• Faith and Life

    A Collective Conversion

    I made the photograph above in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey, the oldest part of the Abbey, completed around 1255. Here, the monks would gather and read the Rule of St Benedict. It is also the place where the King’s Great Council first met in 1257, this later becoming what we now know as the British Parliament. It’s strange being in a place where the same faith I profess was being practised more than seven hundred and fifty years ago. It is the same faith, yet it is a different expression of that faith today. The essentials are unchanged, of course, but our understanding of the faith, what it…

  • Church Life,  Events,  Mother of God

    Francis – Prayer for Peace

    In St Peter’s Basilica yesterday evening, our Holy Father Pope Francis presided at a Holy Hour for Peace on Earth, where the Rosary was prayed by all present to ask the Lord for the gift of peace in our war-torn world, through the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, the Queen of Peace. The Holy Hour concluded with a prayer written for the occasion and offered by Pope Francis. The full text of this prayer is given below.   Mary, look at us! We stand here before you. You are our Mother, and you know our struggles and our hurts. Queen of Peace, you suffer with us and for us, as you…

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

    Pray And Fast For Peace

    Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has invited Catholics, Christians, people of other faiths and people of no faith, to come together today, Tuesday 17 October 2023, in a Day of Prayer and Fasting for the intention of peace in the Middle East. Christians believe that prayer touches the Heart of God and obtains blessings for the world and the people within it – during His earthly life, Jesus Christ invited us to pray and even taught us how to pray, giving us the prayer of the ‘Our Father’. Further to this, we believe that fasting adds to this practice of prayer. It signifies our forgetfulness of self on behalf of…

  • Church Life,  Events,  The Saints

    Confidence and Spiritual Childhood

    With an abundance of approaches, methods and forms, the spiritual life can sometimes seem quite complicated – you can’t actually get anywhere until you first decide how you are planning to get there; you need to find your way before you do anything else. I suppose it’s a bit like looking at a map as you get into the car, and you put your finger on the destination you hope to reach; but then comes the planning – you need to decide the particular route you will take before you have any hope of getting there. Only then can you set off on the journey. If you are reading that…

  • Church Life,  Events,  Synod on Synodality

    Synod – Week 2

    While the first few days of the Synod in Rome was about the participants getting to know each other and becoming familiar with the process they would be using in their discussions, this second week has begun to examine some of the particular questions arising in the groups of participants where the communal discernment takes place. That initial week also looked at the first section of the ‘Working Document’, the ‘Instrumentum Laboris’. Specifically, they discussed the experience, the characteristic signs and the way forward of a synodal Church. This second week has focussed on the second section of the Working Document, which looks at the three core themes of communion,…