St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

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

Sunday 15 December 2013

Mary, Did you know?

Anglican Catholic Communion / Mass on Sunday 22nd December 11am at Maitland.
Then Join us for Christmas Service on Wednesday 25th December 11am at Maitland.
St Hilda's Sunday Service for the 29th December will be held in Taree.
Email: Fr Matthew Kirby for details.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Wednesday 25th December is Christmas Day.

It's not uncommon to overhear people complaining about the commercialisation of Christmas 
and how it has "lost all of it's meaning". Its also common for many to feel alone during this time.

This Christmas Morning do something about making Christmas meaningful and put the 
CHRIST MASS back into Christmas. Then make sure you are not alone Christmas day, bring 
yourself and the your memories of loved ones who you may be missing and join us in prayer 
and communion. Our service starts at 11am, that even gives you time to sleep-in.

You can find us in the School Chapel in Victoria St Maitland.
All Welcome.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Photos from our chapel.

Photos of some of the statues in our chapel at St Marys Campus of the All Saint College in Victoria St Maitland NSW Australia. St Hilda's Parish of the Anglican Catholic Church holds prayer and Holy Communion / Mass here at 11am Sunday mornings. However, don't forget that this Sunday (being the last Sunday of the month) our service will be held in TAREE. 
eMail  Father Matthew for details of time and venue.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Feast of Saint Hilda Of Whitby

The patron Saint of our parish is St. Hilda of Whitby.
Hilda was born c. 614,  died 17 November 680.

This Sunday's mass was on 17th November 
which happens to also be The Feast Of St Hilda.

Saints exist in many religions as people who have been recognised within their tradition as having fulfilled the highest aspirations of religious teaching. It is written that a Saints' "surrender to God's love was 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".  Saints are not thought to have power of their own, but only gifts and mercy granted through God. They are role models of holiness to be imitated, strengthening and encouraging the believer within us, during the times of weakness in our spiritual journey. They remind us of the level of dedication and success achievable through the mercy and grace of God.

St Hilda Of Whitby was described as a woman of great energy, who was a skilled administrator and teacher and is considered one of the patron saints of learning and culture. Her correct name, Hild, means "battle" a strong name for a respected and influential woman who was the abbess of several monasteries. She was recognised for her wisdom and is credited as being an important figure in the conversion of England to Christianity. 

Her monasteries were considered as great centres of learning, where clergy, monks and nuns could receive a rigorous and thorough religious education. During her time as abbess, she established the arts and sciences so well that it was regarded as not only the best seminaries for learning in north eastern England but also the then known world. Both monks and royalty sought her wisdom and advice. 

As a landowner she discovered and nurtured the poetic gift of one of her herdsman Caedmon. He later composed the first hymns in the English language. Most of them were "metrical paraphrases of narratives from Genesis and the Gospels", helping to spread the word of God to the commoners. 

St Hilda is recognised for her role regarding the Synod of Whitby 664, which proposed organisational changes to some of the inherited Celtic tradition and custom of over 350 years that Hilda favoured. Illustrating her obedience and humility she agreed to the decision to follow Roman influence, against her own personal preference. She chose to use her influential power to aim at a peaceful unity of the Church.

Local legends of St Hilda influence say that when sea birds fly over the Abbey they dip their wings in her honour and she could stop the local birds ravaging the corn with her command. The ammonite genus Hildoceras takes its scientific name from St Hilda, who according to legend turned a plague of snakes to stone through prayer. This legend accompanies the presence of ammonite fossils found on the shore, which were thought to be the petrified snakes. 

The night before Hilda died a nun reported a vision of the 
 roof opening and seeing her being carried to heaven by angels.

O God of peace 
and the inspiration of our blessed St Hilda. 
Stir within us the passion for creativity and learning 
so that we may grow and mature.

Inspire us with your wisdom 
while strengthening our desire 
and commitment to succeed 
in the tasks you place before us.

Grant us the grace 
to respect and love our fellow Christians 
with whom we disagree, 
that our common life may be enriched 
and your gracious will be done.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, 
ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

To the parishioners and friends of St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Parish Of Maitland, may the strength, dedication and achievements of the blessed St Hilda Of Whitby be an inspiration to you.
God Bless.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Thought Of The Day - Clear Vision & Positive Seeds

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. You will harvest what you plant. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:7-8 (King James Version)

"You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself!  If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life." Galatians 6:7-8 (Contemporary English Version).

We all find ourselves in difficult circumstances at times, searching for someone or something to blame. A few circumstances are not within our control or influence, but in most case we need to look honestly at our own motivations and habits that may have led to where we are. Realising that whatever we allow to take root within us (within our hearts, our mind or our habits) will grow and eventually fruit. The seeds we plant are capable of maturing as success or failure, good or evil, anxiety or peace.

