Spiritual Journeys

Credit Simon Schmitt via Unsplash
Peter Gallagher SJ considers how Jesus's oblique speaking and silent writing in the sand effectively communicate with us.      The effective ‘if’Jesus wrote in the sand while the scribes talked to him. We would treasure anything he wrote. They, however, must have sensed that he was ignoring them. We long for our Saviour’s communications: we want thoroughly to understand his teaching. The scribes approached Jesus hoping to trap him. We come near the Lord with love...
          Among the many intentions and desires we will bring to our prayer and liturgies in April, the Holy Father invites us to consider also what is in his heart, and in his prayers, this month. This year it’s the month that brings us Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Good Friday, then the bright triumph of absolute good over evil’s darkness on Easter Day. In this month, Pope Francis invites us to pray for a particularly heroic and brave group,...
Pieta at Basilica Marseilles via Max Pixel
Peter Gallagher SJ discusses gratitude and forgiveness as we reach Laetare Sunday in the middle of Lent, which this year falls on Mothering Sunday.    Our mother stands beside usTwo images of Our Lady are part of our shared memory of the death of her son, Jesus Christ.  The first is of her standing beside the cross. Stabat Mater. When almost everyone else had abandoned the Lord, Mary stood beside him as he suffered. Her own sufferings in those hours must have been very...
Man in front of fire Credit Mohamed Nohassi
          It was blazing but it was not being burnt. God spoke to Moses from the intensity of a fire which burns brightly but does not consume. God made himself present in a conflagration which was not a destruction.On the Third Sunday of Lent we meditate on God’s presence in our life, on what he is saying to us. We pray to the Lord who purifies us without destroying us. God loves us all intensely. He speaks to us sometimes amid what we might...
Transfiguration of Jesus Credit Armando Alemdar Ara
Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on how the glory of God can give energy to our Lenten journey.         Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep.  We know this feeling.  We are sometimes very tired.  Our weariness affects our view of Lent.  We would like to live the best possible Lent but energy can be lacking. At the same time, we are not so torpid or so short of spiritual ambition that we would not like Lent to go well. Weary...
Paolo Beltrame
Jesuit novice Paolo Beltrame gave up his career as an astrophysicist to join the Jesuits.  He tells his vocation story and reflects on faith and science.      Paolo Beltrame was born in Italy.  He studied Philosophy at University in Rome and went on to get an MSc in Particle Physics. He moved to Germany to study for a PhD in Particle Physics and then worked at CERN in Geneva, in Los Angeles and in Israel. Paolo was researching dark matter and teaching at...
Road crossing instructions credit NeONBRAND
           My father was a wandering Aramaean said Moses, taking stock.  He was grateful to have arrived in a land of milk and honey and now looked back to see how the goodness and generosity of God had placed him in this excellent situation, conscious of how far he had come. My father went down into Egypt, to take refuge there, insignificant, but there became great, mighty and strong, despite harsh treatment. We all have...
Potters wheel Credit Balaji Malliswamy via Unsplash
             Keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain. 1 Corinthians 15 encourages us as we turn our thoughts to Lent which begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the Lord’s workOur plans concern what we might do, what we might renounce and how we might open ourselves to the grace of God this Lent. We are looking forward to a time of fruitful cooperation with...
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            This month, Pope Francis directs our attention to the persecuted church, asking that we pray “that Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected”.Persecution of Christian communities, and other religious minorities, is one of the topics of the Pope’s own prayer this month but not only now, because it is a constant concern in our time. Indeed,...
‘Count to ten before replying.’  This is an old recipe for putting a brake on anger.  The picture is of an emotion which is very hard to control but which can just about be kept in check by extraordinary measures.  To the problem of how to cope with anger the Gospel suggests a very surprising solution: to the person who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too.From the practical point of view, this peaceful response to something which could readily have provoked...

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