Spiritual Journeys

Man jumping at the end of a pier by the sea Credit Alesso Lin
            ‘A happy release’, ‘She is better off where she is now’,  ‘He is out of his trouble’:  with such comforting phrases we point a contrast between this life and the future one when someone who has been very ill has at last died. It is right that those who have been in terrible pain should be relieved of it. Now, at the very least, they will be able enjoy the absence of their sufferings.Happy are you who weep now...
Man looking at waves Credit Gianluca Zuccarelli
           Leave me Lord I am a sinful manSimon Peter often misses the point. Here he might seem to us to be lacking that self-esteem which is surely essential for achievement, including success in sharing with others the good news of God’s love for us all.  Love your neighbour, as yourself  we hear elsewhere in the Scriptures and are glad to know that love of self is not only permitted but is also a measure for our treatment and...
Credit: Joey Yu via Unsplash
           The monthly intention that Pope Francis shares with us all through his personal Prayer Network, reflects the challenges that face humanity and the mission of the Church. The Holy Father asks, this month, that we pray, with him, “that all may welcome the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution and of violence”.Our prayer, especially our daily Morning Offering, places us on a pathway, with Jesus, that mobilises us...
Credit Alexandra Marcu via Unsplash
Can we embrace everything that happens to us as the will of God?   Can we give wholehearted thanks for the good things which happen?   Can we accept and endure what is difficult, grateful even for our troubles?   God is watching over us but also teaching us.  The divine plan is coming to fruition and in the meantime some are suffering for the sake of a great good which God can see but we, for the moment, may not. This lack of present understanding is part of...
Is Jesus’ mission to fulfil the Word of God so different from our highest hopes of justice in the world and of happiness for ourselves and those dear to us? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects. Fulfilment. Among our holy purposes in worshipping God is the seeking of fulfilment. We seek to be fulfilled by our participation in what happens in our prayer and sacrifice. There is fulfilment in the presence of Christ in Holy Communion. There is fulfilment in the Word of God. There is fulfilment in the...
Mosaic by Fr Marko Rupnik SJ from the National Shrine of St John Paul II
He let his glory be seen.  The miracle at Cana is an epiphany of Christ. Jesus lets his glory be seen. We taste his divinity, and it delights us. In Psalm 100  we hear the phrase The Lord is sweet and elsewhere in Scripture the invitation comes Taste and see that the Lord is sweet.  Holy Communion, sweet sacrament divine, also teaches us that the Lord gives himself to us in a way that is nourishing and cheering.  ‘The Lord is sweet’.  Too sweet?  The connoisseurs...
C10th icon of the Baptism of the Lord by Lawrence OP via Flickr
Console my people, console them, says your God.  This line, Isaiah chapter 40, verse 1 captures something very central about our faith.  Comfort ye my people is the King James’ version. That translation of the verse appears at the very beginning of Handel’s Messiah. The coming of Christ is a consolation to us.  Our Saviour’s work among us is a comfort. Console my people, comfort them, says your God.  On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord we understand this comfort and...
To begin the new year of 2019, Pope Francis has chosen this intention and now offers it to us to pray with him: “that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world”.The Pope’s Prayer Network is the official Pontifical service for making these monthly intentions known to all the faithful around the world. As we begin 2019, we are delighted to announce that the latest, updated version of...
Gift of love Credit Nick Fewings
The Homily of Fr Damian Howard SJ for Luke Taylor’s Vows Mass on 21st December 2018, Feast of St Peter Canisius.      With Christmas so close, I assume that we have all been busy buying presents for friends and family. Which is either a great pleasure or, if you are like me, a trial like no other. I remember when I was young an elderly uncle who used to come and stay at Christmas and who would always buy me an Airfix model of a ship or an aeroplane. And I dreaded...
Highlands
Irish Jesuit Ashley Evans describes his spiritual journeying in the Highlands of Scotland.Sgurr Nan Each is not an impressive Munro mountain. It emerges gently on the east side of a ridge joining it to two larger Munros and it nestles humbly behind the high ridge of Sgurr Mor to the North. It is thus not visible from the road that runs from Inverness to Ullapool nor indeed is it visible from any surfaced road anywhere. It ranks a mere 266th among 282 Munros (a Munro being a Scottish mountain...

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