" Jesus, thank you for everything, for my very beginning and my very end. "
Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa OSsR
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RYM Daily Lenten Moments

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 47 : 'Easter Sunday'

He is Risen! Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! Alleluia Alleluia!

Today is the day the Lord has made - let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Well folks - we are finally here - it's Easter Sunday. Lent is officially over and our Lord has Risen. Easter changes everything for us!

But what a Lenten journey it has been!

It's been an absolute honour and privilege to journey with you all throughout Lent - and share with you some of my thoughts and reflections!

I've been so touched by the many comments and words of encouragement from so many of you - from all different parts of the world!

I've throughly appreciated your support and I hope the reflections have helped in some way to bring you closer to God as we prepared for this amazing feast of Easter!

So today - may we rejoice in our Risen Lord! May we proclaim his Resurrection from the rooftops - and may we be set ablaze with courage, spirit and zeal for spreading His Good News to all ends of the earth!

Jesus is alive! He is Risen!

We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

Day 46 : 'Holy Saturday'

Today is a day of waiting!

Jesus has died for us on the Cross!

His body has been placed in the tomb!

He has descended into hell!

We now accompany the Virgin Mary in her loneliness.

We await the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus!

Perhaps little more needs to be said today for my reflection............

Just let's try today to live in a spirit of silence - of quiet reflection and expectation.

If we can - let us pray the Rosary to accompany Virgin Mary our Mother!

We don't have long to wait now.....

We don't have long to wait......

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 45 : 'Good Friday'

I love the Cross!

I love the fact that when Jesus died on the Cross - it meant we could come before Him with boldness!

Because when that veil was torn in two - it gives us this access - it gives us this moment - these moments that we live for!

That His presence comes and hovers - and we can feel it!

Aren't you so thankful for Jesus?

Aren't you so thankful for the price that He paid on the Cross?

To pay for our sin - and give us mercy and grace.

But more than that - I love that He wanted us - He wants us - He loves to be with us!

So I want you to do something right now!

Will you just lift your hands for a moment!

I just want you to tune into that for a moment - of saying 'Thank You God for the Cross!

There's no one like you Jesus!

Thank you Lord!

We press into you today Lord - we love your presence - we love you! We love you!

So today we think of you Jesus - your body on the Cross - your blood poured out for us - the weight of every curse upon you!

God thank you for the Cross! Let us love the Cross!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 44 : 'Maundy Thursday'

Apologies for the lateness of my post today!

There are several reasons for this unusual tardiness in sending you my thoughts!

Firstly I wanted to write this to you shortly before I leave to go to the Mass of the Lord's Supper in my own parish of Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral in Motherwell, Scotland!

Secondly I have had a hectic 24 hours travelling and arriving back home after many delays on trains yesterday from Liverpool to Scotland, and then attending Bethel Music in Glasgow last night - which again was a blessed experience.

Thirdly the last few days and months has deprived me of much sleep - as many of you know I don't take much time to sleep - often working late into the night - and my travel schedule has meant my body needed to catch up on some 'zzzzz' today. It's been long overdue!

So apologies for those of you who had thought I'd forgotten about you today!

Tonight is special in so many ways!

We celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper and The Institution of the Eucharist and The Priesthood. So we remember in a special way all our priests who serve us and minister to us so wonderfully.

We also have the moving liturgy of the 'Washing of the Feet' and the Eucharistic Procession to the Altar of Repose for Adoration.

I'm always so moved when we witness the priest wash the feet of parishioners - symbolising how Jesus showed his love and service to his disciples.

Earlier this week I was privileged and humbled to be invited tonight to have my feet washed at St Patrick's Soho in London. Unfortunately I had to decline as I was travelling home for the Triduum. It would have been such an honour.

The Mass of the Lord's Supper also reminds us of the Institution of the Eucharist. How wonderful it is that we can receive Jesus in the Eucharist at Mass! Let us never forget how precious this sacrament is - a sacrament that can help us draw nearer to Christ - to receive Christ!

And tonight if you can after Mass, remember Jesus' words in the Garden of Gethsemane 'Could you not watch with me one hour?'

If you can - and there is the opportunity - spend some time with the Lord in Adoration this evening at the Altar of Repose.

So no matter how tired we are tonight - let us remember to spend time with Jesus - and do as He asked his disciples:

'Stay awake and keep watch with me'.

