Hidden Joys; A Sonnet for the Visitation

Malcolm Guite

The feast of the Visitation, on the 31st of May, celebrates the lovely moment in Luke’s Gospel (1:41-56) when Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also against all expectations bearing a child, the child who would be John the Baptist. Luke tells us that the Holy Spirit came upon them, that the babe in Elizabeth’s womb ‘leaped for joy’ when he heard Mary’s voice, and it is even as the older woman blesses the younger, that Mary gives voice to the Magnificat, the most beautiful and revolutionary hymn in the world. There is much for the modern world to ponder in this tale of God’s blessing and prophecy on and from the margins, and i have tried to tease a little of it out in this sonnet. I am grateful again to Margot Krebs Neale for her inspiring image, and , as always you can hear the…

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The Wedding at Cana

All Along the Watchtower


The second of the mysteries of light when praying the Rosary is the wedding of Cana. I want to share some thoughts which have come to me over the years as I meditate on what St John tells us.

St John is as much poet as evangelist – or perhaps I should say that for me, the best way of understanding Scripture is often through poetry. Sometimes we read texts as though they were simply words on paper, not always taking in the notion that even what seem to be mere ‘facts’ are also ripe with interpretative material; like all the Evangelists, St John is a theologian – he asks the question, what is it that the facts signify? Jesus had taught in parables, and when the Spirit came on the Apostles, they understood that the sort of symbolism Jesus had used was a good way of getting the…

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Gospel for Corpus Christi Year C

All Along the Watchtower

loavesfishesLuke 9:11-17

Just as God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness, so here Jesus feeds the people. The five loaves should be understood as the five books of Moses, St Augustine suggests, whilst St Ambrose thinks they represent the five senses of the body. This bread is sanctified bread, prefiguring the Eucharist. It is like the Mystical Word of God, and can be multiplied as many times as is necessary to feed the people of God. Christ’s gifts may seem as small as a few loaves, but they are in reality very great and there is enough, and more than enough, for all who need them.

St Ambrose also comments on the order of the mystery. First comes the healing of wounds through the remission of sins. Then the nourishment of the heavenly table abounds, although this multitude is not yet refreshed with stronger food – that will come…

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Pope Francis the Relativist or the Merciful?



Is Pope Francis a promoter of relativism? German author and journalist Alexander Kissler thinks this is the case. Kissler believes that Pope Francis harms the Church and explains that his encounter with him showed “The pontiff talkative, almost theologically ignorant and not fulfilling the responsibility of “his” Church.” He even predicts that the next Pope will find a “spiritually neglected church.”

Alexander Kissler refers to Pope Francis, due to his Amoris Laetitia, as the UN Secretary General with a pectoral cross! Kissler’s response was caused by some of Pope Francis’ remarks in La Croix interview on May 17th:

Pope Francis:

“We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. John Paul II…

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Actions speak louder than words when it comes to abortion

Published by kind permission of the Editor, Catholic  Voice Ireland.

by  Deacon Nick Donnelly

I come from a very pro-life Catholic family, which in part is due to my brothers and I being born very premature, and a brother and sister dying just after birth. Since a young boy I have been very aware of the preciousness and the sanctity of human life. My own two children, Gabriel and Ariel, died in the first trimester and I’ll never forget seeing their hearts beating on the ultrasound screen at seven weeks gestation. One of the reasons why I love the Catholic Church is because of her unambiguous defence of the sanctity of the lives of pre-born babies, expressed in Vatican II crystal-clear statement, ‘abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes’(Gaudium et Spes, 51).

The Church rightly calls the murder of one baby through medical abortion an ‘unspeakable crime’, but what…

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