Success lies in your daily routine. Planting positive seeds can include making the decision to be of service to someone each day, helping people without any expectation of acknowledgement or repayment. Identifying and taking steps to change your bad habits, taking responsibility and tackling potential and existing problems. Grow by challenging yourself to find positive things to be thankful for every day, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24(KJV) and getting to know God better through His Word and prayer.

Grant us clear vision of our own motives  and habits.
so we can identify seed within us that may potentially reap corruption.
Assist us to replace them through daily planting of positive seed,
that will guide our Spirit to everlasting life.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Sermon Summary Trinity 23 - Study and imitate through inspiration.

Sermon Summary Trinity XXIII 2013

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change this lowly body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:17-21 (KJV)

"[M]ark those who so live as you have an example in us." +

This year this 23rd Sunday after Trinity occurs within the octave of All Saints. And so the verse I just quoted from the beginning of the appointed Epistle is particularly apt. The Church celebrates Saints' lives, and even deaths, and honours them with loving reverence. We are forbidden to worship them, but we are to acknowledge with gratitude the way they reflect the light of Christ.

Note that while St Paul tells the Philippians Christians to imitate him and his companions ("an example in us"), he elsewhere says that he imitates Christ (Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1). So, Christians are to follow Christ, but also, in a secondary sense, to follow those who most clearly conform to him. And the Church has called those who have gone before us and become such glorious examples, capital "S" Saints. Remember, however, that according to the New Testament we already are saints in the original, ordinary sense, simply by being sanctified as Christians.

Indeed the best way to honour the Saints is not to praise them, name church buildings or institutions after them, or ask for their prayers, as legitimate as all these are. No, the best way to honour the Saints is to really study their example, be inspired by it, and imitate it. That is, you might notice, the emphasis in the Canon of the Mass we use, from the 1549 Book Of Common Prayer: "whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow."

And that means that, while we know that all Saints share certain fundamental characteristics, which we can identify in a general way and benefit from, it also helps to know their individual stories. Each of them reflects the glory of God in a distinct way, just as each of us are meant to. God does not mass produce his children; we do not come from an assembly line. Each of us is precious in his or her own right to Him, each is different. And because there is so much to Jesus, both in his Divinity and Humanity, there is no exhausting the ways he can be imitated, the aspects of his natures that can shine forth in various ways from us.

In other words, where possible, we should get to know the Saints. We should read their stories. They will both encourage and confront us. Getting to know them and what they achieved will strengthen our faith, help us to see Jesus better. Yet, it is difficult to deny that sometimes we will learn of their patience and bravery under suffering and be frightened or think, "I don't think I could ever be like that, and I hope I am never tested so!" In that case, don't allow terror to rob you of your joy, for God has promised not to test any of us beyond the grace he gives us to persevere, as we trust in Him (There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13,  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13). And, don't forget, they were not superheroes or cartoon characters, they were real, flawed human beings, saved sinners, like us. In most cases our trials will not be their trials, and our cross to carry may even seem absurdly small compared to theirs. But there will still be points of contact, and lessons to be learned.

All of the Saints, as the Canon of the Mass teaches us, were characterised by faith leading to obedience. They trusted confidently in their Redeemer, they extolled the King of Heaven in word and deed, and did not cease to do these things even when the situation was difficult or painful. And they loved their brethen and neighbours, actively, prayerfully. Let us do the same, and let us not omit to learn of the Saints. Start with a namesake or your patron saint, if you have one, or a modern one of whom you've heard. Use the internet and books, and befriend a Saint this week. +

The image used is "Saints" by Giovanni Del Biondo 1367.
Join us at St Hilda's Parish of the Anglican Catholic Church this Sunday for prayer, worship and Holy Communion / Mass. We meet at the school chapel of St Marys campus of the All Saints College in Victoria St Maitland NSW Australia at 11am. ...All welcome...

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Thought of the day - to blow or spit?

"If you blow a spark, it will glow:
If you spit on it, it will be put out:
yet both come from your mouth."
Sirach 28:12

Our choice in words hold the power to make-or-break a person.
I know an ex- teacher who states that for every one negative you need to say to a student, you need to balance it with voicing 10 positives. This is an example of how much strength a single negative comment can have on someone.

Being human we are all aware of our inadequacies. We all struggle with insecurities and fears. We all have irrational emotions. We all suffer from egos which can be wounded.
"The blow of the whip raises a welt, but the blow of a tongue crushes the bones." Sirach 28:17 Slander and gossip doesn't forgive the human frailties of its victims. 

"As you lock up your silver and gold, so make balances and scales of your words." Sirach 28:24b,25a. Just as we have the power to hurt people with our words we also hold the power to build up and strengthen others. We can do this by encouragement. Taking a few moments to acknowledge a job well done, to thank someone for a kindness, to tell someone that you agree and support them, to remind someone that they are appreciated and valued. Take a moment to re-look at a situation, then seeing it through Grace, find a positive in it.

