Spiritual Journeys

A bucket load of fish Photo by Zeshalyn Capindo on Unsplash
In The Tempest, Prospero is worried lest too light winning Make the prize light 1. Jesus feeds the people with a food which is a very valuable prize and which is not lightly won. Jesus asks: Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat? He only said this to test Philip. He himself knew exactly what he was going to do. The Lord knows that all will be well. Nevertheless for Philip, and probably for us, the searching question from Jesus, puts us on our mettle. What are we to say to him...
Woman sits reflectively at sunset
The lonely place to which Jesus so urgently invited his exhausted disciples was meant to be a place of refreshment and rest.  It was supposed to be quiet and peaceful. All that had been done on the apostolic mission was to have been serenely meditated upon there and properly discussed.  However, the lonely place turned out to be full of enthusiastic hearers of Jesus’ teaching who had to be looked after and nourished.   This intrusion of the work of salvation into the...
A wall of Sandals in a shop - Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash
If we are going to dedicate ourselves to being disciples of Jesus Christ what do we need, what must we take with us?  What can we dispense with?  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.  They were to wear sandals, but, he added, do not take a spare tunic. Simplicity is clearly the order of the day.  Let us get rid of what is unnecessary. Let us cut down; let us retrench; let us detach ourselves...
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
 I hope this will not seem disrespectful, but do you ever wonder what it must have felt like to be Jesus?- to have the power to heal people just by touching them...“Do you feel sick?” – I touch you – and immediately you get better. No fuss, no bother, no drugs, no side-effects, no operations, no clinical commissioning groups, no Health & Social Care Bills – you just get better right away. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to be able to do for people?I often wonder that because, during...
Bishop Hudson and Kensy Joseph SJ during the ordination
“I will give you shepherds,” we hear the Lord promise on the lips of the prophet Jeremiah. And today we see that promise marvellously fulfilled. As Kensy and Philip are ordained here in Stamford Hill, the ordination of six more priests draws to a close this afternoon a few miles from here in Westminster Cathedral.Eight more men for the mission! How their forebears, the likes of Saints Edmund Campion and Ralph Sherwin, who led the mission to England and Wales four hundred and thirty-five years...
Credit Brandon Wong via Unsplash
Every priest, at some point, will recognise this statement, usually uttered in all innocence: “Ah, but Sunday’s your busy day, isn’t it, Father?” Rarely would this be said with any malice although maybe with a little touch of gentle teasing. Priests work hard and wouldn’t complain  They feel sure that it’s part of their vocation, but some do work too hard and risk burning themselves out, even permanently damaging their health. The Pope is well aware of this and has selected, as his...
A woman makes a gesture of quiet with her finger over her lips - Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash
We are surprised by Jesus’ strong insistence to Jairus that he not tell anyone about his daughter’s recovery. The miracle is surely a persuasive sign of Jesus’ power and goodness. Shouldn’t everyone who hears of it have their faith strengthened? Some people were scornful of Jesus at the time: their laughter must have been silenced by the miracle: isn’t it good to confound those who scoff at faith? The calling back to life of the little girl is a sign of Jesus’ divine authority: isn’t it...
View of Guyana from a small plane
About twenty years ago, I learned the meaning of the word ‘fear’. It was my first flight in a small plane in Guyana in South America.When I first went on the missions I had fond imaginings of trekking up through the jungle like the last of the Mohicans, so I felt a bit disappointed that it turned out just to be a flight in a small plane. But, if I had wanted a test of courage, I don’t think I could have chosen better. It turned out to be an ‘Islander’ – a twin engined propeller-driven job which...
Aloysius de Gonzaga as a boy
AMDGThe patron saint of young people, and of Jesuit scholastics (students for the priesthood), we celebrate the life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga SJ in a special way this year with a Jubilee Year to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth. Why is his life worth celebrating?Aloysius, or Luigi, gave up a privileged background to enter the Society of Jesus. While studying for the priesthood, he died while caring for plague victims on the streets of Rome. Rather than flee the daunting realities of his...
Seeds resting in a persons hands - Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash
‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’Right after I was ordained, I spent five years working in the Amazon in South America. The area I worked in is called the Rupununi. That’s an area of Guyana about...

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