Feasts and Saints

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash
Moses said Put this question to the ages that are past.  There is a way in which on Trinity Sunday we are all like Moses. We are urging each other to draw on the experience of all those who have ever believed in God. We want to understand God better.  The knowledge and love of God: these are what we are after:  Loving God is the most important thing in our life. Along with love goes some understanding, some knowledge.  Do we think of ourselves as reaching out to God? By the...
A single flame in the darkness
The red vestments of Pentecost first remind us of the flames in which the Holy Spirit descended.  In the  Acts (2.3) we hear: Tongues as of fire appeared among them and a flame rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability. The red cloth the sanctuary on the Feast of Pentecost is a sign of the glowing fire of the Holy Spirit rendering all of us stronger in our faith and able to...
Looking out of the window
Why are you men of Galilee standing here looking into the sky? (Acts 1.10)The two in white put their question to the disciples. Why are you standing here looking into the sky?  If we were those disciples we would surely have quite a reasonable answer to the question.  We focus our attention in the direction in which Jesus has ascended in order to pray.  Upwards towards heaven is the direction of our prayer.  We treasure the memory of Jesus and we lift up our hearts and minds...
Fr Conor Harper SJ, Vice-Postulator for the Cause of John Sullivan SJ, last weekend preached at Farm Street Church to mark the anniversary of his death in 1933.  Bl John Sullivan was first received into the Church at Farm St in 1896 by Fr John Gavan SJ.Lent is the time of the year when Christians of all denominations observe a time of prayer and penance in preparation for the great feast of Easter when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.We are invited to reflect on the great...
Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash
The Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Advent, tells us the story of the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus.  At this moment Christ comes into our world.   As we say in the Angelus “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived by the Holy Spirit”.  At Midnight Mass, as we move into our celebration of Christmas, we shall hear the story of the birth of Mary’s child.  On the Sunday after Christmas the Feast of the Holy Family...
Damian Howard SJ at Nick Austin SJ's final vows
Homily by Fr Provincial Damian Howard at the Final Vows Mass of Nicholas Austin SJ, 1st December 2017.Nicholas Owen Austin’s adventure in the Society of Jesus began in September 1996 when he entered the novitiate in Birmingham under the druidic tutelage of the late Fr Patrick Purnell, a much-missed Welsh Jesuit. Two years later Nick pronounced his first vows during a Mass celebrated in Harborne, Birmingham. On that occasion, he promised that, at a later date, he would “enter the Society of...
Poppies credit Laura Goodsell
November is the month of the dead. We remembered the Holy Souls the day after we celebrated the Feast of All Saints. Then on Remembrance Sunday next week we remember all those who have died in two world wars and in the many sad wars waged and waging since then, with so much suffering, so many deaths, so many refugees forced to leave their country and their home.We may be far removed now from those two “Great Wars”, though we are still continuing to commemorate the centenary of the First World...
St Alphonsus in old age
31 October marks the 400th anniversary of the death of St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1533-1617), St Alphonsus is a striking example of the transforming power of divine grace. He was gifted with a unique spiritual resilience enabling him to integrate prayer and humble service. That is what makes him stand out as a model for all generations.  St Alphonsus figures as one of the saints who impacted Pope Francis’ spirituality in a new book by Sean Salai SJ: “All the Pope’s Saints: The Jesuits Who...
Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Rubens Credit Wikimedia
‘DOGMA’ has become a ‘boo-word’. Rather than its original Christian definition ‘a tenet of Christian faith’ or ‘the authoritative teaching of the Church’ the Oxford dictionary now includes the meaning ‘an arrogant declaration of opinion.’ The negative definition may have evolved through widespread criticisms of the way the Catholic Church has historically enforced its teachings, especially via the CDF (the Congregation of the Faith), formerly called the Holy Office. This Congregation has until...
Oscar Romero street art
            Julian Filochowski, Chair of The Romero Trust, reminds us why there will be so many celebrations this year to mark the centenary of the birth of a modern martyr on 15 August.  This article first appered in Jesuits and Friends magazine issue 97.This Romero Centenary Year is a time to remember and to cherish the life, ministry and martyrdom of a valiant and prophetic contemporary pastor. As we wait confidently for the...

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