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Monday, 31 October 2011

Humility in Sin

Over the past few days I have become aware of a great humility that comes from sin. I don't think it means I am the most humble person that ever lived but thankfully its a natural humility that I recognise in the time after a sin is committed. An awareness of my failings makes them hurt me very much and it comes from turning away from God and knowing you have disappointed him.

Thankfully we have confession which is always needed. A good friend said to me tonight as words of comfort 'with the same old sins comes the same old forgiveness'. Obviously this isn't belittling God's ability to forgive as this is a supernatural gift beyond my understanding but I am amazingly grateful that our God is a merciful one. After sin I can recognize we turn away from God, but we need to turn back to him as soon as possible and admit our failings.

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a poor sinner.

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Halloween

Everyone is getting excited about Halloween and it seems to be bigger than ever this year. Friends are talking about what fancy dress they are going to wear when they go out drinking and parents are looking forward to taking their children trick or treating.

I really cant believe it. This so called festival is being celebrated far and wide and allot of people don't have a clue about the true relevance of it. Its another opportunity for a drink and usually I am not one to argue with that.

In society, certainly in my little world, it seems to be celebrated with the same lack of dignity that allot of people celebrate Christmas (which I actually cant wait for!!!). Lets be clear that certainly allot of our loved ones need praying for this Halloween so they can accept God's forgiveness if it's needed and be united with him in heaven.



PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, please give people the understanding of the importance of praying for the souls in purgatory and to the Holy Souls who are united with you. May the liturgical celebrations of the church come back in to the forefront of English society and may the souls in purgatory rest in peace and be united with you.

Amen

In God's Love

SSG

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

God's Presence


I am reading Scott Hahns book 'Signs of Life' and its jogged my memory about an important area of everyday life.

As a poor sinner I am acutely aware that I have to improve the condition of my soul through undertaking God's will and asking him for forgiveness. A key to avoiding temptations and living according to his will is living constantly in his presence. I have been aware for a couple of years how important this is and I continue to try and cultivate an unfailing awareness of his presence every minute of the day. This is a difficult habit to get in to and there are so many things in our lives that pull us away from the awareness of his presence. From TV to getting bogged down in work, it all distracts us from the awareness we should have and indeed, need.

I do believe, however, that this consistent awareness is possible to achieve and even at those times in work or when you undertake a consuming activity, we can still know that God is watching us and taking care of us. The more we feel God's presence, the more his work, through the Holy Spirit, becomes obvious to us. We can see the times when he helps us or when we are about to fall into temptation and knowing his presence pulls us back in to his radiance so that we can resist our sinful natures.

I will be continually working on feeling his presence just as the Saints did and hope that this will improve my Spiritual life.

In God's Love

SSG

Monday, 24 October 2011

Padley Martyrs

On Saturday, Amy, Evelyn and I went to Padley where the Vocations director (of the Nottingham Diocese) Father Matthew Jakes celebrated mass on the Altar stone where Saint Nicholas Garlick and Saint Thomas Ludlam celebrated mass before they were hung, drawn and quartered for professing the Catholic faith during the reformation. Father Jakes talked about the small sufferings that priests are called to make in these present times and how these martyrs are such amazing examples for us all.



It was a privilege to pray to the martyrs at such a magnificently humble location. Padley is a really gorgeous place and we had a walk up the gorge alongside the stream and the weather stayed perfect for it.

The mass was celebrated and offered for vocations to the priesthood of which there were a few potentials among the congregation. Such a wonderful calling by God may be answered by some of these special chosen few and I pray for them that they will find their way to doing God's will, whatever they choose to do.

In God's Love

SSG

Friday, 21 October 2011

Lack of Understanding

In most situations I would say that I have an opinion of some sort but I think there really has to be some sort of thought before you actually type/speak or present it to someone. We have to check that our information is correct. Unfortunately there are an abundance of people out there that have no understanding of the Catholic church's teachings and yet, choose to make some sort of belittling comment about it's history or something of it's present. I am specifically aiming this at people who leave their comments at the bottom of online news stories.

Unfortunately it takes a little time to read and delve deeper into the Catholic faith and these people refuse to do so. They have their opinions fed to them by the media and other biased sources who have soaked their minds with anti-Catholic waffle.

To you people out there, I pray for you and at the same time say a huge ' SHUT UP'. My mother told me to think before I speak (I am sure she also meant before I typed) so please take this lesson from my mother. If you now feel patronised, you should do.

I also say, come and join us and feel the love that comes from the Holy Spirit.

In God's Love

SSG

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

'Forgive and Forget' not 'Blame and Claim'



Having just received a letter confirming that I was mis-sold PPI insurance with a loan I took out some years ago and with a final settlement figure, I was happy to see that I have now received back a bit of cash that I was forced into paying 6 years ago.

