Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand

“The LORD says to my Lord…” (Psalm 110:1). These are surely some of the more mysterious words to appear in the Bible. Who is the second Lord to whom the writer, King David, is referring? Who could even be understood to be David’s Lord apart from God, the LORD? David, after all, was king ofContinue reading “Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand”

Poetic Translations: The King and the Maiden

One of the great mysteries and wonders that we can be reflecting on this Advent season is the Incarnation: the mystery that the God of the universe would become a human, even a defenceless baby. To explore this mystery, Søren Kierkegaard tells the story of a king who loves a poor and humble girl andContinue reading “Poetic Translations: The King and the Maiden”

Unexpected Faith: Terrence Malick and the “Love that loves us”

American philosopher-turned-filmmaker Terrence Malick does not make crowd-pleasers. He does not even feel any great compulsion to actually make films, although he has made more films in the last decade than he did for the first 30 years of his career. A little like Marilynne Robinson’s novels, Malick’s films emerge from some slow, meditative, beauty-processorContinue reading “Unexpected Faith: Terrence Malick and the “Love that loves us””

“A catholic taste,” she said

and I nodded, not knowing at all what she meant, for I was not, nor have ever been, Catholic. How then, I wondered, was my reading taste catholic? The word, at the time, meant Mary and popes, not expansive, far-reaching, inclusive. Now I give my old teacher’s words new meaning: yes, catholic in reading, inContinue reading ““A catholic taste,” she said”

“With pen in hand”

The fact that a work of such unperturbed objectivity and such deep, radiating peace could grow from a life which, far from being untroubled, consumed itself in strife, gives us an insight into the special quality of the man. (Josef Pieper, The Silence of St Thomas) The branch is not the root system. When youContinue reading ““With pen in hand””

Damascus Road: Breach

For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us forgiveness. (Pope John Paul II, May 2001) I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. (Nicene Creed) The year the towers fell, John PaulContinue reading “Damascus Road: Breach”

Damascus Road: Cradle, Body, Light

Your garments glisten, my brethren, as snow;—and fair is your shining in the likeness of Angels. (St Ephraim the Syrian, “Hymn for the Baptised”) You are the light of the world; you are the body of Life. The persecutor kicked you; you kick within yourself, yet you remain – kept, preserved; you cannot be hidden. You are the beatenContinue reading “Damascus Road: Cradle, Body, Light”

Catechism 52

What hope does everlasting life hold for us? It reminds us that this present fallen world is not all there is; soon we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new city, in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be fully and forever freed from all sin and will inhabit renewed, resurrection bodies in a renewed, restored creation.Continue reading “Catechism 52”

Catechism 51

Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension? Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit. (New City Catechism) Not waiting in vain, menContinue reading “Catechism 51”

Catechism 50

What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us? Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. ButContinue reading “Catechism 50”