On Christmas, Christian unity, and coal

January 10, 2024 in News

In this first Messenger of 2024 » editor Donal Neary SJ explains how coal, as a traditional Irish symbol of good luck for the New Year, can do more than keep the fire burning! He also reflects on the feast of the Epiphany and offers the reader an opportunity to incorporate the journey of the Magi into their own lives, encouraging them to find and follow their own guiding star that will help them fulfill their hopes and dreams.

Tom Layden SJ, the Irish Jesuit Province co-ordinator for ecumenism writes about the annual week of Christian Unity (18-25 January), reminding people that the command to love God and our neighbour is two sides of the same coin. He acknowledges that this seems to be a challenging call given the divisions that exist among the followers of Christ.

However, as John Cullen observes in his New Year reflection, every single one of us is “a human being with a heart, to be recognised, to be respected, to be allowed space to grow and to love”. 

‘Respect’ is also a theme of a number of articles, in particular, respect for the laws of nature and the delicate equilibrium existing between the creatures of this world.

Along with an extract from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Ladaute Deum, Ciara Murphy considers the importance of biodiversity. Well-known environmental activist and Columban priest Seán McDonagh discusses the dramatic impact that El Nino » is having on the warming of our oceans and the subsequent impact of that on our weather patterns.

Peter McVerry SJ echoes the words of Pope Francis who once asked ‘Who am I to judge’ the actions and circumstances of others? “Integrity’ is the word that Fr Terence Harrington OFM Cap uses to describe one who treats everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to us.

The magazine also features its regular prayer, scripture, cookery, and children’s pages, plus the RE:LINK supplement which follows and reflects on the RE school curriculum.

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