For many years now I have been very much a fan of the writings of the monk, writer, theologian and mystic, Thomas Merton. His commentaries and insights into ethics, non-violence, social action, the contemplative life, inter-faith dialogue and so much more, have been of great interest, and application, to me on my own very personal … More Thomas Merton: The Poetry of Pain & Perspective
A favourite short poem of mine was written during the Victorian era by William Ernest Henley. ‘Invictus’ is a classic blend of Stoicism, cultural and a biblical reference. With respect to the latter, in the fourth stanza Henley alludes to Matthew 7:14, ‘Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto … More ‘I Am The Master Of My Fate’
It was English poet Alfred Tennyson who wrote: “Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’” And so we embrace that hope as we move inexorably towards a new year. For many though, it can be difficult to focus entirely on the future. The year gone by may … More Learning from the Past; Looking to the Future
It may seem somewhat maudlin to reflect on the topic of suffering on Christmas Day – a day of joyful celebration and expressions of togetherness. Christianity presses home the point that yes, suffering is real, but amidst that emotional, mental and physical turmoil, there is transcendence and an encounter with a broader reality. The joy … More Nativity Narratives: Realism & Transformation
As a Logotherapist and Existential Analyst I’m often asked what my favourite Viktor Frankl quote is. Such a difficult question! There are so many profoundly moving and insightful words contained in his writings and now very firmly ensconced in his legacy. If I had to choose though, it would be a sentence I’ve clung onto … More ‘The Courage to Suffer….’
Here is the text of my sermon from today’s service at Cliftonville Moravian Church: Grounded in Reality; Transformed by Hope! On Wednesday evening, I was teaching dream analysis in Glengormley to a group of therapists and other interested individuals. Here, in our church, I have spoken briefly about dreams as they occur in the Biblical … More Grounded in Reality; Transformed by Hope!
Sacrificing ourselves for others, or indeed the greater good, doesn’t seem to have much currency in our modern society where individualism holds sway. Or is this really the case? Are there still people around who live out Jesus’ famous injunction written in John 15: 13 that ‘Greater love has no one than this, that one … More Asking Uncomfortable Questions: Sacrificing Oneself for Others?