Spiritual Journeys

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....
Kensy Joseph SJ at his diaconate ordination with Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford
Kensy Joseph SJ explains why it affirmed a vital part of his ministry as a deacon when he was recently told, ‘you’re a student – you’re one of us!’After delivering a Sunday homily recently at the Holy Name Church in Manchester, I was chatting with some students when one of them commented on my ‘both/and’ situation as a deacon. On the one hand, I am on the team of the Jesuit-run Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy, ordained to specific liturgical ministries (among other things) such as...
Sheep on the mountainside
Some people, even some Christians, wonder whether being a Christian really matters and whether having a Church and a priest and people going to Mass every Sunday really makes any actual difference in the world. I admit that I occasionally have those doubts myself. But then I think of the flocks of sheep that I have known without a shepherd.You see, I once saw an actual flock of sheep without a shepherd. It was in the Rupununi in South America. I don’t know how it had happened, but a group of...
 A young woman gazes upwards. A cross is behind her.
“Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” [John 20.9]“So, what exactly is the point of the ‘bodily resurrection’?”I was once asked this question in a pub by a journalist. And, as always, when I find myself talking in a social environment with a journalist, I hear somewhere off in the background the words of the Police caution… “but anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence…”But drink had been taken, so I did...
Boy running into cityscape Credit Linh Nguyen
Easter Sunday begins the month of April this year. The Pope has invited us to witness to the Resurrection in several ways, including his Intention for this month – “that economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.” We, his personal Prayer Network, are given a mission directly from the Holy Father to make his intention widely known, offering our day each morning to become more apostolically available, uniting our prayer with his. We are...
Mary of Magdala in the garden
Easter is the Christian Pasch, or Passover, although the term itself has passed out of common use. The Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Saturday night Easter Vigil form together a single celebration - the single historical event of what we understand as our human salvation or redemption from sin.The central and most significant event is Jesus’ willingness to give Himself up, in spite of the betrayal of His closest followers, to a rigged trial by His own people, to a...
Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash
When I was a teenager, I grew up in Wimbledon – a village in South London that is famous for only one thing – every June there is a tennis tournament that attracts players and spectators from all over the world. It’s supposed to be the oldest tennis tournament in the world – I’m not absolutely sure if that’s true. But it is certainly the most prestigious.And I remember particularly the first day I went there. It used to be that if you lived locally, you could walk up in the evenings, when most...

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