Archive for the ‘FCJ Life’ Category


March 9, 2018

I recently had the great good fortune to meet a significant number of our Companions in Mission (CiM) and I was especially blessed to be present at a first commitment ceremony. It never ceases to amaze me how the Companions in Mission are living the Charism of Companionship in a totally new way – and leading us all to new understanding. When I think of the CiM I am filled with gratitude and when I remember the five new Companions in Mission it fills me with such joy!

The most important things

March 5, 2018

onionsWho is to say what is important and what isn’t? My diary for this week is full of interesting meetings and varied plans.

Yesterday though, I met a neighbour in the supermarket and we had a conversation, whilst standing by the onions, about grief and bereavement and kindness. The conversation lasted only a couple of minutes, but I guess it may turn out to be the most important thing of my week.

We spend so much time planning and being busy, and then these tiny gems of opportunity come our way in the most ordinary of situations, and we are given a choice – to recognise the value of the moment or to rush on past.


Life comes back

February 28, 2018

winter 2018London rarely sees snow, so yesterday and today have a magical quality with quite a good falling of powdery snow lying across most of the city. It is beautiful! It is also a reminder that winter hasn’t gone yet – the signs of spring are there but the cold has certainly returned!

The spring flowers peeping out through the snow in our garden are a good Lenten reminder. Sometimes life can get a bit buried, a bit overwhelmed and frozen – we can feel that we are in the depths of winter. These little signs of life through the frozen earth tell us that the pull of Spring is stronger – Life comes back. Lent ends in resurrection.



February 20, 2018

We arrived home on Saturday having spent two days quietly coming out of retreat and preparing for our return to community. We have all grown in the course of this retreat and most especially Maria and Cecilia. Now it is time for several weeks of ‘ordinary life’ and for time to allow the graces to deepen. Your prayers and support made all the difference. Thank you. We continue to pray for you.


February 12, 2018

Cecilia and Maria are now in Week Four of the retreat and they are praying for the joy and consolation of meeting the Risen Christ. We are steadily praying our way to the end of the retreat. Thank you for the prayer – we pray for you each day.


February 7, 2018

We are now well into Week Three of the retreat and Maria and Cecilia are walking the way of the cross with Jesus. This is a challenging time. As our energies begin to wane the material for prayer is increasingly heartrending. Thank you for your prayers so far – your support in the spirit is tangible. We keep you in our prayer too.

The world is DEFINITELY getting better

February 4, 2018

I know someone who is a profound pessimist. Life, the world and even their cup is at least half empty, getting worse, going to the dogs! I, on the other hand, am an optimist… I am full of hope. I almost can’t help hoping. I naturally see the potential in things and find it easy to find a positive side to life.

Another thing that my friends know about me – I hate plastic. Mostly I hate it because it gets everywhere and causes such pollution and destruction, but I also hate it because it is so unavoidable. (Recently I discovered that there is even plastic in teabags!)

Turtle and Plastic in the Ocean

Imagine then the effect on me of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 documentary series – the incredible and at times jaw-dropping beauty of the planet and the impact of plastics even in the deepest parts of our oceans. I think all who have seen that documentary series must surely have been incredibly moved by it.

Which brings me to the title of this post – as human beings we seem capable of immense destruction and carelessness, but also of tremendous compassion and a capacity to change

. Here in the UK countless companies, individuals and even the government have begun the steps towards change – who knows whether we will as a world community have the courage of our convictions, but our growing awareness is a great sign of hope!


February 2, 2018

When we arrived in the retreat centre the gardeners were in the process of felling a large old tree. The tree was no longer sound and sadly needed to be cut down. Most of the tree was removed from the garden except for a piece of the trunk that protruded from the ground. It took more than two weeks for the gardeners to remove that last bit of trunk and some of the larger roots: piece by piece. They took turns using traditional tools. They worked long and hard, hour after hour. It struck me how sometimes we have to work for a long time to gain some degree of spiritual freedom. I wondered how many tiny roots were still in the ground waiting for the opportune moment to emerge and raise their stubborn heads – exactly capturing the unfinished work that is the human heart. How good it is to know that we are forever and always God’s true love.

At peace with myself

January 27, 2018

One of our neighbours suffers with chronic illness and from time to time calls round to have a coffee and a chat. Recently we were having a conversation about my ministry with young people, and as I explained some of what my work involves we began to talk about the challenge that many young people face in coming to a sense of their own self worth.

The conversation moved on to how and where we find meaning and purpose in our lives, and how many of us define ourselves by what we do. For my neighbour living with chronic illness, ‘doing’ and achieving are very limited. Their sense of purpose has to be rooted somehow in their own inherent value as a person.

This got me thinking about illness, infirmity, memory loss, old age… and the challenge of coming to a sense of inner worth which does not rely on any external. This isn’t a task for our old age but one that we must begin from early on… constantly challenging all that says ‘I am only worthy if I can be productive’.

Our faith tells us over and over again that we are loved, forgiven, chosen and called; that we don’t need to earn Gods love; and that we can never fall beyond it. The Spiritual Exercises invite us to rest in that realisation, letting our action and service be a response of love rather than a required sacrifice.



January 26, 2018

Maria and Cecilia are now in ‘Week Two’ of their retreat. During this time they are called to grow more and more deeply in love of Christ: ‘To know Jesus intimately, to be able to love him more intensely, and so to follow him more closely’ (Fleming). It is lovely to see them move onwards into the retreat with such enthusiasm. We are so grateful for your prayers, your support is tangible. We pray for you each evening.