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Bread and Flowers from Unsplash
“I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11.25-26]Most Jesuits, in fact I think most people who have done the Spiritual Exercises, will tell you that the most difficult time is the three days which Ignatius asks us to spend in company with the Lord in the Tomb – the distance from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.It is a cold, hard, lonely silent place, sitting in...
A composite image of Thomas More and Edmund Campion SJ  facing each other
The Martin Scorcese film Silence now on general release. It highlights a time in the Church’s life in Japan when many Christians were martyred for their Christian faith. Jesuit priests and Catholic men and women were tortured in the hope that they would deny their faith in Christ and in His Body, the Church. It might seem very remote from our own time and experience and yet, today, we hear extraordinary stories of Christians in the Middle East, of Jesuits and Christian men and women,...
Older woman holds her head in her hands - by Christian Newman on unsplash
This Sunday is Christmas day, a day when, by long tradition, all over the world, Christians wake up happy – thankful for all of the good things they have been given in life. Not just the good things they have been given this morning, but all of the good things they have received from God’s hand throughout their lives. And thankful most especially for the people they have been given to love and people who have been given to love them. This is a day for rejoicing in all that God has...
I remember the day, in fact the exact moment, when I learned to pray – really, really hard.It was when I was about 12 and my family went for a holiday to France. My father drove the car as far as Dover, we got the ferry to Calais and my mother drove down to Paris – at least that was the plan. And it worked fine until we were about twenty minutes down the big motorway from Calais to Paris.Now, as everyone knows, the key thing to remember about driving on French roads is that you are...
Margaret Hassan (Fitzsimons)
Around about this time twelve years ago, you may just remember, the whole country was talking about Margaret Hassan, a middle aged woman from Dublin who worked most of her life as an aid worker in Iraq and, that winter, was tortured and killed on television. Her horrific death brought her fifteen minutes of fame and subsequent oblivion. I want to briefly to remind you of the story of her life, because I believe it is the best expression I know in action of the words of this Gospel.She was born...
Two groups of young men gathered in a huddle
The first time I ever read this Gospel in Church, it was when I was working in the Caribbean. And it was to a youth Mass in a place called Albouystown - a very bad part of Georgetown in Guyana - a rough area, full of poverty, disease, violence and drugs.So, I read them the Gospel and I asked the young people to think of an image of what it would be like for Jesus to walk into their town and into their lives, the way He walked into Jericho and into the life of Zacchaeus.They thought for a bit...
Old books
“It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.”When the Falklands war started, I was about 18 and we happened to be living next door to the Argentinean naval attaché. My mother heard the news on the radio and (being that kind of woman) immediately went next door to ask him what it was all about – and what in particular the Argentinians wanted with what she thought were some semi-detached bits of Scotland. He was horrified at the news, “...
Boy flicks through text book
Pope Paul VI was once approached by an enthusiastic spirit-filled young man who told him that he wanted to be a martyr.“No,” said the Holy Father after due consideration, “be a teacher. That is much, much harder.”Well, my father was a schoolteacher. He was never really happy with that. He had hoped for more in life – a sparkling career in what he thought was more a glamorous profession and certainly a better paid one. But, for many reasons, he did not succeed in...
Maastricht students at the Great Wall of China
Two intrepid students from the University of Maastricht have been inspired by the explorations of Jesuit missionaries through China and Tibet to begin their own adventure. British Samantha Jenkins & Italian Angelica Giombini are documenting their trip with a blog, comparing their experiences with the travel logs of 17th century Jesuits in China.The expedition does not only serve its purpose as an interactive travel log, but also aims to provide comparative insight into the nature in which...
jesuit london marathon runners
As most regular readers will know, one constant aspect of my first year in the Jesuit novitiate thus far has been preparing to run the London Marathon in aid of Jesuit Missions. On Sunday 24th April I completed the marathon and so now it feels right to reflect on and share what I have taken from this experience.The Day Itself:For the running enthusiasts reading I should start by recommending running the London Marathon. It was an incredible experience from start to finish. A lot of it is a blur...

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