Spiritual Journeys

 I recently had the privilege of attending a course at St Beuno’s Retreat Centre in Northern Wales, exploring ideas around what it means to live and work "in an Ignatian way".I only discovered (or did I get discovered by..?) Ignatius and his spiritual legacy in the last five years or so, but I have found it resonates deeply with my lived experience. It has empowered me in this faith life journey I am travelling and I thank God that this man, living 500 years ago, stuck in a bed with only...
          The single, most often quoted line from Pope Francis perhaps,  is his reply to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly sensitive issue: ‘Who am I to judge?’  This remark might seem evasive or less-than-serious.  In fact it is on safe ground.  Jesus says that ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, (but so that the world might be saved through him).’ John 3.17That doesn’t mean...
Michelle Ellison, parishioner at Corpus Christi Boscombe, reflects on finding a deeper spirituality amidst a busy family life,as the parish prepares for its Hearts on Fire mission week in July.Corpus Christi parish is situated in the heart of a very diverse multi-cultural community in the beautiful sea side resort of Bournemouth. Surrounding our parish are schools serving many of the local families from various cultural backgrounds.  Thus, we have gravitating towards the parish,  a...
The Apostleship of Prayer is the Pope’s own prayer-group. Here is the second of two intentions he asks us to pray in the month of June, 2015.That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.It is, in our country and elsewhere, a matter of deep concern that for several decades there have been far fewer young men and women offering themselves for the consecrated life or the sacred priesthood. Commonly we...
At the second Jesuit Parishes Conference in February 2014, the delegates from each of the ten Jesuit  parishes in Britain were challenged by the Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ to return to their parishes and make them into thriving centres of Ignatian Spirituality.When our delegates returned from the Conference, and started planning to create our thriving centre for Ignatian Spirituality, they were building on strong foundations. A few years ago Evelyn Maloret of Jersey and long a...
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,...

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