• Mother of God

    Our Solitary Boast

    For the whole of my life, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been, without the shadow of a doubt, my favourite feast of the Mother of God. Her Immaculate Conception is the very first glimmer of dawn on the day of Salvation, heralding the coming of something – Someone – truly wonderful. Theologians have argued over this particular Catholic belief for many centuries. One side said the Blessed Virgin had to be always immaculate in order to worthily become the Mother of God; while the other side said that for Her to be immaculate, She could not – therefore – be redeemed from sin…

  • Faith and Life,  Scripture

    Standing At A Distance From Him

    I was very struck by two lines from the Gospel of Saint Luke. In his text, Luke is describing the encounter of ten lepers who meet Jesus during His travels through Samaria and Galilee. Calling Him ‘Master’, the ten lepers ask Jesus to have mercy on them. He tells them to go show themselves to the priests in the temple and we discover that as they were going, they were cleansed. Realising this, one of the ten – a Samaritan – returns to the Lord and praises Him. Jesus asks where the other nine are, before telling this man that his faith has saved him. The story is nestled gently…

  • Faith and Life,  Scripture

    That Narrow Door

    Most often, we tend to think of the words of the Lord as being comforting and welcoming, embracing all who approach Him. And for the most part, that is precisely what He is. But we can all too easily overlook the starkness of some of what He says. Today is one of those days when the Gospel does not comfort or console us – rather, it challenges us very deeply indeed, pulling us out of our complacency. The Gospel today contained these words of the Lord, responding to a man who asked Him if many would be saved – “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell…