Spiritual Journeys

In this month of September, we get ready to say goodbye to summer for another year. Some of us have to get used to going back to work after a summer break or,to get ready to go back to school or to begin a new course of studies, perhaps in a new place. We need to keep in mind that summer holidays and the possibility of studying are among the opportunities unavailable to many people for whom life is a struggle that has to continue no matter what month or season it is.A disadvantaged family might...
Week of guided prayer group, Urmston  Credit: Simon Bishop
Fr David, our parish priest accosted us when we were leaving mass saying “I need your help”! He asked my wife, Deirdre, and I to be part of a group of twelve attending the Ignatian Week of Guided Prayer because he felt it would be beneficial to us. We said “yes” immediately, not knowing what the week would truly involve apart from the introductory Sunday session for one hour and giving one hour each day to the retreat, half an hour of prayer and half an hour with a...
Quote by Muhammad Ali
“People from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.” [Luke 13.29]When I was at College, I had a friend Peter who is a Catholic and he shared a house with a Muslim called Abdul. They were both very religious people, each in his own way but, despite their differences, they got on very well. And it wasn’t until they had been staying together about six weeks that they had a really big argument about religion. Neither...
Nine male prisoners mainly in their 20s and 30s, took part in a Week of Guided Prayer in Brixton Prison. One man was in segregation but was able to have a fruitful retreat thanks to daily visits from the chaplain for spiritual direction. The participants were dedicated and attended each day.God was definitely at work before and during the retreat and will continue to be now it has finished. We had initially planned for four Jesuit priests to help as spiritual guides but three of them had to...
Fr Tony Nye cuts his Jubilee cake with Pauline Merceica of the Farm Street parish council
“ What  are you looking for?....Come and see” Those words of invitation of Our Lord to the first disciples in John’s Gospel have helped many people on Retreat. St. Ignatius also has his “Come and see.” Approaching the end of his life he was prevailed upon to tell the story of his vocation, somewhat reluctantly. Though a strong and firm leader, Ignatius was a humble man.  He spoke of himself in the third person as the Pilgrim and in that account of his...
Credit Matt Lee via Unsplash
This month, Pope Francis has asked us to join him in a prayer for, and about, sports – that sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world. Do we ever think about sports as a topic for our prayer? Maybe, only when our favourite team is about to participate in a big match or prestigious tournament! Maybe the only time we ever might link our prayer and whatever sport we follow, or play, is at that moment, and it’s...
Community of hands outreaching
“It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.”Gospels mean many things to different people, but what I think Jesus means in this Sunday's Gospel () is that all of us – each and every one of us - have a part to play in building God’s Kingdom. And it is not to be taken from us. So, when I read this passage I think of something that happened to me in school that made me think more deeply about fairness and justice, about what it is to be a...
Polling Station by Elliott Stallion on unsplash.com
About 20 years ago, there was a terrible famine in East Africa. I’m sure that anyone over 30 will remember it. When television pictures were shown around the world of thousands of sick and starving men, women and children crowded into refugee camps, there was a global public outcry that, in this day and age, the rest of the world could permit over a million people to starve to death. Many people said: “somebody should do something.” A very few said: “I must do something...
Photo by João Silas on unsplash
I wonder if you have been enjoying the football.I happen to know a former professional footballer, now sadly fallen on harder times. He often likes to say that the worst player is better than the best commentator. And he tells a story of a footballer waiting to take the first penalty of a penalty shoot-out in a cup final. The player is visibly exhausted after full time and extra time and obviously nervous as he approaches the ball.High up in the gantry, the commentator remarks, “I wouldn...
Quechua Woman, Peru
Most of us would never dream of leaving the house without checking (sometimes, for some of us, five or six times!) if we’ve got certain items with us. Keys – check. Rosaries in the pocket, and maybe a small prayer-card or prayer-book – check. Transport card or money for fares – check. Wallet and credit-cards – check. Outer jacket or rainwear, especially in a British summer – check. Wristwatch – check.  And something that almost everyone has to have...

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