I issue you 2 challenges today.
1)  Identify a "spark" within someone that is positive - "blow" on it, help to make it grow. 

2) Keep your eyes open for that spark which is negative - quickly "Spit", extinguishing it before it can take hold.

God Bless...

Monday 11 November 2013

Sermon Summary for Trinity 24 - Theological Virtues

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel";  Colossians 1:1-5 (KJV)

"the hope which is laid up for you in heaven" +

Familiar trio at the beginning of the Epistle: Faith, Hope and Love. 

Compare "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." 1 Corinthians 13:13.
Other places in the New Testament too (e.g) "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." 1 Thessalonians 5:8. 

Called the "Theological Virtues". Each in its fullness implies the other.

Faith believes God's promises, including of eternal reward, hence brings hope. It also trusts God's love (we have "believed the love", 1 John 4:16) and so is itself loving in return "
We love him, because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19.

Hope trusts God will be faithful in his loving salvation, hence faith and love.

Love "believes all things, hopes all things" (
1 Corinthians 13:7).

It's easy to see the essential nature of love. God is love (1 John.) and love is the fulfilling of the moral law "
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". Galatians 5:14)

Faith's centrality is also apparent, as it is the pathway to God. We cannot search for or obey him if we do not believe he exists and is righteous "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". Hebrews. 11:6. Unless we trust his love, we will not respond in love.

But what's so important about hope? It gives us courage to endure. And endurance is essential for any other virtue to bear fruit "
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand". Ephesians 6:13b In the midst of trials, we need to know that suffering and wickedness will not have the final say. Hope purifies our motivations and desires by tearing them away from the temporary and finite and attaching them to the infinite and eternal "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure".1 John. 3:3. It's very easy when life is relatively comfortable to be satisfied with earthly blessings and forget where ultimate happiness lies. So, hope is needed at every step.

For what do we hope? Justice against sin, mercy towards penitent sinners, including ourselves. Resurrection, healing, the vision of God, beauty, inexpressible joy Link: (Revelations. 20-22). 

"[I]t does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure"(1 John. 3:2-3). +

Image titled "The Three Theological Virtues" by Augustin-Jean Moreau-Vauthier (1831–1893)
Shown in a Gothic architectural setting are statues of the personifications of the three theological Virtues: Charity (Love), leading a child and carrying an infant; Faith, holding a cross and chalice; and Hope, with her anchor. 

You are welcome to join us at the Anglican Catholic Church "St Hilda's Parish in Maitland next Sunday for Mass /  Holy Communion at 11am. We are in the Chapel of St Marys Campus of The All Saints College in Victoria Street Maitland NSW Australia

Saturday 9 November 2013

Our Lord is mending a broken heart

An update for the members and friends of our parish who have been offering prayer for Lisa.
The Lord has seen fit to answer our prayers with positive results.
Lisa's heart transplant surgery went well, her new heart is now beating strong.

Lord, we thank You for your love and mercy,

And the speed at which our prayers were answered.

Lord, we pray that Lisa's physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met.
That she will heal and strengthen according to your will.

Lord, we pray for the donor,
May his/her soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Lord, we pray for the donors family
That they find the comfort of God during their time of grief.



Jehovah Rapha - Pronounced: yeh-ho-vaw' raw-faw' - meaning: The Lord That Heals.
Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people.

Thursday 7 November 2013

A brand new heart

On the 25th October I introduced you to "Lisa", a young 21 yr old who was hoping to get on the waiting list for a heart transplant. To all who prayed for her THANK YOU.

Tonight Thursday 7th November at 9pm (Sydney time) Lisa will go into surgery to receive her new heart.

I ask that you offer prayers for her safe recovery, for skillful work by her surgeon and medical staff, for the emotional support of her family and friends and for the soul of the person whose heart she will receive. 

May the grace and love of God be with Lisa tonight.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Thought of the Day - difficult dealings

As humans we are all flawed.  
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23 (KJV)

Although we are all on a spiritual journey, our lives take different routes. Each route which we have chosen uniquely molds and develops us, hopefully towards the potential that God sees in us.

Human relationships can be difficult. While motivation of peoples action or reactions can vary, how we perceive and respond to them is our choice. Focusing on what you perceive as "the flaws of others" doesn't help either of you. When we feel that we have been treated badly it is easy to think that the person responsible is inconsiderate, unloving, and even un-Christian. Grace doesn't operate that way. It understands, accepts, forgives and leaves changing others up to God. Many times there are underlying circumstances which may not be immediately apparent. For example, when someone is dealing with physical or emotional distress, although irrelevant to the situation it can still influence how they respond or interact with you. Often the most difficult people to deal with are the ones who need a little more of your love and patience.

