On this day each year, we observe All Souls’ Day and pray for all the faithful departed. Jesuit theologian, Jose Giménez discusses concepts of heaven, hell and purgatory, which are often brought to mind on this occasion but can be so difficult to talk about meaningfully.
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Many of us, I suspect, have heard snippets of an interview that Pope Francis did for a series of Jesuit publications, including the USA magazine, America, where, among other things, he suggested that we might be wise to not always emphasize the moral issues around abortion, gay marriage, and contraception in our conversations. That's, of course, the phrase that most caught the attention of the media, but the whole interview is remarkable for its candor
The trail taught me something else, deeper, more needed, and more humbling: What I learned from walking the road in the company of three close friends was how spoiled and immature I’d become.The Camino taught me that I need to address other issues in my life.The Camino taught me that in a number of important ways, I need to grow up!
Pope Francis says that “the structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterwards. The first reform must be the attitude.” Structural change to the government of the church is vital, but it must follow from a new way of being church, in which we get out of the sacristy, engage with people, know their suffering and their puzzlement from within.
Addressing unbelievers, the Holy Father’s letter in the Italian daily newspaper ‘La Reppublica’ addresses themes of faith and secularism. Pope Francis has pulled off yet another surprise, by taking the unprecedented step of writing a long letter to the founder of an Italian daily newspaper, explaining the faith to nonbelievers.
The famed and feisty psychologist, Fritz Pearls, was once asked by a well-meaning Christian if he was saved. He responded by saying, I am still trying to figure out how to be spent! His retort echoes a line from Theresa of Avila who states that once we reach the highest mansion of maturity we are left with only one question: How can I be helpful?
The BBC Trust's censure of John Humphrys over his welfare documentary reveals much about the corporation..... Rude words, not honest opinions, are welcome at the BBC. Today, the BBC couldn’t give two hoots about Bible-bashing (though it would draw the line at Koran-kicking). But it does want to censor a different kind of blasphemy: any opinion that opposes the liberal consensus.
We need to look afresh with the eyes of faith at the many ways Jesus is present to us in the life and ministry of the Church
This is the full text of a homily for teachers, headteachers and educators at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, on June 14 by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Discovering a strategy for driving incompetence out of the Church. In societies run by religious leaders there’s only one way to do things and that is according to the book, whichever book might be invoked. This also applies to the totalitarian politics that keep Communist parties in power in several Asian countries.
Haste is our enemy. It puts us under stress, raises our blood pressure, makes us impatient, renders us more vulnerable to accidents and, most seriously of all, blinds us to the needs of others. Haste is normally not a virtue, irrespective of the goodness of the thing towards which we are hurrying.
Poles should run everything here. The latest issue of The Economist included a small story in its Britain section about My Medik, a low-cost, private GP clinic run by Poles. The clinic opened four years ago and has 30,000 patients on its rolls. Polish immigrants were fed up with NHS GPs who only gave them brief consultations and seldom worked 24/7.
In a marvelous little book entitled, The Music of Silence, David Steindl-Rast highlights how each hour of the day has its own special light and its own particular mood and how we are more attentive to the present moment when we recognize and honor these "special angels" lurking inside each hour.
Twenty-five years ago, I wrote a column entitled, Guidelines for the Long Haul. Revisiting it recently, I was encouraged that my principles haven't swayed during the past quarter-century, only taken on more nuance. I still recommend those same commandments, nostalgically revisited, somewhat redacted, but fully re-endorsed:
We live in a highly secularized culture. Generally this draws one of three reactions from Christians struggling to live out faith in this context: First, a growing number of Christians of all denominations see secularity more as an enemy of faith and the churches than as an ally.
When Mrs Thatcher came to power I was a local politician, a member of Sheffield City Council. David Blunkett became leader and I was his deputy and chair of the finance committee. It was a bleak time for northern cities like Sheffield. On the one hand, the economic base of the city was collapsing.
Right opposite Harrods last Saturday, an old woman sat on the pavement moaning for money. In her many tattered layers and hoods, she looked like a big, swaddled baby. Click, click, click went the heels around her. Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols bags swept past her face and nobody could be bothered to stop, take out a coin, bend down and hand it to her. By now someone will have swept her off that space – such an eyesore for tourists.