Hope that does not disappoint
Cardinal Hume in the face of death
Cardinal Hume considered it a wonderful grace to be able to prepare for his death. James Curry, priest of Westminster archdiocese and the Cardinal's private secretary from 1993 till 1999, here describes the Cardinal's approach to his death and how it was a witness to the hope which Christians cherish. 'He was anxious to be with God.'
What is apocalyptic hope and what does it imply? Christopher Rowland, who is Dean Ireland Professor of New Testament in the University of Oxford, urges all Christians to 'hear the Apocalypse' with its challenge to modern Babylon and its 'demands that we recognise the inadequacy of the present as we look forward to and work for God's reign on earth...'
Food for the journey
Sheila Cassidy, author of several books including Good Friday People (DLT 1995), is now working as a palliative care physician in Plymouth. Here she describes some of the resources she draws upon to sustain the virtue of hope in her life. 'Hope is food for the journey, wine for rejoicing and is God's free gift given like manna in the desert.'
Hope in Advent
One of the best ways of understanding what Christian hope means is to see how the Church prays in Advent. Jennifer Cooper, who is a Canadian just finishing her doctorate in theology at the University of Oxford, shows how Advent and hope fit together within the Church's year. 'Advent's primary message is that the whole Christian life is a life of hope.'
Monks, empty lives and beauty
Timothy Radcliffe OP
'What we hope to glimpse in monasteries is more than we can say. The glory of God escapes our words.' In a talk given recently to the Congress of Abbots of the Benedictine Order, from which this edited extract is taken, the Master General of the Dominicans, Timothy Radcliffe, explores the emptiness of monastic life and suggests that just such apparent pointlessness, in secular terms, enables those communities to become 'thrones for God's glory'.
A psalm for Advent
How can we keep the season of Advent? Obviously through prayer. Richard Atherton, who is chaplain to the Archbishop of Liverpool and author of two books on the Psalms, New Light and Praying the Prayer of the Church (Redemptorist Publications), suggests that Psalm 104 (105) is an especially good prayer for Advent, and tells us why.
Servers and ministers
A true appreciation of the liturgy is the basis for formation of those who serve the altar. Edward Matthews, parish priest of Holy Trinity, Brook Green, London, and chaplain of the altar servers' Guild of St Stephen, gives advice on how to prepare boys and girls for this valuable and functional service.
Preaching and teaching the Word
Margaret Fraser, who is the Catholic chaplain at the University of Bristol and a member of the Committee of Theology of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of December and for Christmas Day.
Papal Sin: structures of deceit, by Garry Wills
Darton, Longman and Todd, £12.95
REVIEWED BY NORMAN TANNER SJ
Demanding Peace: Christian responses to war and violence, by A.E. Harvey
REVIEWED BY BARBARA EGGELESTON
Lost Soul?, by Daniel J.O'Leary
Columba Press, £9.99
REVIEWED BY JOHN A. RAFFERTY
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