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 43 : 'Good Will Triumph'

Another eventful day yesterday : one of highs and tragic lows!

We remember in a very special way those who were tragically killed or injured by events in Brussels. God with be them all and their families and friends at this heartbreaking time.

In this Holy Week - the world is suffering a great deal from the effects of terrorism and it seems there is no end.

We must pray unceasingly for peace in Europe and throughout the world. Only prayer can bring about peace - only prayer can bring about a change of heart amongst those who seem intent on causing destruction and death. Prayer and faith leads us to hope!

I heard about the news when I was on the tube in London yesterday - as I was travelling to Euston for a train north to Liverpool.

The attacks on transport systems brings it all much closer to home - especially for us who travel in cities on a frequent basis.

Life is so precious - and we become more aware that we neither no the time nor the place when our lives on earth will end - so we must make the most of every day - and be ready for when the Lord comes for us.

The day ended however witnessing the other side of humanity - a beautiful evening with special friends from our RYM Young Adult Group in Liverpool.

For Holy Week we attended Mass in the stunning Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral before walking to the Anglican Cathedral to witness their moving enactment of the Passion Play. We ended the evening with a lovely meal and time to chat.

Meeting as a community of faith - of young people of faith - is special - and these are the people who don't attract the headlines.

They are the real witnesses in the world - intent only on loving one another and the Lord. They want to love, to share and to foster peace.

So today when we struggle to come to terms with what's happening in our world - and to comprehend the suffering which exists - we remember the countless people around us who do good, who are good, who strive for good!

God grant us faith, hope and love!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

Day 42 : 'Perseverance, Faith & Hope'

I couldn't have had a better beginning to Holy Week!

Blessing after blessing I have received these past few days - and once again yesterday!

After a day full of admin, emails, phone calls and planning - I took a risk - a leap of faith!

And God never lets me down when I do that!

For you see - Bethel Music were in London town yesterday as part of their Europe Tour!

Bethel Music are a hugely influential Northern Californian Christian collective of worshippers and artists who lead in devotional song!

Their aim is to write songs that express who God is and who we are in Him!

Given their worldwide status - the event at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, North London was sold out for months!

I decided to travel anyway out to the venue in the hope and faith of securing a last minute ticket.

When I arrived at the Box Office at 5.30pm I was told - IT'S A SELL-OUT!

Even the security guard told me tickets were like gold dust!

So I decided to leave and go to Camden Town on tube and grab some dinner!

At 7.15pm I felt moved and guided by the Spirit to go back to venue once more...........this time I was greeted by thousands and thousands of young Christians lining the streets outside........a truly amazing sight to behold in London!

I couldn't even see the end of the queue!

All of a sudden that same security guard noticed me and beckoned me over........asking me 'Hey aren't you the lad who wanted a ticket earlier?'

He then shouted over to another security guard who then proceeded to pass me a 'golden-dusted' ticket!

Astounded - I thanked him and asked how much he wanted for the ticket - and he just smiled and said 'Just go and join the queue to get in son!'

I was literally amazed - it was a gift from God!

I was so overwhelmed but consciously aware of God's presence - granting me this ticket through the Spirit working in these two amazingly generous men.

The night was truly blessed with thousands of young people praising and worshipping with a reverence beyond words! Young people who truly love Jesus and are proud to profess this love! I was so glad to be there!

Don't let anyone ever tell you faith doesn't matter to young people in this country!

And don't ever stop trusting in the Lord!

Perseverance, faith and hope is always rewarded by our truly incredible God!

Take the risk - or lose the chance!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 41 : 'Draw Nearer to Jesus'

Yesterday was a beautiful Palm Sunday!

In the morning I had the privilege to attend the Palm Sunday Procession and Solemn Mass at Holy Trinity in Brook Green, London!

We began with a beautiful and moving liturgy in the church garden where we all gathered before processing in song down the Main Street towards the church, holding our palms which had just been blessed!

Crowds gathered to watch us as we processed - and this visible witness to our faith was deeply humbling and beautiful.

Listening to the Passion of Our Lord in the Gospel also reminded us of the journey we are about to meditate upon more closely as we enter Holy Week - it reminded us of the journey of suffering Jesus endured for us.

