Thy Kingdom Come

From the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe:

According to the saying of our Lord and Saviour, the kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. No one will say, “Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!'; because the kingdom of God is within us. The word is very near us; it is on our lips and in our hearts. It is clear from this that when a man prays that God’s kingdom may come, he is praying, as he should, for the kingdom of God which is within him, that it may rise, flourish and reach its full growth. Every saint is subject to God’s reign and obeys the spiritual laws of God who dwells in him as in a well-governed city. The Father is present within him and Christ reigns with the Father in the soul which has become perfect, as he said: ‘We will come to him and make our home with him.’

From the book of Origen On Prayer.

Let The Church Sing

On the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music, perhaps we should revisit what the Second Vatican Council said about singing in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy:

Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnised in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people. (No 113)

Choirs must be diligently promoted, but Bishops and other pastors must ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightfully theirs. (No 114)

Gregorian chant, other things being equal, should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded. (No 116)

Religious singing by the people is to be skillfully fostered, so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out. (No 118)

Sing A New Song To The Lord

From the Office of Readings for the Memorial of St Cecilia:

‘Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song.’ You have learnt the new song: forget the ancient one. We are a new humanity, we have a new alliance with God; so let our song be new; a new song is not for the old man. Only the new mankind can learn it, mankind made new out of the ancient stuff; whose new alliance is the kingdom of heaven. All our heart yearns for it as we sing the new song, not with our voices but with our lives.

From the discourses of St Augustine on the Psalms (Psalm 32)

Pulling No Punches

This report of last night’s appearance of Mark Scott, Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before a Senate Estimates Committee only increases my respect for the man who has been placed in an unenviable position by the recent cuts to the ABC’s public funding. It is clear from Scott’s comments and responses to the at times openly hostile questions from members of the Committee that Scott remains firmly committed – heroically so! – to the ideals of public broadcasting.

Bravo that man!

A Plea For Common Sense

A telling piece this week from Michelle Grattan in her regular Grattan on Friday column on The Conversation website. Although many people recognise that sense is not always ‘common’ it is a quality that we should always seek in those who hold public office, particular at the level of the Commonwealth Government.

The ABC Is Not A Business

This article is well worth reading in light of the destruction visited on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service in recent days by the current Federal Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.

As the author points out in the penultimate paragraph:

Turnbull is absolutely right to insist that the ABC should not be a familial worker collective dedicated to one side of the critic’s fence. The public interest is broad, embracing the compliant and the contrarian. But in the same breath, he also reminds us that there is statutory independence in the ABC, only to then lean on that very independence by brandishing an emptying purse fed by corporate credos. He disingenuously acknowledges the problems a public broadcaster has. Will you be relevant if Sophocles is broadcast in the original Greek? But the other question needs to be asked: if not the public broadcaster, then who?

By Faith She Believed: By Faith She Conceived

From the Office of Readings for the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I beg you to listen to what the Lord had to say when he stretched our his hand towards his disciples: ‘Here are my mother and my brethren'; and, ‘whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother’. Are we to take it from this that the Virgin Mary did not do the will of the Father, she who by faith believed, by faith conceived; she who was chosen to bring forth salvation among men: by Christ created that Christ in her might be created? Indeed and indeed she did the Father’s will and it is a greater thing for her that she was Christ’s disciple than that she was his mother. It is a happier thing to be his disciple than to be his mother. Blessed then is Mary who bore her Lord in her body before she gave him birth.

From the sermons of St Augustine.

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