godtalk

An interfaith banner from the Nichols College Chaplaincy from Sean on Flickr
All world religions are prone to disrespect and violence. Invariably, those acting in this way see their actions as justified by sacred cause.   It would seem that it’s always been so. No religion, has been innocent.Every one of the great religions of the world, including Christianity, has been, at various times, both persecuted and persecutor. So what are the fundamental principles we should try to live out in our relationship with other faiths?What’s best in each of our...
A Pink and Purple Sunset - found on unsplash
There is a language beyond words. Silence creates the space for it. Sometimes when we feel powerless to speak words that are meaningful, when we have to back off into unknowing and helplessness but remain in the situation, silence creates the space that’s needed for a deeper happening to occur. But often, initially, that silence is uneasy. It begins as a small frightened thing, and only slowly grows into the kind of warmth that dissolves tension.There are many times when we have no helpful...
Most people like to know something that’s secret, to know something that others don’t know but we do, and the knowledge of which gives us some insight and advantage over others who are outside the circle of that secret.  This is called ‘Gnosticism’, which forever makes an appearance in one form or another.Today we see this in society at large in the popularity of books like The Da Vinci Code. Their lure is precisely in the hint that there are secrets which a few elite know that contain...
istock
Most sensitive people are liable to suffer from emotional obsessions sometime;  like for example, the feeling of being in love with someone who is hopelessly unavailable.  These kinds of  obsessions affect our whole lives, including our moral and religious lives. What we do in the pain and paralysis of obsession rarely does us proud, and is often far from a free act. In the grip of an emotional obsession we cannot think freely, pray freely, decide things freely, and we are prone...
God of our desires Ps37:4 image from edzed on Tumblr
What lies deepest inside authentic faith is the truth that God is the object of all human desire, no matter how earthy and unholy that desire might seem at times. This implies that everything we desire is contained in God. We see this expressed in the Psalms, which tell us that God is the object of our desires, and in Jesus, who tells us that it is in God that our deepest hungers and thirsts will be satiated.So we pray, without perhaps ever really being conscious of what we are saying:’ My soul...
The spiritual quest starts with our desires, asking, "What do I really want  in my  life?"  St Ignatius  Our  desires  are pivotal  to our search. We often look for the right things in the wrong places, and some pay for it the rest of their lives. Unlike what many people think today, Ignatius would not rate "being happy" as the most important desire to have and possess.  He was not against joy;  it’s just that he would argue against what we...
Eternity has more kinds of rooms than this world does.  We may know, or at least know about some people whose way of life would seem so reprehensible that it’s hard to imagine that they could ever make it to heaven.But as Christians, we believe that, as part of the Body of Christ, we have been given the power to forgive each other’s sins and that, because of that, indeed anyone’s love can pull their beloved into heaven whatever their faults and failures may be.Our love for each other is a...
The scriptures have many references to God's presence in our hearts under three headings: Faith, Hope, and Charity.  How realistic is this hope which the scriptures hold before us?  You hear people say things like: “Time is running out! Greed lays this world waste; our fearfulness stockpiles threats that threaten to bring about what we most fear; our indifference fails to act when we ought to care, and so we reduce our own power to make a difference when at last we do care....
Many people find themselves over-extended and unable to give their best to all the various calls on their time.  They are often advised that the reason for this tension in their life is because of failure to set clear priorities and be faithful to them;  and that this sloppy indecisiveness is unfair to everyone on every side. If I am over-extended, it’s a fault in my life, which I have to correct.But is it really that simple? Are we really meant to have this much control of over our...
          The single, most often quoted line from Pope Francis perhaps,  is his reply to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly sensitive issue: ‘Who am I to judge?’  This remark might seem evasive or less-than-serious.  In fact it is on safe ground.  Jesus says that ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, (but so that the world might be saved through him).’ John 3.17That doesn’t mean...

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