Peace Sunday and Refugees

EVERY YEAR the worldwide Catholic Church keeps New Year’s day as a Day of Prayer for peace in the world, a custom begun by Blessed Paul VI fifty years ago this month. In this country we shift the observance to a Sunday later in January. We mark it in our

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Carry on Christmas

THE TABLET is by far the best of the weekly Catholic newspapers, and always worth reading. In the double Christmas issue there is a very powerful meditation by Pope Francis dating from when he was a priest in Argentina in the early 80s; there is also a hard-hitting column by

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ABBA, No. 1 this Christmas!

Imagine for a moment praying the Lord’s Prayer and saying the words, “Our daddy who art in heaven” instead of what we are accustomed and comfortable with, “Our Father who art in heaven”. To use the word ‘daddy’ when praying in private is one thing but to publicly proclaim it

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False Joy and True Joy

‘In a consumerist culture, the quest for happiness becomes a tyrannical force which makes us believe we must have it all. Having it all is what joy demands of us’. This is a quotation from a book by Professor Tina Beattie of Roehampton University. When I was reading it earlier

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Welcome to the Year of Mark

AS you may know it is now the custom in the Catholic Church to keep the Second Sunday in Advent as Bible Sunday, an observance borrowed from the Church of England, and a day to think a bit about the place of the Bible in our lives. It’s also a

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The Divine Presence in Us

A glance at the world situation could often leave us with the feeling that, God who brought the world into existence has deserted it. The turbulent situation prevalent in the world, the refugee crisis and other events deficient in human love and respect, could call us to question the God

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The Coming of God

An odd characteristic of Advent this year, which of course only occurs every few years, is that effectively it is only three weeks. The fourth week of Advent will end shortly after it has begun and we will then fall straight into Christmas Eve. This makes some of our reflection

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Christ the King, Saviour of the World

If you go to weekday Mass now, towards the end of the Church’s liturgical year leading up to Advent, the Scripture readings day by day focus on particular themes such as the Last Judgment and martyrdom. Those from the Old Testament come from the latest books in that part of

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World Day of the Poor

THIS SUNDAY was designated earlier this year by Pope Francis as the first World Day of the Poor and it will be an annual observance on this Sunday in November. The announcement and the message were made in June on the feast of St Anthony of Padua (of whom we

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How to Get Things Wrong

Well known verses from the second chapter of the book of Isaiah (repeated in the book of Micah) are sometimes used as a canticle in the Divine Office, in Morning Prayer which we say at the beginning of Mass in our religious communities: ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,

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