The 'Mary Chapel' at St Canice's

The ‘Mary Chapel’ at St Canice’s

Opening Prayer

A Blessing for Mothers

Heal their pains and disappointments.
Forgive all that needs to be forgiven.

Give to them the good that they have given others.
Welcome to your bosom those who have died.
Fill this world, O God, with a mother’s love!


John 15:9-17

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.


Extract from Father Phil’s homily on today’s gospel about God’s Love for us (which he then used as a segue into a Mother’s Love for her children):

. . . . The gospel repeats the word “abide” again and again . . . “abide in my love” . . . “if you love one another, you will abide in my love” “just as I abide in my father’s love”. These are very passionate words.

Abide means to remain in, to live in, to have one’s abode in . . . God. It is such a contrast to what we think of as our Christian duty . . . namely to struggle to overcome our sinfulness, and thus to make myself worthy of God’s approval, a nod from on high! That sad version of our relationship with God is swept aside in the second reading where John says, What we are talking about is not that we loved God, but that that he loved us first. And Again, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” I chose, and still do choose, to love you first. You are my friends.

How sad that we often feel attracted to a relationship of fear with God in which we wrestle with our demons in a futile effort to measure up to what we convince ourselves is God’s measuring rod for people like me. And while we are doing that, God’s son Jesus is saying to us, “You are my friends”, you are God’s chosen friends, and my father and I want you to abide in our friendship, and all I ask in return is that you love one another so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.

Communion Hymn – ‘Hail Mary: Gentle Woman’

Gentle woman,
quiet light,
morning star,
so strong and bright,
gentle Mother,
peaceful dove,
teach us wisdom,
teach us love.