What faithful friendship means

I grew up in a close family and one of hardest things I ever did was to leave home and family at the age of 17 to enter the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. That novitiate year wasn’t easy. I missed my family intensely and stayed in touch with them insofar as the…

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Facing our tough hours

Discernment isn’t an easy thing. Take this dilemma: when we find ourselves in a situation that’s causing us deep interior anguish do we walk away, assuming that the presence of such pain is an indication that this isn’t the right place for us, that something’s terminally wrong here? Or, like Jesus, do we accept to…

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God and the principle of non-contradiction

It is funny where the lessons of our classrooms are sometimes understood. I studied philosophy when I was still a bit too young for it, a 19-year-old studying the metaphysics of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. But something from a metaphysics course remains indelibly stamped in my mind. We learned that there are four ‘transcendental’ properties…

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Churches as field hospitals

Most of us are familiar with Pope Francis’ comment that today the Church needs to be a field hospital. What’s implied here? First, that right now the Church is not a field hospital, or at least not much of one. Too many Churches of all denominations see the world more as an opponent to be…

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Huge stones and locked doors

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote that the Gospel text he strongly identified with is the account of the disciples, after the death of Jesus, locking themselves into an upper room in fear and then experiencing Jesus coming through the locked doors to bestow peace on them. Kierkegaard wanted Jesus to do that for him – to…

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The meaning of Jesus’ death

Jesus’ death washes everything clean, including our ignorance and sin. That’s the clear message from Luke’s account of his death. As we know, we have four Gospels, each with its own take on the passion and death of Jesus. As we know too, these Gospel accounts are not journalistic reports of what happened on Good…

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The sudden dispelling of an illusion

We don’t much like the word ‘disillusionment’. Normally we think of it as a negative, something pejorative, and not as something that does us a favour. And yet disillusionment is a positive, it means the dispelling of an illusion and illusions, unless we need one as a temporary tonic, are not good for us. They…

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Love in the time of Covid-19

In 1985, Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, published a novel entitled, Love in the Time of Cholera. It tells a colourful story of how life can still be generative, despite an epidemic. Well what’s besetting our world right now is not cholera but the Coronavirus, Covid-19. Nothing in my lifetime has ever affected…

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