Christmas is, or should be, a time for joy: ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind’ is the angelic message. But for many people it is a time of sadness: of remembering a past we can never recapture, of family and friends departed this world, sometimes in heartbreaking circumstances. And our troubled world – particularly of...

The period around Christmas and New Year are traditionally times of reflection on the year that has just gone by. Thinking about events and trends in 2016, I found two words recurring in my mind: alienation and hope.Evidence of alienation was clear in many parts of the world. Elites were out of touch with much of the population in both the United...

About a year ago, a priest who had been living in Belgium told me that while living there he got a call one day from a man asking him if he would give the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to his father who would be dying at 3pm the next day. This was a very precise instruction. How could the man possibly know exactly when his father...

For many of us, I suspect, it gets harder each year to capture the mood of Christmas. About the only thing that still warms our hearts are memories, memories of younger, more naïve, days when the lights and carols, Christmas trees and gifts, still excited us.  But we’re adult now and so too, it seems, is our world. Much of our joy...

The English Sculptor, Henry Moore is unique because in his work what appears essential is left out; the light is let in…In his work the light always wins.Of all the symbols of this Christmas Season, light is probably the most evocative. The story of how light triumphs over darkness has so much to do with why we celebrate Christmas on...

I had the opportunity earlier this year to be part of a pilgrimage group to the Holy Land. It wasn’t my first time in the Holy Land, but every time I visit and see those sites associated with the earthly life of Christ I am moved in a different way.To visit Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem is, in a sense, to read the Fifth Gospel. It is a...

According to the proverb, it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. Sometimes I think we forget this and can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by things going on around us.In the Church, we can get caught up with the problems rather than trying to do what we can. We can spend endless hours at meetings worrying about...

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