" That which is important for me... are the simple eternal truths: the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Holy Eucharist "
Bl Kaspar Stanggassinger CSsR
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RYM Daily Lenten Moments

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 31 : 'Face Time'

Right - it's Friday - so it's quiz time!!

Hands up - who's got a mobile?

Okay silly question - here's another - who's got a tablet? (And no not the Paracetamol variety or the sweet Scottish sugary delicacy!)

Right - this time I'll catch you out - who's got a smart watch?

Well I'm sure one of you has the whole trio of gadgets! So well done! You win a prize - 10 free texts and minutes to speak to God each day!

Technology has certainly changed a lot since I was a lad!

I don't think I had a mobile until I was 21, and had to make do with a pager before that!

Nowadays we all text, Whatsapp, Instant Message, Skype, FaceTime, and seem to spend so much time on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

We appear to have more 'friends' - and we seem to be better 'connected' to people than ever before!

It's ironic then - that this surge of social connectedness through technology and media hasn't really resulted in us getting to know one another better or deeper!

In fact many of us have more faceless communication with friends than in the past!

Face to face meeting is so important however!

We must make time to meet people and talk to them in person - to spend time listening and sharing with them in a meaningful way!

Nothing beats face to face time!

So it is too with Jesus - we need to make time each and every day to just talk to him, visit Him in time of Adoration, and listen to what He has to say to us! That precious time in silence and prayer!

So today - let us strive to find time - away from our social media and technological gadgets and gizmos - to spend quality time with one another - our friends and family and of course with God!

By doing so we will be more prepared for the best Face Time we will ever experience - that Face to Face Time with God one day in heaven!

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

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 30 : 'Trying Times'

They say that God loves a trier!

Well I hope that's the case for me!

I don't consider myself to be anything special, any great shakes or doing anything particularly better than the next person.

But I do feel though - that I'm a trier!

I try to give my all in everything that I do - whether it be with my work, or caring for friends and family! I do try!

Life can be tough, it can deal you blows! It can be hard to ride the punches and feel like you're floating on water rather than sinking beneath the waves of life.

It can be painful - it can be lonely. It can take the wind from your sails - it can teach you important lessons.

But God wants us just the way we are. He doesn't want us to pretend we are someone we're not. He doesn't expect us to do things we're not capable of.

God just wants us to try our best to be the person He created us to be.

That lovely quote by St Catherine of Siena is apt here : 'Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire'.

Blessed Mother Teresa also once said : 'He only requires that you try'.

So today let us just try to be ourselves. Let us try to please God by living out our lives the best we can!

Let us try to help others and be kind, patient compassionate and gentle with one another - but also with ourselves!

Life is hard - but don't give up - God is just so happy with us that we keep trying!

Remember 'a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying'!

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

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 29 : 'Ripple Effect'

'I can't make a difference!'

We hear people say this so often nowadays!

We hear it when people are asked about reducing their carbon footprint, tackling climate change or cutting down on their energy consumption!

We hear it when people are asked about eradicating global poverty or fighting injustice or helping those who are homeless!

Sometimes when we see humanitarian disasters unfold before our eyes on TV, - we often think - 'What can i do?' or 'What difference could I alone make?'

People often say - 'I can't change the world on my own! I'm only just one person. What difference can I make?'

For you see - most of us often feel helpless when we see situations that seem beyond our control - and which seem too large to comprehend! And more often than not - we give up! We leave it to others!

We give up - thinking that alone we haven't the power to make any meaningful difference!

But that's where we fail! That's where we are so wrong!

Blessed Mother Teresa once said : 'I alone can't change the world - but I can cast a stone to create many ripples'.

Every day we have the power to cast that stone - to carry out small acts of love and charity - acts which can make a big difference! Acts which can inspire others and encourage them to follow suit! Acts which can have a ripple effect!

If we all focus on doing what we can do - and doing it to the best of our ability - we can collectively change the world!

St Francis Xavier sums this up perfectly when he said : 'Be great in the little things'.

So today - as we journey ever closer to Easter - remember that we have great opportunities every day to make a difference.

Let us start by being great in the little things - making a difference to the lives of the people we meet and helping our brothers and sisters in need!

