Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Friday, 16 September 2011
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Monday, 5 September 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
The voting for the Catholic New Media Awards 2011 is now officially open.
Catching Fire has been nominated in five categories:
- Best Blog by a Religious
- Best Group Blog
- Best Written Blog
- Most Spiritual Blog
- People's Choice Blog
Sunday, 31 July 2011
"I desire more to be thought worthless and a fool for Christ, who first was taken as such, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in this world.” (Spiritual Exercises 167)
Thursday, 28 July 2011
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Friday, 15 July 2011
Monday, 11 July 2011
Looking back at my time in South-America I think I learned what it means in practice to follow Jesus in the concrete service to his people. Moreover, the experience of working as a Jesuit and the companionship that I shared with my fellow Jesuit made me desire more than ever to be part of the Society of Jesus. I hope that many more young people will discover this desire in their hearts.
Saturday, 9 July 2011
With the parish we organized a four-day Gospel Seminar for people interested in serving the church community. Approximately fifty persons attended, among which there were many young adults. By means of the life of St. Ignatius, the participants were made familiar with various prayer methods that use the bible. A couple of times a day everyone spent some time in personal prayer. Then we returned to small sharing groups where special attention was given to how the Gospel challenges our way of life and above all the way of life of the community. Problems were noticed: drinking, abuse, strife among church leaders; and some concrete suggestions were made to start moving towards a solution. One direct fruit of the seminar was a reconciliation meeting for the church leaders of the village in the subsequent week.
To be continued...
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Prior to leaving England, I wondered how I would react to a country and a people so different from everything I knew. Ignatius puts great store on Jesuits who listen and are slow to speak in order to understand the meaning, leanings and desires of those who speak. This, I learned, is the basic attitude of a missionary today. Two aspects stand out from my three month stay with the tribe as belonging to the spiritual attitude proper to the Society of Jesus: service without holding back and the importance of companionship both for sharing on the daily work and for discerning the way forward.
To be continued...
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Sunday, 3 July 2011
Hope, says God, that is what astonishes me.
I, myself, find it astonishing
that my children see what happens and believe things will improve.
That is the most astonishing, the most marvelous gift.
And it astonishes me, myself, that my gift has such incredible strength
since it first flowed in creation as it always will.
Faith sees what is.
Hope sees what will be.
Love loves what is.
Hope loves what has not yet been
and what will be in the future and in eternity
(La Porche du Mystère de la deuxième vertu, Translated by Anne Primavesi and Colin Carr)
Sunday, 5 June 2011
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
|The Resurrection by Pierro della Francesca|
Saturday, 23 April 2011
In my second year of university, I picked out Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder from the Big Read of the BBC, a compilation of Britain's favourite novels. Brideshead Revisited was the "Catholic classic" in the list, and without further need of convincing, I bought it from Waterstone's 3 for 2 deal along with a A Suitable Boy and A Prayer for Owen Meany. I quickly got into the book as it starts with the kind of heady university experience that I was then undergoing. It moved into a family drama, the characters of which all seemed recognisable to me and my Catholic setting. The decadence of the overprivileged was also immediately familiar, if a little guilt inducing.
Friday, 22 April 2011
The Kingdom of God is at hand! Throughout Holy Week, I have been reflecting not just on the passion of Jesus, but also on the Kingdom he began. The culmination of the Gospel was to give that life of his for us. And what else was his life, than the Kingdom of God? I realize that his passion cannot be separated from his public ministry, they are one. I am struck in listening to readings this week how Jesus with the same earnestness with which he sought the Kingdom, also seeks his fulfillment on the cross. So as I read the passion I try to make sense of its strangeness by bringing to mind some of the things Jesus did, the healing and reconciliation of the blind, the lame, the dispossessed. I try to take on the mind of the Beatitudes and see the passion in that light.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Saturday, 16 April 2011
On a day of the brightest sunshine I was looking up at the stark white clouds set against the blue sky, stretched out like silk. I wondered to myself, what is the most important thing in my life? Pausing for a while I waited, but I didn't receive an answer straight away. Nevertheless, the asking and waiting taught me something. Those pale clouds in the sky are formed when part of the earth, a ploughed field perhaps, is warmed by the sun. The air rises up into the sky carrying with it moisture that condenses into bundles of fluff at those cool high altitudes. Standing in the sunlight on that bright day, I felt my life too warmed by the sun and it raised my mind to what was important to me. My thoughts turned to dreams of the future. Not plans carefully worked out but deeper things some of which I could not even describe.
