abolition of slavery. He helped found the RSPCA. He also worked for prison reform, law reform (fewer death penalties especially), and greater access to education for all. But he also rejected revolutionary and disloyal approaches to reform which he saw as destructive. He was convinced of the importance of religion, morality and education. He supported improving the moral fibre of society through Christianity and laws against immoral, anti-social behaviour, he condemned anti-Indian racism of British but also Hindu practices such as widow-burning and the discriminatory caste system. Being very generous with money he impoverished himself, to an extent paying off a son's debts, despite others offering to help instead.

The 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885): He pushed for factory reform, saving children from mines, chimneys and industrialists, and pushed for other reforms for workers. He worked for the general welfare of poor children giving them education in the Ragged Schools which sprang up from volunteers. He was appointed to the Select Committee on asylums and was one of the first to see that the mentally ill should be treated as patients, not prisoners or objects of amusement. His committee establishment of a Board of Commissioners possessing extensive powers of licensing, inspection and control over the asylums. He supported the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and he was a supporter of Florence Nightingale.
Blessed Edward Pusey (1800 – 1882): Helped restore the Catholic self-understanding and popular teaching of the Church  of England. Incredibly productive scholar. Very holy man, and a family man. “His chief influence was that of a preacher and a spiritual adviser. As a preacher he lacked all the graces of oratory, but compelled attention by his searching and practical earnestness. His correspondence as a spiritual adviser was enormous; his deserved reputation for piety and for solidity of character made him the chosen confessor to whom large numbers of men and women unburdened their doubts and their sins. In private life Pusey's habits were simple almost to austerity. ...  his munificent charities gave him a warm place in the hearts of many to whom he was personally unknown.”
What do these men have to teach us by their faith and their example, by their “walk and talk”, if you will? What do they reveal of the special characteristics of the Anglican branch of the Catholic Church?

1.       Acknowledgement of mistakes, repentance for own sins and those of their community. E.g., Wilberforce and Slavery, and his change of mind on Catholic Emancipation. Andrewes regarding his acquiescence to an annulment and divorce, which turned out to be based on fraud. Thus a strong sense of being redeemed sinners.

2.       Practical love of the poor and oppressed. All deeply generous with personal time and money for the needy.

3.       A real but moderated asceticism. ( Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals.)

4.       People of persistent Prayer, Lovers of the Scripture and the priority of core Gospel truths (including Pusey, who acknowledged and emphasised much common ground with Evangelicals).

5.       Generally reading the Scripture with the Church, not against it, respecting its consistent consensus as a sure sign of God's guidance.

6.       Committed to their Church but respectful of other Christians. An early stand for religious freedom common, if imperfect. Ready to persuade with reason and not force. E.g., Patteson with the natives, Wilberforce with the British populace, Pusey with opponents inside and outside the Church.

7.       Showing that heroic holiness is not restricted to a restricted class consisting of the clergy, the religious or the celibate, but is accessible to all Christians.

8.       A strong devotion to learning and true scholarship. E.g., Wilberforce and Shaftesbury with education for the masses and Andrewes and Pusey as great theologians.

And so we see a beautiful balance between Scripture, Tradition and Reason; between Gospel simplicity and thelogical and sacramental depth within the fullness of the Catholic Faith; between practical works and devoted prayer; between freedom from tyranny and submision to authority and self-discipline. It is this note of constructive and fulsome balance rather than mere compromise which is characteristic of Anglicanism at its best. That is what the Via Media or middle way often mentioned in connection with us should be.

If we look beyond these five men,
we see a long list of Anglican worthies with similar characteristics:

We have a truly worthy inheritance,
of which we ourselves should strive to be worthy. 
 
Join us for Anglican Catholic Mass / Holy Communion each Sunday, 
offering worship and prayer to God.
We can be found at the chapel in St Marys campus of the All Saints School.
Victoria Street entrance in Maitland NSW Australia.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Collect for All Saints

“Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Thy Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Thy blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen”
 
 
 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Octave Day of All Saints 2015

This  oil painting is titled "The Christian Martyrs" by mid-19th century French artist Gustave Dore.
 