Love and charity is contagious - so let us all start that ripple effect today!

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

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 28 : 'Gifts from God'

Every day is a true gift from God!

Some days are just extra special - and yesterday was one of them!

For most of the day - I was blessed to be in the company of many great youth ministry colleagues from across England and Wales.

We make up CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation) and this was one of our Members Meetings in London.

I consider many of those around the table to be not just colleagues but real friends!

As we discussed many of the issues relevant to Youth Ministry - I just looked around the room and marvelled at the wonderful talents and gifts that we all bring in our ministry to young people across the country - and also at the gift of our many friendships!

We all work in different aspects of youth ministry - some working with teens, some with young adults, others in dioceses, some with religious orders or movements - but we all share a deep passion for bringing Christ to young people where they are!

CYMFed plans national events like Flame - and organising events on this scale is no mean feat. It involves many people using their God-given gifts and talents - and it's truly amazing to see people working together for the glory of God.

In the evening I had the honour of enjoying the company of a good friend in London to share her birthday!

The whole evening reminded me once again of 'gift'!

As we ate dinner - and as the sun set beautifully over the London skyline and River Thames - I was just struck by the 'gift of life'.

We often forget on a day to day basis - to thank God for the gift of life - the gift of today, the gift of creation and nature! For the gift of friendship - the gift of a smile - the gift of good company!

It's so easy to take things for granted in life - but let's try to appreciate these gifts more!

We finished the night attending a wonderful Classical Music concert at the Royal Festival Hall. And once again - all I could think of was 'gift'.

Talented musicians and choristers, soloists, conductors and composers - all using their God given talents to bring enjoyment and happiness to others!

So today - maybe we can try to thank God for the gifts and talents He has given us - and ask Him to help us use them more to give Him glory!

Let us never take our gifts and talents for granted! May the gift of life be something we give thanks for daily!

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 27 : 'Old and New'

The Catholic Church - old and new - never ceases to amaze me!

Yesterday morning I had the privilege to attend Sung Latin Mass at the stunning St Etheldreda's in Central London.

St Etheldreda’s Church is the oldest Catholic Church in England and is one of only two remaining buildings in London from the reign of Edward I.

It is located in the heart of the city and is just a stone's throw from the glittering wealth of the now infamous Hatton Gardens where gold, silver and diamonds are traded - and millions of pounds change hands daily!

This church is a beautiful hidden gem - which befits the area which contains other gems of the stone variety.

St Etheldreda's Church is an ancient one - hidden up a small street called Ely Place - and it was the town chapel of the Bishops of Ely from about 1250 to 1570.

The Chapel took its name from one of England’s most popular saints of the day, Etheldreda, and it was once one of the most influential places in London with a palace of vast grounds. It was like an independent state, the Bishop of Ely’s place in London.

The Mass yesterday sung in Latin was beautiful and the choristers and stringed musicians were as stunning as the incredible stained-glass window above the altar which which dominated this small intimate church.

It was a unique experience to be in such an ancient church. Quite beautiful.

Today I'm exchanging the old for the new church as I head now to a Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) Members meeting in Southwark, London.

Members are made up of Youth Ministry representatives from Diocesan Youth Teams, Religious Orders, Organisations and Movements from across England and Wales.

We meet 3 times a year to plan National Youth Events like Flame which attracts 10,000 young people to Wembley Arena.

CYMFed also works to support those involved in youth ministry. It enables members to share resources and ideas with one another, and produces resources such as the recently launched the CYMFed National Catholic Award Scheme.

The young church is alive and active in the UK, and special things are happening up and down the country for young people.

Recently I was back home in Scotland - and again many exciting youth initiatives and events are enabling more young people to be strengthened in their faith. Exciting times!

The Catholic Church really is amazing - and in the last few days - I've been struck again by the sheer diversity and uniqueness of our church - from old traditions to new ideas!

So today please pray for our ancestors who passed our faith down through the generations. Without them we wouldn't be here today practicing our faith!

And also please pray for the young church, for Youth Ministers up and down this land who work tirelessly to bring the Gospel message to young people!