In the evening I went with some other young adult Catholic friends to watch the film 'Risen' which told the story of Jesus' Death and Resurrection from the viewpoint of Clavius the Roman Soldier.

It was a deeply moving and thought provoking movie - which made us look with fresh eyes on the feelings and emotions encountered by those around Jesus at the time.

As we enter this most sacred of weeks - let us draw nearer to Jesus. Let us journey with Him closely and be united with Him as we meditate upon his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Let us not falter or fall away!

Perhaps we can draw closer today to Jesus by reaching out to those we see who are suffering - the sick, the housebound, those who are homeless, anxious or lonely.

Let us show friendship to those in difficulty, and be true witnesses to Christ!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 40 : 'Companions of Mercy'

Today is Palm Sunday!

We are set to begin the most sacred of weeks in the Church's year - Holy Week.

Today we hear Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem by excited crowds who are full of praise - and who lay palms at His feet as he rides in humbly on a donkey!

It seems at this stage that Jesus has many friends - and all that He needs!

As Holy week continues we hear that many of these friends go missing!

Many go silent, some become nervous about following Him and others betray Him.

As he endures suffering on his journey towards death on the Cross - Jesus' friends and companions become fewer and fewer - and less visible.

So today - let us look at our our own lives - let us look closer at our own friendships.

Are we there for our families and friends when the going gets tough? Or do we go silent, become nervous or betray them?

When the going gets tough - do we hang around or do we get going?

Lord let us be a companion to those who are in need, those who are suffering - help us to be companions of mercy and love to them!

So perhaps in this most sacred of weeks - as we prepare to meditate on Jesus' Passion and Death - that we may strive to be faithful companions to those who are suffering around us!

When the going gets tough - let us get going with more acts of love, compassion and mercy!

Paul Murphy is Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 39 : 'Condemn or Love'

Well yesterday was quite eventful wasn't it?

From the arrest of one of the world's most wanted men in Belgium terror raids to the resignation of one of the major players in the UK Government Cabinet - it certainly wasn't a slow news day!

Media and indeed social media were awash with comments, judgements, condemnation and the usual negative rumours about the people associated with making the news!

It can become all too easy however to join in with the condemnatory bandwagon at times - and adopt a 'holier than thou' attitude.

No matter what crimes have been committed by people - and yes some are particularly grave and horrific - we tend to overlook the fact that they are still a 'child of God' and also someone's son or brother, daughter or sister!

We need to pray for these people too - even if it seems hard or going against public opinion!

We heard in last week's Gospel the story of the woman who had committed adultery.

People including the scribes and Pharisees were lining up to condemn this woman - it was the easy thing to do - to join in with the baying crowds - to follow general opinion. They wanted her stoned!

But how did Jesus react?

He challenged them 'If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'

Jesus didn't condemn the woman but challenged her to 'go away and sin no more'.

It's all too easy for us to get caught up in a adopting a morally superior high ground - when in fact we are all sinners!

Jesus is asking us to 'stand out from the crowd' - to love not condemn - no matter how hard that may be - no matter what others think!

So let us pray for victims but also for perpetrators of violence or terrorism. Only through prayer can peace prevail and sinners return to the Father!

In Matthew 5:44 we are told 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you'.

On this the Feast of St Joseph - let us be inspired by the example of his incredible faith, mercy and love!

Let our faith too be strong and enable us to pray for and love those who hate us and persecute us!

St Joseph, pray for us!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)

RYM Daily Lenten MomentDay 38

'Successful or Faithful?'

Did you hear the wonderful news the other day - that Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is to be canonised on September 4th 2016!

It will be a special day when she is made Saint - and there will undoubtedly be lots of people making the journey to Rome for her canonisation.

The media interest too will be high - and it will be an incredible time for the church.

I particularly love Mother Teresa's quote 'God didn't call me to be successful, he called me to be faithful'.

In this day and age - much emphasis is placed on being a success - being successful in your chosen career or with your relationships and interests/ hobbies.

Success is deemed to be the 'be all and end all' - and it is something that is much desired in modern day society.

But being 'faithful' is also important - faithful to one another, to our families, to our friends and to God!

Yet we don't tend to hear people desiring to be faithful - not in the same way that they crave success.

Faithfulness is a long term game - and we need God to increase our faith in Him.

We need to commit ourselves to being faithful followers of Jesus - and by being faithful to one another.

