Peter Knott SJ

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...
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...
The scriptures have many references to God's presence in our hearts under three headings: Faith, Hope, and Charity.  How realistic is this hope which the scriptures hold before us?  You hear people say things like: “Time is running out! Greed lays this world waste; our fearfulness stockpiles threats that threaten to bring about what we most fear; our indifference fails to act when we ought to care, and so we reduce our own power to make a difference when at last we do care....
Many people find themselves over-extended and unable to give their best to all the various calls on their time.  They are often advised that the reason for this tension in their life is because of failure to set clear priorities and be faithful to them;  and that this sloppy indecisiveness is unfair to everyone on every side. If I am over-extended, it’s a fault in my life, which I have to correct.But is it really that simple? Are we really meant to have this much control of over our...
          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...
         Nature is evolutionary, and in that we can see a wisdom which clearly shows intelligence, intent, spirit, and design. And perhaps nowhere is this more evident than how in the process of evolution we see nature becoming ever more unified, complex, and conscious.How God’s intelligence and intent are reflected in that however, is not always evident because nature can be brutal. In order to survive, many elements in nature have to eat some other...
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....
Christ our Light on a yellow sun with rays
Anxiety eats into us at various levels. Superficially, we worry about many things. But deep down we are anxious in a way that colours almost everything we do.  So much of what motivates and drives us is an unconscious attempt to free ourselves from anxiety.We are forever nursing the hope that we can free ourselves from anxiety through achievement, success, financial security, fame, leaving a mark, and through power and sex. We nurse the secret belief that if we have the right combination...
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Everything that’s good eventually gets crucified. By a perverse axiom in life there is always something that cannot leave well enough alone, but, for reasons of its own, must lash out at what’s good. What’s good, what is of God, will always at some point be misunderstood, envied, hated, falsely accused, and eventually nailed to some kind of cross. Every follower of Christ inevitably suffers the same fate as Christ Jesus: death through misunderstanding, ignorance, and jealousy.Yet there’s...
One of the most consoling texts of the Hebrew scriptures is the Book of Job, which concerns itself with the theme of why bad things happen to good people - a question to which, intriguingly, it refuses to offer up simple, faith-based answers. The point of the Book of Job is his ultimate recognition of the inscrutable mystery of God's ways and in his penitent recognition of God's sovereignty.  While he cavils at God's providential ordering of men's affairs and beats his fists in vain...

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