Culture and Society

A man clutches his ice cream
I am sure that, this morning, as soon as we awoke, all of us had just one major concern in our minds – would Ireland beat England at Twickenham this afternoon?When I was very young, my mother’s most annoying favourite saying was: “Offer it up for the Holy Souls in Purgatory”. Usually she said it to me when I was filled with righteous indignation at some major injustice that had been perpetrated against me – such as an unequal division of the ice cream. It is not, you understand, that I could...
Andean Angels credit Cris Fajardo
An increasingly important idea in modern Christian communication is that of religious inculturation, the challenge of making biblical topics and themes meaningful and appealing within differing human cultures. A good example is the different ways in which the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt is depicted in different cultures. Commonly in the West the family pictured as fleeing from persecution is fair-skinned, with Mary and her baby seated on a donkey being led along the road by Joseph. The Holy...
By Nasa on unsplash.com
In speaking of the way we should think about security for the future, Jesus used a curious example - a man who cheated his employer. Luke 16.1-8   But it's the astuteness, not the dishonesty of the steward we are to imitate. Wise people look to the future. They think ahead. Such was the worldly-wise steward. He used his resourcefulness to secure his material needs.Those who try to keep close to Christ must equally look to the future.All the goods of this world are entrusted to us...
After the crowds have dispersed: St Peter's Basilica
Fr Jim Crampsey SJ attended the events in the Vatican to mark the end of the Year of Consecrated Life.  There is a passage which appears in the Synoptic Gospels in the context of the first sending out of the disciples which begins 'take no bag'. It is also a key scriptural passage in the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus. Nevertheless the first task in the days for the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life was to collect a bag full of goodies. Tickets for this came with a...
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Just once in a while, usually in that really quiet period after Mass when nearly all of the people have gone, I will notice out of the corner of my eye a young woman or a young man hanging about suspiciously near the poor box by the candle-stand. And as I clear up after Mass, they will continue to hang around, loitering with what looks like intent. And then when I walk up to the back of the Church, they will very slowly sidle up to me. And then, as they get near me, I will see a shifty look...
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In today’s gospel the people of his home town turn against Jesus, and try to do away with him by pushing him over the brow of the steep hill that there town is built on. No-one has ever tried to push me over the brow of a cliff! Don't get me wrong - most of the time I'm very grateful for that; but I do sometimes wonder why not. I’ve been, for the best part of forty years, a Jesuit, a very public follower of Jesus. But no-one, in all that time, has ever attacked me for this in the way they...
Beautiful flowers dying by Daria Shevtsova
The philosopher and spiritual writer, Raissa Maritain, died some months after suffering a stroke. During those months she lay in a hospital bed, unable to speak. After her death, her husband, the renowned philosopher, Jacques Maritain, in preparing her journals for publication, wrote these words:     “At a moment when everything collapsed for both of us, and which as followed by four agonizing months, Raissa was walled in herself by a sudden attack of aphasia. Whatever...
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Happy New Year! - I think it’s still not too late to hope!So, actually, how exactly do you turn water into wine?Just about this time a year ago, I was asked that question by a small boy at the back of a church a little way from here. He obviously felt that, being a priest, and having just preached on the topic I was supposed to know about these things.Playing for time, I asked him why he wanted to know and he said that he wanted to know because he wanted to be able to do it himself.‘Oh’, I said...
crib with crocodile
It was childish, I know, but…Many moons ago I worked in an office where the construction of a small, simple crib, placed on a narrow mantle-piece, was one of the marks of the upcoming Christmas. It was a traditional scene – Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus etc… You can probably visualise the regular cast of characters.But somewhere in its journey this particular crib had become home to a small plastic crocodile. The Crocodile – a small toy – had its origins in some long-forgotten game or display,...
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool footballer prays on the pitch
“Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”I wonder if anybody here has been following the football. If you have, you will know that my team, Liverpool, haven’t really been doing all that well. In fact it would not be too much to say that this season so far has probably been the worst ever performance by a Liverpool team in the history of the Premiership. It has already cost our manager, Brendan Rodgers, his job.But what struck me was the reason that...

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