Spiritual Journeys

As this awful year has unfolded and as the pandemic not only deepened, but a second wave surged across many lands, fears began to grow about our Advent and our Christmas – would we be able to celebrate together or even be together? We have been praying; our Advent prayer has been very intense, with the Pope. We cared for each other and we gave thanks for our scientists & health-care professionals, all working so hard for others, for the common good. The Pope’s Intention for December,...
‘Even now as we walk amid passing things, you teach us by them to love the things of heaven.’[1]  How do we learn to love the things of heaven?  We do so by practicing faith, hope and charity.  Our faith is in God.  We hope to be with him forever. His help sustains us.  I never stop thanking God for all the graces you have received [2]. At his command, we love him and our brothers and sisters.   He sent his Son to us.  The Son has promised to return....
‘The banners of the king go ahead of us, the mystery of the cross shines out.’[1]The king is Jesus Christ.  His banners, which we follow, bear his cross.  Our life can be understood as a procession led by the cross, which is always in sight. The king directs his followers through their history. He guides me along the right path [2].  We do not always manage to keep our attention on him.  However, his cross is inescapable.  The flags of the king, waving in front of us,...
And that one talent which is death to hide/Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent/ To serve therewith my Maker, and present/ My true account, lest He returning chide [1]. What is the one talent?  The blind poet Milton understands ‘the one talent which is death to hide’ to be his ability to look at the wonders God has made and to give due appreciation and glory for them.   Seeing, the thing he cannot do, is, he judges, indispensable for his salvation.  He...
We shall stay with the Lord forever [1].All through our life of discipleship doors open for us [2].  We go willingly in to where Christ is. His door is open all the time. The light of the world, shining, for us, the lamp of his truth, Jesus opens us to faith, draws us into hope and makes space for us to love charitably.  We go confidently where our saviour opens the way. He ushers us through to where we most desire to be.  His welcome as we begin each new phase of our service of...
This month, so many of us continue our fervent prayer for all of humanity, as the whole world continues to suffer from the pandemic, yet we keep in our prayer another concern that will affect us all, now and in the generations that follow us. Pope Francis asks us to pray with him “that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind”.When we respond to the Pope’s monthly pleas to pray with him about a specific intention, we commit ourselves to praying with him...
The heavenly Jerusalem is our mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters already gives you eternal praise [1]. All the saints are in the presence of God.  They see him, they praise him, they pray to him for us. They are so many intercessors [2].  I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne [3].  Close to throne of grace, the throng of saints contemplate the vision of...
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise [1].  We ask for grace to love what you command.   With God’s help we can love him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind [2]. To enable us to love him with our whole being, God commands us to do so.  His invitation to found our life on him is very insistent.  It is an order.  He gives us plenty of other support,...
Give back to God what belongs to him [1].  Let the taxes owed to the Roman emperor be paid to him.  Return to God what belongs to him.  Which of God’s possessions should be given back to him?  Do we not belong to God and should we not go back to him?  He has made us.  We seek him. We are on a path which will bring us into his presence. One day we will return to him definitively.  There are already many opportunities to give back to God what belongs to him....
Put on Jesus Christ [1].To ‘put him on’ is to allow him to take over completely. Jesus is worn for best and he is also working clothes.  He is not a coat to be put on or taken off according to the weather or for an occasion. To wear him is to be possessed by him.  Allowing the Lord to be in charge of us is the best thing we can do.  His take-over of our life is worthy of extravagant celebration.  I have my banquet all prepared [2].  To ‘put on Christ’ changes...

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