Like most European Catholics I was born and brought up in the aftermath of the Renaissance influenced by a spirituality that owed as much to the rise of humanism as to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For the first three centuries after the death of Christ, martyrdom came to be seen as the perfection of the Christian life.
In his book, Small is Beautiful, Schumacher said, “Although people go on crying out for solutions, they become angry when they are told that the restoration of society must come from within and not from without.”
What on earth was I going to talk to her about I was thinking when, discovering that I was a Catholic writer, she made everything simple for me. She asked me to explain to her the mystery of the Holy Trinity!
Although we do not like to admit it, even to ourselves, we still believe that prayer happens suddenly, or never happens at all.
There may be evidence for a Big Bang, but there is no evidence that there was simply nothing, ‘no thing’ whatsoever before it.
I first began to understand certain mystical truths as I prayed at the place where Jesus was crucified on the first Good Friday. I have written about some of these insights when I spent a night in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, but some were too much for me to...
Some years ago, I shared a flat with a man called Caruthers. If ‘morals make the man, and manners make the gentleman’, then Caruthers was the finest gentleman I had ever met, or so I thought for the first few weeks.
When Helen, said to be the most beautiful woman in Greek antiquity fled with her lover to Troy, she did not receive the reception that she expected.
When St Francis of Assisi had rebuilt a tumbledown little church given to him by the Benedictines he called it St Mary of the Angels. It was here, over 800 years ago that he heard God speaking to him through the Gospels whilst attending Mass.
The Vatican document on New Age Spirituality is subtitled, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life – A Christian reflection on the New Age. Published in 2003, it insists that a clear understanding of our own tradition is the best antidote to alien influences…..
Francis chose a very specific way of life in which to embrace ‘Lady Poverty’ and it was quite unique. It was quite simply the way of life as lived by Jesus and his followers before the Resurrection.
A hermit I know used to say, “When you stop falling you will be in heaven, but when you stop getting up, you will be in hell.” The fact of the matter is, we all fall. The secret of spiritual growth is how long we take to get up again.
Ever since Charlemagne was enthroned as Holy Roman Emperor in AD 800 Europe gradually became a safer place in which to live.
I was determined to leave my mark before leaving school, but, as I could not make it in the academic field, I decided that I would have to do it on the athletic field.
This is the world-shaking news that we are reminded of each Christmas as we celebrate the first coming of Christ in history so that he can come to us every day of our lives in mystery, to make his home within us here on earth.
When the Crusaders opened up the Holy Land to pilgrims, they set the scene for a new dawn in Christian Spirituality in the twelfth century.
Almost 25 years ago, I spent Christmas with a family who had one son who was adored by everyone. However, that Christmas there was another child present who had been semi-fostered.
St Bonaventure once said, “Contemplation is first learned at the mother’s breast.”
I want to let you into a secret. It is the secret of sanctity, and St Paul was the first to pen it.