A PARABLE OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

September 21, 2018 by

A few days ago I was tidying up the garden with my Dad, who is now almost ninety. We had a great time. It was the best kind of Autumn day – both warm and sharp. After cutting the grass I turned my attention to a bit of weeding. Sometimes I needed a bit of guidance when differentiating between flowers and weeds. However, there was no mistaking the prickly nettles! I was quite pleased at the reasonably thorough job I did of clearing the ground. Although some of the smaller weeds and grasses came out quite easily, the larger ones took a bit of tugging. It was clear at times that there was as much of the plant left in the ground as I had in my hand. Those roots were just too deep. I could almost hear the plant say with a smile “See you next year.” I was reminded of how hard it is sometimes to root out those small stubborn aspects of character that can be as sharp and stinging as a nettle. It almost seems easier to deal with the bigger issues. But those tiny deep roots can be so persistent. They too seem to grin and say to me “See you later!” It is just as well that the work of grace is slow and gentle and that the true gardener is infinitely patient.

 

SOFI’S THIRTY DAY RETREAT: THE END IS THE BEGINNING…

September 9, 2018 by

Sofi came out of retreat last Sunday. The retreat had been a time of great blessing for her. It was lovely to see her glowing with joy as she greeted her FCJ companions. Today, one week later, Sofi has just arrived in Ende. She will spend about three weeks on mission, helping wherever she can. She will go out into the local neighborhood to visit our neighbors and spend some time in far distant parishes. Sofi will also help to teach the children who come to the community twice a week. Thank you for your prayers, you really helped to carry us through. We continue to keep you in our prayer.

SOFI’S THIRTY DAY RETREAT: WEEKS III AND IV

August 27, 2018 by

Sofi has now moved into the joy of the Resurrection having spent some days walking with Jesus through his arrest, imprisonment, crucifixion and death. What a joy for Sofi to meet the Risen Christ and to experience the delight and consolation of Easter. The prayer space is beautifully decorated with flowers and cloths of bright and glowing colour. We keep you in our prayer, please keep us in yours.

Taking a break

August 17, 2018 by

This time of year in the northern hemisphere is holiday time for many. The evenings are lengthened and the weather is warm.

Taking holiday – taking a break from our normal routine, from the pressures and decisions that fill our life can be such a renewing and refreshing thing. Recently I have had my own holiday time in a beautiful spot where I was able to enjoy the simple things jesus took napsof life – the beauty of nature, good conversations and relaxed days. Returning now from that time I feel refreshed and excited about what lies ahead.

A holiday, no matter how simple, puts us into a space where we have an opportunity to just be ourselves, to enjoy what is around us, to live in the present moment and to cultivate gratitude.

 

 

SOFI’S THIRTY DAY RETREAT: WEEK II

August 12, 2018 by

Sofi has just begun moving into the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises. She has prayed on the call of Jesus to her, the call to follow him without reserve. As she begins to pray on the main events in the life of Jesus she is doing so with the desire “to know him more intimately, to love him more deeply and to follow him more closely”. Every evening we pray for you, please keep up your prayers for us too.

SOFI’S THIRTY DAY RETREAT

August 2, 2018 by

Sofi has just started her Thirty Day Retreat. She has spent some days moving into  silence and in praying on the love of God before moving into ‘The Principle and Foundation’. Sofi is now taking time to pray deeply on the meaning of her life and on ways of becoming more and more free to serve God as fully as she can. We are grateful for your prayer at this time. Every evening at 8pm we spend time in Adoration of the Eucharist. We will be praying for you during this time.

Orange Sky Australia: Love made real through soap and water!

July 25, 2018 by

I am so impressed by the two young men who started Orange Sky to offer those who are homeless the opportunity to wash their clothes, have a shower and have some good conversations with caring people. To date, they and their amazing team have made it possible to wash 68,000 loads of washing, have offered shower facilities for 4000 people and have had conversations with 100,000 people. When I am tempted to think badly of our world I often like to think of all the good Orange Sky is doing…through love expressed in  soap, hot water and time. This initiative encourages me to do whatever I can to make the lives of others a little better. More than that it fills me with hope at the sheer godness of so many people.

 

UNITED IN THE CHARISM

July 22, 2018 by

Last Saturday fifty of us braved the chill of a Melbourne July evening to gather together in the FCJ Area Office.  We had just celebrated Mass and then had a delicious evening meal. The room was buzzing with life and energy as FCJs and Companions in Mission enjoyed reconnecting  or meeting for the first time. It was a true meeting of hearts and minds. What a joy! It is amazing to think that what connects us is the FCJ Charism. How lovely to know we belong to such a loving and vibrant extended family.

THAI CAVE RESCUE – A TRIBUTE TO THE POWER OF INTERNATIONAL UNITY

July 10, 2018 by

Like millions of others around the world I have been following the news of the twelve Thai boys and their football coach trapped in a cave deep below ground. It was the stuff of nightmares except it was all too real. How amazing that against all the odds they have all been rescued. One very brave and generous man, Samam Gunan, gave his life in the process. The divers repeatedly risked their lives for the good of others. As well as pray for the successful outcome of the rescue mission I have been reflecting on how powerful we all become when we put aside those things that divide us and work together. In recent weeks we have been reminded of how much unites us in this world and we have witnessed the sheer beauty of the human spirit.

A NIGHT AS A FLOOR DWELLER IN SINGAPORE AIRPORT

July 6, 2018 by

Some days ago I needed to make a quick trip out of Indonesia in order to renew my visa and so decided to stay overnight in Singapore Airport. I used my time to good effect. I spent considerable time walking between the various terminals before choosing a good spot to settle down and sleep. My night was an interesting one. I was impressed by the level of friendliness I experienced among the good number of people who, like me, were spending the night on a comfy bit of floor. I was lucky…I was in a place where I was free and safe to sleep. I thought about those who sleep on the streets and who know what it is to be cold and afraid. I thought about those who cry themselves to sleep because of being separated from their loved ones or because tomorrow promises only suffering and pain. May we all do what we can so that no one has to sleep on the street or alone in detention centres or in dread of what tomorrow will bring.