Spiritual Journeys

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...
Statue of our lady with a crown of 12 stars, in Attard (Malta)
At a parish church where I often go on a Sunday, we have a big Portuguese community. And in the Church, they have put up a big statue of Our Lady of Fatima. It’s a statue of our lady Queen of Heaven, so the statue has an enormous gilt crown, a big red heart (which glows in the dark after you put the lights out) and a small white plastic rosary. And every Sunday, they put an enormous number of flowers and candles around it. And on special Marian feast days, they put extra ornaments on it – I...
Cheese and wine gathering after mass
      Finding God in daily lifeI can hardly believe it’s all over after all the careful planning that went into this mission week. However, although ‘Hearts On Fire’ mission week might have come and gone so fast, it will not be easily forgotten, as most of our parishioners have shared with us. We have been truly blessed with all of our visiting J’s, men and ladies, ordained and not, who all helped make this week the success it has been....
The parish group in Falmouth
Perhaps it was because we set out on a journey starting from Flanders that I was prompted to wonder about how a group of 5 Jesuits would have been received in Cornwall to carry out a parish mission a hundred years ago. My father went to a Methodist boarding school there not long after the First World War, and I remember his stories which gave a flavour of the religious sentiments of that time.The parish priest at St Mary Immaculate in Falmouth was keen to reassure us that the local Catholics...
A South Uist Skyline
‘The Western Isles’ – the very name of the string of islands that runs north to south 70 miles off the coast of mainland Scotland evokes a sense of yearnings met and of journeys’ end. Seeing them from the east at the setting of the sun, you can easily understand how they have accrued a mythic status, evoked for instance in the Grey Havens of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, a last resting place, a place of peace.I am on South Uist, the most northern of the traditionally Catholic islands (26...
istock
Most sensitive people are liable to suffer from emotional obsessions sometime;  like for example, the feeling of being in love with someone who is hopelessly unavailable.  These kinds of  obsessions affect our whole lives, including our moral and religious lives. What we do in the pain and paralysis of obsession rarely does us proud, and is often far from a free act. In the grip of an emotional obsession we cannot think freely, pray freely, decide things freely, and we are prone...

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