Understanding Non-Violence: Merton, Bonhoeffer, King, and Scriptural Discernment

I came across a shocking statistic the other day. It was part of an article published at the beginning of the year in ‘Psychology Today’ and was written by the US psychologist Ana Nogales. And the statistic is this: ‘When a child becomes a legal adult, they will have seen 16,000 assassinations and 200,000 acts … More Understanding Non-Violence: Merton, Bonhoeffer, King, and Scriptural Discernment

Lazarus, Robert Burns & Human Dignity: Reflections on Luke 16:19-31

This is a short reflection on human dignity in the light of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man: In strident and uncompromising language, Jesus draws us in to the world of Lazarus, the beggar at the rich man’s gate. He lies there prostrate, drained of all energy. We can imagine him gazing into … More Lazarus, Robert Burns & Human Dignity: Reflections on Luke 16:19-31

Dreams & The Unconscious God

Viktor Frankl, the founder of the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy (Logotherapy & Existential Analysis), had remarkable insight into the relationship between dreams and what he termed ‘The Unconscious God’. His understanding, developed through empirical investigation, was that we all have a hidden relationship with a hidden God, and that dreams are one way in … More Dreams & The Unconscious God

Reflecting on Redemption: The Doctor & A Complicated Life

This is the text of a sermon delivered at Cliftonville Moravian Church (www.cliftonvillemoravian.org) on 1st July 2018: One of the recurring motifs in the biblical narrative is that of redemption. There are three words for ‘redemption’ that we come across in the Bible. In the Old Testament Hebrew, there is one word, and two in … More Reflecting on Redemption: The Doctor & A Complicated Life

God, Psychiatric Illness & Uncovering Meaning

The psychiatrist Professor Viktor Frankl recounted in one of his many books an experience a student of his had whilst a patient in a psychiatric hospital. It refers to a time when psychiatry was much less enlightened and sophisticated than it is today. Nonetheless, it is demonstrative of the fact that we can find meaning … More God, Psychiatric Illness & Uncovering Meaning

Thomas Merton: Christian Life As A Protest.

Christianity, whether lived out in the monastery, in the street or in the workplace, is a protest against the status quo and its injustices and violence. Here Thomas Merton makes this point cogently and passionately: “It is my intention to make my entire life a rejection of, a protest against the crimes and injustices of war … More Thomas Merton: Christian Life As A Protest.

Listening To The Apostle Paul: The Necessity Of Unity

Despite our differences and denominational affiliations, it is possible, and indeed essential, that we live together in unity of purpose and faith.  That said, this is no easy task.  Here is a reflection I offered today at Cliftonville Moravian Church, Belfast, on this very topic. You can listen to it here; the text is reproduced … More Listening To The Apostle Paul: The Necessity Of Unity