Author Archives: Fr Charles

The True Path to Greatness

Today’s Gospel is from Saint Matthew 18:1-10

At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,
And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.
And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

In our reading today, Jesus’ disciples asked the question: “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” This question reveals a common human desire for status, recognition, importance and ultimately entitlement. It’s a question that occupies the minds of many people today. People want to be great, to achieve greatness, to leave their mark on the world. But Jesus, as always, offers the right answer. In response to their question, He calls forth a little child and places the child in the midst of them. What a powerful and unexpected gesture! In the society of that time, children were not seen as particularly significant or esteemed. Yet, in this simple action, Jesus teaches us about the nature of greatness in the Kingdom of heaven.
Continue reading

The Danger of Blindly Following Political Leaders

I wish to briefly address a topic this evening that has become increasingly relevant in our society: the danger of blindly following political candidates and government officials. In a world filled with political polarisation and division, it is crucial for us, as Catholics, to remember that Jesus Christ is our only true King.

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God, the things that are God’s.” (22:21) Jesus is teaching us about the distinction between our earthly obligations as citizens and our ultimate allegiance to our God. While we are called to be responsible citizens and to be aware of issues in the world and to engage, when necessary, the political process, we must do so with discernment and a deep awareness of our Christian values. First and foremost, we must recognise that no political candidate or government official is infallible or without flaws. They are human beings, like all of us, and are susceptible to error, corruption, and self-interest. When we blindly follow political leaders, we risk placing our trust in fallible individuals and expecting them to fulfil our hopes and dreams. We are cautioned against this in the Bible. “Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish” (Psalm 145:2-4, Douay-Rheims)
Continue reading

Our Priorities in Following Christ

Today’s Gospel is from Saint Matthew 10:34-42.

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Do not think that I have come to send peace upon the earth; I have come to bring a sword, not peace. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you he shall not lose his reward.

In today’s Gospel reading, there are passages that have been challenging or perplexing for some people. In these verses, our Lord tells us that He has not come to bring peace to the earth but a sword, and that His presence will lead to division even within families. These words may leave some wondering how they fit with the message of love, peace, and unity that we often associate with Jesus’ teachings. Let’s not forget that Jesus is not advocating violence or discord within families or communities. Christ is emphasizing the impact that following Him can have on our lives and in our relationships. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are making a commitment that will certainly set us at odds with those who do not share the same faith. This is not because Jesus desires conflict but because the truth of the Gospel always challenges the world’s so-called values and lack of morals.
Continue reading

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina

Today I would like to take a brief moment to share with you the life and legacy of a remarkable saint, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, commonly known as Padre Pio. His life was a testament to the boundless mercy and love of our God, and his example continues to inspire us today. He was born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887, in the small Italian town of Pietrelcina. From a young age, he exhibited a deep devotion to God and a wholehearted desire to serve Him. At the age of 15, he entered the Capuchin Friars and took the name Pio. Little did anyone know that this humble friar would one day become one of the most beloved and revered saints of the 20th century.

One of the most striking aspects of Padre Pio’s life was his close and mystical relationship with our Lord, which was exemplified by the stigmata—the wounds of Christ—that he bore on his hands, feet, and side. For over 50 years, he carried these wounds, sharing in the physical sufferings of Christ. It was not only the physical wounds that made Padre Pio a true follower of Christ; it was his unwavering faith, his deep prayer life, and his commitment to the Sacraments that set him apart. Padre Pio once said, “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips but with your heart. In fact, on certain occasions, you should only speak to Him with your heart.” He lived this truth daily, spending long hours in prayer and offering himself as a living sacrifice to God. His life was a constant reminder to us that prayer is our lifeline to the divine, a means of drawing closer to God and seeking His will in our lives.
Continue reading

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Introit. Ecclesiasticus 1:14-15
The love of God is honorable wisdom: and they to whom she shall show herself, love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works. (Ps. 83: 2) How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. The love of God is honorable wisdom: and they to whom she shall show herself, love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works.

O God,Who didst purpose to draw all things unto Thy only-begotten Son when He was lifted up from the earth, mercifully grant that we, by the merits and example of Thy seraphic confessor Joseph, being lifted above all earthly desires, may be worthy to come unto Him. Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Continue reading

On the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis

The Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis is a sacred observance that should recall to our minds the heartfelt love and devotion of one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church. St. Francis of Assisi, a humble and gentle man, received a remarkable gift from God—the stigmata, the wounds of Christ on his own body. This gift was both a sign of his holiness as well as a memorable reminder of the central message of the Gospel.

The stigmata, those sacred wounds that appeared on St. Francis’ hands, feet, and side, were not a reward for his piety or his deeds. Instead, they were a visible and tangible connection between him and the suffering of Christ. St. Francis had so deeply imitated Christ in his life, in his love for the poor, and in his total surrender to God’s will, that he was allowed to share in the Lord’s Passion in a deeply memorable and mystical way.
Continue reading

Impression of Stigmata of St. Francis

Introit. Psalms 85:3,5
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee. (Ps. 85: 1) Bow down Thine ear to me, O Lord, and hear me for I am needy and poor. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee.

May Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, ever go before us and follow us: and make us continually to be intent upon good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Continue reading

Blessed be the Name of the Lord

Giving thanks to God on a daily basis, is a fundamental aspect of our faith, one that transcends divisions and unites us as brothers and sisters in acknowledging the abundant blessings that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to forget the simple act of gratitude. We are often consumed by our desires, ambitions, and challenges, which can obscure the countless gifts that our Lord continually showers upon us. Yet, when we pause and truly open our hearts, we begin to see God’s grace in every aspect of our existence.

The Scriptures remind us of the importance of thanksgiving time and time again. In the Psalms, we read, “Give glory to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 106:1). This verse encapsulates the essence of gratitude. Our gratitude should be a genuine acknowledgement of God’s eternal and boundless love for us. It is a recognition that God’s goodness is unwavering, even with the reality that each of us are imperfect.
Continue reading

Listening to God’s Voice – Psalm 94

“To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 94:8, Douay-Rheims) These words, penned by the psalmist David, are a reminder of the importance of openness and receptivity to the Word of God in our lives. In the busyness of our daily lives, it is all too easy for our hearts to become hardened, closed off to the gentle whispers of God’s voice. We are bombarded by the noise of the world, the demands of our schedules, and the distractions that surround us. In the midst of all this, God is continually reaching out to us, inviting us into a deeper relationship with Him. But are we really listening? Are our hearts open to receive His message?

Hearing God’s voice should be of the disposition of our hearts. It is about being attuned to the very presence of God in our lives, recognising His guidance and love, and responding with a heart that is soft and pliable, ready to follow His will.
Continue reading