Monday, 28 February 2011

The Thriller in Bengaluru: Why We Love Sport

Sunday was an amazing day for English sport. First, underdogs Birmingham City beat favourites Arsenal FC (and deservedly so) in the final of the Carling Cup. Then, India and England tied a sensational game of cricket at Bengaluru (Bangalore) (a footballing equivalent would be drawing 4-4 against Brazil). Why do we love sports so much?

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Do Hobbits go to Heaven?

People look upon the same world but see different things, they live through the same events but experience them differently, they meet the same people but have different reactions to them. This is principally due to their differences in social background, education, race, religion, etc. All these factors provide a different hermeneutic framework for interpreting reality and come together to form a narrative of the world, a story of the universe which motivates and justifies our dealings with day-to-day situations. One hugely influential factor on both our personal and national narratives are the underpinning moral examples and stories of history or legend.
Immersed in beauty

View of Benbulbin from top of Gleniff Horse Shoe, Sligo
 One of my favourite ways of re-energising when feeling tired or stressed is to go hill-walking with a few friends. I love to get away from it all (8 million Londoners) and indulge my introverted self by escaping to the hills.  How come I find I come back with more energy than I went away with, even though I may have walked all day?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Novel Conversations: A List of Religious and Spiritual Literature

I become light-headed remembering those exchanges, those conversations that make the rest of life seem like meaningless rubbish in comparison. I am recalling the ecstatic drunkenness of the slow and succulent embibing of another, those dialogues when heart speaks to heart that have been the most profound religious prayer I have shared. Our dear spiritual father Ignatius often encouraged the practice of spiritual conversation as ministry, acknowledging the intensity of faith that such an experience can inspire. I have always been more than happy to take on Ignatius's suggestions. But these intense meetings are not common, so what can we do to help us between them? My advice, read. If the brilliant American novelist Jonathan Franzen is right, some of the best and deepest conversations we can share are those we have with the narrators and characters of novels.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

breaking of a new day

As six of us open up this new blog, it reminds me of the very day I traveled more than 20 hours to come to London.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Reading Week: The Value of Stillness

Are we human,
or are we dancer?
My sign is vital;
my hands are cold.
And I'm on my knees
looking for the answer.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Forest for Sale

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?