Spiritual Journeys

The Novice members of the Novitiate Community 2015
Before coming to Birmingham, I had lived on my own for pretty much 8 years, with only a short period of flat-sharing in the few months immediately before. I’m used to single living and, in many respects, I thought I was set in my ways. I’ve been a little fearful of the realities of community life, although also very conscious that it has been part of the appeal of the Jesuit way of living. I like the ideal of us making our way in the world and then coming back to community, at the end of each...
The Sea and the Sun with a profile of a woman
In his novel 'The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne', Brian Moore tells this story. Judith Hearne is a gifted woman, healthy, attractive, competent, comfortable financially, in good relationships with her family and friends. She is loved and respected.There is one problem.  She is approaching midlife, is unmarried and without children.  She is conscious that her biological clock is running down.  Hence, without fully grasping the situation, Judith becomes desperate....
A Mosaic of the world
I have lived in London for 18 years and to celebrate I decided to walk around it, yes, the city that is! I came to London by choice, as an 'economic migrant' perhaps, but to pursue my career and make my home here. It is a city that I have come to know and love well through friends, politics, culture and community groups. Many of the people I work with now did not choose London, but came fleeing for their safety in search of asylum as refugees. Life in London is a struggle for survival and many...
Athlete gets a false start on the running track
I once knew a professional athlete. She was a 100 metres runner. At the age of 28, she was coming towards the end of her 10-year career. To maintain her sport, she worked five days a week and trained seven evenings a week. Her only time off was going shopping on Saturday mornings and going to church on Sunday mornings. She ate nothing – absolutely nothing - that was not on her diet sheet. She never went to parties, or discos. She never had a boyfriend and did not expect either to get married or...
Each month, Pope Francis entrusts two particular prayer intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Prayer Network and asks the AoP to spread these intentions to Christians everywhere. Successive Popes have given this mission to the AoP, which is looked after by the Jesuits, for many years. It is for this reason that the AoP is known as the Prayer Network of the Pope; the Holy Father Francis takes a keen personal interest in this ministry.Each month, one of the intentions concerns a...
Staff member Kate reflects on a special journey she dedicated to the refugees she has met through her work at JRS.I have lived in London for 18 years and to celebrate I decided to walk around it, yes, the city that is! I came to London by choice, as an 'economic migrant' perhaps, but to pursue my career and make my home here. It is a city that I have come to know and love well through friends, politics, culture and community groups. Many of the people I work with now did not choose London...
Harvest corn
When I was a child growing up in Ireland, we were the rich part of the family. We lived in the city, both my parents had paying jobs and we owned our own home. And every summer – in August - we went back to my mother’s real home, which was the hill country of Donegal to spend time with the cousins from the poor part of the family. And whenever we went back home, for weeks beforehand, my mother used to go to enormous efforts to go round all the shops and buy all the unusual foods that you could...
Each month, Pope Francis entrusts two particular prayer intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope’s Prayer Network and asks the AoP to spread these intentions to Christians everywhere. Successive Popes have given this mission to the AoP, which is looked after by the Jesuits, for many years. It is for this reason that the AoP is known as the Prayer Network of the Pope; the Holy Father Francis takes a keen personal interest in this ministry.Each month, one of the intentions concerns a...
May Mind and Tongue Made Strong in Love…Set Fire To Others With Its Flame (Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal)      For everyone involved the four province project was a completely new venture and I was somewhat apprehensive, if not cynical, about the exercise.As so often happens when one allows ‘thy will’ and not ‘my will’ to be done, my apprehension and cynicism were soon replaced by the consolation in experiencing the joy of the Gospel as we came together to work, rest and...
A Pink and Purple Sunset - found on unsplash
There is a language beyond words. Silence creates the space for it. Sometimes when we feel powerless to speak words that are meaningful, when we have to back off into unknowing and helplessness but remain in the situation, silence creates the space that’s needed for a deeper happening to occur. But often, initially, that silence is uneasy. It begins as a small frightened thing, and only slowly grows into the kind of warmth that dissolves tension.There are many times when we have no helpful...

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