The gushing waters of the Tiber called to mind the tears of repentance and the free flow of God's forgiving grace as I remembered my supply ministry in a parish near Milan in north Italy during Holy Week, which though…
It is a terrible cancer, far worse than physical cancer: the cancer of careerism. Clerics, they say, are more prone to contract it. Once it grips you, it eats into you and destroys you from within. Compared to it, the…
The gusty winds rustling through the leaves of the maples along the Tiber sounded like a doleful dirge, and the very boughs seemed to sigh in mourning. My thoughts went back to Giuseppina whom I had the privilege of visiting…
They call it `temporale' in Italian, those stormy gusty winds that almost sweep you off your feet and make the branches and boughs of the maples along the Tiber shake and shudder as they cling tenaciously to one another like…
The Tiber as it gushed forth overflowing its banks called to my mind the tears that gushed forth when I went for confession preparing for the thirtieth anniversary of my priestly ordination. And as I looked in retrospect at three…
It is -2° this morning. As I walked along the Tiber I remembered another cold night with the chill wind blowing. We priests had finished dinner having spent a wonderful evening together, visiting at his residence one of our very…
The first rays of the rising sun gilded with gleaming gold the maples along the Tiber. I recalled the challenging but comforting words of Archbishop Oscar Romero. "We are workers. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of…
As I walked along the Tiber this autumn morning, watching the maples shed their leaves, I was deeply struck by what St John of the Cross writes in the first book of the Ascent of Mount Carmel when he speaks…
When I think of death, the scene of the railway station comes to mind. There one sees travellers. They journey in different directions for different destinations. Each has his own journey to make. Each has his luggage. Some lug-gage is…
"Prayer arises, if at all, from incompetence, otherwise there is no need of it." These words, coming as they do from the little Doctor of the Church, St Therese of the Child Jesus, struck me so deeply this morning as…
"When elephants fight the deer is the victim". This Oriental saying contains much wisdom and truth. One sees this drama enacted not too infrequently on the human stage. I recall how a priest friend of mine at the defence of…
"Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran" (Gen 12:4). This text formed part of the reading for the Golden Jubilee Mass of the First Profession of two senior Sisters, one of whom was the Superior General of her…
In darkness and dryness love lives solely on faith. There are moments in our personal relationship with God when despite our generosity and faithfulness, He sweeps away all supports and dis-mantles all props; moments when He leads us into darkness…
The dialogue of love never ceases for lovers never tire of calling out to and communicating with each other; it continues uninterruptedly, yet is never boring. Love indeed calls for constant communication. The absence of communication only serves to deepen…
It was such a joyous luxury to travel all the way to Florence from Rome by the Inter-City with the entire air-conditioned coupe all to myself! How I prayed, hummed and sang aloud as I looked out of the window…
Wonderful is God in His Saints! And at times, somewhat strange too! Today is the feast of St. Alex. The Church on the Aventine Hill in Rome, dedicated in his honor, preserves a portion of that staircase beneath which he…
“Take what you need from the land, but need what you take.” A priceless pearl of wisdom coming from the treasury of indigenous people. These people are at times referred to with condescending compassion as the fourth world, written off…
Death, my enemy or my friend? Or both? I know I have the assurance of my faith that teaches me that death is but a threshold to life, that life is changed, not ended, that the cross of Jesus has…
Possibly, one of the most painful experiences that one can go through is that of rejection. The pain of being rejected becomes even more acute when the offer of love and goodness that one makes, is spurned by the very…
Asceticism and Mysticism. Certainly, the two are closely interlinked. Asceticism entails the effort and exercise that we exert in order to be able to receive God’s graces. So we work ourselves spiritually, strain and train hard to receive the gifts…
Two tender images; a mother nursing her infant at her breast; a mother lifting and carrying her child. The first is a symbol of intimate caring; the second that of reaching out. The infant at the breast needs to be…
The way to union with God and the way of union with God. These two phrases at first sight seem identical. Are they really? ‘The way to union with God’ would imply that God is found only at the end…