Spiritual Journeys

The spiritual quest starts with our desires, asking, "What do I really want  in my  life?"  St Ignatius  Our  desires  are pivotal  to our search. We often look for the right things in the wrong places, and some pay for it the rest of their lives. Unlike what many people think today, Ignatius would not rate "being happy" as the most important desire to have and possess.  He was not against joy;  it’s just that he would argue against what we...
The funeral of Fr Francis Joseph (‘Joe’) Laishley SJ (2 July 1933 – 1 July 2015) took place on Tuesday, 14 July 2015. The Gospel at the Requiem Mass was from chapter 3 of St John’s Gospel, verses 1 to 18, when Nicodemus came to Jesus “by night”. The following homily was preached by Fr Michael Barnes SJ.Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus ‘by night’?  He was a devout Pharisee and was probably a little embarrassed to be seen talking to Jesus – even a tentative conversation in a quiet corner....
Eternity has more kinds of rooms than this world does.  We may know, or at least know about some people whose way of life would seem so reprehensible that it’s hard to imagine that they could ever make it to heaven.But as Christians, we believe that, as part of the Body of Christ, we have been given the power to forgive each other’s sins and that, because of that, indeed anyone’s love can pull their beloved into heaven whatever their faults and failures may be.Our love for each other is a...
"He could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them."As a doctor, I have always loved the last line of this reading. It seems like - for St Mark - just healing a few sick people doesn't really count as a miracle! He takes it for granted that healing is a natural part of God becoming really present in a human life.Well, a few days ago I had a young man in my office with his girlfriend - both much in need of healing. Both of them had just tested HIV...
 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....

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