Pope Francis has brought a breath of fresh air into the Church. There had been a disturbing trend for the embrace of our churches to become less inclusive. We seemed to be requiring a purity and exclusivity not demanded by Jesus in the Gospels.
I used to have an aunt who wasn't an aunt but a family friend. The only problem with Proxy-Aunt was that no-one could remember whose friend she was or indeed which branch of the family she had previously befriended.
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".