What Lies Ahead

Be truly glad. There’s a wonderful joy ahead. – Peter 1:6 Oh Peter. The fisherman with the shoes. The guy tagged by Jesus as the rock on which to build a church. How about that Jesus, the punster? I have to wonder how he saw Peter, how ironically he might have been saying to Peter,…

Presence

The spirit of Christmas is peace; the heart of Christmas is love. – Ada V. Hendricks Christmas presence, not presents. That was the motto of my childhood home. You could say it was down to economics, that with a large and humble family like ours, building up expectations of material wealth would be unrealistic. You…

Blessed Are They

Christmas is joy, an inner joy of light and peace. – Pope Francis If there were one gift I’d have given my Mom, aside from the A-frame house she always thought would be wonderful, it would have been a chance to meet her Pope. Her pope was John Paul II, the Polish pope. Or maybe…

Silently

The joy of the Lord is my strength. – Nehemiah 8:10 So there’s Nehemiah, ringside at the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Or is that him at the Rumble in the Jungle, as the ‘Ali, Bomaye!’ chant starts up? Is that him swaggering behind Bruce Lee? What is the appearance of this strength? What is the joy…

Song of the Tiny Nun

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.  – Mother Teresa Okay, Tiny Nun. What were you up to? Were you working, the whole time, not to make life better in Kolkata for the most pitiful ones, but rather, combing through them with your rakes of joy to glean enough souls…

Light Emitting: of Evangelists and LEDs

His life brought light to everyone. – John 1:4* Who is the everyone in this grand statement? Philosophers, evangelists, the faithful and apologists have driven their camels of thought through the eye of that needle for many hundreds of years, down generations, as the church’s fortunes ebb and flow, with tides of temporal influence. when…

Stable: Muzak vs. the Manger Song

So, “Christmas in the heart puts Christmas in the air.” WT Ellis* Sometimes it is just muzak. When that happens, commercialism is the heart of it. The best commercial Christmas can render is something vaguely performative, sour breathed and tiresome. A true performance connects to real need; and there is no real need for all…

A Song of Joy

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad. – Psalm 118:24   This is the day that the Lord has made Let us be glad and rejoice! Let us be glad and rejoice in it, this is the day that the Lord has made. The melody rings in…

Always: Goad to Joy

“Be Joyful Always” is today’s Catholic instruction for Advent*. That’s a tough one. What about the moments, or whole days of moments, when I suspect myself of so many wrong turns? How am I to be joyful about the times I couldn’t, the times I didn’t, the times I turned one way rather than another,…

Simple

Joy is the Simplest Form of Gratitude – Karl Barth   He has walked out now, into the night and the starfields, whose honest face shines as did his own. his long shadow slow voice, and devotion circled the pole-star of love, unwavering and if he did waver, and if he did tire then it…

a Joyful Heart

A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine is today’s message from the Catholic Medical Mission Board. How do we support the joy in another’s heart? How do we support the joy in our own? How often do we look for the ‘catch’, for some reason to distrust joyfulness? How often do we respond to another’s joy with…

In Giving, Receiving

This seems like a good time to mention Catholic Medical Mission Board and their work around the world, to provide health care for the most poor. I’m following their online Advent Calendar this year, reading and reflecting on the meditations they post for each day of Advent. I’m doing this in honour of my Mom, a lifelong…