Spiritual Journeys

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When we open the door to the other, we find fulfilment of our longing to know more of God. Peter Gallagher SJ helps us reflect on the different welcomes of Martha and Mary.We welcome strangers to where we live as hospitably as we can. We treat the visitor as a representative of God. Old stories of humble-looking travellers who turn out to be kings and queens encourage us in such warm welcoming. The truth about the identity of the one who knocks at the gate comes to light eventually. Despite...
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How can the Samaritan teach us about being true to our own nature? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on charity, our potential, and the abounding grace of God.On my way back I will make good any extra expenses you may incur (Luke 10.35). The good Samaritan’s generous and trusting farewell to the innkeeper mirrors God’s goodness and his confidence in us. God, who has already been very generous to us, acknowledges the difficulties we have in doing what he asks of us. He assures us of his help. His...
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Solidarity, joy, love: there are different ways the marks of Jesus on our lives become visible. Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to reflect on the effect of the divine ink in our relationships.     In our tattooing age we might miss the force of the words in Galatians: the marks on my body are those of Jesus (Galatians 6.17). Decorative inscriptions on bodies are common, but the marks (stigmata is the Greek here) which are ‘of Jesus’ are rarer. The stigmata are the wounds...
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The Pope's prayer intention this month is for the integrity of justice. David Stewart SJ reflects.At the end of June, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network gathered many people associated with this mission in Rome to celebrate 175 years since our first beginning. From those early days, in France, this pontifical service has grown to become the Church’s largest prayer-group, operating in at least 97 countries. Known to millions for many decades as the Apostleship of Prayer, this work underwent a...
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Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the powerful yet humble faith which we celebrate on the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.      Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church (The Order of Mass, 126). This heartfelt prayer is expressed at Mass just before the sign of peace. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church. These words capture not only our vivid sense of unworthiness in the presence of our Lord and his sacred mysteries but also our...
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“Miraculously we play a part in the self-offering by the One who made us,” says Fr Peter Gallagher SJ. Read his reflection for the feast of Corpus Christi.   Give them something to eat yourselves (Luke 9.1). Before the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus gives this order. Give them something to eat yourselves. Disciples are always re-discovering that without the Lord we are nothing. We cannot give people what will nourish them unless Jesus...
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In the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the community is inspired and strengthened by knowledge and love. Peter Gallagher SJ reflects.     When the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you into the complete truth (John 16.13). Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will give us the knowledge we need to share the life of God. That divine knowledge has sustained the community of the disciples of Christ since the very beginning. We have been enabled to come to...
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For Pentecost Sunday, Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the power of language and how the Holy Spirit assists our communications.Learning a new language is laborious for most of us. In a world in which people move around a great deal and have to function well in cultures strange to them, there is plenty of such labour. Acquiring competence in a language may be no mere decorative accomplishment but necessary for survival.The account in the Acts of the Apostles of the first Christian Pentecost makes...
For the month of June, David Stewart SJ invites us to reflect on the active solidarity of the priests, and he reinforces the Pope's invitation to pray for them. That priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively to a solidarity with those who are most poor. The late, great Cardinal Basil Hume OSB, when ordaining new priests in the Diocese of Westminster, used always to remark on how people would presume that the men being ordained had been tested...
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As we walk towards Pentecost, we are longing to see into heaven, like Stephen. Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to be contemplatives gazing into heaven, but remember also we are active disciples of Christ. Of all the times of waiting and preparation in the Church, the novena of the Holy Spirit, between the Ascension and the day of Pentecost, is surely the gentlest. Lent can be hard work.  Even Advent, during which we sometimes anticipate Christmas too precipitately, can seem wintry and...

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