Thursday 25 June 2015

Overcoming Loneliness

We live in an age when each one of us is surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people each day. At school, at work, and in the streets, we are crowded around with others. Even if we spend our time at the computer screen we are unable to keep up with the ceaseless traffic of messages and images and status updates that overwhelm our attention. It can seem that everyone is busy and engaged in warm and meaningful relations. It can seem that everyone has life sorted out. It can seem that we are unique in experiencing a crushing sense of loneliness in the midst of the crowd.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

The Spiritual Character of the Preacher

A short homily preached before the bishops and priests gathered at the European Coptic Clergy Conference in Venice, May 2015

My holy fathers, I am not worthy to address this congregation on any subject, but I do so in obedience to the instruction that I speak for a few minutes about the spirituality of the one who preaches.

The spirituality of preaching is not concerned with the techniques we might use to communicate an idea, but it is to do with the spiritual quality and character of those who preach, and the spiritual quality and character of those things which are spoken.

In the Gospel for the Liturgy which was provided in the Katamarous for yesterday, I read the words from John 7:18...

"He that speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he that seeks the glory of his that sent him is true and there is no unrighteousness in him".

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Where did the Apostles go? - St James

In this second short post for the Fast of the Apostles, I'd like us to consider the Apostle James, or James the Greater, to distinguish him from James the Lesser, and also from the James, the relative of the Lord Jesus who became the leader of the Church in Jerusalem. This James is the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the Apostle John. Our Lord Jesus called them the sons of thunder, or Boanerges. The distinction between them indicates that one was older or perhaps taller than the other.

He was one of the first to follow Jesus, and was called away from his fishing nets and his father when our Lord Jesus spoke to him and his brother as he walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was also one of the three disciples who witnessed the Transfiguration of our Lord on the mountain.

Monday 1 June 2015

Where did the Apostles go? - St Thomas

During the season of the Fast of the Apostles I want to produce some short posts about the traditions associated with the various Apostles. After the resurrection we know that they were dispersed to engage in ministry in different places, and to a great extent our keeping this fast is a means of our own preparation for service of the Gospel.

I want to begin this series by considering St Thomas. I have described in some detail the account we find of him in the Gospels. But on this occasion I want to simply consider some of the tradition of the Church concerning him. A tradition which seems to me to be rooted in a real history.