prayer

Pope Francis has given an urgent new mission to his personal Prayer Network (formerly known as Apostleship of Prayer) to share among all the faithful. This task, to begin as soon as possible at the beginning of October, is to promote his intention that we all intensify our prayer during this month. He invites us to pray every day the Holy Rosary with the intention that the Virgin Mary help the Church in these times of crisis, and to pray each day to St. Michael the Archangel that he defend us...
Photo Credit: Vatican News
This week, Pope Francis published an unusually blunt letter on abuse. In it, he condemns unequivocally both the abuse of minors and the failure to hold perpetrators to account.He describes abuse as both a crime and a sin and acknowledges the terrible damage that it causes. He apologises to all who have been hurt and says: "I acknowledge once more the sufferings endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of...
Woman sits reflectively at sunset
The lonely place to which Jesus so urgently invited his exhausted disciples was meant to be a place of refreshment and rest.  It was supposed to be quiet and peaceful. All that had been done on the apostolic mission was to have been serenely meditated upon there and properly discussed.  However, the lonely place turned out to be full of enthusiastic hearers of Jesus’ teaching who had to be looked after and nourished.   This intrusion of the work of salvation into the...
Today is the feast of Saint Aloysius, a Jesuit young saint who embodied selfless love and complete dedication to the service of poor.St Aloysius’s Jesuit Church in the centre of Glasgow serves the city, the West of Scotland and beyond. The local community is always the main focus of the parish, which seeks to deepen the spiritual life of those who are part of it or come for a visit: the doors are always open and the church offers a peaceful refuge and solace for everyone.A week on from the...
Sunlight breaks through trees. Photo by Kristine Weilert on unsplash
“The man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.”When I was a novice, I used to work in a parish where – because they were giving me all the bad jobs - they put me on what we used to call “drinkers’ duty”. Every morning, from about 7 o’clock onwards, about 20-30 men and women would come up to the church and they would stop in and tell me how much alcohol they had drunk the previous day. And my job was to write it down –...
As we continue through Lent towards Holy Week, Good Friday and Holy Saturday we are asked not to rush, not to start preparations for the resurrection, but to wait, to understand our own powerlessness. On International Women’s Day, we begin to listen to the voices of women who, on Holy Saturday, are doing just that. They are women of God, who have been present in Jesus’s life; women whose stories are often told but not always heard; strong women, loving women who, even though they do not fully...
Welcome to 'Meditations on the Love of God', a short retreat based on the works of Spanish Franciscan, Diego de Estella which were translated by Robert Southwell SJ. Entitled 'A Hundred Meditations on the Love of God', the poetic reflections pivot around a sense of wonder at the love of God and of Christ, for both us and creation.Translating these meditations would have been a long task for Southwell, indicating that they must have captured him in some way. We have selected extracts from seven...
Rosary beads a traditional form of prayer
Just about this time fifteen years ago, my old French teacher died – “Monsieur Sam”, of Wimbledon College.When we were boys of 13, religion really didn’t mean very much to us. We had not yet experienced in our own lives any real need for God. But Monsieur Sam, our new French teacher, insisted on starting our French course by teaching us the Rosary in French. We found out that it was the first thing he taught every class he took.And he explained to us very simply why he did that – it was because...
Photo: © Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints. All Rights Reserved
This week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and it will be marked this Sunday by a pulpit swap, with Richard Fermer from the Grosvenor Chapel coming to the Church of the Immaculate conception to preach at the 11am Mass and myself going across the garden to preach at the Grosvenor Chapel.My first thoughts are to be grateful for what has been achieved.  We live in a part of London where there are reminders of a time when it was very different.  We are conscious of Tyburn and...
In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one's own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Each month therefore, we will offer a painting in the hope that it will enable you to reflect more deeply on a particular passage of scripture. The idea is that you can return to the painting and scripture and discover more depth throughout the month.

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