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.
Jesuit chaplain, Fr Roger Dawson SJ, was among the 1000+ cyclists who brought central London to a halt yesterday afternoon, as they completed the 2014 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride from Brussels to Paris through the First World War battlefields. The final stage included a ceremony at the Centotaph in Whitehall where Roger gave this reflection.
Christians do not calculate or make distinctions as to whether God is inside a certain situation or not, whether a person seems worth it or not, whether a person has any beliefs, or whether a person appears to be a good person or not, before reaching out in service. Christians help whoever is in need, independent of those considerations – like the Good Samaritan.
Christ invites us to love each other as he loves us. He doesn't say, love each other according to the spontaneous movements of our heart; nor, love each other as society defines love, but rather; ‘Love each other as I have loved you’ (John 15.12). How well have we done that over the centuries? How well do we do it today?
The first half of our journey through life, according to Ronald Rolheiser OMI, is a struggle with the untamed energies of youth - restlessness, sexuality, the ache for intimacy, the push for achievement, the search for a moral cause, the hunger for roots, and the longing for a companionship and a place that feels like home. The second half is more a struggle with God.