Spiritual Journeys

John in his prison had heard what Christ was doing [1].  The advent of the Lord makes itself known in the deepest dungeon. That the saviour is so near delights all who have been hoping for him including those who are suffering. Advent joy takes hold of us although life may be very hard.  The invitation to prepare joyfully for the arrival of Jesus addresses itself to people in all sorts of difficulties.  Like John the Baptist, they may be awaiting death in some dark, cold place...
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Into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand [1]. The prophet Isaiah pictures a friendly child, not appreciating the danger, rummaging in the nest of a deadly snake.  In Advent the incarnation is a focus for our prayer.  God comes towards us.  How do we receive him?  Is the friendly child born in the stable at Bethlehem putting himself in great danger?  His passion and death, after all, await him.  The Son of God reaches out to us in friendship. Are we...
DAVID STEWART SJ REFLECTS ON THE POPE’S DECEMBER INTENTION – THE FUTURE OF THE VERY YOUNGEducation is a human right. In 1948, the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights enshrined the right in international law. Denial of education is one way in which the young suffer through no fault of their own. The very young, less visible, with no power, unable to speak for themselves, suffer greatly in many parts of our world, for various reasons including denial of education.  This month, in his...
Fr Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the first week of AdventThe night is almost over, it will be daylight soon [1].  Advent draws us towards the light.  Let us arm ourselves and appear in the light [2].  What is this light?  It is the light of Christ.  Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ [3].In the holy season of Advent we allow ourselves to be equipped not only to see the light but to live in it.  Let us walk in the light of the Lord [4]. The light of Christ...
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Remember me when you come into your kingdom [1].  In response to this request, Jesus promises a place in his kingdom. This day you will be with me in paradise [2].   Like one of the criminals [3] put to death with the Lord on Calvary we can find ourselves under Christ’s kingship this very day.  Jesus is beside us, in complete solidarity, whatever is happening to us. He is our king but not from a palace. He undergoes terrible suffering.  Yet he is far from being...
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Your endurance will win you your lives [1]. Go on quietly working [2].  Stay awake, praying at all times [3].The scripture encourages us in endurance and perseverance. We pray therefore for the constant gladness of being devoted to God [4].   Jesus calls us to constancy in our prayerful service and in our joy. If we can live in this way, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays [5].  The warmth of God’s love will strengthen us against the troubles...
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem (photo by Sander Crombach)
November is the month of Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Middle East. David Stewart SJ reflects on the spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation in a part of the world which has seen much strife.   THE HOLY FATHER’S PRAYER-GROUPLike his predecessors, Pope Francis has often turned to his own international prayer network asking us to pray for today’s pressing issues. You can be part of this network right now, if God’s Holy Spirit draws you to unite your own prayers to...
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October is the Extraordinary Mission Month. David Stewart SJ reflect on the “new missionary spring in the church” and how we can play our part in it, put our faith into action.October’s Prayer Intention of the Holy Father coincides with the church’s Extraordinary Mission Month. At its heart there is the fervent prayer intention for a “Missionary Spring – that the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary 'spring' in the church”. Pope Francis invites us all to pray this intention with...
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The apparition of Lazarus won’t convert the family of the rich man, while another Lazarus, the one raised from the dead by Jesus, provoked faith. How do both these new lives inspire amendments? Peter Gallagher SJ reflects.They will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead (Luke 16.30). The rich man suffering in Hades is concerned about his family. He hopes they might repent of their sins and amend their lives so as to avoid sharing his fate in eternity. If Lazarus were to...
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The parable of the dishonest steward contains an important lesson for us about forgiveness. Peter Gallagher SJ helps us to reflect deeper on the meaning of discipleship shown in this story.To the steward accused of extravagance, the rich man said: Draw up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any more (Luke 16.2). Suppose the stewardship in question were our spiritual life and it were to God that we were obliged to give an account. Are there equivalents in our...

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