 In the Anglican Communion, the communion of saints includes everyone who has tried or is trying to follow the teachings of Christ. Anglican Feast Days celebrate men and women for their bravery, insights, contributions, and faith. Last week we celebrated All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day.
 
 This week 8th November our altar is still white, why? This week represents the Octave Day of All Saints, specially set aside for all Anglican Martyrs and other Saints.
 
Saints have been talked about on our blog in the past. All religions have them, they are people recognised within their tradition as having fulfilled the highest aspirations of religious teaching.
 
In Christianity Saints are those whose surrender to God's love is so generous an approach to the total surrender of Jesus that the Church recognises them as heroes and heroines worthy to be held up for our inspiration as role models to encourage the believer in us.
 
What then is a Christian Martyr?
They are a person who endures great suffering on behalf of their belief and willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.

Saints are our role models. They are not Gods in their own right, but rather imperfect people like us, who manage to shine the light of God and do amazing things through their faith, and the gifts and grace they are given through the mercy of God.
 
So if you are doing so much wonderful work for God and He is shining through you, what possible good is there in death, won't that cut short the good that is happening?
Saints are our role models, so are the Martyrs. They have an amazing message for us through their dedication and trust. Their belief and faith is so strong and they are so dedicated to God that they are willing to die rather than deny Him.
We are to place God first in our lives and while that is easy to do when everything is going right for us, it isn't so simple a choice when things become disastrous. Our natural instinct is to live. The idea of enduring avoidable pain and death holds fear for most people. Jesus was our ultimate example of how to face martyrdom. He died on the cross for our sins. His trust and love of God outweighed his pain or fear and He knowingly accepted his sacrificial role. Christian Martyrs, like our Saints are imperfect people too, just like us. They have been placed in the ultimate test of faith.

In our lives, we may be comforted with the knowledge that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that help us to run the race set before us. Saints and martyrs are not superhuman men and women but sinners just like me and you. We pray that we will never walk in their final steps of the martyrs, but If ever we are placed in the situation of choosing our life or renouncing God, we pray that we have the strength that they have demonstrated.
 
The following links list Anglican Saints:
 
Join us for Anglican Catholic Holy Communion / Mass on Sunday 8th November at 11am.
Celebrate the Octave Of All Saints offering prayer and worship to God.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Photo's at St Hilda's 1-10-15

 

This is "Tempy", she is exploring outside our chapel in Maitland.
She has been coming to our mass the last few weeks with her family and it is a pleasure to have her smiling face among us.

Monday, 2 November 2015

All Souls - 2015


By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.
(prayer drawn from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy)
 
O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligence's, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfil their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
 
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace, and rise in glory.
Amen.
 
Join St Hilda's Parish
for Anglican Catholic Mass / Communion / Prayer / Worship for All Souls,
Monday evening 2nd Nov 2015 at 6pm.
St Marys Campus Chapel of the All Saints College,
Victoria Street Maitland NSW.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

All Saints Day Prayer

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices
made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely
from their examples
of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
Book of Common Prayer, 1979
 
God,  source of all holiness, you have given us all the saints, our brothers and sisters, as models of Christian life. Known and unknown, named and unnamed, they are gathered now around Your table in heaven, where they enjoy the company of Your Mother Mary; your angels and one another. As pilgrims on the journey of faith on Earth, they showed their love, friendship, and care for us' still assisting us on our journey may their prayers lead us at last to the joy of the Eternal Jerusalem. We ask this through Christ the Lord.
(Carlo Saraceni 1590-1620)

Requiem Mass for Kay

This is a photo taken of Father Matthew Kirby when St Hilda's Parish held a Requiem Mass for Kay Jackson-Rees on Friday 31st October at 10am.
 
Kay was diagnosed with terminal cancer 2 years ago.
 