At the end of time - God will not particularly look back on our material successes or on our work/ career achievements - but will look on whether we have been 'faithful servants'.

So today - maybe we want to take stock of what our priorities in life are - what is really important!

God help us to be successful in being faithful to you and to others!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 37 : 'Pass On The Faith'

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!

Top o the morning to you all!

Today people around the world will be celebrating this special feast day! It is a particularly important day not just for the people of Ireland where St Patrick is patron saint but also for people of faith around the world.

I like many of you are from an Irish Catholic background and I always just feel incredibly thankful and blessed on this day - when I think of the importance the Irish have had on my faith today - and the faith in this country!

I have grandparents on both sides of my family who came to Scotland from Ireland - and who not only brought the faith over with them - but who passed it on to the next generation.

Without the Irish and their wonderful faith, their commitment to prayer and missionary work - as well as providing many vocations to the priesthood and religious life - our culture, parishes and faith communities wouldn't be as strong as they are just now!

We live in a secular society nowadays and even in Ireland there is a great time of challenge for the Catholic Church.

But we must today give thanks to all those who have spread their faith and the Good News from Ireland to all corners of the globe.

We pray in thanksgiving for their witness and their evangelisation - and that we may be inspired to pass on our faith to future generations.

Let us not become apathetic - rather let us become true missionary disciples who are proud to profess and share their faith! Our current and future generations depend on it!

St Patrick - pray for us!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 36 : 'Don't Be So Hard On Yourself'

One of my favourite songs of recent times is the wonderful 'Don't Be So Hard on Yourself' from the amazing Jess Glynne.

It's such a wonderful song which never fails to make me happy - it's one of those catchy numbers that I find myself singing along to (much to fellow train passengers amusement). If you haven't heard it - have a listen!

The rhythm and melody along with Jess' stunning vocal ability make it a winner!

The words of this song title are so apt too!

For you see we can all have a tendency to be hard on ourselves at times! We can all be our own worst critic - and be down on ourselves when we don't achieve perfection!

God however doesn't want us to be 'hard on ourselves' - He wants us to just be who we are!

He wants us to try our best and be who He created us to be! If we are - then He is well pleased with us!

So when we next feel like 'beating ourselves up' or giving up on who we are - let us be reminded and comforted by the truly wonderful fact - that God never gives up on us!

Don't be so hard on yourself!

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 35 : 'Be Kind'

Don't believe everything you read in the papers!

That's what everyone used to tell me - and they were right!

If we just read the papers, or watch the news on TV - then a rather bleak picture of humanity is presented : from warring countries, to terrorism, to fraud, to shootings and murders, to acts of selfishness and bigotry.

All it seems is lost! But fear not!

Everyday of my life - I come into contact with people who I consider to be 'salt of the earth' - both people I know and people I meet randomly.

On my travels for work I encounter truly incredible people who show the best of humanity - those who care for their fellow brothers and sisters - those who show compassion - those who love - those who are friendly - those who make the world go round!

When I travel on the trains I meet customer service staff who 'go the extra mile' to make your journey safe and enjoyable, serving you with a 'smile' and a kindness which is lovely and appreciated! Not reported on the news however!

I meet people working in parishes, youth teams, coffee shops, restaurants, buses, tube stations - who demonstrate the very best of what it is to be a 'kind responsible citizen' and a 'warm caring human being'.

We see random acts of kindness each day - from those who help people who are homeless, to those who care for people with disabilities, to those who go to the aid of an elderly person crossing the road.

In a world where anything goes these days - it's refreshing and encouraging to see so many daily acts of kindness.

We must not become disheartened by the negative new stories portrayed by the media - but rather be inspired by others around us who live out the Gospel message 'to love one another!'

It's vital that we live a life where we 'give of ourselves' to others - especially those in need - where we put on kindness - where we put on Christ!

So be kind and gentle today - to everyone you meet - be the face of Christ to them - for you just never know what it means to those who are greeted by your kindness!

In a world where you can be anything - be kind!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 34 : 'St Paul's Perfection '

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending Mass at the stunning Holy Trinity Church in Brook Green, West London.

The Solemn Mass at 1130am is always a beautiful celebration - and yesterday was no different!

The priest is a gently spoken and a deeply wise man who always offers wonderful homilies which really bring the Gospel to life!

The choir and music enhance the liturgy and the reverence throughout is deeply moving!

