Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pray for the Incoming Vicar of The Ascension, Lavender Hill

Benhilton parishioners will remember Father Philip 
who was the Bishop of Fulham's Deacon 
at my Induction on the Solemnity of S. Joseph, 2018.  


Saturday, October 16, 2021

S. John Chrysostom on the abasement of Jesus

John (c. 347-407) was born at Antioch to noble parents. His father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother. Following his baptism (in either 368 or 373) he became a Reader in the Church). In terms of his career he became a lawyer. 

As he grew older, however, he studied theology and spent some years as a hermit, living a life of great austerity and prayer. Returning to Antioch, he was ordained deacon in 381 and priest in 386. From 386 to 397 it was his duty to preach in the principal church of the city. This is the period of the sermons that earned him the title ‘Chrysostomos’ or ‘the golden-mouthed.’ 

In 397 he became Bishop and Patriarch of Constantinople, where his attempts to reform the court, the clergy, and people led to his exile in 404 and finally to his death in 407 from the hardships imposed on him. He is remembered for his simplicity of life, his care of the poor, the courage of his witness, and his effective preaching of the Scriptures. He emphasised the full divinity of Christ against the Arians and his full humanity against the Apollinarians. S. John Chrysostom was bove all a loving pastor.

This passage, Chrysostom’s commentary on today’s gospel reading, is from Homily 8 ‘Against the Anomoeans’:

‘The Son of man came to give his life as a ransom for many.’

When the ten disciples were indignant with James and John for separating themselves from their company in the hope of obtaining the highest honour, Jesus corrected the disorderly passions of both groups. Notice how he did it.

‘He called them to him and said: Gentile rulers lord it over their people, and holders of high office make their authority felt. This must not happen among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to be first among you must be last of all.’

You see that what the two brothers wanted was to be first, greatest, and highest: rulers, one might almost say, of the others. So, revealing their secret thoughts, Jesus put a curb on this ambition, saying: “Whoever wants to be first among you must become the servant of all.”

If you wish to take precedence and to have the highest honours, aim for whatever is lowest and worst: to be the most insignificant and humble of all, of less account than anyone else; to put yourselves after the others. It is virtue of this kind that wins the honor you aspire to, and you have an outstanding example of it near at hand.

‘For the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

This is what will make you illustrious and far-famed. See what is happening in my case. I do not seek glory and honor, yet by acting in this way I am gaining innumerable blessings.

The fact is that before the incarnation and self-abasement of Christ the whole world was in a state of ruin and decay, but when he humbled himself he lifted the world up. He annuled the curse, put an end to death, opened paradise, destroyed sin, flung wide the gates of heaven, and introduced there the firstfruits of our race.

He filled the world with faith in God, drove out error, restored truth, caused our firstfruits to ascend a royal throne, and gained innumerable blessings beyond the power of myself or anyone else to describe in words. Before he humbled himself he was known only to the angels, but after his self-abasement he was recognised by the whole human race.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Your 2022 Ordo is now available!


Without doubt, the very best ORDO available to western Christians is the one published by The Church Union, still compiled each year by Father John Hunwicke, now of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. It painstakingly provides full information for users of the Roman Rite (Third Typical Edition) and users of Common Worship. There is also helpful guidance for those who use versions of the Book of Common Prayer.

Go HERE to The Additional Curates' Society to purchase your 2022 Ordo

Thursday, October 7, 2021


 We invite you to our HARVEST FESTIVAL this Sunday at 9.30 a.m. (Click the flyer to enlarge it.)

Friday, October 1, 2021

Support Terry Wilson's Marathon for All Saints' Benhilton Restoration Fund

A great opportunity to partner with us 
as we seek to repair and strengthen our historic church. 

(Click on the flyer to enlarge it)

Living on Love - S. Therésè

Today is the feast day of S. Therésè, who died at the age of 24 in 1897 after years of illness and spiritual struggle. She understood the entire Christian life - with all its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows - as a response to God’s love. This was her “little way.”

I have previously posted on S. Therese. Go HERE for an article based on her advice to Maurice Bellière, a stumbling young man preparing to be a missionary priest. Go HERE for an outline of her life, and also a short appreciation of her understanding of justification. 

The following stanzas are from S. Thérèse's long poem, 'Living on Love,' which she composed in 1895, two years before her death. 