Kay was originally baptised when in her teens as a dare with her young friend, they wanted to see the "swimming pool" under the floor. Her life wasn't always easy but regardless of the challenges and pain which came her way she always found what she called her "Pollyanna", a positive way of looking at things, she remained giving and forgiving to all she met. Although she lived a very Christian ideal, the pain from her younger years meant she had trouble accepting "God".
 
The 2 years since she was diagnosed represented a time of growth and new understanding. It is interesting how our focus of what is important can shift when we hear the word terminal. Things we once thought was important seem quite trivial. We start to look closely at who we are and our mistakes, our regrets, our loves, our achievements. We re-evaluate how we see ourselves and what is of the most importance. We look for love, acceptance and peace while we still have the opportunity.
 
This year she renewed her Baptismal promise and started taking the sacraments. Kay never physically attended a mass at our chapel as her health made travel almost impossible this past year. Her name was mentioned in many of the lists of Intentions each Sunday and Kay prayed regularly for Father Matthew and many of his parishioners.
 
Kay passed away in her home in the company of her brother and friend on Sunday 18th November.
 
God Have mercy on the soul of Kay.
Eternal rest, grant unto her, O LORD,...

And let your light perpetual shine upon her.
May she rest in eternal peace, and rise in glory.

The Holy Spirit guide and comfort
all of Kay's family and friends,
that they may hold tight to the peace and love of God
during their time of grief and sadness.


Amen.


( Written by Di Mathews: churchwarden /blog administrator)

Saturday, 4 July 2015

my hunger for God's grace

 
During life's terrible storms, in the darkness of faith, my hunger for God's grace grows.

( Inspired by the writings of Fr Ed Baker)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Journey to Synod 2015

As you know the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) Synod was held in Queensland recently (we shared prayer for the Synod on this blog at the time). Fathers Matthew's life gets hectic with Church and Teaching commitments so travelling to the Synod allows him the opportunity for quiet time out driving, and the enjoyment of scenery. He obliged our request for photos to share his journey. Hope you enjoy his scenic Australian Landscape panoramas.
 
  
 
 
 
Todays service was held in Taree, next week it will be in our Chapel in Maitland.
See you there at 11am for worship, prayer and Holy Communion.
God Bless.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Pentecost

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." (Acts 2:1-11)
 
"they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" +
 
How?
Prayer and expectant faith in unity.
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Acts 1:4,1, And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Acts 6:5  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Acts 11:24.
Ask!
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13.
 
Why?
 
Without the power of the Spirit, we cannot do God's works, we cannot be his mouth, his hands, his feet in this world and so function as the body of Christ.
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? Acts 3:12. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:11-13.
 
What?
If we do not see the flames or hear the rushing wind, what and where will this experience be for us?
 
The last verse previously quoted shows us the sacraments are one place. All of these invoke (call upon) the Spirit of God. As we receive them with expectant faith, we can find abundant grace. Even the ones long past that cannot be repeated may be made more effective in the present by our meditation on the promises associated with them. Recall and reclaim the graces of your baptism and confirmation.
 
But God is never limited to the sacraments or the Church's services. And it is certainly worth reminding many Christians of this, as there are those who are suspicious of any piety or spiritual passion that does not conform to a liturgical norm or is not safely contained in a Church building. To say the least, Jesus and the Apostles were not so squeamish The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.(cp. John 3:8)!  Wherever there is devout prayer from living faith, wherever the word of God is read, remembered and revered, the Spirit acts through us. Wherever we obey God in service to the Church and the world, calling on his empowering grace, the Spirit acts through us.
 
Sometimes this will be manifest and even glorious. But we will not always see or feel that it is happening. Sometimes God is doing so much more than we played a part in that we might even wonder whether we had anything to do with it at all. Some of the biblically listed gifts of the Spirit are obviously miraculous (tongues, healing), others don't seem to be so (administration, practical help, encouragement).
 
Unfortunately, there can even be gifts used without virtue or without wisdom (e.g., Balaam,  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23), LINK : 1 Corinthians 14).

