John Lilburne's journal about Archbishop Hart at the Cathedral and Father John Williams
 

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1528 Sun 9 Sep 2001

Archbishop Hart sat for the Gloria again today. At the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, five altar servers entered in procession with the thurible. I see no justification for this in the liturgical books. They have not been doing this for the past few weeks (which I thought was good), but today they had it again.

On the front of the Mass Sheet, Very Reverend Dowling asked for prayers for priests:

... When each of us was ordained, we had an ordination card printed. We did that for two reasons. One was to commerate that most momentous event in our lives. The other was to solicit as much prayerful support as it was possible to muster.

The latter need has not diminished with the passage of time. In fact, it has intensified, especially with the dramatic changes that have taken place in both the Church and society, increasing to an extraordinary degree the personal pressures under which we all labour today.

Please pray for me and all priests today and everyday, including our new Archbishop Denis Hart. We need every prayer of yours we can get, lifting us up to the Lord in your heart.

Today's Gospel (Luke 14:25-33) included the challenging message from Jesus: "If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple." It reminded me of a discussion I had with Father John Williams in 1998, when we had the same reading. He was the Parish Priest of Hastings, which was near the navy base I was at. On Friday nights we would have a reader's meeting. Father Williams read them and there were discussions. I observed: "Its strange, it says "hate one another" here, when we are told "love one another" in other passages." I remember him looking up the "New Jerome Biblical Commentry" and being unimpressed with the assistance it provided. But we saw it as expressing the priority that needed to be given to Jesus, over family. Father Williams died of cancer later that year. I was impressed by his approach to liturgical law, Canon law and RCIA. He was in same year as Archbishop Pell and Archbishop Hart at the seminary.

Today's homily reminded me of some of the issues in Pope John Paul II's 1998 encyclical "Faith and Reason". It begins:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth--in a word, to know himself--so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 9 September 2001.

 

Links to other sites:

Archbishop Hart's homilies

Encyclical "Faith and Reason".