So how can you can show grace during difficult interactions? Try to look at it differently. Focus on the positive. If you think the person is stubborn, exercise grace and choose to see them as persistent and tenacious. If they're disorganised, you can choose to see that as a sign they are spontaneous, or creative, or the flexible type, or even over-extended. If they're nit-picking, choose to see that as a sign they are striving for detailed precision, or simply communicating with accuracy in an attempt for perfection. If they seem lazy, you can choose to see that as a sign they are laid-back, prioritising or avoiding unnecessary stress. The point is - when you try to see them as God created them to be, loving them becomes much easier.  

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Acknowledge to yourself how a persons actions or words effect you. Give thought to  what God's might be trying to work out in them. Use it as an opportunity to think about what God might be teaching you about yourself from the situation. Then step back, love and accept them.

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;" Romans 12:10 (KJV)

Each Sunday Mass begins with a reminder:  "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31(KJV)

Forgive me for my own sins.
Assist me to always deal compassionately with others. 
Grant me the patience and wisdom to understand what is happening 
and to be able to mature when faced with difficult interactions with others.  
Help me to become more loving and forgiving 
by being able to see others through the potential that You see within them. 
Keep me always mindful of the love and acceptance You offer me,
that I might be capable of sharing it with others.
I ask in Jesus name. 

Friday 25 October 2013

Prayer for a broken heart

This is a photo of "Lisa" taken last week on her 21st birthday. As you can see from the surrounds she spent her special day in hospital. She was hoping to get released by the end of the day but her kidney, liver and lungs were not doing too good so sadly she remained in a hospital bed. Lisa has a serious heart condition. 

This week she has been transferred to a different hospital and is awaiting tests to see if she can get onto a heart transplant list. Over the next few weeks specialists will look at implanting gadgets, and goodness knows what, to keep her heart functioning better until a transplant or some other option might become possible. 

Lisa is a local girl and comes from a difficult background. She doesn't have very much emotional support around her. She is going through a lot of this journey alone. A dear friend of Lisa's has asked if our parish would pray for her. 

Please take a moment to pray for Lisa, that she find relief and comfort, that she may realise that she is not alone in this battle but that God is walking with her.

Thank you... God Bless

Thursday 24 October 2013

Thought for the day

We all have hassles in our lives, some we create ourselves, 
some that we believe others create for us, and some that "just are"....
There are unchangeable situations in our lives 
that through ego, fear or habit we continually try to control. 
They are the situations that we need to trust God will handle for us. 
Sometimes the scariest things can turn out for the best 
when we finally place our trust in God. 
Instead of worrying, we should seek His presence 
and learn from the lessons that have been set in place for us.
Is there something in your life where you need to  
LET GO and LET GOD handle it????

God grant us the wisdom to let go of a situation or emotion when needed, 
and give us the strength to have more faith and trust in You.  Amen

Friday 11 October 2013

Sermon Summary - Trinity 19

Ephesians 4:17-32 (King James Version)
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart: Who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former manner of life, the old manhood, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new manhood, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no evil speech proceed of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
"walk not as other Gentiles walk" +
Ignorance because of hardness of heart: "Ignorance is no excuse" can sometimes be completely unfair as a statement. But other times it is perfectly just. Cp. vincible versus invincible ignorance in Catholic theology. But it's not just that people should know better because they should have sought the truth more. No, more than that, fallen humanity actively suppresses Truth by a moral stance. Or amoral or immoral stance! Suppression of conscience, of the discernment of evil and of good, can occur through simply going against it in action, following our desires regardless of what it says. But, more subtly, we can also suppress it by rationalising away its dictates through creating our own convenient worldview which excuses sin or denies its existence. The heart may know better at first, but the heart can be desensitised and deadened. It can be hardened. This will then affect interpretation of reality and filter the information seen and heard. Certain kinds of knowledge will simply not be accepted, or even register. Much in the way of wisdom will be incomprehensible. However, this ignorance is no excuse, because it is not an unlucky cause of sin, it is the effect of sin, and its "protector" and "strengthener".

Being past feeling leads to lust and greed: Irony here. Desensitisation due to sin leads to more desire, more seeking for pleasure in a disorderly way. Why? Because sin promises so much, but so frequently disappoints. The thing that seemed to be the key to happiness soon becomes a disappointment, tends toward tedium. So people lose their potential for enjoyment of innocent pleasures by seeking them to excess or in illegitimate and selfish ways. Then they try to compensate for this by yet more of the same! E.g., insatiable lust for food, money. And they may even become so hardened and perverse that they can only take pleasure in what is vicious. E.g., sadists and con-men.