 As we seek to serve, praying fervently and with confident trust, united to the Church and listening to the Word, we too will be filled with the Spirit. +

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Prayer requests

 
St Hilda's Parish received a lovely offer from "Mustard Seed Prayer Circle". They have invited our members (and anyone interested) to join. They have been working for a few years as group of Christians from all over Australia who are linked via email for the purpose of prayer.
 
"We take names and brief reasons for prayer, we only use Christian Names and sometimes surname Intitial. God knows each of us by name anyway. We send out the email prayer to all team members and we pray for one month. At the end of each month a Parish Priest receives the list of names and offers Mass on the first Sat for all those names." (mustard seed prayer circle)
Would you like to join the prayer group?
Would like to make a prayer request?
then email  - Laurel Movigliatti at   mustard_seed_group@hotmail.com
 


 
 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Prayer for the Synod

 Most of you would know that next weekends Sunday Service (31st May due to be held at Taree) will be cancelled due to Father Matthew attending the Synod. Leaving for the long drive Thursday we pray that he travels safely.

Prayer for the Synod: -   Almighty and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through the Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be present with the 2015 Synod about to be assembled in thy Name, Save its members from all error, ignorance, pride and prejudice: and of thy great mercy vouchsafe so to direct, govern and sanctify them in their deliberations by thy Holy Spirit, that through thy blessing the Gospel of Christ may be faithfully preached and obeyed, the order and discipline of thy Church maintained, and the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour enlarged and extended. Grant this, we beseech thee, through the merits and mediation of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Rogation Sunday 2015

These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. (John 16:25-27).
 
Implication?
His preaching has been veiled to some degree, even to his closest followers, but the teaching will soon be clearer.
 
When?
vv.22-23 say after the crucifixion and resurrection, And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
but it also refers to after the Ascension, as the Holy Spirit will then inspire them to unfold his previous teaching with greater clarity and with the new context of the Cross. vv. 13-15. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

So, amazingly, some of the richest teaching in the NT is not in the Gospels, but in the Epistles. This may sound blasphemous, as if we are saying the words of the Apostles are worth more than the words of our Lord. But, in fact, they are all the words of our Lord, whether from his mouth or not.
 
On the other hand, his preaching of the Gospel, precisely because it is often in parables, has layer upon layer of meaning and application. And, while the disciples tell him he is not speaking in parables in this instance, there is much in what he says here that will not be seen in its full significance till later.
 
Indeed, when he states that he is not saying he will pray the Father for them as the Father himself loves them, we have a perfect example of this. We are taught elsewhere that he does intercede for us, including in the same address on the same night in the same Gospel, e.g., And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16), Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25). So what does Jesus mean? He has already said they will be praying in his name, so He means that their prayer is through him due to their loving faith, so that his prayer for them is in fact them praying in him, because they are united with him, and, through him, united to the Father. As the one called the Mediator, the link between God and Man, he intercedes by his presence with the Father, and his presence in us, as the Sacrificed one. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Heb. 10:24-26) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Rev. 5:6).
Thus we are not to have some image in our minds of Christ perpetually repeating our prayers to the Father so he will deign to pay attention to them. No. The Father is not separated from us by Jesus, isolated in proud and stern splendour. He loves us and as we are in Christ, is with us. Even in tribulation. and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (vv.32b-33).

The more we become one with him in faith and love,
the more our prayer will simply be his prayer.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Receive with meekness the implanted word

Sermon Summary 4th Sunday after Easter
Father Matthew Kirby

EVERY good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:17-21 (KJV)
 
Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
 
Why with meekness?
The whole letter is directed against arrogance: pride plus anger plus the comfortable worldliness of self-satisfied wealth. (e.g., And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: James 2:3. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. James 3:14, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4, Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.  James 13-17).

What is the solution?

Humbled, penitent faith made active in good works and especially respect for the needy (But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:6-10, Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26).
It was not that they lacked piety or belief. They are painted in the second chapter as placing their great confidence in their belief, and saying the right thing, sounding spiritual If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:15-19). But their faith was dead or dying because it was not combined with penitence, but with the opposite. The necessary connection of penitence with faith is made by our Lord from the beginning, e.g., And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15.
 
