Tuesday, 1 January 2008

In the Darkness.

St Therese. The lamp is in memory of Gilbert Lefevre, who was the first Chef in Manchester to gain a Michelin star.

Lord Jesus, our most loving Redeemer and a priest forever, look down with mercy upon us Thy supplicants, whom Thou has deigned to call Thy friends and to make partakers of Thy priesthood. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be forever. Therefore to Thy Most Sacred Heart, which Thou hast shown to toiling humanity as its only refuge and salvation, we dedicate and surrender ourselves today. Thou who hast promised to priests who are devoted to Thy Sacred Heart copious fruits in their divine ministry, make us, we beseech Thee, fit laborers in Thy vineyard, truly meek and humble, filled with a spirit of devotion and patience, so aflame with love of Thee that we may not cease to enkindle and keep burning this same fire of love in the hearts of the faithful.
Renew our hearts, therefore, in the fire of Thy Heart, so that henceforth we may strive for nothing other than to advance Thy glory and to win to Thee the souls whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Precious Blood. O Good Shepherd, have mercy most of all upon Thy priests, our brothers, if such there be, who, walking in the vanity of their own mind, have saddened Thee and Thy Beloved Spouse, the Church, by their lamentable defection. Grant us grace to lead them back to Thine embrace, or at least to expiate their sins, to repair the damage they have done, and, by the consolation of our love, to lessen the sorrow with which they have afflicted Thee.
And lastly let each of us pray to Thee in these words of Augustine: O sweet Jesus, live Thou in me, and let the living coal of thy love glow within my spirit and blaze up into a perfect fire; let it burn forever upon the altar of my heart; let it give warmth to my inmost parts; let it flame up in the secret places of my soul. In the day of my consummation let me be found consumed by Thee, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

This statue of St Benedict came from St Benedicts Church, Ardwick in Manchester, which is now an indoor climbing centre.

St Anthony is one of my favourites.

Saint John. I found this statue in Belgium, where I was looking for just this on behalf of a couple of parishoners who wanted to erect something in memory of someone very special to them, for whom I pray with some certainty that he is now in Heaven.

Merciful Lord, we beseech Thee to cast They bright beams of light upon Thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of Thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of Thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Luke and the Baptistry.

The Collect for the Order of Saint Luke
O Shepherd of us all, who inspired your servant Saint Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of Jesus:
Grant, we ask you, your Spirit to the Order of Saint Luke, that we may proclaim faithfully the Apostolic hope, magnify the Sacraments, and bring your healing grace to the whole Church;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Agnes and the confessional.

Saint Nicholas.

O ever merciful and loving Lord, in the life of St Nicholas you showed you power to heal and to bring comfort. He allowed no despair to touch his heart. By his holiness and virtue let us not feel despair in this life, nor for those in the life to come. Shower down upon us you rest and solace and lead all of our beloved dead into the company of the saints in paradise.

When I had finished erecting the Epiphany house today, the Church was in darkness and very atmospheric. A police car whizzed past and briefly illuminated the dark corners with a flashing, blue moment of colour, then some fireworks flashed over the East window, sending shards of light into the sanctuary. I lit some of the candles by the statues and took some pictures, a handful of which I thought I might share with you.