God continue to bless your one, holy, catholic and apostolic church!

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 26 : 'Motherly Love'

Happy Mother's Day!

I wish all mothers a very special day - and of course I send my love and gratitude to my own amazing mother who I unfortunately can't be with today as she is in Scotland!

On this of all days - I just wanted to reflect today on 'Our Lady' - Mary our Mother!

Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently addressed the International Eucharistic Congress in the Philippines saying : 'If you want to be closer to Jesus - then be close to Mary, as she is right there next to him!'

My whole life and faith has had Our Lady at its heart - and I can't imagine life without her.

I was brought up in the traditional steel town of Motherwell in Scotland - it's name coming from an ancient religious well, the 'Mother's well' dedicated to the Virgin Mary!

I grew up there and my parish was Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral - a church where I was baptised and received the Sacraments in my primary school years!

My primary school of the same name was located right beside the Cathedral and my faith was formed and developed in that school and parish community.

When I moved to secondary education, yet again Mary was there - 'Our Lady's High School' - with Mary Seat of Wisdom as its motto!

In my home Diocese of Motherwell we are also blessed to have the most beautiful Carfin Grotto - our very own National Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes - which attracts 70,000 people annually.

The Marian shrine has stunning grounds, outdoor Glass Chapel, Reliquary Chapel and so much more making it a special place of pilgrimage, prayer and grace.

My faith was strengthened over the years by visiting Carfin often - especially for Adoration and Night Prayer in the Glass Chapel, Rosary, Torchlight Processions - and this heavenly oasis helped foster in me a deeper love for the Lord and for Our Lady.

It was at the Grotto one day that a priest invited me to travel on pilgrimage to Lourdes to help care for children with disabilities. Like Mary, I said 'Yes' to the Lord's invitation and the decision changed my whole life.

I've now been to Lourdes 9 times over the years, have had so many blessed experiences, made so many friends and my faith has been enriched and strengthened.

Many years ago in another local parish I attended their weekly Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help - and I firmly believe to this day - that my commitment to attending regularly to entrust my life to Our Lady - led me to my work with the Redemptorists today!

The Redemptorists are renowned for spreading devotion to Mary under the icon and title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

So it's clear to me that Our Lady has been my Perpetual Help - she has been my Mother throughout my life - she has been central to my life and faith.

Mary has been my comfort, joy, help and consolation - and she leads me closer to her son Jesus each and every day!

So on this Mother's Day - let us not forget Our Lady - remembering that she is also our Mother and that she cares for us, loves us and will always help us!

Our Lady, Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us!

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

RYM DAILY LENTEN MOMENTS

Day 25 : 'Bearing Wrongs Patiently'

I write this to you rather bleary-eyed this morning at 6.34am - as I make my way home after leaving St George's Cathedral in Southwark, here in London!

I have just spent all night at the '24 Hours for the Lord' in this stunning Cathedral - and was privileged to speak at 2am on two of the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy - 'forgiving offences willingly' and 'bearing wrongs patiently'.

When I was kindly invited to speak on these two Spiritual Works of Mercy - little did I know that I would almost immediately have to exercise and perform both these works of mercy!

For when my good friend Johnny Toryusen from Southwark Catholic Youth Service (SCYS) asked me to speak at 2am - I had to patiently bear this dreadful wrong of his and forgive him willingly for depriving me of much needed sleep.

Anyway I hope you can all bear with my tired thoughts this morning - as I summarise what I spoke to the congregation on at 2am about 'bearing wrongs patiently'. I'll omit what I spoke on regarding 'forgiving offences willingly' - as I have already written about forgiveness earlier in my Lenten reflections.

'Bearing wrongs patiently' is a tough one for us - a tall order - a real challenge for us all.

I'm sure we've all had moments in our lives where we have been wronged, or wrongly accused - where we have suffered unnecessary or undeserved suffering.

And these are truly difficult moments in our life where often the depth of our own character can be revealed. They can shine a light on the true state of our soul.

For when we experience injustice - we can often become frustrated and angry, wanting to seek revenge or retribution. In reality these feelings are completely understandable.