On the evening of Love, speaking without parable,
Jesus said: "If anyone wishes to love me
All his life, let him keep my Word.
My Father and I will come to visit him.
And we will make his heart our dwelling.
Coming to him, we shall love him always.
We want him to remain, filled with peace,
In our Love!..."

Living on Love is holding You Yourself.
Uncreated Word, Word of my God,
Ah! Divine Jesus, you know I love you.
The Spirit of Love sets me aflame with his fire.
In loving you I attract the Father.
My weak heart holds him forever.
0 Trinity! You are Prisoner
Of my Love!...

Living on Love is living on your life,
Glorious King, delight of the elect.
You live for me, hidden in a host.
I want to hide myself for you, O Jesus!
Lovers must have solitude,
A heart-to-heart lasting night and day.
Just one glance of yours makes my beatitude.
I live on Love!...

Living on Love is not setting up one's tent
At the top of Tabor.
It's climbing Calvary with Jesus,
It's looking at the Cross as a treasure!...
In Heaven I'm to live on joy. Then trials will have fled forever,
But in exile, in suffering I want
To live on Love.

Living on Love is giving without limit
Without claiming any wages here below.
Ah! I give without counting, truly sure
That when one loves, one does not keep count!...
Overflowing with tenderness, I have given everything,
To his Divine Heart.... lightly I run.
I have nothing left but my only wealth:
Living on Love. 

Living on Love is banishing every fear,
Every memory of past faults.
I see no imprint of my sins.
In a moment love has burned everything
Divine Flame, O very sweet Blaze!
I make my home in your hearth.
In your fire I gladly sing:
"I live on Love!..."

Living on Love is keeping within oneself
A great treasure in an earthen vase.
My Beloved, my weakness is extreme.
Ah, I'm far from being an angel from heaven!..
But if I fall with each passing hour,
You come to my aid, lifting me up.
At each moment you give me your grace:
I live on Love.

Living on Love is sailing unceasingly,
Sowing peace and joy in every heart.
Beloved Pilot, Charity impels me,
For I see you in my sister souls.
Charity is my only star.
In its brightness I sail straight ahead.
I've my motto written on my sail:
"Living on Love."

Living on Love, when Jesus is sleeping,
Is rest on stormy seas.
Oh! Lord, don't fear that I'll wake you.
I'm waiting in peace for Heaven's shore....
Faith will soon tear its veil.
My hope is to see you one day.
Charity swells and pushes my sail:
I live on Love!...

Living on Love, O my Divine Master,
Is begging you to spread your Fire
In the holy, sacred soul of your Priest.
May he be purer than a seraphim in Heaven!...
Ah! glorify your Immortal Church!
Jesus, do not be deaf to my sighs.
I, her child, sacrifice myself for her,
I live on Love.

Living on Love is wiping your Face,
It's obtaining the pardon of sinners.
O God of Love! may they return to your grace,
And may they forever bless your Name
Even in my heart the blasphemy resounds.
To efface it, I always want to sing:
"I adore and love your Sacred Name.
I live on Love!..."

Living on Love is imitating Mary,
Bathing your divine feet that she kisses, transported.
With tears, with precious perfume,
She dries them with her long hair...
Then standing up, she shatters the vase,
And in turn she anoints your Sweet Face.
As for me, the perfume with which I anoint your Face
Is my Love!....

"Living on Love, what strange folly!"
The world says to me, "Ah! stop your singing,
Don't waste your perfumes, your life.
Learn to use them well..."
Loving you, Jesus, is such a fruitful loss!...
All my perfumes are yours forever.
I want to sing on leaving this world:
"I'm dying of Love!"

Dying of Love is a truly sweet martyrdom,
And that is the one I wish to suffer.
O Cherubim! Tune your lyre,
For I sense my exile is about to end!...
Flame of Love, consume me unceasingly.
Life of an instant, your burden is so heavy to me!
Divine Jesus, make my dream come true:
To die of Love!...

Dying of Love is what I hope for.
When I shall see my bonds broken,
My God will be my Great Reward.
I don't desire to possess other goods.
I want to be set on fire with his Love.
I want to see Him, to unite myself to Him forever.
That is my Heaven... that is my destiny:
Living on Love!!!