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

Thomas Merton: The Transforming Nature of Reality

Thanks to a friend I was reminded that it is 60 years and 1 day since Thomas Merton’s ‘epiphany’ moment in Louisville. Kentucky, when he recognised that our being is deeply rooted in God and each other.  Contemplation and revelation is not confined to the monastery and a select few; it is a calling from … More Thomas Merton: The Transforming Nature of Reality

Understanding Love

In The Art of Loving, the psychoanalyst and psychologist Erich Fromm wrote: “Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.” And he is right. Love takes work and can be counter-intuitive in that it requires us to reach beyond the constraints … More Understanding Love

Believe In Love

‘Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love, there is a strength, and a blessing, so large, that you can travel as far as you wish, without having to step outside it’. Rainer Maria Rilke

The Essence of Love

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, … More The Essence of Love

Thomas Merton & Viktor Frankl: Discussing Meaning

This is my opening lecture from the ‘Exploring Meaning With Thomas Merton and Viktor Frankl’ workshop held on 31st January 2015 at Bethlehem Abbey, Portglenone, Co. Antrim (and co-facilitated by Dr. Stephen Costello of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland): We gather here on this beautiful day, from many different places across Ireland, to celebrate … More Thomas Merton & Viktor Frankl: Discussing Meaning

Porcelain Unicorn

Film director Sir Ridley Scott recently launched a contest with a world-wide reach aimed at aspiring directors.  Scott’s initiative was entitled ‘Tell it Your Way’ and attracted in excess of 600 entries. The rules stipulated that the film must be no longer than three minutes, contain only six lines of narrative and be a compelling … More Porcelain Unicorn

Musings on Mental Health, Stigma & the Christian Response

One in three people will be affected by cancer at some stage in their life. One in four of us will experience some sort of mental health issue at some stage in our lives. Although the statistics on the incidence of these two diseases are similar, societal perception is poles apart.  Mental illness is just … More Musings on Mental Health, Stigma & the Christian Response