The irony of holy living is that self-discipline and moderation lead to greater happiness, partly because the good things of this world thus retain their pleasurableness. But even more because, by these lesser goods remaining in their rightful, secondary place, we are able to enjoy the primary, higher, spiritual goods. We can know God and his many graces.

So, what can we learn from St Paul's teaching about fallen humanity? Because we have been given a new humanity in Christ, as today's Epistle also teaches, we can be soft and receptive towards God in our hearts. In so doing, we will know wisdom. 
And, through moderation and elevation of our appetites in the power of the new creation, 
we can find joy. +

Wednesday 9 October 2013

What undermines Christian witness to God?

Sermon Summary for Trinity XVII 2013

  "do not disclose another's secret" +

The Bible has much practical advice about how to live both well and successfully. Ignoring this element brings disappointment and undermines Christian witness to God.

If a person thinks mystical experiences or great theological insights, as wonderful as these can be, are all that matters, they will be fooling themselves. And they will be annoying others. Piety and belief without good behaviour are offensive.

Nothing helps the Gospel spread more than Christians living according to God's revealed wisdom. People see Christ in us, and see that the Word works: it is more than words. On the other hand, nothing undermines the Gospel more than Christians who confess the faith, perhaps even vociferously and enthusiastically, but are untrustworthy, unreliable, unkind or unwise. In other words, they struggle even to be minimally decent citizens, let alone holy Christians.

So, today's Old Testament lesson, reminds us of the basics: thoughtful discretion, listening, reliability.

Thoughtful discretion: 
Humbly not "putting oneself forward", not trying to be the centre of attention. Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. Proverbs 25:6-7. Not rushing to bring disputes or other's apparent mistakes before third parties, but quietly maintaining their dignity as much as possible and talking to them face-to-face. What your eyes have seen do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Argue your case with your neighbor directly, and do not disclose another’s secret; or else someone who hears you will bring shame upon you, and your ill repute will have no end. Proverbs 25:8-10. Not rushing to speak, but thinking carefully, then speaking in a way that will have an impact because it reflects truth, beauty and goodness. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise rebuke to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:11-12.

We need to really hear what people are saying, even if they are disagreeing with us or criticising us. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise rebuke to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:12. They may have a point, after all, and automatic defensiveness out of fear or pride will rob us of the chance to be better people. Also, we earn (or even restore) respect by listening.

If you've been given a duty, perform it, if you have said yourself that you will do something for somebody, do it. Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest are faithful messengers to those who send them; they refresh the spirit of their masters. Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of a gift never given. Proverbs 25:13-14. Simply being reliable makes an impact. Given how many people are not reliable, it brings great relief. Those over you will have less stress, and will generally be willing to credit you for that. They know they can trust you to "get it done". On the other hand, persistent unreliability and dishonesty cause great disappointment and angst.

So, let us think and listen carefully before we act or speak, showing self-control. 
And let us live up to all our responsibilities, showing self-discipline.  
We can do it by God's grace. +

Join us for Anglican Catholic Worship and Prayer. Communion / mass is held at the chapel in St Mary's campus of the All Saints College in Victoria Street Maitland on Sunday at 11am.

Saturday 5 October 2013

Open, O doors and bolts of my heart

Open, O doors and bolts of my heart, 
that Christ the King of Glory may enter!
Enter, O my Light, 

and enlighten my darkness;
Enter, O my Life, 

and resurrect my deadness;
Enter, O my Physician, 

and heal my wounds;
Enter, O Divine Fire, 

and burn up the thorns of my sins;
Ignite my inward parts and my heart 

with the flame of Thy love;
Enter, O my King, 

and destroy in me the kingdom of sin;
Sit on the throne of my heart 

and reign in me alone, 
O Thou, my King and Lord.

Dimitri of Rostov 

(Holy Russian monk, ascetic, mystic, and writer 1651-1709)

Friday 4 October 2013

Thought for the day... How to add to your faith.

...make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be...' 
(2 Peter 1:5-8 NLT)

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

(2 Peter 1:5-8 KJV)

Thursday 3 October 2013

Sermon Summary For Trinity 14 - 2013

Luke 17:11-19 (KJV)
And it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
"[W]hen he saw that he was healed, [he] turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at [Jesus'] feet, giving him thanks". + 

There's an old hymn, "Count your blessings", which reminds us of the importance of gratitude. There is so much we receive that is good that we did not, could not earn. Life itself, of course, as the primary blessing allowing all the others, and which we could not earn for the obvious reason that you can't earn anything before you exist. But the world around us that sustains us, through both the rich complexity of nature and the cultural and physical structures built by the human community, is something we inherit more than create. And then there are the blessings specific to us as individuals, most importantly through friends or family, less importantly through material things that bring us happiness. And, of course, God is the Creator, and so all these good things are ultimately from him. 

