Spiritual Journeys

Fire with grilled fish Pixabay
Held within the octaveToday still stands within the Easter octave. The Church marks its most important feasts and seasons this way. I think it is also doing something more.There is something about the strange liturgical stretching of time, beyond the normal measuring and the pressure of the immediate, into the prolongation of the now: this moment, this place, which has no boundaries.Through we can count and distinguish the appearances, there is really only one resurrection moment. They are all...
The incredulity of Thomas who places his finger in the wound
Thomas’ problem is one that we all have – he speaks beyond his knowledge; he judges before he has considered; he condemns what he has not understood. Which of us has not done that?I once lived with a saintly old Jesuit. You’ll be pleased to know that we still have one or two. In his late eighties, he was incapable of even the simplest work, so he was sent to the noviceship to be a good influence on the wild young men that we once were.He loved it. He said that he was now too old to be anything...
Empty tomb Flickr photo sharing
The resurrection of Christ is the most fundamental belief of the Church and has been from the very beginning. St Paul’s comments on Christ’s resurrection are still valid: ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. And those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, then we of all people are most to be pitied.’From the time of the confession of faith of Simon Peter and the disciples, the gathering of...
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bibel in Bildern
For most of us it is not easy to believe in the resurrection of Jesus: most of us are not in the premier league of beloved disciples: most of the time utter joy and bliss and absolute faith in the God who loves us eternally and unconditionally aren’t obvious to us.  As Christians we see acts of faith around us, we receive compassion and support, we pray together for the people we love; but we also witness lack of faith, resentment or even hatred towards Christians, simply because of what...
Schindler's Factory in Krakow Schindler's list installation from wikimedia commons
‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’Tertullian, writing in the 2nd Century, says that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church. And, since he was there at the time, I guess we have to take his word for it.One thing that only occurred to me recently: martyrs are only canonized with hindsight, and usually a few hundred years after the event. In any culture, at any time, there are only a very few people with the integrity and foresight to...
April’s First Intention of the Holy Father, commended to all of the people of God for their prayer, points towards a big topic that will become even more prominent next year, at the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. The preliminary work has already begun towards that next gathering, which will deal with young people’s concerns and vocations. For this month, Pope Francis asks that our prayers be joined to his, that young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously...
Bread and Flowers from Unsplash
“I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11.25-26]Most Jesuits, in fact I think most people who have done the Spiritual Exercises, will tell you that the most difficult time is the three days which Ignatius asks us to spend in company with the Lord in the Tomb – the distance from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.It is a cold, hard, lonely silent place, sitting in...
Mothers empowered - on a tea plantation in Darjeeling. Jesuit Missions
The 4th Sunday in Lent, is Mothering Sunday (also known as Mothers' Day). Jesuit Missions’ Volunteer Communications Assistant, Betsy Snyder, reflects here on the strength of mothers around the world: those who even in the depths of suffering will do anything to give their children a chance at a better life. As Mothers' Day approaches, I find myself reflecting on the journeys, both figurative and literal, that I have travelled as a mother over the last 13 years and that have brought me to...
Credit Ng30950 via Unsplash
Who or what is God is a question that is perhaps implicitly as old as humanity itself, and is in one sense as unanswerable as the question ‘what is the real meaning of infinity?’ We are dealing with subjects that are objectively beyond human comprehension. However well we may be able to argue with another, arguments to prove the existence of God will not by themselves ever convince anybody sufficiently to seek God, because arguments are ultimately merely competitions. The only victory for God...
A Bicycle in the grounds of a cloister or church
Why is it that we fast? Is hunger a good thing? Certainly starvation is one of the world’s great evils. Around the world, 200 million people will starve today. I come from a country where - not so very long ago - eight out of every 10 people were lost to probably the worst famine there has ever been - anywhere. Don’t try to tell us that hunger is a good thing!But a little hunger can be a good thing. A little hunger reminds us that human food and drink sustains us only for a short time. We need...

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