Icon of Saint Ninian.

This afternoon, Canon Baillie celebrated the Mass of the Feast of Saint Ninian for staff and pupils. In his homily, Canon Baillie spoke of our Catholic Faith being at the centre of all that we do in our school and the beautiful Oratory which represents what is our school’s rationale.

Canon Baillie welcome Iconographer Dr Irina Bradley who had completed a specially commissioned Icon of Saint Ninian for the school.<img

September Art of the Month.

This Month’s ‘Art of the Month’ from Monsignor Monaghan is on the theme of vocations as we celebrate Vocations Awareness Week.

The school chaplains often hint that Jesus is inviting some pupils to ponder
if God is calling them to the Sacred Priesthood. Holy Mass is often offered
for that intention. However as a young fellow of the world, it must be
tempting to set the notion aside and think, “Who, me? Surely not” In his
painting, The Call of Matthew, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio who lived
as the 16th century turned into the 17th, has the future Apostle and
Evangelist, pointing to himself as if to say, “Who me?” On the 21st
September we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Matthew who was a tax
collector for the Romans before he was called by Christ. The painting along
with The Inspiration of St Matthew and The Martyrdom of St Matthew can
be seen in the Church of St. Louis of the French in Rome, not far from the
famous Piazza Navona. A feast of art, indeed. The titles of the church are so
beautiful and sonorous. In Italian, San Luigi dei Francesi. In French, Saint
Louis des Français and in Latin, S. Ludovici Francorum de Urbe. Your
language teachers might take umbrage with me if I did not add….and in
Spanish, San Luis de los Franceses. At first glance one might wonder if the
scene is indoors or outdoors as we notice the gloom of the canvassed
windows which give a shady, slightly sinister appearance. The cross in the
window in counterpoint to the rich coins on the table. The beam of light
highlights Matthew pointing to himself while the pointing finger of Christ
reminds us, perhaps of the finger of Adam in the Sistine Chapel by that
other more famous Michelangelo (Buonarroti). Notice the bare feet and
ancient robes of Christ and of St Peter, which contrast with the foppish
16th century clothes of the crooked accountants. The vastly different
modes of dress point to two worlds with the miraculous interrupting the
daily drudge. The Divine is about to enter Matthew’s everyday life and
bring about a spiritual awakening. Look carefully at the painting and be
inspired. Contemplation of Matthew’s Call can bring you to God and that,
surely, is the point of sacred art. With that in mind, perhaps you should ask
the question again. “Who, me?” the answer might well be, “Yes, you!”.
Monsignor Monaghan

A Spiritual Communion.

It is great that we are allowed Masses again but with limits on the number attending.

This means that many people who are used to receiving Holy Communion regularly at Mass will not be able to do so for the time being.

During this “Eucharistic Fast” one way to keep close to the Lord is to make a “Spiritual Communion.” This is an ancient spiritual tradition of the Church which consists in making a simple act of “spiritual communion,” whereby we unite ourselves to God through prayer. It is a beautiful way to express to God our desire to be united with him when we are unable to receive Holy Communion.
St. Thomas Aquinas defined a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.” You can make a Spiritual Communion whenever and wherever you like, using the prayer given below, or others like it, or your own heartfelt thoughts.

An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Remember, you can receive Jesus in your heart from anywhere you might happen to be, at any time, day or night! You just need to approach Him with sincerity, humility and a desire to follow in His footsteps in acts of faith and charity. And He’s delighted when we do so! The Catechism teaches that a Spiritual Communion “is an act of devotion, and one very pleasing to God.”