Spiritual Journeys

We cannot promise that the passion and excitement we initially experience when we fall in love will remain that way forever. What we can promise is something more realistic - that we want to be faithful, to treat our spouse with respect, and always be an honest partner in trying to build a life together. We can't guarantee how we will always feel, but we can promise fidelity.Beyond pointing us towards a more mature understanding of love, this is also a good image for faith and how it works....
One of the most consoling texts of the Hebrew scriptures is the Book of Job, which concerns itself with the theme of why bad things happen to good people - a question to which, intriguingly, it refuses to offer up simple, faith-based answers. The point of the Book of Job is his ultimate recognition of the inscrutable mystery of God's ways and in his penitent recognition of God's sovereignty.  While he cavils at God's providential ordering of men's affairs and beats his fists in vain...
A Child's Baptism on Flickr by Joe Green
'Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'What does it mean to be “baptised in the Holy Spirit”?Well, if you ask a theologian, they’ll tell you that it is just simply what it is to be a Christian – to have one’s entire life imbued with the Holy Spirit not just in the next Life, but in this one – to have the Holy Spirit live...
Retire-toi Satan by James Tissot
Fr Gerry Gallen SJ, Chaplain to St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, gave the following homily for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). The reading was Matthew 16: 21-27.Poor Peter! Last week he was the rock on which the Church was to be built; this week he’s compared to the devil himself! But misunderstanding and being misunderstood is all part and parcel of the cost of discipleship.The word discipleship comes from discipline and discipline is never warmly welcomed! Peter is...
A word cloud based on the Our Father
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Taken out of context, that might sound cold and impersonal. But Jesus gave this prayer as an example to his disciples who had asked how they could pray like Our Lord. They had found something attractive in him, in his way of life, and wanted to live like him. And when we hear St Paul describing the effects of the Holy Spirit, of the Father and of the Son as love (charity), joy, peace, patience,...
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...
A cartoon of a group of people
Christmas marked the fulfilment of the Hebrew scripture with the arrival of the Messiah, the Christ child. The Feast of the Epiphany shows us Christ presented to the world. In the child Jesus, God came to share in our humanity so that we might share in his divinity. When God became human he met us in a real, authentic way. This is still where we find God today, in our common humanity. Our humanity has become God’s home. It follows that our tendency to protect ourselves by making...
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...

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