Culture and Society

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Most sensitive people are liable to suffer from emotional obsessions sometime;  like for example, the feeling of being in love with someone who is hopelessly unavailable.  These kinds of  obsessions affect our whole lives, including our moral and religious lives. What we do in the pain and paralysis of obsession rarely does us proud, and is often far from a free act. In the grip of an emotional obsession we cannot think freely, pray freely, decide things freely, and we are prone...
Incense burner in stained glass at St Ignatius Church Chestnut Hill Massachusetts
Francis – Created by Excelsis to celebrate the Petrine succession of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, Pontifex Maximus, 266th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Francis is an engaging, fresh fragrance with a citrusy top note of bergamot and a soft, woody drydown of sandalwood. Smooth and soothing, A grand aftershave.One wonders what Pope Francis would make of this advertisement for the Excelsis Fine Fragrances Company’s latest creation, ‘Francis Eau de Cologne’. The...
Kogai children in Columbia
For July 2015, the Holy Father’s Evangelisation Intention draws our attention to the poor in his native Latin America. Coming to us in the month in which he made his first return to his own continent since his election, it’s timely that he asks us to pray thus: “That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society”. Here in our own supposedly prosperous country, increasing poverty, particularly among children...
"He could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them."As a doctor, I have always loved the last line of this reading. It seems like - for St Mark - just healing a few sick people doesn't really count as a miracle! He takes it for granted that healing is a natural part of God becoming really present in a human life.Well, a few days ago I had a young man in my office with his girlfriend - both much in need of healing. Both of them had just tested HIV...
Politics - Houses of Parliament
It’s sometimes said that the followers of Christ should stay out of politics; what they are meant to do instead, isn’t so clear. If “politics” means party politics, actively favouring one side of party over another, then Christ’s people should most certainly be engaged.There is an important condition, though: justice, absolute concern for the poor in an unfair world and the greater universal good must be their watchwords, their guidelines, and if the party they favour has to be examined closely...
Many people find themselves over-extended and unable to give their best to all the various calls on their time.  They are often advised that the reason for this tension in their life is because of failure to set clear priorities and be faithful to them;  and that this sloppy indecisiveness is unfair to everyone on every side. If I am over-extended, it’s a fault in my life, which I have to correct.But is it really that simple? Are we really meant to have this much control of over our...
          The single, most often quoted line from Pope Francis perhaps,  is his reply to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly sensitive issue: ‘Who am I to judge?’  This remark might seem evasive or less-than-serious.  In fact it is on safe ground.  Jesus says that ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, (but so that the world might be saved through him).’ John 3.17That doesn’t mean...
A thinly veiled piece of climate alarmist propaganda.  A groundbreaking exposition of Catholic ecological thinking.  Well intentioned but economically naïve.  A slippery slope towards extremist environmentalist positions.Such are the reactions to Pope Francis’s ecology encyclical — and it hasn’t even been published yet.  Nevertheless Vatican sources have confirmed that the encyclical will appear sometime this month.  It is reported that it will bear the title “Laudato...
         Nature is evolutionary, and in that we can see a wisdom which clearly shows intelligence, intent, spirit, and design. And perhaps nowhere is this more evident than how in the process of evolution we see nature becoming ever more unified, complex, and conscious.How God’s intelligence and intent are reflected in that however, is not always evident because nature can be brutal. In order to survive, many elements in nature have to eat some other...
At the second Jesuit Parishes Conference in February 2014, the delegates from each of the ten Jesuit  parishes in Britain were challenged by the Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ to return to their parishes and make them into thriving centres of Ignatian Spirituality.When our delegates returned from the Conference, and started planning to create our thriving centre for Ignatian Spirituality, they were building on strong foundations. A few years ago Evelyn Maloret of Jersey and long a...

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