prayer

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...
Crucifix Pixabay free images
At the beginning of this month we mark Ash Wednesday, when we ourselves are marked with ashes in one of the best-known Catholic traditions of all. Churches are busy on Ash Wednesday. Something about the simple liturgy of the “Imposition of Ashes” calls to us in a deeper place in our souls. What might that be? Might it be its reminder that we, in the words of one of the prayers that can be used, are “dust, and unto dust we will return”?Or perhaps it’s Lent’s call to repentance and renewal,...
Refugees Welcome, printed on concrete
Welcome the needyCan our world ever have been more divided than now? In the lifetimes of many of us, we have not known such pain and division. An ugly licence to hate and to exclude is in the air; attitudes and behaviours that are usually, by common consent, unacceptable have been unleashed. It has shockingly become quite alright to despise the other, to embrace selfishness and to act with indifference towards those who come, in need, to us and to our countries. Narrow nationalist populism,...
Novices Patrick, Christopher and Vinny take part in Saturday morning’s Rosary
Last weekend, a group of Jesuit novices, led by Fr Simon Bishop SJ, took part in ‘The Release: Light up the Sky’, a retreat weekend for young adults, organised by Youth 2000. Hosted at St Bernard’s Catholic High School, Rotherham, there was a great atmosphere throughout the weekend, not only among the novices from Manresa House in Birmingham but also among the entire 180-or-so young people who attended.The retreat involved periods of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, along...
Detail from Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent at Tate Britain - Creative Commons
A workshop on art that is incorporated into a nine-month course at the Mount Street Jesuit Centre (MSJC) has inspired a group to organise a day out at Tate Britain, where they spent time ‘Praying with Art’. The MSJC runs the ‘Deepening our Awareness of God Within Us’ course annually between September and July; and, as part of it, Audrey and Eamonn Hamilton – members of the Spirituality Team with a particular interest in art – lead a study day at the Tate...
Br Stephen Power SJ (centre) and Fr Dermot Preston SJ (right) at morning prayer at GC36
As the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (GC36) continues in Rome, the 215 electors are now engaged in the business that is central to any gathering of this nature, including legislative and administrative matters.  But this is also an important opportunity for the Jesuits to renew their understanding of their Jesuit identity and mission, for today and for the years ahead.Each morning, the tone of the day of work is set by prayer, coordinated by a German Jesuit, Fr Clemens...
A close up of a set of rosary beads
“God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”The one patient for whom no doctor can do anything is the patient who doesn’t think that he has a problem. I have a good friend who is an alcoholic. Since you will never meet him, I will tell you that his name is Tom. He has now not drunk alcohol for ten years, but he still knows that he is an alcoholic. Before that, his drinking destroyed his family, his job, his home and very nearly killed him. One day during Lent ten years ago, the...
A JourneyOn Ash Wednesday, 2006, Pray As You Go set out with a mission to help commuters meet with God on their journey into work. Armed with music and the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, creator Fr Peter Scally SJ established one of Jesuits in Britain’s most successful ministries. 10 years on, Pray As You Go helps people all over the world not only with their journeys into work, but also on their journeys of faith.The daily 10 minute podcasts – of scripture readings,...
This novena is for the nine days leading to the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which falls this year on 12th June. You may pray the novena privately, in your family, in a parish group or with your neighbours or friends. If you are praying it with others, a different person may lead the novena each day, or you may share the various sections among those taking part.Don't rush. Read the Scripture passage (on the image) and the meditation slowly, pausing when something strikes you. A short prayer...
An older man praying
“when you grow oldyou will stretch out your hands,and somebody else will put a belt round youand take you where you would rather not go.”I think we’ve all had experiences of being taken where we would rather not go…Until about five years before his death, Father – I’ll call him Father John - was not the best loved man in the British Province of the Society of Jesus - not by a long chalk. He was respected certainly, admired even, for his zeal, commitment,...

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