But whether they are general or specific, we often find it easy to forget or overlook them. Yet we find remembering pains and inconveniences quite easy. Ironically, although evils were not in themselves chosen by God, but are instead caused by the Angelic and Human Falls into sin, humans are quick to blame God for suffering, yet slow to ascribe to Him the credit for joy. 

Now, today's Gospel shows us the grateful man is one in ten. Note, however, that he is not the only one healed. The other nine were still healed, still blessed. They even must have had some faith, because, like the grateful Samaritan, they headed off to the priests at Jesus' command, in order to be certified as cured [and so able to re-enter society], before the healing had taken place. Remember, it says they were healed on the way to the priests, after leaving Jesus' presence, so they had to believe the healing before they received it. But they did not receive the commendation of the Lord and his word of encouragement, like the Samaritan did. Jesus does not condemn them or take back their healing, but they do miss out on something special. They miss out on a more personal encounter with the Lord, and the joy that comes from gratitude. 

Now all of lepers experienced the joy of healing. But the exuberant gratitude of the one who returned rejoiced in the goodness of God, not just in the goodness of what God had done. He "glorified God", that is, praised Him and proclaimed His beauty, power and love. So, his physical healing led to something even greater: spiritual wholeness, and a recognition of the highest Good, the highest happiness. 

So, thankfulness to God and praise of Him has great spiritual effect. 

But the Samaritan also thanked Jesus, who he would not have known was God, though he knew he was a powerful prophet. In other words, an attitude of gratitude is appropriate to those humans God works through to bless us in multitudinous ways. 

 In a modern society that can often seem unendingly brash, loud, rude and contemptuous, it is right for us to shine light even in small ways by graciousness and courtesy. Say thank you and mean it. Be quicker to be grateful for any good done to you, and slower to resent others' discourtesies. Making the effort to be thankful to the person who has just done the right thing by you, even though you and they both know they had not being doing so before, can make an impact. It combines forgiveness with encouragement. There may then not be any need to point out verbally the improvement in their behaviour, as the 'gratuitous gratitude', so to speak, will have done enough on its own. Be aware of your own weaknesses and idiosyncracies, and think about how often those around you have turned a blind eye to them. The Bible explicitly says "Be quick to hear and slow to speak", but it also implicitly teaches the principle, "Be quick to give thanks and slow to complain". 

Foster gratitude towards friends and family, and even strangers for small courtesies of theirs. And, above all, give thanks to God, the source of all that is good, and do so at every prayer-time and Eucharist. For what does "Eucharist" mean? Thanksgiving. Let there be no doubting his wisdom and might, beauty and holiness. 

He is worthy of all thanks and praise. +

Join us for prayer and worship during our St Hilda's Anglican Catholic communion / mass. In the chapel at St Marys Campus of the All Saint College in Victoria St Maitland NSW Australia. Our next service is on Sunday 6th October 2013 at 11am.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Prayer for those suffering from Cancer

Our last blog entry talked about St Peregrine, who may not be the most well known saint the Catholic Church has ever canonized, so if you are not familiar with his story you should check-out our previous upload. St Peregrine suffered from cancer with unwavering faith and service to God, resulting in miraculous healing at the hands of Jesus. To many Catholics, this means that they can identify with and pray to this figure - who himself had suffered with their disease.

Here are some more prayers/novena to St Peregrine, that people reading St Hilda's blog may get some help/comfort from; 

Novena To St. Peregrine
Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother.
You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand.
Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men.
Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....).
Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven.

St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid.

Are you suffering from cancer? Or do you know someone who is? These prayers to St. Peregrine can give you hope! This first one is for those afflicted with this deadly disease:

St. Peregrine, whom Holy Mother Church has declared Patron of those suffering from Cancer, I confidently turn to you for help in my present sickness. I beg your kind intercession. Ask God to relieve me of this sickness, if it be his Holy Will. Plead with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, whom you loved so tenderly and in union with whom you have suffered the pains of Cancer, that she may help me with her powerful prayers and loving consolation.
But if it should be God’s Holy Will that I bear this sickness, obtain for me courage and strength to accept these trails from the loving hand of God with patience and resignation, because he knows what is best for the salvation of my soul. St. Peregrine, be my friend and patron. Help me to imitate you in accepting suffering, and to unite myself with Jesus Crucified and the Mother of Sorrows, as you did. I offer my pains to God with all the love of my heart, for his glory and the salvation of souls, especially my own.

The second of these prayers to St. Peregrine is for others’ intentions.

O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen. 

If you can keep your faith and focus on God then the following is worth realising.
Cancer is limited ...
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot shut out memories
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the spirit,
It cannot lessen the power
of the Resurrection.

