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Interview with Kate Delaney on my book "Into the Cloud of Knowing"

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The Ghost of Christmas Past

It has been said that he brought selfless giving to charity back to England. In less than two weeks, his imagination had opened hearts back to the true meaning of Christmas, conquering the discrimination against the poorer class that was rampant in 1840s England, and reminding the “rich” that mercy, compassion, justice, and redemption for all, are more important than status, or meaningless traditions. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, written, and published, in only 6 weeks, has continued to bless our world, and his own story, portrayed in the recent movie, “The Man Who Invented Christmas”, reminded me of one of the reasons for the novel’s success - the Ghost of Christmas Past. You would know the story - a very greedy and selfish man called Scrooge, is visited by three ghosts (and the soul of his recently deceased friend), in order to be given a chance at redemption. The Ghost of Christmas past shows Scrooge a number of past Christmases and the events that occurred that made him h

Christmas, in the shadow of the Cross

It is getting closer to that time of year again - Christmas, of course. It is the time when we rekindle our love for stories and music and all that is beautiful, related to Christmas. It is indeed a special time. And even where there is suffering, the power of Christmas and its spirit, to distract the world from the hopelessness it finds itself in, is a powerful reality. And I know that I, for one, am doing all that I can as a parent, to en-kindle in my own children's lives, a love for all things Christmas.  But, and there is always a 'but', in many ways the power of Christmas is still clouded by the reality of the suffering that still exists, and will exist, because of our fallen humanity.  In this short blog post, I want to remind those of faith, that amidst the joy, we need to remember the lost, and keep entrusting humanity, indeed our children, spouses and friends, to the mercy of Christ, whose birth is never really separate from his death and resurrection.  Let's &

A Meaning and a Purpose

     Does God really still speak to people through signs and coincidences? Can we be sure that God does really know our most secret hopes and needs, even if we don’t speak them? Anyone who has ever asked these questions has experienced the pangs of doubt that can plague any believer from time to time. And this is exactly when we need to recall what the Psalmist teaches us: “I will remember the works of the Lord. Surely, I will remember your wonders of old”. (Psalm 77:11). Sometimes, we need to actively remember, and not just wait for the next ‘time’ a special grace visits our home, especially when we are called to travel in spiritual “darkness” for a while, when our faith is put to the test.      Of late, my “darkness” revolves around the fear of the future for my children. Let’s face it – this world is not really our children’s friend. So many obstacles to happiness and so many conduits to addiction, atheism and hedonism, not to mention the many physical attacks on the child – from

One for the Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? You know, the list of 101 things to do before you die? I think many of us would - even if not written down as a formal "list". Some may even have some really funny things on the list - especially if you love pranking your family and friends! 👦 One of the greatest things about bucket lists is that, if they ever get ticked off completely, you will probably know that you have lived a rewarding life, before it is too late to do so. Funny how the very thing that witnesses to one's hopes and aspirations, also witnesses - at the same time - to one's mortality. We ultimately know we will not be here on this earth forever!  I have a few items on the list yet to be fulfilled - going on a cruise with my wife one day, exploring the beauty of the world and its natural and cultural wonders, for instance. Or, living long enough to see my children settled into their own families, which, I guess, obviously reflects the family values that ultimately, I thin

The Pope and the Pilgrim - An Encounter with John Paul II

I have been thinking a great deal lately about the lasting legacy of John Paul II, which has been, I feel , forgotten by so many. Indeed, today's young barely know anything about him. However, he was with us as pope for so long (27 years), more than half my life, and there is so much confusion now in the Church with the current pontficate of Pope Francis, that it is not surprising that I hearken back to a time when the core meaning of the papacy as the "rock" upon which Jesus would build and sustain his Church, held more concrete meaning for me.  It was a time when John Paul II was 7 years away from his death, and I had just arrived in Rome for the first time in my life.  When I began the Roman leg of our European trip in 1998, I couldn’t    believe I had finally made it. Checking into our hotel on Via Nazionale  ,    late afternoon on January 5, my thoughts quickly turned to the Vatican. Seizing my chance to use the Italian I had learnt at high sc

Remembering Rwanda, 28 Years On. One Man’s Story.

28 years ago this month, an event that shocked the world occurred in the African country of Rwanda. It was 1994, and in 100 days, 1 million people were murdered violently. Friend against friend. Family against family. I have never been to Rwanda, nor know anyone who survived the genocide personally.  And yet, the Rwandan Genocide has always remained a story of epic proportions for me, so much so that it inspired the final song, “I Offer You” that was included in my album “Reminiscing Heart” , and which led me to read volumes of survivor and other related stories.  I was initiated into what I could only describe as a country possessed , with a hatred that was inconceivable. And when I finally met someone personally, in my own hometown, who had experienced the effects of this hatred first-hand, I knew the next stage of my search for answers had been engaged. Francis, whose story I share at the end of this blog,  crossed paths with those of the survivors as well as v