But when someone wrongs us - we have a choice - our free will gives us the choice to decide whether being wronged will be an occasion for division, anger and violence - or rather unity, patience and transformation.

God created us - he loves us and does not want to change us but rather transform us.

He wants to take us as we are - with all our strengths and weaknesses - and transform us into the person he created us to be!

God is patient with us - and wants us to be patient with others. He wants us to join him - not in an effort to change our fellow brothers and sisters - but to journey with them patiently on their path of transformation.

Bearing wrongs patiently can be extremely painful for us - but it can also hold within it the power to transform our lives and the lives of the people who have wronged us.

To suffer injustice is difficult - and to try and it suffer it patiently is even harder but we have Jesus as our role model and example in how to bear injustices patiently!

For Jesus suffered the ultimate injustice - innocently suffering and dying for us on the cross!

Jesus tells each one of us today to 'bear with one another' - to forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins.

For what transformed Christ's suffering into something positive - was love - love for the Father and love for us!

So Jesus is telling us not to seek retaliation when we suffer hurts or injustices - but to counter them with something positive!

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

Therefore we are called today and every day not simply to just bear wrongs patiently - but actively - with acts of love.

And Jesus reminds us that the way to bear our sufferings patiently is through the Eucharist.

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moments

Day 24 : '24 For 24'

Today is no ordinary day!

It's Day 24 - and we are already at the half-way point on our Lenten journey together!

It also marks the day known as '24 Hours for the Lord'.

Pope Francis has called on the whole church in this special Jubilee Year of Mercy to celebrate a special day of prayer from today Friday 4th until Saturday 5 March 2016.

Throughout the world parishes and dioceses are asked to provide opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration and for people to come together in guided prayer and quiet reflection!

There will also be the chance to attend Mass and to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during organised events.

Stations of the Cross along with recitation of the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplets, as well as talks and time for quiet reflection/ music will also form part of the special day of prayer in many parishes!

The 24 Hours for the Lord is a wonderful opportunity for us to experience Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament and His Divine Mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

It's also a great day for us to extend that love and forgiveness to our neighbours, family and friends.

Why don't you find out what's happening in your own parish or diocese and go along to for some part of the day?

Perhaps you can spend just an hour before the Lord in Adoration, or pay a visit to a church during your lunch hour!

Also why don't you invite and encourage a friend to go along with you and share in this wonderful day?

I have the honour of attending the 24 Hours for the Lord event at the beautiful St George's Cathedral, Southwark in London - where at 2am I have the privilege of giving a talk on two of the spiritual works of mercy - 'Forgiving others willingly' and 'Bearing wrongs patiently'.

The event is mainly being led by the Southwark Catholic Youth Service (SCYS).

Talks will take place on the hour each hour during the night with perpetual Adoration, recitation of the Rosary and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

So please pray for me today as I prepare to give this talk! I need courage to let the Holy Spirit work in me - and energy that I may keep awake to give my talk in the wee small hours of the morning!

As we continue through the midway point of Lent, let us renew within us a deep desire to follow Jesus more closely, seek His mercy more often and spend time before listening to Him in silent Adoration.

Let us make it a day to remember!

Let us make Day 24 a special '24 Hours with the Lord'.

Paul Murphy  Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 23 : 'Beauty of Life'

Perhaps it's the psychologist in me - but I love thinking about life!

Quite I often will just sit, go for a walk, people-watch or pray - and think about life!

Regardless of where I am - 'beauty' is the word that almost always springs to my mind!

They say 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' - and I guess that's true!

I see God's beauty every day - in the wonderful people I meet, the nature that surrounds me, in the family I love, in the faith I cherish!

Pope Francis reminds us that 'every expression of true beauty can be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus'.

So when we see something 'beautiful' - let us see God in that beauty and give Him thanks! Be comforted that in doing so we are drawing ever closer to Him.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky the Russian novelist once wrote that 'beauty will save the world'.

As Catholics we need to offer people pure beauty - a beauty that touches the heart!

In a world where there is so much pain, turmoil, suffering and apathy, the world requires more beauty.

We must be ready to proclaim the beauty of the Lord - by the lives we lead, the way we act and the way we treat people!

