Showing posts from July, 2021

The Labour of Mercy

  During a retreat in the Camaldolese monastery near Frascati in 1839 St. Vincent Pallotti wrote that he was in extreme need of what he calls an “infinite deluge of divine mercy” and he says “I found myself immersed in an immense sea of divine Mercy”. The need and the experience of Mercy was vast and abundant. To describe God Pallotti uses words such as infinite, immeasurable, incomprehensible. God is immense, infinite, immeasurable and incomprehensible Mercy.

Why Do You Call Me Good?

  "Why do you call me good?" asked Jesus. "No one is good - except God alone." (Mark 10:18) The woman said that her house isn’t good enough to receive a priest, especially me because she said I am so holy. The way I say Mass. I’m not holy I insisted. I’m a sinner and your house is perfectly fit for me or any priest. You’re not a sinner, she said. I am, I said! But she wouldn’t hear of it. A common mistake, not just among devout Catholics but in society at large. That’s why there is such shock when the people on pedestals are revealed to have feet of clay and worse. Oftentimes, it is we who put them on pedestals.


Show me the way Show me the way To go home Say I to the prisoner Sober


  You touched my lips I gave You my breath You took my life By the Beautiful Gate The Gate of Mercy We are stretched Out Merciless Alarmed Agitated Afraid Our wounds raw And still unhealed The well has vanished Deep into the desert sand Its waters turned to vapour Our thirst will not be quenched We are on the verge of nothingness The midnight clock is about to strike Yet Mercy still may come Like the dew of morning Moistening


“I give my children water” said the young mother, “so why should I not give them this too?” The “this” is the experience of faith, specifically First Holy Communion and personal prayer. It will be a resource for them when they grow up and even if they stop practising, they will have it within them. We would never think of depriving our children water or anything else they need for survival. Yet, we are quick to deprive them the water of spiritual nourishment, perhaps because there is no obvious or visible consequence of that deprivation but there are of course hidden consequences. This thing of faith is a real mystery and I’m very glad to have it and don’t take it for granted. It comes in all sorts of shapes, is different on all sorts of levels, breaking through where it seems not to be at all. It seems to be a given that artists become at least agnostic, if not atheist. Though that’s not altogether true here in England where it’s possible to be Catholic and artistic at the same time.