Thoughts for Saturday

You may have noticed the last verse of yesterday’s first reading (Acts 18:18) where we are told that St Paul ‘had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.’ Many of us are glad at the moment that we haven’t made such a vow as we can’t

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Ascension Day

 Clergy are apt to say on Ascension Day that the feast gets rather a raw deal because, although it is only behind Easter, Christmas and Pentecost in importance we tend not to mark its celebration very clearly. For a few years in this country it was moved to the

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Wednesday’s Reflections

I think I commented a few weeks ago that the long speeches in the book of Acts are amongst the most intriguing parts of the book, possibly from a different source than other material. Of those of St Paul the speech in today’s first reading (17: 15, 22 – 18:1)

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Tuesday’s Reflections

Today’s first reading from Acts 16 shows Paul and Silas being flogged and imprisoned in Philippi in Macedonia, and then being miraculously released during an earthquake. The passage is remarkable for two reasons. First, the narrative reflects traditional Christian and Jewish antipathy to suicide, as Paul stops the jailer from

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Monday’s Reflections

Our first reading today (Acts 16:11-15) introduces us to St Lydia of Thyatira, ‘a devout woman who was in the purple-dye trade.’ She is converted to Christianity and is traditionally seen as the first convert from the continent of Europe (from Macedonia). Devotion to her is particularly strong in the

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Laudato Si Week: Care for Creation

We begin this weekend all over the world a special ‘Laudato Si’ week, to mark the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father’s encyclical about care for creation. You can read the letter HERE on the Vatican website. This week of prayer will culminate in a special Global day of prayer

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Reflections on the Sixth Sunday of Easter

We begin this evening the Sixth Sunday of Easter. This beautiful piece of music by the English Tudor composer Thomas Tallis is a setting of part of this Sunday’s gospel reading, John 14:15-21. [Click on the image below to listen on YouTube]. Next Thursday is Ascension Day (as it is

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St Paul and the call to Missionary Work

The first reading from Acts this morning (1:1-10) shows really a ‘whistle-stop’ journey of St Paul round Asia Minor. However the vision he has in a dream at the end of someone saying to him ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’, which leads us to the next stage of

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St Simon Stock, Carmelite Friar

In the calendar of the Southwark archdiocese today is the feast day of St Simon Stock, the thirteenth century Carmelite friar from Kent, associated with the shrine at Aylesford, one of the great centres of spiritual life in this part of the world. Because of his personal holiness he was

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