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Religion

  • Pilgrims or drifters?

    Pilgrims or drifters?

    Three stone masons in the Middle Ages were hard at work when a visitor came along and asked them what they were doing. The first stone mason, with sweat beading his brow, grumbled, “I am cutting this stone”; the second stone mason, though less...

  • Quotes and news

    Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ is the first major document of this pontificate written by the present Pope. It has been described as his programme to reform the Church. Today and next Sunday I reproduce a number of...

  • Clues for well-being

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 2,1-5; Romans 13,11-14; Matthew 24,37-44. The opposite of belief is not unbelief but a joyless, tired religion. When we are tired and bored, our defence system weakens and it is easy to be taken by surprise by the least of...

  • Reform! Reform! Reform!

    Reform! Reform! Reform!

    November 24, 2013, will remain a milestone date, similar to October 11, 1962, when John XXIII – the Pope of ‘aggiornamento’, – in his speech opening the Second Vatican II, lambasted “those prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster” at a...

  • Quotes and news

    Addressing a conference on Catholic social doctrine in Verona, Pope Francis said: “Those who work in economics and finance are certainly attracted by profit and, if they are not careful, they risk placing themselves in the service of profit...

  • Inheriting the light

    Today’s readings: 2 Samuel 5, 1-3; Colossians 1, 11-20; Luke 23, 35-43. St Paul’s words to the Colossians today sound so empowering and refreshing: “You will have in you the strength never to give in, but to bear anything joyfully, thanking the...

  • Abortion to be imposed as a right in Europe?

    Abortion to be imposed as a right in Europe?

    The European Parliament recently dealt with a draft resolution on ‘sexual and reproductive health’ covering a wide variety of issues. Implementing measures on some of the issues, which included sexual violence on women, would be just. However, the...

  • Quotes and news

    The Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community recommended “a more humane approach to immigration” and “greater flexibility and a sensibility to human needs”. They issued the statement after discussing immigration at a plenary...

  • Need to purify

    Today’s readings; Malachi 3, 19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3, 7-12; Luke 21, 5-19. Shallow religion can be deceptive. It is actually misleading, because it never leads one to connect with oneself. For the first Christians, the fall of Jerusalem, the...

  • Homophobia or heterophobia?

    Homophobia or heterophobia?

    No man (or woman) is an island, or so the saying goes. Being human is all about being with others. We originate in others (parents), grow with and thanks to others (family, society), and find our fullness in loving and giving life to others...

  • Quotes and news

    The Guardian reported that according to Massimo Introvigne, a sociologist and head of Italy’s Centre for the Study of New Religions (Cesnur), hundreds of thousands of people are going back to church and have started the practise Catholic faith. He...

  • Death as stranger

    Today’s readings: 2 Maccabees 7, 1-2.9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2, 16 - 3,5; Luke 20, 27-38. Persecution is a word we normally attach to first-century Christians when the Christian religion, still in its formative years, was refuted in the wake of...

  • We are all sinners called to be saints

    We are all sinners called to be saints

    Recently, when asked to define himself, Pope Francis, who is addressed by all as ‘His Holiness’, said he sees himself as a sinner. As we celebrated the feast of All Saints, we realise we are all called for sainthood but there is a tension that...

  • Quotes and news

    Last week, the Vatican published the document that will form the basis for the discussions at the extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in October 2014 to discuss the family. Archbishop Bruno Forte, the special...

  • Our deepest desires

    Today’s readings: Wisdom 11,22 - 12,2; Thessalonians 1,11 - 2,2; Luke 19, 1-10. St Luke constantly tells stories of people who are lost, whom Jesus restores to life, and who eventually accept the good news of liberation. These stories are normally...

  • Modernising the Church

    Modernising the Church

    Few would disagree that the Church, at least in the Western world, is tired. Adherence to the Church is falling every year. Catholic Austria loses around 40,000 members each year. Mass attendance in Catholic Malta has also been diminishing. The...

  • Quotes and news

    Ten million people follow Pope Francis’s multi-lingual Twitter account. In fact, the Pope’s words are being tweeted in nine languages, including Spanish, English, and Latin. The popularity of the account is rising at the rate of one million new...

  • Being with God

    Today’s readings: Ecclesiasticus 35, 12-14.16-19; 2 Timothy 4, 6-8.16-18; Luke 18, 9-14. The Pharisee and the tax collector in today’s parable set the scene for us to revisit different ways of understanding how religion can block or unblock our...

  • What makes a good homily?

    What makes a good homily?

    The first topic that usually crops up when speaking to people, irrespective of whether they happen to be Catholics estranged from the Church or regularly attend Sunday Mass, is the homily. Many are those who feel irritated at the type of homilies...

  • Quotes and news

    In a homily at his early morning Mass, Pope Francis said: “When intelligence tries to explain a mystery, it always – always – becomes crazy. (The mystery of salvation) can only be understood on one’s knees, in contemplation. “For me, what comes to...

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