As We Are – praying the First Week of the Exercises

January 24, 2018 by

The Principle and Foundation begins the Exercises of St Ignatius, leading us to a deep understanding of who we are and what we are created for.

Then as we move through the First Week (and Week is a fairly loose term meaning something more akin to ‘period of time’ than actually 7 days!) we look at ourselves AS WE ARE – coming to recognise and accept ourselves as both sinful, flawed individuals and individuals who are personally loved by God.

The recognition that God loves me the way I am, rather than a false sense that God would love me if I were more perfect, holy, kind etc frees me. And this freedom leads me to gratitude and a desire to respond to the love I experience.

There is a little part of the Disney film Moana which reminds me of this transformation when we understand God’s loving acceptance and forgiveness. In this clip we see Moana confront Te Kā, the demon who has morphed from the goddess Te Fiti when Te Fiti’s heart was stolen. As Moana sees the truth beyond the external demon she is enabled to restore the heart of Te Fiti. CLICK the LINK to watch the clip




January 23, 2018 by

Maria and Cecilia are moving towards the end of Week One having bravely given themselves in prayer to claim the challenging graces of this Week. The Week is drawing to a close as the joy of reconciliation shines on the faces of our two retreatants. We will soon relax into a rest day together. Thank you for your prayers so far – your support is tangible. We keep you in our prayers.


January 18, 2018 by

Maria and Cecilia are now praying the Principle and Foundation. They are seeking to grow in spiritual freedom as they strive to praise, honour and serve God. Each evening at Adoration we pray for all of you.  We are grateful for your prayers.


January 17, 2018 by

do I 
listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master
speaking to me
last words.

(The Gift: Poems by Hafiz.)
Translation by Daniel Ladinsky

Listening is a skill, a gift, a spiritual discipline.

Deep listening requires that I step out of myself and hear a person not for what the conversation gives me (information, insight etc) but for what the person really wants to communicate. We are challenged in listening to constantly suspend judgement, presumption and expectation as we wait for the truth of the other to be revealed.

The poem by Hafiz speaks to me of the attitude of openness that is called for… to wait with longing for what the other person is going to reveal.

Of course listening isn’t only passive (or else the person may as well just talk to a wall!) – once we have heard then we are called back into ourselves as listener to offer our way of reflecting what we have heard as a gift for the other person. They receive their truth refracted through us… opened up in a different way for them.


January 13, 2018 by

We arrived in Girisonta Spirituality Centre yesterday. Today we will continue the process of orientation that will eventually lead Maria and Cecilia gently into their retreat. This experience of the Spiritual Exercises is such a key moment in the journey of formation.  We will be praying for you every evening throughout the retreat. Please keep us in your prayer too.

New Year and a fresh opportunity

January 12, 2018 by

New-Years-Resolutions1So many of us begin the new year with great hopes and expectations. We set out with all sorts of plans to reform our lives, live justly, lose weight, have a balanced and healthy lifestyle, visit our friends, be kind to our neighbours etc etc etc

By mid-January we are exhausted and realise that it is going to be a bit more of an uphill struggle than we thought!

So are New Year’s Resolutions a waste of time? I don’t think so. I think that there is something wonderfully Ignatian about the idea of a new year’s resolution – they prompt us to get in touch with the person we desire to be (sometimes on a bit of a superficial level admittedly), they create a greater awareness of the way we really are, and they help us to realise that transformation isn’t easy and certainly can’t be done all on our own.

This new year lets stay with at least one of our resolutions, even if we fail and fail at it… let it teach us about the person we wish to be, and let it help us to act out of our best self. Let the failures be opportunities to turn to a greater reliance on God and let the successes bring us JOY!


January 8, 2018 by

Over the last couple of weeks we have focused at different points on the naming of Jesus;  Emmanuel – the God who is with us; wonderful counsellor; mighty God, prince of peace.

On January 3rd we celebrated the wonderful feast of the Holy name of Jesus – the One who Saves…

and then today, as we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus we hear God name Jesus as “my Beloved”. What a powerful moment this is in anyone’s life – to know themselves named as beloved.

As we begin this new year, may we live in the assurance that we, with and through Jesus are the beloved of God.



Incarnate presence

January 5, 2018 by

The homily in our parish at Christmas began something like this:

“At Christmas we don’t celebrate the coming of God into the world…”

Needless to say many of the parishioners sat up and paid attention!

