Author Archive

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

March 24, 2017

In the face of yet another act of wanton violence it is difficult to know how to respond. Words seem so inadequate. I am trying to take time to pray – and reflect on the ways I too contribute to the cycle of violence. My other response is do at least one act of random kindness each day– that to me is the best way to counter random acts of violence. By working together we can keep on investing more love in our world…

OIL-BASED BIBLE QUIZ: FOOLISH OR WISE?

March 15, 2017

The other day I misread the reference for the Gospel of the day and instead of praying with Matthew 23:1-12, I mistakenly used Matthew 25:1-12 (The parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids). I really enjoyed teasing out that Gospel story. I couldn’t help sympathizing with the unfortunate five whose oil supply couldn’t quite last the time spent waiting for that tardy bridegroom. I wondered to myself what happened that they had a less than full supply of oil. Obviously they were partly prepared – being suitably attired for their role as bridesmaids and they did have their lamps and a certain amount of the light-giving liquid. So what went wrong I wondered? Perhaps they were busy beforehand helping with the other preparations, or doing someone a good deed, or even taking care of the bride. They surely hoped they had enough oil till disaster in the form of delay plunged them into gloom and darkness. What a shame all their hopes were gone – and they missed the party! I don’t need to ask myself which of the bridesmaids I would be. I know already. Most likely I too would have been one of those knocking on the closed door. We each of us know what it is that we are lacking. It could be one or more of many things – time, for example, or prayer or rest or? I’m not so sure it is foolishness that causes the lack as much as the sheer pressure of trying to be a decent human being. For me that locked door is not the end of the story. I can’t help believing that the bridegroom is still waiting – for surely the wedding party is not complete without us – oil or no oil!

Forty Things in Forty Days

March 1, 2017

Several days ago I read a blog written by one of my friends in which she expressed her hope that this Lent she and her family would declutter in a big way. She was hoping to fill one bag with things to give away each day in Lent! Forty bags in forty days. I liked the spirit of the idea – that I could try and reduce my possessions at the rate of one a day. To my amazement two days ago my niece shared a post from the Salvation Army on Facebook in which they suggested that very thing  – fill a bag with forty things that can be given to others. Both the Salvation Army and the St Vincent de Paul are willing to accept and distribute the donations. That’s one of my challenges this Lent. I want to try and go a step further and as well as let go of forty things I am also going to try and let go of something unhelpful each day – like a negative attitude or an angry thought or a selfish impulse…All of a sudden I feel as if this Lent is going to be something of an adventure. I hope you have an adventurous Lent too!

THE GIFT OF HOSPITALITY

February 22, 2017

I recently had the great good fortune to visit our FCJ sisters in Australia and a group of RSCJ sisters in New Zealand.  I saw some amazing scenes of natural beauty and enjoyed the warmth of summer.  But by far the most impressive and touching part of the whole experience was the welcome and the hospitality I received in each community.  I enjoyed great companionship and hour upon hour of deep conversation.  What a sheer gift!

SALT OF THE EARTH…LIGHT OF THE WORLD…

February 6, 2017

One of our sisters died on Saturday 4th February. She was 93 years old and had been an FCJ for more than 70 years. She was still active and her death was sudden and unexpected despite her great age. The Gospel for Sunday that week was taken from Matthew 5: 13-16. “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” How well it captures the life of this solid, well grounded and totally dedicated woman who was well able to laugh at life and herself. Even though we now gaze at God from different angles I hope she continues to be our companion, friend and inspiration as we continue the mission God has given us…

THE PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN

January 23, 2017

I recently made a train journey lasting almost three hours. I was sitting with three other people. Even though at first we were silent and busy with our own thoughts it wasn’t too long before we started to talk. How amazing as the three strangers I began my journey with turned into kind, thoughtful and amazing people. By the end of the journey we knew enough about one another to have had a real encounter. What lovely people I met that day. Each one of them was bringing so much goodness into our world. I left the train feeling blessed and enriched. God was truly with us -the people on the train…

FINDING GOD IN THE COSMOS

January 14, 2017

To help with my prayer I am currently using a book called ‘Christ in a grain of sand’by Neil Vaney SM. Vaney describes this as ‘An Ecological Journey With The Spiritual Exercises.’One question that has challenged me is the following “With what sort of eyes do I view the world around me: as pragmatist, farmer, scientist, poet?” (Vaney, p 40) I realise that I am too much of a pragmatist for my own liking. I am hoping that little by little I can learn to view the world more as a poet and less as a pragmatist…

OUR ASIA-AUSTRALIA PROVINCE ASSEMBLY

January 6, 2017

Ten days ago we began our Province Assembly in Melbourne. On the afternoon of 26th December we boarded the plane for Melbourne and the Province Assembly. The Assembly (lasting from 28th December to January 2nd) was an amazing experience. We were exploring one of our Chapter Directions: ‘We commit ourselves to the pilgrimage of discovery into God revealed in the cosmos and we actively integrate this new consciousness into every aspect of our living.’ It was so good to have Katherine Mary O’Flynn FCJ and Margarita Bryon FCJ as our facilitator and keynote speaker respectively. We grew in companionship and in love for our God.  It was great simply to meet and talk with sisters we had not met for some years. We had many opportunities to engage with each other – in sessions and over tea and coffee. As the meeting ended we blessed each other and left for our various missions. The last of us returned home on January 7th – ready to live our FCJ call even more fully. How blessed we are to have the opportunity for such meetings.

I HAVE NEVER LONGED FOR THE COMING OF ‘GOD WITH US’MORE THAN NOW…

December 24, 2016

Almost every day there seems to be something in the news which shocks me and challenges me to hold on to faith and hope and not give way to despair. The only thing that makes sense to me is my deep down belief that that God is really with us and somehow transforming our world through love. I am longing for this Christmas more than I have ever longed for it. This is not the longing I had as a child waiting for Father Christmas. I want to be reminded that “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2). I want to witness to that light, to share that light and to do my part to fill our world with the light of God’s love. God IS with us and God’s love will one day transform the whole of creation. God be with us all this Christmas…

HAPPY CHILDREN IN OUR SCHOOL: SE-KAMI!

November 24, 2016

It’s Wednesday afternoon and the house is filled with the sweetly discordant sound of young children singing – some of them barely out of babyhood!  Twice a week the children come to our house. They come on Wednesdays for a simple fun-filled catechetics class and on Saturdays for the child-like joy of playing together. Listening to the lively interaction and laughter of those little children can shake away the tensions of even the hardest day.  How lovely that we are able to welcome the children to our home and that week after week they come. These “classes” are called “Se-kami.” This is short for “Sekolah kami” in Indonesian – which means “Our School.”

Wednesdays and Saturdays are lovely days in our house. I wish you could come!