• Faith and Life

    The Helmet of Hope

    There is a little bridge in Paris, close to the Île de la Cité, which is barely able to stand because of the weight of the padlocks which have been attached to it. The railings of the bridge are no longer visible – only the numerous padlocks. There are so many of them now, that even to cut them from the rails would be a monumental task – and so, there they remain. Often, our lives can seem like that little bridge – our problems are like those padlocks, weighing us down tremendously, to the extent that any thought of removing them seems impossible. And it is then that we…

  • Faith and Life,  World View

    Hope That Sees

    This little hand-written ribbon was stuck to a tree near the site of the World Trade Centre in New York, placed there after the terrible atrocity which took place in 2001. I saw it a few years later and photographed it. It is a photograph I look at often, one which seems to inspire me in a way; if people touched by such horror can hold onto hope, then we all must do the same. The world seems like such a dark place at the moment. The news is filled with interminable stories of desperation and woe. War. Death. Tragedy in so many place and affecting so many people. Natural…

  • Church Life,  Faith and Life,  Opinion,  World View

    Easing The Relationship

    I had written at length yesterday about the uneasy relationship I presently have with the institutional side of the Catholic Church – provoked by the relentless abuse crisis and the subsequent failures of the Church and hierarchy to act with any compassion or integrity toward the victims of such abuse, with disregard for the value of all people and with an utter absence of concern for anything other than institutional reputation and fiscal protection of assets. It isn’t an easy place to be. However, I had also noted the more rooted relationship I have with the ‘other side’ of the same Church – with the sacramental and spiritual side. So…

  • Faith and Life,  General,  World View

    In Search Of The Spiritual

    Edwin Hubble, for whom the space telescope was named, once said that we don’t know why we are born but we can find out about the world into which we were born. This quest to discover more about our world reflects something of our innate desire to learn more about ourselves and our place within this world. The quest finds it’s expression in various fields – but perhaps most notably in science and in religion. Visiting the British Museum in London some months ago, I was struck by how many of the pieces on display seemed to make reference to the religious or spiritual side of life, holding particular meaning…