• 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…

  • Faith and Life,  Scripture

    Angels and Lampstands

    There is a curious text in the Book of Revelation which describes the beginning of the vision of Saint John. He hears a voice telling him to write what he sees and hears; it is the voice of Christ, who stands there among seven golden lamp stands, holding in His hand seven stars, representing the Church in seven particular places. Christ then addresses a message to the angel of each of these churches, beginning with the one at Ephesus. According to one article I had read on this text, the golden lamp stands represent the true faith present originally in those churches, as a result of the work of the…

  • Faith and Life,  World View

    You Will Find Rest

    I am an avid news-watcher. My television essentially has only one channel which I watch with any sort of regularity – the news channel. I like to keep abreast of what is happening in the world, both locally and more globally. But over the last two or three years, something has changed in the news. It is as though the world has become broken. This sense of brokenness does not affect just one aspect of the life of the world which is reflected in the news – it seems to touch upon everything in life. Politics has become a cess-pool of those who seem to be, for the most part, driven…

  • 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…