prayer

Sunlight breaks through trees. Photo by Kristine Weilert on unsplash
“The man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.”When I was a novice, I used to work in a parish where – because they were giving me all the bad jobs - they put me on what we used to call “drinkers’ duty”. Every morning, from about 7 o’clock onwards, about 20-30 men and women would come up to the church and they would stop in and tell me how much alcohol they had drunk the previous day. And my job was to write it down –...
As we continue through Lent towards Holy Week, Good Friday and Holy Saturday we are asked not to rush, not to start preparations for the resurrection, but to wait, to understand our own powerlessness. On International Women’s Day, we begin to listen to the voices of women who, on Holy Saturday, are doing just that. They are women of God, who have been present in Jesus’s life; women whose stories are often told but not always heard; strong women, loving women who, even though they do not fully...
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...
Rosary beads a traditional form of prayer
Just about this time fifteen years ago, my old French teacher died – “Monsieur Sam”, of Wimbledon College.When we were boys of 13, religion really didn’t mean very much to us. We had not yet experienced in our own lives any real need for God. But Monsieur Sam, our new French teacher, insisted on starting our French course by teaching us the Rosary in French. We found out that it was the first thing he taught every class he took.And he explained to us very simply why he did that – it was because...
Photo: © Tonya Fitzpatrick, World Footprints. All Rights Reserved
This week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and it will be marked this Sunday by a pulpit swap, with Richard Fermer from the Grosvenor Chapel coming to the Church of the Immaculate conception to preach at the 11am Mass and myself going across the garden to preach at the Grosvenor Chapel.My first thoughts are to be grateful for what has been achieved.  We live in a part of London where there are reminders of a time when it was very different.  We are conscious of Tyburn and...
In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one's own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Each month therefore, we will offer a painting in the hope that it will enable you to reflect more deeply on a particular passage of scripture. The idea is that you can return to the painting and scripture and discover more depth throughout the month.
Young girl with tear running down her face
“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.”I have a friend – a good and holy Jesuit who is also a world-renowned Biblical expert. I’ll call him Fr John Smith. And his particular expertise is in Biblical languages – he is supposed to know many of the languages which existed in Palestine in Old Testament times, which is not bad at his current age of 92!But, to tell you the truth, he is also an...
A rifle, from unsplash by Thomas Tucker
The Monthly Intentions of the Holy Father are our way of sharing his concerns and taking these into our own hearts and prayer. Sometimes these concerns can be uncomfortable, even challenging. That is because they must be about real-life issues and these can often be complex and awkward. Our Christian faith is no better than superstition if we restrict it to safe topics or only with a restricted range of concerns, deemed appropriate. This month’s First Intention of the Holy Father is one such –...
An hour of  Evening Prayer and Bach Cantata at SFX on Sunday 14 May.  This is one of a series of similar events organised by Phillip Duffy, ex Master of Music at the Cathedral, and Friend of SFX Church.  Come along and enjoy a peaceful end to your weekend with some excellent music.Es ist euch gut, das ich hingeheIt is for your good that I depart (Cantata 108)A Cantata in preparation for the feast of The Ascension. Christ tells the disciples that he is soon to leave them; but...
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...

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