However, the blame and claim culture that we now have shocks me. People lie and claim that injury's are worse than they are or just lie altogether and claim that something happened when it didn't. This surely is not that way we should be repaying God's forgiveness by wrongfully suing others and trying to get hold of their money. The new attitude means that when the slightest injury is caused to us we suddenly think of pound signs don't use these situations as an opportunity to show patience, kindness and forgiveness.

I am not saying it is always wrong but it's a system that is enormously abused and we should always think of these things with our spiritual thinking hats on. Maybe ,when the occasion arises, we could change the 'Blame and Claim' slogan and make it our own to be an example in proclaiming God's glory by 'Forgiving and Forgetting'.

In God's Love

SSG

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

New Direction??????

I have been thinking for some time now of setting the wheels in motion to train up to become an RE teacher in a Catholic school.

After having an appraisal at work last week I do not feel as invigorated with work as I once did. Having climbed the ladder up to management there is allot of progression to be made but do I want it??? For now this job is an excellent income for my family and this must be my first priority but is it the will of God that I should stay here for another 5-10 years?? I think not.

I will be contacting Maryvale soon to see what my options are and will keep you posted.

In God's Love

SSG

Friday, 14 October 2011

SPUC Event





My wife, baby Evelyn and I are going to venture out tonight to a Kaylee in order to support SPUC, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

We are supporters of the charity who do some great work. The Rotherham branch is full of amazing people who donate so much of their valuable time to SPUC. Although I am not the best dancer we thought we should support the event and maybe I might even find a glass of red wine while I am there. There is no doubt in my mind that SPUC work is God's work and I pray for all the members of the charity and people who are kind enough to donate their time. Well done to you all!!!!! You are legends.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ bless these generous people who give their time to support SPUC, may you grant each one of them your grace so that they may have the strength to fight this difficult battle. May we also ask that people who oppose SPUC's work may see it for what it really is and may have their eyes opened to the suffering that SPUC opposes.

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Faith in the Office

Working as a manager in an office presents allot of challenges with all the office politics, arguments and poor standards of work that CAN come with undertaking this responsibility. Thankfully all of these situations can be a great opportunity to live out our faith. Having said that I often wave at an opportunity as it passes me by.

I am always aware that as a line manager people are always quick to follow your example and it's amazing the amount of influence you can have over your members of staff (I am also aware of how slow people can be to follow certain things depending on their nature).  This influence is a powerful thing when it's being mixed with faith and I can notice times when I have voiced an opinion that comes directly from my faith and people happily go with it (I wonder what they would think if they knew this). In the office that I work in there is no swearing/crudities and people are open to talking about God which is unfortunately a luxury in the days we live in. People ask me questions and seem to have a respect for the Catholic faith although from time to time you still get the odd misguided and misinformed goon.

Not only do I have a great responsibility in being a manager but the responsibility in my eyes stretches beyond that. I have to live out my faith and be this example for others in God's name.

In God's Love

SSG

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Spiritual Warfare in Normality

Spiritual warfare is a fairly new term to me but one that really gets me motivated to do God's will in order that I am not a slave to sin.

When we think of warfare it usually conjures up some sort of 'Saving Private Ryan' heroic moment where somebody is remembered and goes down in history as being a legend. Spiritual warfare however is different but with a much better and glorious outcome. Our chances to be involved in this spiritual warfare are frequent and as my SD told me 'we are on the front line'. Our chances come not in a heroic and historical way (unless you are chosen to be a Saint and example, by God) but through the everyday actions we undertake and the way we undertake them.

My example at the moment is with impatience. My battle is being fought with impatience and each time I feel this way I have to take up my spiritual sword and shield and give that impatience some welly. This manifests its self with me showing outwards signs of patience and accepting the small amount of suffering it may cause me on the inside.

Lets take the example of the 'Little Flower' and pick up our spiritual swords in our everyday, mundane and annoying tasks and say ' I am going to fight the snares that the devil will lay for me and come out victorious all for the Glory of God'

In God's Love

SSG

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Purchase







My wife saw this magazine on Fr Finigans blog and purchased it. Sounds really interesting and I will look forward to reading it. I will let you know what its like.

In God's Love

SSG

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Net of Youth

I attended a meeting tonight with three other leaders who are facilitating a youth group. We come back to the question ' how do we attract the youth to the church' indeed how do we take part in fulfilling our apostolic duties in this way?

My spiritual director, in my opinion, has got it right..

The youth group meet once a month to play games. We are trying to incorporate the spiritual life into the youth group. My SD advised me to do a short talk before each youth group session on some part of our faith that children would find interesting and I can tell you I am not short of ideas. We need to draw on parts/truths of our faith that capture their imaginations and bring about powerful imagery in their minds. Children will find the lives of the Saints and the history of the church interesting presented to children in the right way. We have the most wonderful history to draw upon to capture their souls and draw them close to God where they all, of course, yearn to be.

Lets hope the first session can be inspiring, although I have to prepare it still. Any ideas?

