prayer

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The fire that Jesus brings can, if we let it, forge unity and new beginnings in the wake of division, writes Peter Gallagher SJ. Who would want to be an angry, combative person, always falling out with everyone else? We respect commitment to harmony, to keeping the peace, to being at one with other people. We are disappointed by those, perhaps ourselves, who are always at odds with others. Our religion surely supports this respect for harmony. Our saviour, after...
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Peter Gallagher SJ invites us to reflect on life’s tests. Prayer can be full of scrutiny and challenge, but God's mercy is our survival resource.Do not put us to the test. Humbly we ask God not to test us. We are not strong enough to bear much testing. Yet tests come and, with God’s help, we endure them successfully. Sometimes we survive what tests us by a mixture of God’s mercy and the strength of others.The goodness of some can save us allAbraham negotiating about the fate of the cities of...
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How can the Samaritan teach us about being true to our own nature? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on charity, our potential, and the abounding grace of God.On my way back I will make good any extra expenses you may incur (Luke 10.35). The good Samaritan’s generous and trusting farewell to the innkeeper mirrors God’s goodness and his confidence in us. God, who has already been very generous to us, acknowledges the difficulties we have in doing what he asks of us. He assures us of his help. His...
Pope Francis has recently entrusted his 2020 prayer intentions to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. They represent a wide array of challenges facing humanity and are the result of much prayer and discernment over the past several months. Areas in need of prayer in 2020 will include: the Way of the Heart, listening to migrant’s cries, freedom from addiction, respect for the planet’s resources and artificial intelligence to name a few.You may view the prayer intentions for 2020 below, and...
Pope Francis has given an urgent new mission to his personal Prayer Network (formerly known as Apostleship of Prayer) to share among all the faithful. This task, to begin as soon as possible at the beginning of October, is to promote his intention that we all intensify our prayer during this month. 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...
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This week, Pope Francis published an unusually blunt letter on abuse. In it, he condemns unequivocally both the abuse of minors and the failure to hold perpetrators to account.He describes abuse as both a crime and a sin and acknowledges the terrible damage that it causes. He apologises to all who have been hurt and says: "I acknowledge once more the sufferings endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of...
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...
Today is the feast of Saint Aloysius, a Jesuit young saint who embodied selfless love and complete dedication to the service of poor.St Aloysius’s Jesuit Church in the centre of Glasgow serves the city, the West of Scotland and beyond. The local community is always the main focus of the parish, which seeks to deepen the spiritual life of those who are part of it or come for a visit: the doors are always open and the church offers a peaceful refuge and solace for everyone.A week on from the...
Sunlight breaks through trees. Photo by Kristine Weilert on unsplash
“The man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.”When I was a novice, I used to work in a parish where – because they were giving me all the bad jobs - they put me on what we used to call “drinkers’ duty”. Every morning, from about 7 o’clock onwards, about 20-30 men and women would come up to the church and they would stop in and tell me how much alcohol they had drunk the previous day. And my job was to write it down –...
As we continue through Lent towards Holy Week, Good Friday and Holy Saturday we are asked not to rush, not to start preparations for the resurrection, but to wait, to understand our own powerlessness. On International Women’s Day, we begin to listen to the voices of women who, on Holy Saturday, are doing just that. They are women of God, who have been present in Jesus’s life; women whose stories are often told but not always heard; strong women, loving women who, even though they do not fully...

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