love

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
 I hope this will not seem disrespectful, but do you ever wonder what it must have felt like to be Jesus?- to have the power to heal people just by touching them...“Do you feel sick?” – I touch you – and immediately you get better. No fuss, no bother, no drugs, no side-effects, no operations, no clinical commissioning groups, no Health & Social Care Bills – you just get better right away. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to be able to do for people?I often wonder that because, during...
Teilhard de Chardin SJ
Saturday 19th May, millions of people have watched the long-awaited Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby officiated at the service, while the Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, delivered a passionate sermon on the power of love. Before closing the address with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr, the Bishop referred to the writings of French Jesuit...
Fluorescent cross in Liverpool
The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not have favourites.The life’s work of each of us is to prepare ourselves for eternal life with God.  We are to be happy forever in God’s company. The grace of God prepares us for that heavenly happiness in many different ways.  It helps that we are disciples of Christ.  We are helped also by the Sacraments, the Scripture and the teaching of the Church.  Another help is that we live in a community of those who believe. We...
Welcome to 'Meditations on the Love of God', a short retreat based on the works of Spanish Franciscan, Diego de Estella which were translated by Robert Southwell SJ. Entitled 'A Hundred Meditations on the Love of God', the poetic reflections pivot around a sense of wonder at the love of God and of Christ, for both us and creation.Translating these meditations would have been a long task for Southwell, indicating that they must have captured him in some way. We have selected extracts from seven...
Scarves laid out in memory of the 96 who died at Hillsborough
Last week, one of the gentlemen asked me why I didn’t preach about football any more and if this was in any way connected to Liverpool’s less than brilliant start to the season. That gentleman, of course, supports Manchester United!I said “no, of course not, I was merely waiting for the right occasion.”So, “Love your neighbour as yourself?!”Why your neighbour?Why not the people down the road?or some people in the next town?Or some other people a nice safe distance away..?Or the man in the moon?...
A class of children. Used from Unsplash.com
To be honest, I’m not generally the best with commandments, either at giving them or keeping them. But two experiences have really changed my understanding of what they are.The first was a time in my life before I became a priest when I was sent by my Jesuit superiors to be a teacher. I was not good at it and I did not enjoy it. My big problem was that I just could not keep order in class. One word from me and the children did whatever they wanted to do. I tried everything I could - I tried...
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...
Image by Noah Grezlak on unsplash.com
Just recently, when I was a teenager, I used to spend a lot of time volunteering at a home for adults with severe mental disabilities - people who as a result of accident of birth or disease had brain injuries and so had the bodies of adults, but the minds of children.And one day we took a group of them to a Safari Park. For anyone who hasn’t been, that is a kind of zoo where the animals are kept free to roam around the parkland and the visitors drive through in vehicles. It’s...
Long shot of whiskey being poured into a glass with ice.
“By this love you have for one anotherEveryone will know that you are my disciples.”Our religion is – or should be – the most complete possible expression in our lives of the love that God has shown to us. Sadly, it is not always so; there have been times when religious difference has caused people to fail enormously in love for one another. Even people who call themselves Christians have sometimes failed to love other Christians of a different stripe. Nowhere has that...
Photo of Pope Francis
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, published on 8 April 2016, transposes church teaching on marriage and the family from the key of law to that of virtue and should be celebrated, says Nicholas Austin SJ. This powerful new document offers ‘a Gospel-inspired vision of what family life can be, a word of encouragement for those who are not yet there, and above all another example of the discerning way of proceeding that the pope has modelled’. The topic of...