NOTE: next Sundays Anglican Catholic Church Communion / Mass will be held in Taree.
To confirm times and location email Fr Matthew

Thursday 19 September 2013

Patron Saint of Cancer sufferers

What is a "Saint"? 
You don't usually imagine a recognised Saint as having been a young thug who once attempted to punch-out a priest.

Let me share a story dating back to the late 1200's. A young Peregrine Laziosi was part of a anti-papal political party, and during one uprising he heckled and then struck St. Philip Benizi in the face. If we were in St Philips position our natural instinct would have us duck or attempt to defend ourselves, but what would the Gospel have to say in this situation???

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
  Matthew 5:39

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
Luke 6:29

 Well sure enough, this is what St. Philip Benizi did. Trusting wholeheartedly in God he not only wore the punch but turned his head and literally offered young Peregrine his other cheek. I'm sure you can imagine how surprised Peregrine was, in fact he was so overcome that he repented and converted to Catholicism. That moment had a profound effect on Peregrine. His request to Philip for forgiveness was received with kindness. Filled with remorse, Peregrine began pray more and to channel his energies into good works.

Peregrine joined the monastery and became widely known for his preaching, penances, and counsel in the confessional. It is believed that he was very dedicated, forsaking all the comforts of a life of ease. One of the special penances he imposed on himself was to stand whenever it was not necessary to sit. When tired he would support himself on a choir stall. As a result of this type of life, at the age of 60 he developed varicose veins which degenerated into cancer of the left leg. His condition deteriorated to the point that the physician decided to amputate his leg.

Did you know that cancerous cells can arise from almost any type of tissue cell and the word cancer actually refers to about 100 different diseases.

Anyway, On the night before the operation Peregrine spent time praying before a fresco of the Crucifixion. That night as he slept he had a vision where Jesus descended from the cross and touched the diseased leg with His divine hand. The following day, when the doctor arrived to perform the amputation he found no sign of the cancer. Peregrine was completely cured. Peregrine survived for a further 20 years or so, until he eventually died of a fever.

Did you realise that, according to the Cancer Council of Australia, at the current rates it is expected 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. This year, an estimated 124,910 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the Australian population. It is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,700 people are estimated to have died from cancer in 2011.

Advances in our knowledge about prevention, early detection and treatment mean that over 60% of people diagnosed with cancer today can be effectively treated. Almost nine out of 10 children with cancer are effectively treated and go on to live normal lives. We have a lot more knowledge about the disease now than we did in St Peregrines time. Peregrine had the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life, enduring painful sufferings with incredible patience while demonstrating to us through his total surrender to God that we should keep our trust and faith.

Remember that I said 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. That suggests it will either directly or indirectly effect all of us at some stage of our life. Many of us have heard the dreaded "C" word used in association with family and friends. Some of us have heard the doctor use the word referring to our own health. The medical profession can offer information and treatments, we can try changes in diet and lifestyle to avoid or combat cancers and we can offer words of encouragement to those we love, but more importantly we can turn to God. We can offer service and prayer. The lesson of Peregrine’s life is not that God worked a miracle, but that a faithful servant placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of God. Peregrine’s trust in God therefore serves as a model for those dealing with sickness. 

St Peregrine is recognised as the patron saint to cancer sufferers. Patiently enduring his painful suffering he continually laboured for God and the salvation of souls, setting an amazing example for determination and commitment. If we think of our trials in life as God testing or strengthening us then St Peregrine passed with honours. 

This is one of the many St Peregrine intercessory prayers available online:
St. Peregrine, we come to you confidently to implore your aid with God in our necessity. You were converted instantly from a worldly life by the good example of one holy person. You were cured instantaneously of cancer by God's grace and unceasing prayer. In your gracious kindness please ask the Lord to heal us also in body, mind, and soul. May we then also imitate you in doing His work with renewed vigor and strength. Amen.

Prayers for the sick from the Book of Common Prayer:
O LORD and heavenly Father, who dost relieve those who suffer in soul and body: Stretch forth thine hand, we beseech thee, to heal thy servant N., and to ease his pain; that by thy mercy he may be restored to health of body and mind, and show forth his thankfulness in love to thee and service to his fellow men; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

O  LORD Jesu Christ, thou great Physician: Look with thy gracious favour upon this thy servant; give wisdom and discretion to those who minister to him in his sickness; bless all the means used for his recovery; stretch forth thy hand and, according to thy will, restore him to health and strength, that he may live to praise thee for thy goodness and thy grace; to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen

God Bless

Sunday 8 September 2013

And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:19-22

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances,for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There are so many things every day to be thankful for. 
Today,  as I absorb all that is around me, I am especially thankful that God has allowed me to experience His amazing creatures.

Click on image to enlarge. 
Pelican photo taken at Calvary Nursing Home in Cessnock NSW Australia.

Friday 6 September 2013

Thought for today - Acronyms from St Benedict Cross

May the Holy Cross be a light unto me.
Let the cross be my light.

