FRom Fr Neil's Desk

Blessing For Our Home

We resolve to allow this trust in God and in God’s blessing to allay fear, to dispel hopelessness, to curtail despair. Knowing that all we shall do and say and attempt and become in the year ahead will lie securely under God’s loving benediction.

Perhaps we can resolve as well to bless our own as we go forth from this blessed assembly and return to our homes, our workplaces and our daily lives. Perhaps we who are renewed in the blessings of God can try once again to be blessings for one another.

To that end and with the able inspiration afforded us by Fr Edward Hays, a current spiritual writer, we might pray the following words of blessing in our homes and over those we love as family and friends.


Lord our God, You whose home is in heaven and on earth and in that undiscovered beyond, come and bless this house which is our home.

Surround this shelter with your Holy Spirit.
Encompass all its sides with the power of your protection so that no evil or harm will come near.
May that divine blessing shield this home from destruction, storm, sickness and all that might bring evil to us who live within these walls.

The prayer proceeds to bless each room in the house. You want to prinkle holy water in each of the rooms being blessed so that all the home is sanctuary of God’s peace. It concludes with these words dedicating our homes to hospitality.

May our door always be open to those in need, the neighbour as well as the stranger.
May all who come to us find our door and our hearts open to them and their needs.
May god’s holy presence shine forth here and bless all who live here and all who come to our door.

Amen


Msgr Joe Shiels



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Elisha asked for a double share of the spirit that had been given to the prophet Elijah. He wasn’t asking for much was he? And he got it! So what is the message? If you do not ask you will not receive. That is pretty simple.

You might recall that Jesus spoke about this too. He said, “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened.”

It is important then to ask. It is important to ask God when we need his help, and also to thank him when he does help us.

Some people like the Scribes and Pharisee liked to pray to be seen by others. Their only reward was to be seen by others. Being seen by others is not the goal of prayer. In the Gospel tonight Jesus says, “When you pray go into your room and shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in that secret place and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Jesus speaks of “your Father who is in secret.” That is important to keep in mind when we pray. God is a loving Father who simply delights when his children turn to him and ask him for something. But why “in secret” we may ask? That place of prayer is a place of intimacy with the one who is the heavenly Father. The prayer room is like the nuptial chamber. Prayer is union with God. No one else needs to see. Beside, God likes to work in secret. God is a specialist in clandestine operations. The reward of prayer is intimacy with God, knowing that we are loved by God, having the friendship of God, indeed having God himself.

Few people during his time on earth even recognized that the heavenly Father was at work in Jesus. Perhaps for the same reason many of the greatest saints have never been canonized. We know so little about their life with God. They are like Jesus, who was thought to be a stranger by two his disciples on the road to Emmaus. But Jesus need not be a stranger to us at all. We can come to know him better if we are willing to enter into that secret chamber where we can engage him in the intimacy of prayer.

Father Neil


St Mary Star of the Sea

Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario