All life has powerful inner pressures and is not easily thwarted. It shows in the example of plants that push relentlessly and blindly towards their own ends, irrespective of resistance. We naturally tend to want a deeper relationship with God, and this most often happens not in Church, but in our private prayers - our silent gratitude and silent tears.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines prayer as ‘raising the mind and heart to God’. For centuries, the Church realised that the arts were one of the best ways of achieving this. Any list of the greatest artistic achievements of all time will be dominated by religio
One of the reasons why we struggle with faith at times is that God’s presence in us and in our world is rarely dramatic, something impossible to ignore. God doesn’t work like that. Rather God’s presence, much to our frustration and impatience at times, is something quiet and seemingly helpless inside us, rarely making waves. God never tries to overwhelm us, he respects our freedom. For this reason, God lies everywhere, inside us and around us, largely unnoticed, and easily ignored, a quiet, gentle nudge; but, if drawn upon, the ultimate stream of love and energy.
On Sunday 29th June the Church celebrated two of our foremost saints, Saints Peter and Paul. Fr Tim Byron SJ gave this homily for BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship which was broadcast live from St Joseph's Bradford.
Learning later in life is much more of a challenge than learning when we're young, mainly because of the bad habits that we have to unlearn along the way. Peter Knott SJ reflects on the spiritual meaning behind learning the piano later in life.
Mercy bridges love and law, wipes out sin, and characterises the Church which we are charged to bring to others. But first we must recognise that Church for ourselves. Truly, we must "break with convention, and do things differently".
The life of a former UN Secretary General may not seem like the best place to begin to understand the fruits of celibacy, but as more of his journals are being published in English, we are becoming more aware that Dag Hammarskjold was both a man of extraordinary moral integrity and extraordinary spiritual depth. The fact he never married, and yet longed for marriage, shows how the single life can bear the beautiful fruit of the consecrated life.