• Faith and Life,  Opinion

    An Interior Inspection

    At times, I find the Catholic faith disquieting and unsettling. I had written several paragraphs on this theme over the last half hour or so, but I deleted it all and decided to start again, as what I was writing was no better than that which disquietens and unsettles me. I suppose the essential point occupying my thoughts is that we need to be very careful about exactly what we judge to be an accurate description and expression and living-out of the Catholic faith we profess. If the focus is on the superficial, the purely-visible, or if it is characterised by the assassination of the characters of others, or making…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life,  Opinion

    A Church of Prevention

    Sometimes, someone says something which just seems to crystallise what you have known within yourself and considered to be true and accurate – but the very vocalisation of their words, giving expression to that thought, make it plain that the sense you have is shared by others. This has the resulting effect of stopping us in our tracks and making us think. This was such a day. A wise friend of mine on social media wrote this earlier today – We Christians must decide whether we’re going to be a Church of proclamation, announcing the good news to a world sorely in need – or a Church of prevention, keeping…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life,  Opinion

    Empty Chairs

    I’ve noticed that whenever there is a specifically religious event taking place, there seems to be something of a sense of unadulterated joy expressed, proclaiming that the faith is being lived out fully in whichever place that event has been held. I saw something of this sort on two occasions in recent memory – the first was the visit to Carfin of the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux a couple of years ago; and most recently, the visit of the relics of Saint Bernadette Soubirous. Each visit was accompanied by the public declaration that “the faith is alive and well” – this, based on the numbers of people visiting…

  • Events,  Opinion,  World View

    The Cross and The Crown

    Tomorrow, the United Kingdom will pay a final mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in London. We know a great deal about The Queen and her life, lived out in the view of the world. One aspect of her life, however, is commented on less often than other aspects – her life of faith. It is said that at her Coronation in 1953, the Queen viewed the most solemn moment not as the one where the glittering Crown of St Edward was placed upon her head, but the private moment in which she was anointed with holy oil; for…

  • Church Life,  Events,  Opinion,  World View

    Losing The Way

    One week ago, the Pope created a new clutch of Cardinals. He was at pains to point out that their elevation is to be seen in terms of service to the Church and to the Holy Father. And yet despite this, words such as ‘creation’ and ‘elevation’ very strongly suggest something else, as does the imposition of a gold ring and luxuriant scarlet vestments, all given during a special service at the Vatican. All of this says ‘power’. And it proclaims that power very clearly indeed. If you doubt this, wait and watch as numerous accolades and honorary degrees and titles and courtesies are extended to these ‘Eminences’ over the…