By Seekers in Faith 911, Reflections & Meditations on 19 February 2013 at 2:47pm
We have entered the season of Lent. One of the most important season for any Christian. But truly what is the time of Lent? On Ash Wednesday, at the early 7.45am mass, I was struck by Father George Bwanali's homily. He has kindly shared his notes with us and this is what he had to share.
"Brothers and sisters, since early days followers of Christ have observed with great devotion the time of our Lord’s passion and resurrection and prepared for this by a season of penitence and fasting. By carefully keeping these days, Christians take to heart the call to repentance and the assurance of forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel, and so grow in faith and in devotion to our Lord. I invite you, therefore, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.
By Seekers in Films, Reflections & Meditations on 27 January 2013 at 12:51pm
Having watched the stage musical Les Misérables five times, the film was brilliant and I would encourage you to go see it, if you haven't done so already. However, this is not going to be a film review, but a reflection on how evolving Faith can be and despite having watched the musical five times, the Catholic undertones never stood out for me before.
Granted the first time I watched the stage production was back in 1994 (aged 11) and the second was 1996 (13), then the subsequent three times were in 1999 (16), 2002 (18) and 2003 (19). So I was relatively young, and hadn't fully embraced my Catholic Faith. It was really in my twenties that I fully understood that I needed to live out my Catholic Faith, not just merely attend mass on a Sunday. Perhaps, this was the key into finally noticing, what I had overlooked in my youth, how deeply Catholic 'Les Mis' truly is.
By Seekers in Catholicism 101, Faith 911, Reflections & Meditations on 18 June 2012 at 12:04pm
Recently, I went to mass at St Andrews Cathedral in Dundee, Scotland. I was visiting some old friends here and they, not being Catholic said why don't you go to mass at the Catholic Church, its at the same time as ours then we can meet back for lunch. I thought that was very kind and thoughtful of them, so I did.
One thing I love about being Catholic is the consistency of the mass. Universally, despite language differences, it is always the same rituals. You know when to stand, sit and kneel. Not saying that Dundonians speak another language, but a mere thought when I go travelling to different countries! As I enter a different church, I am always intrigued by how the interior's are designed, (maybe a bias as I have an architecture degree), but St Andrews Cathedral in Dundee, is very pretty and quaint, but it is relatively small to be called a Cathedral.
By Seekers in Catholicism 101, Faith 911, Reflections & Meditations on 11 June 2012 at 9:29pm
A few weeks ago at St Patrick's RC Church, Edinburgh, we had a visiting priest come over from Ireland, Father Geroge Wadding CSsR. His presence was brief but his Sunday's homily still resonates. Upon asking, he kindly shared his homily with us:
THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER: (Year B - 2012)
The experience of innocent suffering destroys the faith of many people. We had it on a massive scale after the tsunami disaster at Christmas 2004 and a year later in the horrible Pakistan earthquake. Later again in Haiti and elsewhere. It never ends. If God is all goodness as we Christians say he is, why does he tolerate innocent suffering? Why are young children deprived of their parents in death? Why are young lives crippled or destroyed in road accidents? Why? Why? Why? If I could answer this question to everyone's satisfaction I could be a very rich man. Over the centuries wise men and preachers have offered various answers - some of them very unsatisfactory.
By Seekers in Reflections & Meditations, Seekers on 28 February 2012 at 12:32pm
Life is full of little situations, or 'life's little challenges.' These vary according to each person. How we behave and act to others must be done with sensitivity. In our recent training for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, a powerful message arose, 'someone in any given situation could become vulnerable.'
This implies that everyone is at risk. Vulnerability is an uncomfortable and unnecessary situation. As Christian's we learn that we must treat others the way you want to be treated. Put yourself in the other persons shoes, in treating someone with contempt , think first, would you like to be treated that way?
By Javier in Reflections & Meditations on 30 January 2012 at 8:48pm
In my view, an interesting topic for young adults trying to serve God through a Christian Ministry is why other young adults, including their own friends and relatives, are not interested in faith or don’t believe. Even those who used to be Christians, sometimes much better Christians that what we were/are now, have lost their faith.
The problem is complex and has many dimensions grounded in different levels of social and personal life. One of the dimensions, in my opinion, has to do with what we know about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Scriptures and their relationship with our lives.
By Seekers in Reflections & Meditations on 14 January 2012 at 9:11pm
A blog title caught my attention recently, 'Why young adults leave the church,' which is an extremely relevant issue in our current society. It opens with a young adult aged 31, who was an avid church goer until recently, where she feels God and faith is important, but the church is irrelevant. Primarily, she says “you don’t want to be judged when you walk in the church. You want to feel God.” Additionally, she suggests that "to get young adults in church, it needs to make them feel welcome, be more open-minded and accept those living worldly lives."
It mentions that a group the Barna group based in California has spent the last five years researching in America why young adults leave church. It revealed that most leave after the age 15 not to return until maybe when they marry again. However, if those who do return, tend to sway towards the evangelical churches.
By Seekers in Catholicism 101, Reflections & Meditations on 20 July 2011 at 9:34am
Through the Bible, God offer's His thoughts on a variety of life issues, in particular the notion of 'fellowship' is pertinent to any Young Adult group. However, perceptions about fellowship have become warped in its biblical meaning, we view fellowship through fellowship halls, fellowship dinners, and fellowship retreats, but very few have real fellowship.
