The School supplies catechetical and liturgical resources, which are freely available for download and use. If you have any further questions, please get in touch via our Contact page.
God is always present and always active in all that we do. Prayer is, first of all, simply acknowledging this truth. To pray is to respond to God’s presence and activity, by living our own lives in God’s presence and directing our own activity towards God. God has given himself to us in Jesus and a life of prayer is a life given over to God in love and service – responding to God’s gift by giving in return.
Whether in a time of need or a time of joy, many of us find ourselves reaching out beyond ourselves. Perhaps we have a deep sense of longing, or perhaps we are overwhelmed with thanksgiving, perhaps we simply want to hold those whom we love before God whose love is endless and whose mercy knows no limits.
For the past few years, St Mary Magdalen's has run a catechesis course—Christianity: The Basics—designed primarily for adults who want to know "what Christians believe".
The course involved a series of homilies followed by facilitated group discussion. The School of Theology has now compiled then of these homilies together, and made them available for wider use. We hope that they will be good starting points for fruitful conversations about the Christian faith.
The series begins, appropriately enough, with Jesus and what it means to know him. It then proceeds with a meditation on God the Holy Spirit before a going "back" to something that Christians have in common with other monotheists: the idea of God as Creator. Tying these three together is the next session, on the Trinity. The focus then returns to Jesus, in two sessions on the Incarnation, concluding the strictly doctrinal part of the course. The second part is on different aspects of Christian practice: Scripture, Worship, Baptism, and Eucharist. You will find the pages and PDFs for the whole series here.
The Dominican theologian Fr Herbert McCabe always and rightly insisted that we do not confess our sins because we need to be forgiven, but because we have been forgiven. The sacrament of reconciliation is, like all sacraments, a celebration, in this case, an invitation to join in God's rejoicing whenever we turn from our self-desctructive tendencies. In the confessing and absolving of sins, we receive a sign of God's great love for us, which we are told about so vividly in Luke's parable of the prodigal son, the lost coin, and the lost sheep.
The rite for the sacrament of reconciliation presupposes that preparation in the form of self-examination has been made, and therefore begins with confession. The priest then dispenses advice and encouragement, and proposes acts of penance before pronouncing absolution. The rite ends with a plea for the pennant to pray for the priest, a sinner also.
Download a copy of the rite for the sacrament of reconciliation here.