But one could also say that our faith must be combined with unbelief, as this epistle makes clear. Unbelief in the priority of wealth. Unbelief in worldly status. Unbelief in worldly power and the abusive use of it. Unbelief in self. It is not merely that we must trust in God. We must actively distrust everything that would make itself an idol in competition with him and his kingdom.
 
The good news is that, as harsh as this letter sounds, this very passage reminds the listeners that the word has already changed them: "Of his own will he brought us to birth by the word of truth." And he has just said before that that God gives "perfect" gifts. New life has been given definitively by his will, not our own, through the gospel-words spoken in baptism and in the Church's preaching. However, we must remain receiving, and do so in joyful and unqualified confidence in the Gift within, but humble and penitent distrust in our own powers and passions. It is this balance of boldness and meekness that is the paradox essential to Christian living by faith.

 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

As I cry out to my Lord.

It is through pain, fear and loss
that we learn trust and faith.
It is the hard times that teach us
allowing us to grow spiritually.


O'Lord,

 When facing our fears and insecurities
 May the Holy Ghost comfort us:

As our hearts and bodies cry out in pain
 May we remember the sufferings of Christ:

During times of despair in our darkest hours
 May we call on The Father to light our path:

Though our mortal vulnerabilities
 May we learn to trust three persons in one God:

As we strive to be righteous
 May we remember to praise and offer glory
 In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Amen

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Prayer for Mothers

Mothers Day is next Sunday 10th May 2015.
 
"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16  "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.  They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." Proverbs 1:8-9
Each of us is a sinner, including our parents. Most parents try hard to love and nurture their children, wanting only what is best for them. Parenting is THE hardest jobs in the world. If you want to do something special this Mothers Day, then pray for all of the mothers that need Gods assistance... Happy Mothers Day. 
 
Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

 We thank You for our mothers to whom You have entrusted the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb.
God our Creator, we pray: for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting.
 
 You have given to woman the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life. Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for selfless love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children.
God our Creator, we pray: for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility.
 
 Watch over every mother who is with child, strengthen her faith in Your fatherly care and love for her and for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child.
God our Creator, we pray: for mothers who are scared, uncertain, tired, stressed or depressed.
 
 To mothers You have given the great privilege and responsibility of being a child's first teacher and spiritual guide. Grant that all mothers may worthily foster the faith of their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women who follow Christ. Help mothers to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant them the wisdom to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them.
God our Creator, we pray: for those who are now responsible for the education of their children; for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities.
 
 Assist all "spiritual mothers", those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others -- of every age and state in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness.
God our Creator, we pray: for those who care for the children of others; and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.
 
 We beseech You to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died, are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. Help grieving mothers to rely on Your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children.
God our Creator, we pray: for those who have children they do not want; for those who have trouble feeding their children due to poverty; for those who have lost a child; for those whose children have left home.
 
 We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire and strengthen them. May they ever follow the example of Mary, mother of Our Lord, and imitate her fidelity, her humility, and her self-giving love. May all mothers receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your presence in the life to come.
God our Creator, we pray: Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender, and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good, living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.
 
 We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.
AMEN.
 
Join us at the Anglican Catholic Church for Mass / Holy Communion this Sunday at 11am at St Hilda's. Bring mum with you, or bring her memory and celebrate mothers day with us.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

as strangers and pilgrims

The Epistle. 1 St. Peter 2. 11.
DEARLY beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.
 
I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims
 
What does this phrase mean? Strangers and pilgrims? It refers to those who do not truly belong to the place the are in, but are only passing through, on a journey to another place, possibly alienated from their true home. E.g., Mediaeval pilgrims, exiles, homeless travellers. And that is us, according to St Peter.
 
Because this world is not our home, it does not belong to us and we do not belong to it. Which is why the Apostle connects our abstaining from carnal desires to our status as pilgrims. We have no right to be overly attached to the possessions or pleasures limited to this life, and no right at all to sinful ones. They are not our destiny, they are distractions from or stumbling blocks to reaching  our destination. This is why they are said to war against the soul.
 