The homily continued by reminding us;

God was always in the world. God was always present and could be encountered in the world. (We know the story of the burning bush, or the pillar of fire and cloud, of the still small voice in the gentle breeze…). No, at Christmas we recognise our dignity as human beings, children of God. We recognise that Christ is completely present within the world, within our humanity.  This recognition of the incarnate, indwelling God invites us to change our perspective ‘on everything and everyone…. every moment has the capacity to reveal God to us.

God is to be found in all things. I like this little quote from Rumi which speaks to me of the mystery of Christmas.

The source of now  is here – Rumi


December 25, 2017 by

The homily at last night’s vigil Mass was simple and yet so meaningful. “Today a Saviour has been born for you!” (Based on Luke 2: 11). The focus was on the word “today”…Meaning …TODAY, not yesterday, not tomorrow…TODAY, this very day and every day…God is with us! We thank God for all our todays. Happy Christmas.

Audrey’s vows – in her own words…

December 10, 2017 by

Dear family & friends,

Today I celebrated my First Profession as a religious sister in the order of the Faithful Companions of Jesus. It is a surreal but joyful milestone for me. Here, I wish to explain a little about what this means for me, especially to those who are not familiar with Catholic religious life.


When I look back on my journey, the words “Surprising Grace” come to mind. “Surprising” because life always brings the unexpected: it never occurred to me to become a nun until one December day four years ago when the idea suddenly popped into my head and I dismissed it at once as completely ridiculous. And yet here I am four years later! These years have been challenge-full but also full of unexpected blessings, among which were getting to live in colourful Manila with its jeepneys and contradictions, in beautiful Ende (Indonesia) with its stunning mountains and beaches, and in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) with its distinctive culture and blend of religions. And, in each place, discovering – in different guises – the same indomitable human spirit that gives glory to God its Creator.


These external travels have also led me to undertake another – inner – journey, in which I discovered that – far from coming like a bolt out of the blue, as I thought – God’s voice has been calling me, softly but insistently, to this point all my life. And it is in response to this gentle invitation that I wish to offer my self-gift today.

But what are these vows that I will make? “Poverty”, “chastity” and “obedience” probably sound like outdated medieval practices to most people… as does the entire idea of religious life! In fact, religious life has always been evolving. Certain women and men of all religions have been called in different ways to the monastic enterprise – making of their lives an exclusive search for God – since the dawn of humanity’s search for the divine. In the Catholic tradition, this eventually took the shape of the three vows, which have been lived out in different ways over the centuries. In recent times, scientific discovery and theological advancements have offered us new perspectives on the vows. They can be seen as ways in which we try to live intentionally and with integrity out of a greater awareness of our place in the community of life in an ever-evolving universe. A community of life in which each of us finds our origins in the same stardust and the same desires of a loving Creator.


For me, then, part of what “poverty” means is recognising my dependence on all that supports my life: plants, animals, the human community and all living systems. All of this is offered freely to me as gift, and I hold it lightly knowing that I can count nothing really as my “own”. In return I try to live simply and sustainably so that others can too.

“Chastity”, or “consecrated celibacy” as it is perhaps more accurately known today, is a phenomenon found across religions in which some people dedicate their lives to God, to the exclusion of any other primary commitment. In Christian terms we might say it is done out of love for Christ. But it doesn’t “exclude” loving. God is loved tangibly in others, and this way of life seeks to free us to “seek to be in transformative relationship with everyone and everything” (FCJ General Chapter Directions, 2013).13

As for “obedience”… anyone who knows me knows that I have an allergy to the term! But happily the days of blind obedience are now in the past. Our new cosmic perspective shows us that, in the community of life, we are all interdependent. It recognises both our need to respect each other’s independence and to collaborate. Obedience then becomes a deep listening to others and to the movements of God’s Spirit, so that we can each discover and help each other to live our unique roles in God’s plan… to more intentionally play our unique melodies in God’s cosmic symphony.

Making vows today isn’t some instant fix that will make me any holier – as my housemates will no doubt find out in short order, to their annoyance (if they haven’t already)! Rather, I should like to see it as “a commitment to the journey, to the process, as a trust-filled movement into possibilities” (Barbara Fiand, Refocusing the Vision), with the expectant hope that God will complete, in time, what God started. And so I would be glad of your continued prayers.IMG_6525

A big thank you again for all your prayer and support, both today and through the years. Each one of you has been a significant part of my life, and for that I cannot be grateful enough. I continue to hold you all in my heart, and wish you all the best in your own journeys.

With love and in companionship,