Bad Agnostics

Grandma: So, Billy, how was Mass?Billy: We couldn’t hear a thing because the agnostics were so bad. Read more

Meeting Therese

On my post about Francis and Therese someone commented on the toughness underneath their apparent simpering sweetness.Absolutely! In the great adventure that is the spiritual life the sweetness is only valid when it’s supported by strength. Francis was no weakling. Therese was no softie.I had my own experience of meeting Therese. In the summer of 1987 I was still an Anglican priest, and was living in England. I had three months free between jobs and decided to hitch hike to… Read more

Flower Power

We’re following a Franciscan theme at school this year so I decided to show Zeffirelli’s classic film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Phew! I forgot what a flower child Francis was made out to be…all that soft focus running through poppy fields with butterflies and bumblebees and Donovan yodeling in the background. Yucch. Luckily I only have an hour of school time so I had to cut out all that stuff.It was too much syrup for my liking. There were poppies,… Read more

Closed Communion?

My Protestant friends get a little bit snooty when we don’t invite them to receive communion in the Catholic Church.”But we practice open communion!” they cry with an air of wounded righteousness. “We invite anyone who loves and serves the Lord Jesus.”So I ask them if they welcome Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies and Mormons. They all would profess to “love and serve the Lord Jesus.” For that matter Muslims claim “honor and venerate Jesus and Mary.” Why not invite them too?In… Read more

Ever Ancient Ever New

I was talking with one of my students the other day about the mystery of the Roman Church. Has it ever struck you that we have here an institution that is older than Imperial Rome, yet it survives and thrives into the 21st century?Wow! There is no other political, cultural or religious organization that has stood the test of time like this. Kingdoms and Empires come and go. Political ideologies last a few decades then wither. Psychological, scientific and philosophical… Read more

The definition of a Mystery: not a whodunnit, but “a Truth that can be experienced, but not explained.” Read more

Whoa! Talk about Standing things on their head! In today’s gospel Jesus Christ cuts right through every expectation of the human heart and says, “The greatest among you is the servant of all.” We’re so used to hearing this that it has become a trite cliche. But how awesome and revolutionary is this? “The servant of all?”This means if you want to find the greatest person in your office, your school, your family or your parish you will keep your… Read more

Eden on its Head

Have you ever noticed that in the mystery of marriage God asks both the man and the woman to do what is impossible? In marriage God demands what’s hard, not what’s easy. Here’s the simple naked truth: The woman is supposed to (horror of horrors!!) submit to her husband and the husband is supposed to (drat it!) take responsibility. Now, this is exactly the opposite of what both men and women want to do.The women I know naturally want to… Read more

 Read more

Standing on My head

This blog is inspired by the image of G.K.Chesterton standing on his head. Imagine a fat English Teddy Roosevelt lookalike complete with drooping moustache and pince nez, a woolen suit, sturdy boots and a goofy hat trying to stand on his head. This is to validate his theory that everything in this crazy, insane world looks more sane when it is turned upside down. Chesterton pioneers this theory in his excellent little book on St Francis, when he write, “any… Read more

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Catholic