Culture and Society

Image of Doves with text: Seek His Kingdom First
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s kingdom to come, God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. But that can sound rather cold and impersonal. When we hear St Paul describing the effects of the Holy Spirit of God as love (charity), joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, it sounds more encouraging. And St Paul adds elsewhere in his letters humility and forgiveness, everything that is excellent and honourable and worthy of...
Prison Bars
In the Gospels Jesus embraces the most broken of his society and encourages us to do likewise. It is from this motivation that for two days a week I work as a Catholic Chaplain to HMP Brixton, a prison in South London. Brixton Prison has for a long time been a remand prison but was recently re-categorised to a category C local prison. This allows us to build long-lasting relations with the prisoners as it ensures that they are around for a longer time compared to the regime in a remand prison....
Candles in sand image from flickr by caffeinehit
Lighting a candle is something shared and enjoyed across the world’s cultures. The candles on a birthday cake create an atmosphere which remains even when the candles are blown out.  When we light a candle in Church, its flame continues to flicker after we have gone, bearing witness to a relationship between God and ourselves.  The Easter Vigil with its Paschal candle proclaims the triumph of light over darkness, and we share in that proclamation as our small candles are kindled and...
Image of the first page of the Papal Bull
If someone hasn’t written yet on the subject  of email and spirituality, I am sure they will soon. Much is said about the social media of Facebook and twitter, while the old fashioned email hardly gets a mention. Yet for many people email can dominate, define and direct their day.  When I get up in the morning, do I switch on my computer immediately (assuming I have switched it off!), anxious to see if anyone has communicated with me while I have been asleep?  Depressed to find...
Pope Francis saying mass at the Gésu in Rome
The white smoke appeared surprisingly early.  The Jesuit community in Edinburgh gathered round the TV to hear the announcement.  We had enough Latin to understand great joy and wondered how it fitted with the first name George. When the unfamiliar surname Bergoglio was spoken, someone in the group said, he is one of us. Most Jesuits I know were shocked. This might seem strange, but we have always taken it for granted that there would never be a Jesuit Pope. The founder of the Jesuits...

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