• Church Life,  Prayer,  Spiritual Devotions

    Divine Worship Daily Office II

    In the summer, I had written a short piece about a new daily Office (Liturgy of the Hours) book I had bought, called Divine Worship Daily Office (Commonwealth Edition), very beautifully published in a single volume by CTS (Catholic Truth Society). This book is the version of the Liturgy of the Hours prepared for the members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and fully approved by the Catholic Church. The Ordinariate members are those former Anglicans who have embraced Catholicism, whilst still retaining some of the particular and distinctive elements from their Anglican patrimony. All of this was made possible by Pope Benedict in 2011. While it is a…

  • Prayer,  Rosary,  Spiritual Devotions

    The Ocean of the Rosary

    Apart from the prayers of the Rosary, I also love the beads themselves. Many years ago, a wonderful lady called Gayle Murphy – a friend of mine in the United States – taught me the basics of wire-wrapping with sterling silver wire and how to use this technique to create Rosary beads. Such Rosaries are very strong and unlikely to break in the course of normal use, even if used for a lifetime. Gayle’s daughter, Marian, now continues the work begun by her wonderful mother and her creations – you can see them at Simple Rosaries – are very beautiful. So I began to make my own beads and I…

  • Faith and Life,  Spiritual Devotions

    Watch With Me One Hour

    In my mid and late teens, I was in the habit of trying to make a Holy Hour each Thursday night from 11pm till midnight. This was in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and I had learned about it from a wonderful little book I had called “Heart Afire: Devotion to the Sacred Heart”, written by MD Forrest. This was in the 1980s and the copy I had was already very old at that point. I cannot recall with certainty where I got this book from, but it was most probably from my Aunt Margaret – it was very much the sort of book she would have had,…

  • Church Life,  Mother of God,  Spiritual Devotions

    The Dowry of Mary

    Many years ago, at primary school in the south of England, we prayed a little prayer every morning in class which reminded the Blessed Virgin – as though She needed to be reminded – that England is ‘the dowry of Mary’. This ‘prayer for England’ included the words – O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in Thee. In England, devotion to the Mother of God is – and has been for many, many centuries – particularly strong and widespread. As a little child, praying this…

  • Faith and Life,  Spiritual Devotions,  World View

    A Golden Thread of Trust

    It is hard to deny with any credibility that the world in which we live, although “very good” as described in Genesis, is also a dark place – and that darkness seems only to deepen with each passing day. Seeing ourselves stumbling through this darkness whilst feeling completely unable to do much to improve things, we see our limitations and feel powerless. These thoughts are often on my mind as I read the Psalms. There, I notice that the sense of powerlessness, of littleness, is actually nothing new – even as we think that our present travails have never been equalled at any time in the past. The Psalms offer…