And may the Dragon never be my guide.
Let the Demon be not my master.

Saturday 31 August 2013

Raising Gods children

The image is "Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus" 
by Guido Reni, c 1635.

Why are we showing this image???
Have you forgotten??
This weekend 1st Sept, is Fathers Day in Australia...

Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father. Bless all fathers as they care for their families. Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience; support them in the work they have to do, protecting those who look to them, as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.  Amen.

The following is a prayer by Kirk Loadman.

Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a good father.

Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.

Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children's lives. Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.

Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children's love and respect. Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us praise those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

This weekend is a time for all of us to remember and appreciate our fathers.
If your dad is still alive, phone him, and tell him his is appreciated.
If he has passed, then embrace his memory.
None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. But when you become a parent, although you may not always succeed in being the best, you do try hard. Spare a prayer for all the dads, ask God to guide them in the most important job they will ever have, raising His children.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Who is St Helen Of The Cross ?

 So... What is a "Saint" ?

It is written that a Saints' "surrender to God's love was 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". A Saint is someone who has managed to become "Christ-like" in some aspect of their life,  "someone through whom we catch  a glimpse of what God is like". Saints are not thought to have power of their own, but only gifts and mercy granted through God.

Who is Saint Helen ?

Saint Helen also known as Helena Augusta, St Helena of Constantinople and St Helen of the cross, is credited for her success in locating relics of the true cross upon which Jesus Christ died.

Helena married the Roman general Constantius Chlorus around 270AD and they had a son, Constantine. They had been married for 21 years when Constantius took advice to divorce his wife. He abandoned Helena and Constantine to remarry into higher nobility. Helena was a woman of gentleness and integrity and was deeply hurt. Constantius married the stepdaughter of the Emperor Maximus under whom he was named Caesar until he died in 306 AD.

In the early 300's Helena's son Constantine become the most powerful military figure in Rome and was finally declared Roman Emperor.

At age 63 Helena converted to Catholicism with the support of her son. She had experienced a dream about the true cross of our Lord and she felt divinely appointed to find it. She took to the task with enthusiasm but on arriving in Jerusalem she discovered that Christians no longer visited the holy sites, as they were covered by pagan Roman shrines and false idols of the previous 180 years. Christians in Jerusalem rejoiced as, in the name of her son, she had the pagan monuments torn down and the land cleared in preparation for erecting Catholic churches. Helena was responsible for uncovering the true cross on which Christ was crucified along with nails, rope and other artefacts. Tradition states, in proof of it being the true cross of our Lord, it was responsible for raising a dead man when they touched him with it, and a grievously sick woman was instantly healed when the shadow of the cross fell upon her.

Before Helena took the cross to Cyprus the country had been without rain for 36 years, becoming desolate, drought ravaged and deserted due to hardship and famine, it also becoming overrun by poisonous snakes. As the Cross was brought into the land, so the rains came bringing with them a material and spiritual renewal. To help rid the area of snakes Helena imported a boatload of  cats which were released at Cape Gata. Constantine's governor erected a Monastery on this peninsula. The monastery is now known as St Nicholas of the Cats.

We all encounter various physical limitations and weaknesses of human nature, at times becoming fearful, emotional, tempted, distrusting and unfaithful. Saints are not angels or Gods, they people like us, who with Gods grace have overcome some of the problems or limitations that we all face. They are role models of holiness to be imitated, strengthening and encouraging the believer within us, during the times of weakness in our spiritual journey. They remind us of the level of dedication and success achievable through the mercy and grace of God.

Helena suffered the rejection of her husband and a break-up of a 21 year marriage, seeing her family unit shatter. As Constantius replaced her and gained more power, Helena managed to find direction and strength through the Lord. She found her focus in God, who obviously had bigger plans for her. She used her wealth to restore the holy landmarks and to locate the life-giving symbol of hope and victory. Converting to Catholicism at age 63 reminds us that regardless of age we are all useful in serving God.

St Helen Inspired Prayer: 
O life-giving God of peace and victory, the inspiration of our blessed St Helen. Enrich our lives through your gracious love, inspiring our forgiveness and respect to others, especially through times of our own pain: Stir within us the passion for truth so that we cast off false idols, always seeking the presence of our true Lord: Inspire us with your wisdom while strengthening our desire and commitment to succeed in the tasks you place before us: Grant us the strength and devotion to rise up to your call during our daily struggles, to follow the light of the precious cross to victory.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.  Amen

The artwork and prayer of St Helen is used with the permission of the artist. 
Archival art-prints are available for sale. Link for More Information.

Don't forget this weeks St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Communion / Mass on Sunday 25th August 2013 will be held in Taree NSW Australia. Join us for prayer and worship. Contact Fr Matthew for time and venue.