Catholic | Retired Nurse | UK

  • Faith and Life

    Ordinary Holiness

    Often, we rank our perceptions of ‘holiness’ according to our sense of the loftiness of a particular state of life. For example, Catholics commonly believe that all bishops, all priests and all religious are necessarily – and simply by virtue of their vocation in life – in some way ‘holy’. The reality is a little different. Bishops are not holy simply because they are bishops; the same rule applies to priests and also to religious. The one does not necessarily equate to the other. Now, there is no doubt that some of these individuals are indeed holy in an authentic way – but it is by virtue of the kind of…

  • Faith and Life

    The Spiritual Rocks

    Sometimes we have the idea that any kind of spiritual life is filled with consolations and sweetnesses of every sort, that it is always wonderful and leaves us experiencing a warm glow. In reality, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly, there are particular moments at which the Lord – for reasons best known to Him – allows us some sensible consolation in our prayers and devotions; these moments are, however, generally fairly brief and they are always time-limited. I wonder if part of the reason for this is that knowing we are creatures of the senses – He created us as such , after all –…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life

    Not Of This World

    The conversation between Pilate and Christ has always fascinated me. I contemplate it at length in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and I am certain there are great depths to be reached there, but I seem only to find glimmers rather than superabundant light. I go back to it time and time again and I keep looking, hoping that one day I might be given the grace to penetrate it just a little deeper. You will recognise the conversation I am referring to. It is the morning of Good Friday and the arrested Christ has been brought before Pilate at the Praetorium. Pilate is quite reluctant to take an…

  • Faith and Life,  Scripture

    The Book of Counter-Culture

    Books have a way of changing things. They can reflect the spirit of a particular age and they can in some inexplicable way capture something of the zeitgeist of an era. They can change us, either by bringing out something already present but dormant within us – or they can play a part in re-shaping us entirely, changing the way we think or see or respond. Books have power. For the most part, books are considered to be cultural;  indeed, we refer to the reading of books as a ‘cultural pursuit’. But it isn’t always like that. In fact, some books are very different – and one book in particular…

  • Blessed Sacrament,  Faith and Life

    The Little Red Lamp

    In the mornings, I sit in our parish church and my gaze often finds its way to the little red lamp which glows comfortingly to the left of the Tabernacle. When I visit other parishes nearby, the little red lamp is one of the first things I look for. And even on holidays, I will try to pop into the nearest Catholic church and there, too, I will look for the little red lamp. This was the case at Westminster Cathedral in London, where I made this image of the little red lamp in the Eucharistic Chapel there – the one quiet little spot within a much larger space where…