Suffering

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...
Retire-toi Satan by James Tissot
Fr Gerry Gallen SJ, Chaplain to St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, gave the following homily for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). The reading was Matthew 16: 21-27.Poor Peter! Last week he was the rock on which the Church was to be built; this week he’s compared to the devil himself! But misunderstanding and being misunderstood is all part and parcel of the cost of discipleship.The word discipleship comes from discipline and discipline is never warmly welcomed! Peter is...
Artwork - rainbow colours
God writes straight with crooked lines, it is said.  But can good really come out of evil? Do love, truth, and justice ever work out through hatred, lies, and injustice? Do crooked lines really straighten? Not when we look at the surface of things;  but faith is never predicated on how things look on the surface. Faith sees that under the surface, error is often at the service of truth. (‘It seemed a good idea at the time!’) In spite of evil, God does continue to work, God's plan continues to...