But there is more to it than that. Our position as pilgrims and strangers reminds us that we do have another home, that we are on a journey, and that we are travelling towards that home.
 
Our home is with God, in eternal happiness and complete fulfilment. We belong to Him. No matter our circumstances here and now, we have a place where we do belong, a family, an identity. We are not nobodies, we are not adrift.
 
Our present circumstances are not the be all and end all, they are merely part of the journey, and the journey is finite. This finitude is both reason for sombre reflection and great rejoicing.
 
The rejoicing is justified because of where the journey ends. It is often said that it is the journey that matters, not the destination, but the Scripture disagrees. The journey matters precisely because of the destination and how it leads us there, and the journey is endurable only because it does.
 
Do or rest your hopes and dreams on what is fleeting. Do not grasp tightly on to the temporary. Instead, see yourself as a pilgrim. And like the pilgrims of old, you will find that even before the sacred destination, there are many holy and beautiful places to pause at along the way.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Once off - Change of venue



Change of venue:
Usually the Mass for the last Sunday of each month is held in Taree.

This week Taree is cancelled.
The Mass for Sunday 26th April will be at 11am in Maitland.

Friday, 24 April 2015

A Litany Of Remembrance - ANZAC Day 2015


A Litany of Remembrance

God the Father,
have mercy on us.

God the Son,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.

We remember all Australians and New Zealeanders who served
in the army, navy and air force during the first World War.
Make us good stewards of the freedom they won.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember those of other nations who fought beside them,
and those who fought against them for their own countries.
Bring us all to the day when nation no longer makes war against nation.
God of peace, hear our prayer.


We remember the physically wounded and the shell-shocked.
Bring healing and peace for body, mind and spirit
to all who are scarred or disabled by war.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the nurses, ambulance officers,
orderlies and doctors who eased pain and saved lives.
Renew among us the vocation to heal the victims of violence.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the prisoners of war
and those who sheltered and sustained them.
Bless the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in war zones today.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the mothers, wives, sisters, children and sweethearts
who prayed and grieved for the missing and the lost.
Comfort all who mourn.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the homes, livelihoods and communities

destroyed by bombs and gunfire.
Have mercy on all who still live in the shadow of war.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the conscientious objectors and anti-war campaigners,
reviled or imprisoned for their principles.
Give respect and a hearing for those who ask difficult questions.
 God of peace, hear our prayer.


We remember the chaplains who showed the love of Christ
when danger and death were all around.

Give us faith strong enough to share with the fearful and the dying.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember those interned and vilified here
for their birth or ancestry in countries with whom Australia was at war.
Save us from valuing national identity more highly than shared humanity.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers
who fought for a nation that did not recognise them as citizens.
Lead us towards true reconciliation with Australia’s First Peoples.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the friendships formed in the turmoil of war
and the loyalty and love that comforted the injured and the dying.
Give us grace to be such friends to one another in times of crisis.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the peacemakers who prayed and worked
to end the violence and destruction of the First World War.
Raise up peacemakers in all the war zones of the world today.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember the good neighbours, supporters and advocates
for returned service men and women, war widows and fatherless children.
Make us generous in providing for all the survivors of war.
 God of peace, hear our prayer.


We remember those who died in battle or from their wounds,
and those who took their own lives in agony or despair.
Bring them, in Christ, to resurrection life.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


We remember those whose names are recorded,
who went from this community to serve or to die in World War One.
As you were with them in all that they suffered,
bring them, with all the redeemed, to eternal life in Christ.
God of peace,  hear our prayer.


O God, as we remember the terrible cost of this and every war, renew in us the longing for peace and the will to work for it in the strength of Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

1st Photo used: Australian artillerymen dragging guns into position after the landing at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April 1915. Public domain photo by CEW Bean.
2nd Photo used: Members of 13th Battalion, AIF, occupying Quinn's Post on the heights above Anzac Cove. Public domain photo by CEW Bean.