After Fr Hamel, a suggestion

Everywhere we are rightly being exhorted to pray in the wake of the barbaric murder of an elderly priest while about the Lord’s work. We are praying for him, though with the confidence that soon enough we shall be praying to him. We are praying for the other victims, and even for the demon-inspired murderers, just in case God got through at the very last gasp. We are praying for all the persecuted Church, and those who fall victim to hatred of Christ. We are praying for those who keep us safe.

Prayer is seen as soul’s work. But we have bodies, and bodies can pray too. A little mortification, perhaps some fasting and abstinence (why do we hear so little exhortation to fasting nowadays?); a little kneeling before the Lord, or even prostration if you can manage that without making a show of it; setting one’s face to the East in a prayerful gaze of longing for the Lord to return at last in glory; telling your beads with our Lady.

At the very least we can all do this: search your purses, wallets, bags, backs of couches, underneath car seats, etc, and get together some coinage. If you’ve no coins, a banknote will do. The go to your local parish church, monastery church, convent chapel, school chapel, hospital chapel, prison chapel— a church at any rate…

… and light a candle or three, hallowing each one with a brief prayer. Let’s fill our churches with light, that the world might know that the darkness might win a battle but it cannot win the war.

Let there be light: fiat lux — lumen Christi, lumen fidei, lumen veritatis, lumen caritatis, lumen spei.

Could we all do that? #fiatlux

Worshiper Lighting Votive Candle on Altar

19 thoughts on “After Fr Hamel, a suggestion

  1. St. Leo the Great’s short and excellent sermons on the various Sundays of Lent are filled with references to fasting and its place in the spiritual scheme of things. Now more to the point than ever in the wake of today’s horrific news. And yes, I plan to light some candles too. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Father for this prayer of peace and hope–our hearts, our tears, our prayers wing their way to Father Hamel and the parishioners of St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray–as I was en route today for the hour plus drive to help care for my elderly father, who is just a bit older than Fr Hamel, I thought of how now Father Hamel is home and at peace—no longer here fighting this fight. May light perpetual shine upon his soul as he now joins the heavenly hosts who look upon us offering us our hope—
    a hug from across the pond Father…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this Father, it gets discouraging every time. This one is big. I lit candles today. Asked for St. Joachim’s & St. Anne’s prayers. Thank you Father.


      1. Traditionally no. But I think it is in the bishops’ power to impose a fast even on a Sunday, if they see the need. I see the need, and Sunday is a day that will have some impact since it is a day of family feasting, as it were, when a family is more likely to be gathered. Let them fast together, and reflect, and pray. This Sunday, after all, is likely to be a day of mourning.


  4. Thank you for this encouraging post Father, when we could so easily just remain in deep distress with sentiments of anger or despair at this heinous murder of a faithful old priest. Fr Jacques Hamel now goes to join the ranks of all the holy martyrs and saints in Heaven. Through their intercession and sacrifice our Holy Catholic Church will be fortified in its war against the forces of evil.

    I have included a link to your article on our blog at CP&S:


  5. St Eteinne de Rouvray is the twin town of Gateshead in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. In 1998 a Gateshead choir, the famous Felling Male Voice Choir, visited this town as part of a European Tour & performed a concert in the beautiful church where Fr Jacques was murdered

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really, you would offer that punishing the body is the will of God rather than bringing it into line with the spirit of Christ that lies within. Is that not living in the flesh rather than the spirit? Hardly Godly work for the soul.


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