The world is not prepared for the beauty of God - so we must give them it today!

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM).

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 22 : 'Listen in Silence'

I have a little gem of a fact for you today!

Have you ever realised that 'listen' and 'silent' consist of the same letters?

Well if you haven't - you have now!

I just discovered this the other day - and it is ironic that this has come to my attention during our Lenten season.

In the past few weeks - I've been making a conscious effort to create more time for 'silence' - more time to 'listen' to God!

It's through sacred silence - that we can draw closer to Christ - and discern His will for us! No distractions - just you and God!

Modern day life however is not used to silence - it often feels uncomfortable to sit still and just be present!

We fill up our time with some form of noise or distraction - mobiles, music, TV, Internet - leaving little time for silence!

Listening doesn't come easy to us either!

How often in our conversations do we truly listen to what someone is saying to us - without wondering what we are going to say next?

God I think was trying to tell us something - when He gave us one mouth but two ears!

He was giving us the capacity to 'listen' twice as much as we speak.

If we are to make one commitment this Lent - let us try to create more time to 'listen' to God in 'silence'.

Simply come before Him in silent prayer and in Adoration, and 'be still in his presence'.

Speak Lord, for your servant is listening ' (1 Samuel 3:9)

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

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 21: 'Forgive & Forget'

Can you forgive me?

Well I hope you can - as I'm going to write today about something deep - 'forgiveness'.

Forgiveness is a concept we talk about almost daily - but is one which we struggle to put into practice!

It is often hard to forgive and forget those who have hurt us badly! It can be so difficult to 'let go' of our feelings and pain.

In the Gospel today - Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive those who wrong us. 'Seven times?' - he asks.

But Jesus replies saying 'Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times'.

Jesus challenges us to forgive one another - - to forgive from the heart - time and again.

Sometimes however the person we need to forgive the most is ourselves!

In this special Year of Mercy - two Spiritual Works of Mercy seem very appropriate here :- 'forgiving others willingly' and 'bearing wrongs patiently'.

Perhaps we can turn to our Merciful Father seeking His 'forgiveness' in two lovely ways:

1) By tasting the Father's abundant 'mercy' through the Sacrament of Reconciliation; &

2) By praying the 'Our Father' more regularly.

When we do let us pause and contemplate the words 'forgive us our trespasses - as we forgive those who trespass against us'.

Pope Francis beautifully reminds us that 'To love and forgive as God loves and forgives is a program for life that cannot know interruptions or exceptions'.

So Lord help us today to 'forgive' and never 'forget' to seek your mercy!

Paul Murphy Coordinator Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM). 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 20 : 'Leap of Love'

Today is a special day for all us single guys!

It's truly a day of Olympic & World Cup proportions! A once in a four year event!

It's the 29th February - it's leap year - and it's tradition for a woman to propose to a man.

So ladies don't all rush at once - please form an orderly queue (haha).

Joking aside - it got me thinking about love!

I've recently been blessed to be part of a great group of young men and women in London who have been discussing Pope St John Paul II's 'Theology of the Body' - his wonderful teachings on love and relationships.

It's been beautiful and refreshing to journey together - sharing what it means to truly love someone - in an authentic, real and selfless way.
I've been impressed by the depth of commitment from so many young Catholics who are seeking a love that is pure, wholesome and self-giving.

There's a saying that 'Everyone is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person'.

So it's amazing to see young people who are being counter-cultural - who are seeking a love which is self-giving rather than self-seeking.
St John Paul II teachings on love and responsibility are deeply beautiful but yet challenging for our modern world.

'Real love is demanding' he tells us!

More than ever we need a culture where men and women commit to loving one another subjectively rather than objectively - a love that is complementary and in true union.

Perhaps Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the French author sums it up best when he wrote that 'Love is the only thing that grows when it is shared'.

So whether we are single, married or in a relationship - let us seek today a love which is self-giving and authentic.

If we are serious about loving God and one another - we must find time today to pray!

Paul Murphy :  Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 19 : 'Call to Mission'

The beautiful city of Kraków will host World Youth Day this summer - and I'll be there!


Millions of young Catholics from every corner of the world will travel to Poland, to share their faith and meet Pope Francis.