Monday, 11 April 2011
“When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love”
Adele’s recent album 21 has broken the record for the number of weeks a female artist has remained at the top of the UK charts, and she is also having huge success in most other European countries, and in the US. 21 is currently the most downloaded album on itunes. I first came across Adele last year when I heard her sing Bob Dylan’s song “Make you feel my love” (from her first album 19), and immediately starred it on my Spotify library. Her deep soul voice, accompanied by piano, seem to fit perfectly with this song, bringing out all its emotions. At the time I was struggling a bit with different things – and I got real comfort from listening to this song.
Sunday, 10 April 2011
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
T. S. Elliot, 'Burnt Norton'
Today I'm taking a well deserved day off from studies. It's been a hectic couple of weeks, rather more taxing than I thought they would have been. The last week of term is always burdensome, but in addition I took part in an activity which required my whole self to be invested. And so, looking back this morning on the last weeks, I feel tired and in need of rediscovering the lifeline with God, the still point of my soul.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
General confusion exploded in the Catholic blogosphere at Pope Benedict's comments which might be summarised as "It is better for a male prostitute to use condoms". Some saw it as a kind of conversion towards a more humane way at looking at morality, while others felt it was a continuation of the moral reasoning always evident in Ratzinger. Some felt betrayed and disappointed by the man they proudly monikered "the Church's Rottweiler". Has our pope gone soft?
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
17. I was in London, supposedly reading up for my International Baccalaureate Extended Essay on the symbolic nature of the gypsy in Victorian Literature while staying at my brother's East End flat. Without a book to read, hours passed boringly as I waited for my brother to get out of bed, so we could explore the wondrous streets of London. One evening at a dinner party in Kensington, I met up with my friends from high school who were touring Europe. When I told them of my predicament, one of them took out a little book which she said was amazing and that it was life-changing and that it was easy to read while gallivanting, being of simple language. That book was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Monday, 28 March 2011
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
|12,000 missing in Otsuchi, Japan|
Monday, 14 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
The Kings Speech won four Oscars at the end of February with an astonishing script. After all how do you write a script when one of the main actors stutters throughout the film? It is an inspiring story of one man's journey to unlock his inner potential. There are times of life for all of us when we need to learn something new, whether in our work, study or in our faith. We all want to change but sometimes all we encounter is our resistance. Prefering the same old patterns, life can become dry and listless. It takes a lot of trust and a patient teacher to coax out all that potential.
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
A kindly turn of speech attracts new friends, a courteous tongue invites many a friendly response.
Let your acquaintances be many, but for advisers choose one out of a thousand.
If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and do not be in a hurry to trust him; for one kind of friend is so only when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make your quarrel public, and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble: when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about; but, if disaster befalls you, he will recoil from you and keep out of your way.
Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.
A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.
A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.
A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.
Monday, 28 February 2011
Sunday, 27 February 2011
|View of Benbulbin from top of Gleniff Horse Shoe, Sligo|
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Government plans to sell off the nation's forests were met with a public outcry. The debate suggests something more is at stake than the demise of a rural idyll. For supporters of public ownership it meant the axing of a deeply cherished part of the countryside. For the government it represented £100m of extra funds for empty coffers. We live in rural and urban landscapes which are shaped by us and the choices we make. But they also shape our lives, so what is the true value of places where we find belonging? And what can this teach us about city life?