To mark the start of Lent 2012, there is a departure from the usual style of my podcast regional analysis of the Middle East and North Africa for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).
I am currently on a pilgrimage of repentance for my former homophobia, walking from Birmingham to London between 16 June and 1 July. For more details and updates, please see: http://repenting.wordpress.com/
An acclaimed exhibit ending a four-month run in New York City has given art lovers the chance to explore a single theme, Christ as the Man of Sorrows, and the Venetian artistic tradition that gave it full flowering.
Through the Gospel of resurrection, says Savi Hensman, God is not just a remote ruler, but intimately present, able to empower the despairing and defeated so that they can play their part in transforming the world.
Soothing 'Christmas messages' have become practically unavoidable, says Simon Barrow. But most of them are bland beyond belief. In truth the birth of Christ confronts us with something much more demanding - a choice between two ways of living in a world dominated by empire.
Some people seem to have got the idea that Ekklesia objects to the BBC broadcasting a Christmas message from the Pope. We don't. We simply think that the BBC ban on non-religious and some minority religious people sharing their reflections in the same 'Thought for the Day' slot should be ended. Giving an immensely powerful individual (and head of state) access to airwaves denied to those he attacked when he was last in Britain also raises wider questions which should not be ducked.