Spiritual Journeys

Seeds resting in a persons hands - Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash
‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’Right after I was ordained, I spent five years working in the Amazon in South America. The area I worked in is called the Rupununi. That’s an area of Guyana about...
A window left slightly open - Photo by bady qb on Unsplash
No one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle the property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.  If Satan is the Strong Man, then Jesus Christ is the burglar who robs the house. The Lord steals back from the Evil One those who have been ensnared by his wiles. Jesus immobilises the Enemy. The Redeemer ties up the Strong Man.  The Saviour rescues the victims whom the Devil has kidnapped.  We are the beneficiaries of Jesus’...
Homily by Fr Provincial Damian Howard at the Final Vows Mass of James Conway SJ, 8th June 2018.It is traditional for a Jesuit to take his final vows on some notable Jesuit feast. Fr Jim Conway has chosen the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion championed early on by the Society of Jesus and one which has given its name to so many of our parishes and other works around the world. The revelation given to St Margaret Mary Alacoque takes us right back to the very heart of the Christian message,...
Fist bumps over open lap tops
Pope Francis is renowned for breaking new ground. He encourages all of us to “go to the frontiers”. He goes there too - in his preaching and teaching, in his travelling, but also in the topics that he raises. He wants the light of the Gospel to shine on so many varied areas of human experience. He reminds us that it must. This month’s Universal Intention is a great example: he invites the whole people of God to pray with him that “social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which...
Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash
Moses said Put this question to the ages that are past.  There is a way in which on Trinity Sunday we are all like Moses. We are urging each other to draw on the experience of all those who have ever believed in God. We want to understand God better.  The knowledge and love of God: these are what we are after:  Loving God is the most important thing in our life. Along with love goes some understanding, some knowledge.  Do we think of ourselves as reaching out to God? By the...
The good shepherd icon
Philip Harrison SJ and Kensy Joseph SJ have chosen the image of Christ as a Good Shepherd for the invitation cards for their ordination on 30th June.  They explain the significance of their choice.       The image of Christ as a Good Shepherd appears in some of the earliest Christian art. In this Russian  Orthodox icon from the nineteenth century, Christ is shown with a sheep around his shoulders. It is a gesture drawn straight from the Gospels,...
A single flame in the darkness
The red vestments of Pentecost first remind us of the flames in which the Holy Spirit descended.  In the  Acts (2.3) we hear: Tongues as of fire appeared among them and a flame rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability. The red cloth the sanctuary on the Feast of Pentecost is a sign of the glowing fire of the Holy Spirit rendering all of us stronger in our faith and able to...
Looking out of the window
Why are you men of Galilee standing here looking into the sky? (Acts 1.10)The two in white put their question to the disciples. Why are you standing here looking into the sky?  If we were those disciples we would surely have quite a reasonable answer to the question.  We focus our attention in the direction in which Jesus has ascended in order to pray.  Upwards towards heaven is the direction of our prayer.  We treasure the memory of Jesus and we lift up our hearts and minds...
Fluorescent cross in Liverpool
The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not have favourites.The life’s work of each of us is to prepare ourselves for eternal life with God.  We are to be happy forever in God’s company. The grace of God prepares us for that heavenly happiness in many different ways.  It helps that we are disciples of Christ.  We are helped also by the Sacraments, the Scripture and the teaching of the Church.  Another help is that we live in a community of those who believe. We...
Love thy neighbour Credit Nina Strehl via Unsplash
As we move into Mary’s month, and the beginning of the northern-hemisphere summer, our Holy Father points to the mission that we all share as baptised followers of the Risen Christ – the Mission of the Laity. Pope Francis asks us to pray with him this month that the lay faithful fulfil their specific mission by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today. In Mary’s month, we could surely ask her prayers in support of ours, as we pray with the Pope for this intention....

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