By Seekers in Charities & Social Enterprises, Reflections & Meditations on 6 June 2011 at 9:38pm
What happens when an extraordinary God shares an idea with ordinary people? It can bind a community together and make them stronger.
Our small but growing Ministry has seen how one focus, offering Haiti hope can really bond people together. Through each and everyone person we encountered in spreading our mission of helping the people of Haiti, God's graces shines through, in the warmth and generosity of all our supporters.
By Seekers in Reflections & Meditations, Religious Communities & Congregations on 23 May 2011 at 12:49pm
John Main OSB a Benedictine monk opened the first Christian Meditation Centre in London around the 70's. He had innovated and propagated the simple tradition of meditation, through silence and contemplative prayer, from the teachings of the early Christian monks, the Desert Fathers.
This was soon made clear that this tradition was not only for monks but is especially relevant in today's Modern society. He saw it as a way for the renewal of the church and the world.
By Sarah in Reflections & Meditations on 31 August 2010 at 11:30pm
For most the talk of Auschwitz conjures up fear, death and disgust. It is always a place we hear about but not a place one would want to visit on holiday. I was able to visit Auswitz and Birkenau when en route to a Youth congress. For me, it was more shocking than how it is portrayed in documentaries and films.
Auschwitz was the work camp. It housed between 13,000 to 16,000 prisoners , once reaching a maximum of 20,000.The concept of this much evil housed in such a relatively small acreage was something I had anticipated to be tangible especially having heard others speak of the place as having an unnatural stillness – even the wildlife seemingly in mourning. I shockingly found the opposite to be the case. Auschwitz for me held a very creepy beauty.
By Lilian in Reflections & Meditations on 27 August 2010 at 2:44pm
During an insightful Seeker discussion, the notion of ‘chastity’ became quite an intense topic of debate. As Christians we have always believed that one must remain chaste, namely that of sexual abstinence from pre-marital sex. However, do we really understand what ‘chastity’ really means?
I recall coming across this article in the Singapore Catholic News talking about chastity and how Father Ronald Rolheiser says that ‘chastity needs to be properly understood.’ He refrains from the normal misconception that chastity means celibacy; in fact he says it is not even a sexual concept.
‘Someone can be chaste but not celibate, just as someone can be celibate but not chaste.’
By Sarah in Reflections & Meditations on 15 August 2010 at 7:52pm
Did you know that in Edinburgh there is a hidden gem? In the heart of George Square lies a simple labyrinth. A path of prayer and meditation, a peaceful solace amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, why not take some time out to walk the labyrinth?
Labyrinths originate from Greek mythology, yet are still a form of prayer walk used by many Christians today. Although after a cursory glance, a labyrinth could easily be mistaken as a maze, after closer inspection a labyrinth unlike a maze has no multiple paths or dead ends. Instead it consists of one, surprisingly long path, which slowly meanders to its climax in the centre of the design and then back again to the start.
By Laura in Reflections & Meditations on 3 July 2010 at 5:27pm
Religious art is a powerful tool in faith. It’s been used over the years as propaganda. It’s been used as a sign of wealth and prosperity. But more importantly than that, art can be a powerful meditative tool. Whenever I get “stuck” in prayer, I think about art. Because I teach art history, and handle paintings on a pretty regular basis, it’s a handy way for me to contemplate the deeper issues of faith and God. The imagery in these works is often intriguing, or striking. Who can look at a Caravaggio painting and not understand immediately the intense drama portrayed? Who can look at a Bernini sculpture and not be moved by the moment of conversion or religious ecstasy? Even if you don’t know a lot about art, these most basic emotions and feelings are clear. Even St Ignatius of Loyola extolled the value of art in spiritual devotions when he describes a Michelangelo painting of the Crucifixion in his Spiritual Exercises.
By Marco in Reflections & Meditations on 3 May 2010 at 7:37pm
This morning I've come across an article on internet about architectural barriers. Even though we all know what they are, how often do we think about them? Personally, I realise that I think about them very little, possibly only when I have to carry a heavy suitcase around. However, millions of people are affected by them daily.
By Marco in Reflections & Meditations on 13 April 2010 at 12:11am
Last Sunday we had the Jerusalem Community Prayer event. Lilian guided us through the way of meditation and reflection of this community. This style of prayer is centered around the reading of the Scripture: we used the gospel passage in which Thomas asks to touch Jesus' wounds before believing in his resurrection.
At the end we had a short discussion on this very point: why did Jesus have wounds when he resurrected? Why didn't he cure himself? Rather than trying to summarise what the each of the people present said (I'm sure I would turn their finely chiseled thoughts into a shapeless pulp), I will limit myself to my personal opinion, which is a hard enough task.
By Lilian in Reflections & Meditations on 10 April 2010 at 3:26pm
I don't know abut you, but I sometimes struggle with concentrating on homilies or sermons. I especially find homilies that take an exegesis stance more difficult to understand and relate to my personal life. Maybe, this is because I don't have a theological background and have never studied Scripture.
However, this doesn't mean every homily or sermon is difficult to understand. I mean its not everyday a priest opens up his homily with "Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars," which immediately caught my attention.