Spiritual Journeys

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
The imitation of Christ is our mission.  To be like Jesus in the world is our ambition.  We are not speaking of mere mimicry.  Nor are we considering an aspiration to be like someone who is so different from us, so far above us, that our mission has no chance of being fulfilled.  The Lord is far above us but he is also right beside us and he urges us to be like him. To do so is not to stop being ourselves.  In all maturity and integrity and self-respect we can imitate...
This month marks the 170th anniversary of the opening of St Beuno’s, a College dedicated to the 7th century Welsh Abbot, confessor, and patron saint for sick children and against diseased cattle. To celebrate this occasion we have taken a look back at the rich history of the former Jesuit College-turned-Retreat centre, found within material in the archive.Completed in October 1848 St Beuno’s was built to relieve the growing numbers of prospective Jesuit priests putting a strain on Stonyhurst...
Nick Hanrahan reflects on his vocational journey with JRS and his hopes for the synod on young people. Hundreds of bishops from around the world will gather this month to participate in the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops. The Synod will examine ‘Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment’; a topic that, as a young Catholic, has prompted me to reflect on what faith and discernment means to me.My own faith came alive through an experience that made me realise for the first time that...
This month Pope Francis has declared an additional, urgent intention.The Holy Father asks all the faithful for a greater effort in our personal and community prayer. He invites us to pray every day the Holy Rosary with the intention that the Virgin Mary help the Church in these times of crisis, and to pray each day to St. Michael the Archangel that he defend us against the attacks of the Devil.During these last years and months, we in the Church have lived through difficult situations, brought...
Padre Pio used with permission
The 23rd of September is the Feast of Padre Pio, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. He died fifty years ago on this day in 1968.  For fifty years before that, Padre Pio bore on his body, the stigmata. The stigmata are the marks of the sufferings of Christ. The five precious wounds are the holes in the feet, in the hands and in the side. The stigmata are the marks of the nails and of the centurion’s spear.  The strange miracle of the stigmata, which seems like the very opposite of healing, was...
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
The Sixth Station of the Cross: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.  An act of kindness on the road to the crucifixion leaves a physical memorial: an image of the face of Jesus is vividly impressed on a towel or veil.  The name Veronica is sometimes said to mean ‘true icon’, ‘true image’ although it could also be a form of Berenice. True images of Jesus Christ can be imprinted by compassion.  Acts of tenderness towards those who are suffering are icons of the loving kindness...
Photo by N R on Unsplash
Pure unspoilt religion in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.  The pure version of our faith, according to St James, is all about two aspects of our relation to other people: first, we are to help them in their need, and, second, we are not to be corrupted by them.  The demand that we help people is challenging, it calls out of us love, charity, compassion, when perhaps we are...
I never miss a day of school banner. Loyola Secondary School South Sudan
In September, we join the Holy Father in prayer for his Universal Intention, that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries. His personal Prayer Network shares this Intention with all the People of God, the Church, inviting us all to unite our prayer with what is in the Pope’s heart as he reviews the challenges that face humanity and the mission of the Church.This month, Pope Francis combines at least three of his urgent concerns and commends them to us...
Jesuit novices, from left: Paolo Beltrame, Thiranjala Weerasinghe, Desmond Gibney, Dunstan Rodrigues, John Bosco Noronha, Paul Prior, Ian Jackson.
 Jesuit novice Dunstan Rodrigues reflects on the World Meeting of Families. In the photo from left to right the Jesuit novices: Paolo Beltrame, Thiranjala Weerasinghe, Desmond Gibney, Dunstan Rodrigues, John Bosco Noronha, Paul Prior, Ian Jackson. Matthew Tumulty, the eighth novice, is not in the photo because he was preparing for his own personal meeting with Pope Francis!The novices of Britain, Ireland and the Low Countries had the privilege to join in the World Meeting of...
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...

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