We don’t seem to speak much about love any more. Although we retain a mystical belief in it we prefer not to speak about it. We would rather speak about relationships and sex. We can get relationship and sex therapy on the NHS, but anyone asking for love therapy free at the point of delivery might be looked at askance. Surely this way of speaking is both more realistic and more scientific. Love is an ideal, like an elusive perfume, but relationships are the nitty-gritty, the crucible where all our “issues” are played out.
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you......” Rudyard Kipling's famous poem provides a key to understanding the story of Noah and the Ark as much as any scriptural commentary.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Taken out of context, that might sound cold and impersonal. But Jesus gave this prayer as an example to his disciples who had asked how they could pray like Our Lord. They had found something attractive in him, in his way of life, and wanted to live like him.
Working at the JRS has helped me to see in the vulnerable stranger a mirror of myself, and a reflection of Christ that points towards an invitation to human solidarity. Mike Guilfoyle, talks about his experience as a JRS volunteer...
Some thoughts from the ‘Jesuit Calendar 2014’ may be helpful in finding God in all things.
To commemorate the 200th anniversary this year of the restoration of the Society of Jesus by Pope Pius VII, the Jesuits in Britain have produced a special calendar for 2014. The calendar features illustrations of 12 Jesuits from across the world who have been active in various ministries over the past 200 years.
When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we ask for God’s kingdom to come, God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
But that can sound rather cold and impersonal. When we hear St Paul describing the effects of the Holy Spirit of God as love (charity), joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, it sounds more encouraging.
Christmas marked the fulfilment of the Hebrew scripture with the arrival of the Messiah, the Christ child. The Feast of the Epiphany shows us Christ presented to the world. In the child Jesus, God came to share in our humanity so that we might share in his divinity.
In the Gospels Jesus embraces the most broken of his society and encourages us to do likewise. It is from this motivation that for two days a week I work as a Catholic Chaplain to HMP Brixton, a prison in South London.