A gifted saint with a pastor’s heart

The View All saints are extraordinary, in the sense that they manage to turn their lives and wills over to God and through his grace achieve heroic virtue. John Henry Newman is perhaps more extraordinary than most because of the extent of his natural gifts. James Joyce wrote to his long-suffering English patron, Harriet Weaver,…

Lighting candles in times of darkness

The View   If you build it, they will come. This famous catchphrase from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams is actually a misquote. In the film, an Iowa corn farmer played by Kevin Costner is walking through his fields one night when he hears a disembodied voice saying: “If you build it, he will…

Leo Varadkar wrong on ‘individual tragedy’ abortion

There are many tragic aspects to the recent abortion in Holles Street of a healthy baby misdiagnosed with a life-limiting condition, but one thing was sure. Leo Varadkar is entirely wrong when he described it as an “individual tragedy”. It was not an individual tragedy. It was a systemic failure caused firstly, by legalising abortion…

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When Faith bears unpredictable fruit

The View   There are billboards for Hozier’s new album, Wasteland, Baby!, all over the place. In a Guardian Question and Answer session the singer (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) revealed that he has Seamus Heaney’s last words tattooed on his arm. Seamus Heaney had texted ‘noli timere’ which means, “do not be afraid”, to his wife, Marie,…

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Christians and Muslims: forging an honest peace

The View   The Pope’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates highlighted the issue of relations with Islam. It has been a recurring theme of this pontificate. It was also a major concern of Pope Benedict, although he was unfairly caricatured as anti-Islamic after his much mis-quoted Regensberg Address in 2006. Far from attacking…

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What’s so irresistible about gossiping?

The View   Two recent incidents nudged my conscience. The first was a young woman who told me that something from one of my talks had lingered with her and she had tried to implement it. The topic mentioned was moral licensing, in the sense of feeling that I am such a good Christian that…

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