faith

A man with a torch walking alongside a cart of plague victims
God's ways are not our ways! God cannot be captured in our thoughts or pictured inside our imagination. God is so different from anything we can know or imagine that all of our concepts and language about God are always more inadequate than adequate. God can be known, but never imagined or captured in a thought, because God is infinite and our minds are finite.Infinity cannot be defined.  For example,  if we try to imagine the highest number possible,  we immediately realise...
The Pope answers questions on war, sin and free will in the new book
Letters and drawings from children from Jesuit institutions around the world – including in the UK – feature in a new book from Pope Francis, which attempts to answer his question: ‘What did God do before the world was made?’ The six to 13-year-olds, who come from five continents, wrote to the Pope, asking him questions on a wide variety of topics. Their letters and drawings were taken to Casa Santa Marta last summer by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, the director of La Civilta Cattolica, and 31 of them...
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Just once in a while, usually in that really quiet period after Mass when nearly all of the people have gone, I will notice out of the corner of my eye a young woman or a young man hanging about suspiciously near the poor box by the candle-stand. And as I clear up after Mass, they will continue to hang around, loitering with what looks like intent. And then when I walk up to the back of the Church, they will very slowly sidle up to me. And then, as they get near me, I will see a shifty look...
"He could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them."As a doctor, I have always loved the last line of this reading. It seems like - for St Mark - just healing a few sick people doesn't really count as a miracle! He takes it for granted that healing is a natural part of God becoming really present in a human life.Well, a few days ago I had a young man in my office with his girlfriend - both much in need of healing. Both of them had just tested HIV...
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....
11-17 May is Mental Health Awareness Week, which seems a good time to ask: is religious belief good for your mental health? Roger Dawson SJ looks at one particular process through which we might assess the benefits of religion for mental health: the influence of religious belief on coping strategies.The relationship between psychology and religion historically has been tense and characterised by suspicion, with some famous psychologists claiming that religion is essentially pathological, while...
It is a characteristic Jesuit ministry to use imagination and creativity in what the Formula of the Institute calls, with great licence, "any other ministration whatsoever of the word of God".  Here in Britain, it is the task of Jesuit Media Initiatives to lead the way in this ministry by developing and implementing new ideas, initiatives and projects, using especially 'new media' such as the internet, CDs and DVDs, though not necessarily excluding the 'established media' of film and video...
Candles in sand image from flickr by caffeinehit
Lighting a candle is something shared and enjoyed across the world’s cultures. The candles on a birthday cake create an atmosphere which remains even when the candles are blown out.  When we light a candle in Church, its flame continues to flicker after we have gone, bearing witness to a relationship between God and ourselves.  The Easter Vigil with its Paschal candle proclaims the triumph of light over darkness, and we share in that proclamation as our small candles are kindled and...

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