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.

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.