Peter Knott SJ

A Crackling Fire
‘God makes his sun shine on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. ‘ Matt 5.45    We are all energised by the same sacred source. The same energy that fuels the dedicated selflessness of the saint fires the irresponsible acting-out of the prodigal son in Luke’s gospel.  Both are fuelled by the same sacred energy, though for very different purposes.It's easy to misinterpret this.   For example, one of the criticisms made of religion...
Appreciating our differences
It's easy to see God’s grace and blessing in what unites us. We sense the presence of grace when, at our core, we feel a strong moral bond with certain other persons, Churches, and faiths. But what if what makes other persons, Churches, and faiths seem foreign and strange is also a grace, a difference intended by God?  Can we think of our differences, as we think of our unity, as a gift from God? Most religions, including Christianity, would answer yes.In both the Jewish and the Christian...
I am the way the truth the life
“There are two extremes that the Christian must avoid,” says Bishop Geoffrey Robinson.*  “One extreme speaks only of personal self-fulfillment and denies the example and words of Jesus about taking up a cross. The other extreme speaks only the negative language of denial and renunciation and does not allow for the proper self-love without which true growth is not possible. There is a middle ground and it may be found only when we reject both extremes and try to combine into one the two...
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....
Divine Office - 7 times a day I praise thee
    In one of his conferences St Thomas Aquinas spoke of the pleasures of life everlasting with God. “It is fitting that the last article of faith in the creed should give expression to that which is the end of all our desires, namely eternal life, in the words, ‘Life everlasting, Amen.’" The first thing to be noted is that in eternal life we are united to God, since God himself is our reward and the end of all our labours: 'I am your shield and your very great reward...
An interfaith banner from the Nichols College Chaplaincy from Sean on Flickr
All world religions are prone to disrespect and violence. Invariably, those acting in this way see their actions as justified by sacred cause.   It would seem that it’s always been so. No religion, has been innocent.Every one of the great religions of the world, including Christianity, has been, at various times, both persecuted and persecutor. So what are the fundamental principles we should try to live out in our relationship with other faiths?What’s best in each of our...
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...
Most people like to know something that’s secret, to know something that others don’t know but we do, and the knowledge of which gives us some insight and advantage over others who are outside the circle of that secret.  This is called ‘Gnosticism’, which forever makes an appearance in one form or another.Today we see this in society at large in the popularity of books like The Da Vinci Code. Their lure is precisely in the hint that there are secrets which a few elite know that contain...
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...
God of our desires Ps37:4 image from edzed on Tumblr
What lies deepest inside authentic faith is the truth that God is the object of all human desire, no matter how earthy and unholy that desire might seem at times. This implies that everything we desire is contained in God. We see this expressed in the Psalms, which tell us that God is the object of our desires, and in Jesus, who tells us that it is in God that our deepest hungers and thirsts will be satiated.So we pray, without perhaps ever really being conscious of what we are saying:’ My soul...

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