But what struck me most yesterday was the Second Reading - St Paul's Letter to the Philippians 3 : 8-14!

Please just read this letter again today...........

It is simply stunning! It is full of beautiful gems - and is one of my favourite readings!

'I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord'.

How beautiful is that - St Paul acknowledges that everything else is meaningless or 'rubbish' compared to knowing Christ, and that 'he accepts the loss of everything' to follow Him.

'I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfection that comes from the Law, but I only want the perfection that comes through faith in Christ, and is from God and based on faith'

These words should encourage and inspire us all - that we must strive for perfection only by trusting in God - and surrendering ourselves to Him - not relying on our own devices!

'All I want is to know Christ......'

If we could just focus on these words more and more every day - is this what we really want? Are we striving to get to know Jesus better?

'All I can say is that I forget the past, and I strain ahead for what is still to come; I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upwards to receive in Christ Jesus'.

St. Paul tells us to forget dwelling on our past mistakes and have our eyes firmly set firmly on Christ. We must keep going in the race and never give up on becoming closer to God! We must fight until the finish!

So today - just simply let St Paul's wise words sink in. Let them permeate our mind and heart! Let them strengthen our faith!

Let us be encouraged by the words of St Paul in our life - and be inspired by his desire to get to know Christ more and more!

St. Paul pray for us!

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 33 : 'Negative into Positive'

Are you a half glass full or a half glass empty person?

Do you worry about what could go wrong or think of what could go right?

Do you focus on the negative or positive?

Many of us like to see the problems in our lives rather than focus on what's going well.

We like to dwell on our sinfulness, weakness and our problems rather than on the many blessings and graces we have received in our life!

When I practiced Educational Psychology I often used Solution-Focused approaches to dealing with issues that came up in referrals.

Rather than dwell on the problems and issues that children or families faced, I would initially acknowledge those difficulties before focusing predominantly on trying to find solutions to the situations and issues that were presented.

It was a refreshing and powerful way to deal with potentially challenging difficulties. Less focus on the negative and more on the positive!

With our faith - we must tackle things in a similar solution-focused manner.

We must firstly acknowledge our weaknesses and flaws - and recognise that we are sinners! If we bring them to the Lord we are recognising our need to be reconciled to Him. But we should not dwell on them!

Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we must move on and accept God's forgiveness - and focus on the positive aspects of our lives - truly appreciating the many graces and blessings He has bestowed upon us.

We must recognise the many talents God has given us - and use these more to give Him glory.

God does not want us to be bogged down in our sinfulness - but rather He wants us to use the many positive aspects of our lives and personalities to bring about real change!

So today - let's forget about all the negative things and difficulties we face in our lives. Let us offer these up to God - let us take up our cross with thanks - and appreciate the many wonderful blessings we have received!

Forget the negative - focus on the positive!

Paul Murphy -  Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 32 : 'God's Still Writing Your Story'

I don't know about you - but many of us tend to worry about our past and our future!

So much so - that we often don't live much in the present moment!

I've spoken to many people in the past few weeks and months who have confided in me that they are worried about their future!

Some are not happy working where they are - some feel unfulfilled, some simply want to move away to somewhere new, and some want to return home to find a different future or career path!

Many people are deeply uneasy about their lives, silently struggling with real dilemmas and having to make life-changing decisions - not knowing which way to turn next to find a good work-life-family balance!

And we are increasingly a culture which finds it hard to make commitments and decisions.

Discernment is the current buzzword and many people seem to be engaged in lengthy long term discernment processes - but many of us are finding it difficult to actually just make decisions!

There is a real sense of people analysing things very carefully and methodically but never actually having the courage to make a final decision!

But decisions we must take!

Making plans and decisions takes courage and we must never forget to ask God for grace to discern His will for us!

Often we want to find true contentment and happiness in all aspects of our lives - and we want it instantly!

But our plans are not always God's plans for us! We must stand firm and trust!

We can't see the treasures God has in store for us in the future - but we need to keep the faith and believe!

A good Irish friend used to say 'We plan and God laughs'.

When times are tough and we don't know which way to turn - just pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to make the right decisions!

God is still writing our story - we just need have the belief to keep close to Him, keep calm and trust in Him.

Don't let go of your faith because of what you have yet to see!

Paul Murphy - Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)