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The International Pontifical Theological Commission was once asked by the Pope to describe what gives Christians their identity, what distinguishes Christians from other people? Their insightful answer was: "What gives Christians their identity and makes them different from other people…
Suffering is a universal mystery, at once terrible and familiar. "In midlife I found myself lost in a dark wood," is the opening sentence of Dante's Divine Comedy, and it marks out a journey many of us know well. Suffering…
Common Insights of The Spiritual Exercises and the Charismatic RenewalSpeaking to the participants of the VI International Leaders' Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on May l5, l987, Pope John Paul II said, "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of…
The Catholic Catechism (nos.199 ff) tells us that belief in God is the most fundamental of all beliefs. All the other articles of the Creed depend on this first belief, and all the Commandments of God make explicit the first…
St. Ignatius Loyola, in his wonderful book, The Spiritual Exercises, proposes the following objective for the meditations on the Incarnation: "This is to ask for what I desire: an intimate knowledge of our Lord who has become man for me,…
Long before the Holy Spirit became an article of the Creed, he was a living reality in the experience of the early Church. The Acts of the Apostles could well be titled, 'The Acts of the Holy Spirit', since on…
"I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive (struggle) together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from..." (Rom.15:30, old RSV)…
Each one of us has a vast subconscious area within the mind (it is like an iceberg, which is one-eights above water and seven-eights below). This area contains all the happy and sad memories of one's past life. Individuals whose…
The Old Testament A distinction is commonly made between the prayer of praise, petition and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving are frequently united in the same movement of the soul. Since God is revealed as worthy of praise in all his…
At the heart of this Gospel stands the figure of Jesus, constantly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and patiently explaining its meaning to his disciples. Jesus is not only the supreme Teacher but is himself the Model for all his…
 "And that we might live, no longer for ourselves but for Him, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as his first gift to those who believe, to complete his work on earth, and bring us the fullness of…
The Bible is the best school of Prayer. Various Christian Seminars and Courses on Prayer try to teach the theory and techniques of prayer (borrowed from various religions and cults), often with doubtful results. But the reality of prayer lies…
The World, the Flesh and the Devil The "world", the "flesh" and the "devil" are the three fronts where intense spiritual warfare is constantly taking place. Jesus called the Devil a Murderer and a Deceiver, whose obsession is always to…
St Ignatius offers two sets of rules, each to be used according to the spiritual condition of the user. They are meant to help one understand to some extent 'the different movements produced in the soul', so that recognising those…
Theology teaches us that the word 'spirit' refers to two different types of motivating powers. The spirit of an individual refers to the internal inclination to good or evil, and it manifests itself with such regularity that it must be…
Spiritual direction is a wise Catholic practice that began many centuries ago, its purpose being to help a person achieve a deep relationship with God, and thus live a life of real freedom, individuality, and love. By meeting and sharing…
For a Christian, everything in life revolves around the person of Jesus Christ, everything draws meaning from his life, death, and resurrection, everything is patterned on his example, focused on his Lordship, intended for his and his Father's glory. Jesus'…
The Bible tells us that a great spiritual battle is being waged for the kingdom of God. And just as in any earthly battle the armed forces involved have to take many initiatives in order to win their ground against…
"God desires sanctity, and leads man to it along ways known only to him" (John Paul II). There is a beautiful incident in the last chapter of the Book of Genesis. After the death of Jacob, Joseph's brothers came to…
Concelebrating at the Chrism Mass of the Pope one Holy Thursday, I was struck by the translation of Luke 4:18 in one of the readings: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has CONSECRATED me to bring Good…
The Acts of the Apostles "Jesus is the joy of living... la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!" is a modern charismatic song that has gladdened thousands of hearts in recent years. It eloquently expresses outwardly what the singer…
The recent Joint Declaration of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches on the Doctrine of Justification (1999) states: "By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work, and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God…
In ordinary life, blood-relatives are considered to be one's closest kinsfolk. Such, for example, are parents, or siblings, or children. If one is married, then one's wife/husband is one's closest kin, since the two persons have become one: "For this…
People often think, "Oh! Become like Jesus? Too difficult!" Many find it an unattractive or undesirable proposition, because they remember that Jesus had to suffer so much and to carry the Cross. But Jesus was still the happiest man on…
The Church teaches that a sound Biblical Interpretation rests on three main principles: That Scripture is indeed God's word, expressed in limited human words. Hence, we must try to discover the intention of the human author by paying attention to…
I owe my vocation, and my perseverance in this vocation, to the daily Eucharist. My parents inculcated in me a special love for Jesus in the Eucharist, and I have drawn personal nourishment and inspiration from it for my personal…
It was the Spirit's task to make the historical Jesus conscious of his identity as the beloved Son of God. Becoming like us, human beings, in every way, Jesus had to grow to full human maturity - spiritually, intellectually/psychologically, physically…
The "Mystery of the Church" is the title used by the Second Vatican Council to aptly introduce its teaching about the Church. A "mystery" is a revealed truth, a reality pertaining to the realm of faith, which we can know…
'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind' (Mt. 22:37). Disciples who seek to be conformed to the image of Jesus will find an important guideline in…
The Apocalypse Apocalypse is a Greek word that means "revelation". But in the Bible, apocalyptic writings are a special and complex category of literature, whose purpose is not to reveal actual, future, historical events, but to encourage the reader with…
I was introduced to the "Jn.17:21" club several years ago when I met someone in Singapore at a World Evangelisation Conference who was wearing a badge on his coat pocket with the words "Jn.17:21" on it. This interesting badge, I…