At World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 something powerful happened to me -something which changed my life!
Despite having a strong faith - it was the first time I truly witnessed the global nature of the Catholic Church.
Sharing my faith with 2 million young people at the same time in the same city - was a mind-blowing experience.

After Madrid - I became more aware of God's presence in my life. He was calling me by name - calling me to do more - calling me to mission!

It began a process which led me to where I am today - working in Youth Ministry.

It wasn't easy - I had to take a massive 'leap of faith' - leaving everything I knew behind : my profession, my home, my country and my family - to go 'follow Him'.

Today we hear God calling Moses by name - challenging him to do more than he was used to - presenting him with a mission!

Like Moses we all share fears and doubts about accepting God's call, but through prayer we are given courage to trust Him.

Is God calling you by name today?

Paul Murphy is Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry (RYM)

 

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 18 : 'Lost and Found'

A major crisis unfolded last week in London!

I lost my mobile!

Yes - I was separated from my hand's extension for a few hours - and it was truly traumatic (haha).

Prayers to St Anthony were offered, they worked a trick as always - it was 'found' and I was reunited with my digital friend.

We all know the feeling of losing something precious; the sense of relief when it is found.

In today's Gospel we hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son - the beautiful story of the 'lost' son returning to his father seeking forgiveness and mercy.

Like the father who forgives his son and welcomes him back with open arms - so too does God our Father!

Many of us lose our way at times. We go in search of worldly goods and our spiritual sat nav has been switched off.

There's a saying 'If God feels far away from you, guess who moved'.

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sums it up well : 'I think you travel to search, and you come back home to find yourself there!'

So if we have lost our way - Lent is a good time to return home to our merciful Father!

'Amazing Grace' that beautiful hymn reminds us that 'I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see'.

Paul Murphy Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry 

RYM DAILY LENTEN MOMENTS

Day 17 : 'Wonderful World

I fell in love some years ago.......

.......with the legendary Louis Armstrong's song 'What a wonderful world'.

Beautiful lyrics speak of the wonders of our world - of creation, nature and love.

Roses blooming, babies crying, colourful rainbows, friends shaking hands, blue skies, white clouds, bright blessed days and dark sacred nights.

It's a song for me that truly captures the sheer wonder and awe of God's creation!

But how often do we take our 'wonderful' world for granted? How often do we fail to appreciate the wonders in our own life?

Psalm 104 today reminds us to 'Remember the wonders the Lord has done'.

Life isn't easy and we all have our struggles - and at times it can be hard to think our lives are wonderful.

But there's a beautiful saying that 'Life doesn't need to be perfect to be wonderful'.

Pope Francis in his encyclical 'Laudato Si' calls each one of us to be open to the wonders of creation and lift our hearts and minds to praise the Lord.

Let us follow his advice today - and like Louis Armstrong think to ourselves 'what a wonderful world!'

 

Paul Murphy

Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry

RYM Daily Lenten Moment

Day 16 : 'A Matter of Trust'

There was a special moment in my life which I'll never forget - and I want to share it with you!

Some years ago I was on private retreat at St Mary's Kinnoull, our beautiful Redemptorist Monastery in Perth in the heart of Scotland.

One afternoon as I was leaving the oratory after a time of prayer, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder.

I turned around and was greeted by an unfamiliar yet friendly, smiling face of a religious sister - who simply placed a small folded piece of paper in my hand.

She said : 'Take this, read it and never forget it!'

Saying no more, she left and I then unfolded the paper which revealed just 8 words.........

'Trust in the Lord and He will act.'

These words from Psalm 37:5 have never left me - and to this day they shape my life and faith.

They encourage me when I struggle; renew me when I'm weak.

They remind me that if I truly place my trust in the Lord, He will not let me down.

Psalm 1 tells us today 'Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord'.

Do we fully trust in the Lord? Do we really believe He can change our lives?

If we begin to trust God more - He will act!

So perhaps when we lack faith - just repeat these lovely words:

'O Sacred Heart of Jesus - I place all my trust in you.'

Paul Murphy

Coordinator of Redemptorist Youth Ministry