A friend of mine is a deacon in the Catholic Church in Maidstone, Kent. He writes what he calls a diary. But in fact, these are what he has written if he were giving a sermon. Ian Black and his wife Angela I have known before they were married when they were young people from…

July 2020 The God who loves us. One of the roles I have as a parish deacon is to be a visiting hospital chaplain. I get the opportunity, under ‘normal’ circumstances, along with other chaplaincy volunteers, to visit people who find themselves in hospital and be the link with the Church for them during their…

(In these extraordinary times I wanted to post some words on a saint who has been a great help to so many, especially in difficult times. One who, moreover, died in anguish from a dreadful respiratory disease) I’ve been reading a biography of Leonie Martin, sister of St Therese, who, unlike her four sisters, did…

It no longer seems rational to assume that humanity, encountering an existential threat, will behave rationally”. Nathaniel Rich It may already be too late. In his book Losing Earth (the clue is in the title), Nathaniel Rich points to the decade 1979 to ‘89 when there was a concerted and optimistic international attempt by scientists…

A Few Steps from Paradise “God wants to love us and to give Himself. He wants to draw us to Himself and infuse His peace. The humblest, most modest, almost imperceptible rubbing of our fingers on the door and it flies open”. Wendy Mary Beckett I wonder what we would say if we were to…

The Joy of the Gospel Some thoughts on Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium Like all Pope Francis’s documents, Evangelii Gaudium contains a number of extraordinary depth charges. If you skim through the text you could miss a series of explosive statements that demand from the reader and the Church nothing less than a complete change of…

JOY AND SORROW POPE FRANCIS ANDTHE WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES It was an extraordinary experience to be present at the Holy Father’s recent visit to the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Dublin. WMOF is a gathering of the Catholic Church that has occurred every three years since 1994. Its aim is to promote the…

HOW TO BE HOLY “You alone are the Holy One…” From The Gloria These are some thoughts on Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation “Rejoice and be Glad” (“Gaudete et Exsultate”) You can’t get a much more positive title than that. Everything I said in my recent blog about Amoris Laetitia applies to this one. It…

SEEING “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:51) Hamlet very famously summed up the human predicament as follows: “To be…

A BRUSH WITH DEATH “Do not be afraid. Only believe.” Mark 5:36 I had a brush with death recently: sudden and chilling. For a few weeks I’d had a pain in my lower abdomen – not much to write home about – just a sort of dull ache which kept me awake at night. Men…

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