In God's Love

SSG

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Participation in Consumerism

My first and last visit to the white rose shopping centre took place earlier. Now on reflection this should not be a regular Sunday activity as the fact of Christs sacrifice pails into insignificant as people get lost in the world of spend, spend, spend. Of course I took part in this but an awareness of its inappropriate nature will make me think twice before venturing out into this fight to spend more money than we have. An excursion on a Sunday I am sure is a good thing with your family but this just loses the point and their is no resting in God's presence in this environment.

However, a father of the church (Asterius of Amasea) tells us that 'If we struggle with covetous, instead of accumulating everything, we should just enjoy the sights in the market without buying. It would be better to get rid of your covetous altogether, but at least a little window shopping wont take away anything from anyone else'

If you would like to see the full sermon let me know and I will send it to you.

In God's Love

SSG

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Spiritual Direction

I have just arrived back from an appointment with my spiritual director after taking up far too much of his valuable time. We talked about many things which I will speak about over the next week. Mass, confession then a spiritual direction session was the order of the day. I now feel invigorated in my fight with sin and hopefully can improve spiritually from the advice and prayers that I have been given. I would urge everybody to find a spiritual director and lets all find our way to full communion with the Lord. We need help along the way and somebody to hold the torch for us to light the areas we cannot see.

A miserable day (weather) has been made great by the tools I have received to help me with my spiritual warfare. I would love to hear other peoples experiences of spiritual direction.


In God's Love

SSG

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Holy Family Aspiration


Now I know that everybody has dreams and aspirations to do big things in life. I really think that my aspirations, although unatainable, are a million times more amazing than wanting to be a top actor or footballer. I used to want to be these by the way.

Now I find myself alone, looking at a picture of the holy family in my living room and thinking ' If i could just be one millionth as holy or imitate them as much as is possible in my life then I would be overjoyed. The holy family collectivley represent a unity so unbreakable that has been moulded by God. Joseph the worker, Mary the immaculate and Jesus the son of the living God. Maybe I set my goals a little high. Or maybe I just want them to be close to me in my daily family life, to give me the grace to please God through our family and be open to the will of God just as Mary and Joseph were when accepting this will so openly with so much trust.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Pray for us.

In God's Love

SSG

Distraction or Rest

I am finding it difficult to discern what activities in my life are harmful and what activities are good for my soul. I understand that playing on my xbox or playstation for hours on end is only a distraction from prayer and intimacy with God but some things are a little harder to discern. For example, I watch allot of football on TV. Should I spend this time in prayer? Is this harmful to my soul?.

I watch football because I enjoy it. Is this good or bad? Just because I enjoy something it doesn't always mean I should do it. Its a challenge for us all trying to decide what is harmful to our souls and what is helpful.

What do you think?

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Divine Intimacy

The above book is a present from my parents. I cant wait to get started on it at the beginning of advent. This book is sure to increase the depth of my spiritual life and bring me closer to Jesus. I will speak more about this book when I take part in its daily meditations at the beginning of advent. Recommended by Fr John Cahill.

In God's Love

Prayer for Visitors

Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to bless all the people who visit this blog that they may know you better and love you. May your light be in their lives and the holy spirit guide them in whatever they do.

Amen

In Gods Love

SSG

Lack of Sleep

My wife is suffering more than me today. With less than 4 hours sleep (newborn related) I have come to work and I have had my fair share of the sleep. Its a difficult time with a new born but I keep praying that Jesus will give us the strength to get through it by offering up our difficult times for the sake of the souls in purgatory and give us the strength to love each other through all the tiredness and impatience.

In Gods Love

SSG

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Young Catholic

I haven't mentioned this. It's important to the future of the Young Catholic Blog spot and should be said before I cant really put the 'Young' before 'Catholic'.

My name is Samuel Sheridan-Garrity, I am 27 and live in Barnsley, England. I live with my wife and 8 week old Daughter. Amy and Evelyn. I have been a practising Catholic since I was baptised as a child but have only recently come into what I would call a spiritual renewal.

The idea behind the blog is to update and talk about what it means to be a young Catholic. I don't presume to know anything and I think that this is what makes the blog interesting. You decide!!!!!

I want to talk about everyday experiences and hope people can follow and comment on these.

Please pray for me.

In God's Love

SSG

Spiritual Direction

The week is slowly moving towards Saturday which is my second spiritual direction appointment. Father Brown of the University of Bradford has been charged with the difficult task of helping me with my soul. Confession is making me nervous, as it should and I am hoping to make some new resolutions as I have not really achieved the forward movement in my spiritual life that I was hoping for.

A spiritual director is really a help and keeps my focus on what I have to talk about and the difficulties I am facing. Father Brown is really an excellent priest who is taking this responsibility seriously. Lets hope I can keep strong to resist temptations and make strides in deepening my faith.

In God's Love

SSG

Monday, 3 October 2011

The Young Catholic

This blog simply is about the challenges and daily life of a young Catholic and all that's involved. I hope everyone can relate to and find some interest from the young Catholic. Please Keep watching for updated posts.

In God's Love

SSG