Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

CELEBRATING EASTER IN YOGYA

March 29, 2016

We had beautiful Holy Week and Easter services here in Yogya.  As usual the Churches were packed and most of them had either two or even three celebrations of each main ceremony. The services I attended were deeply moving.  I really felt as if we walked with Jesus in his last hours and witnessed his suffering and death.  I was blessed that throughout the Easter Vigil I had a tangible sense that Jesus was Risen and present with us. Happily that sense of resurrection has stayed with me and has filled the subsequent days with a quiet yet vibrant joy. The homilies I heard were all focussed on the need to witness to the love and compassion of God.  I keep reminding myself of this.  I pray that all of us who celebrate Easter can BE the love and compassion of God wherever we are and whatever we are called to do…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCES ON RETREAT (2)

February 28, 2016

I wanted to go to the sacrament of reconciliation last Sunday and went to the nearby parish church where I knew it was available before every Mass. The man standing ahead of me in the queue had tattoos on most of his face, his neck and the back of his head. He was very prayerful both before and after reconciliation. I wondered what I would have thought if I had seen him in a different context…It was a good lesson to me not to judge and an encouragement to see people as God sees them…

WE NEED TO HOLD ON – TO HOPE…

January 11, 2016

I couldn’t help but feel hopeful as the New Year dawned. “Surely,” I said to myself, “this year we can work together to make things better…” The recent World Summit on Climate Change in Paris was such a sign of hope for me. These days I pray constantly for peace with justice for all. I pray that we might all be people of peace, of gentleness, of compassion, of love…Right now the news of the terrible attacks on hundreds of women is sending shock waves throughout and beyond Europe. I know I cannot give in to the temptation to let go of hope. We need it more than ever now. I am thinking of those recent words of Pope Francis – God will have the last word and the last word is love (my version). We have to live as if that is true. I am praying that we can do this and do it together…

AND THAT WORD WILL BE LOVE AND PEACE

December 1, 2015

POPE FRANCIS CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLICWatching Pope Francis push open the Holy Door in the Cathedral in Bangui, the capital city of the Central African Republic, brings to mind the great Old Testament prophets who brought God to the people through symbolic actions and words rich in meaning. Already Francis is calling forth the Year of Mercy and calling us in a radical way to be people of mercy, of peace and reconciliation. “Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be love and peace.” We need this message. I need this message. Let us move forward in hope believing that that God will indeed have the last words… “LOVE AND PEACE”

THE POPE IN AFRICA…

November 26, 2015

Pope Francis never ceases to amaze me. I am deeply touched by his visit to Africa. The video message he sent ahead of his visit fills me with hope: “I am coming as a minister of the Gospel, to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and his message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.” May we do the same, may we too bring “reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.” The theme for Francis’ visit is “Let us pass to the other side” I pray that we can all do this – cross over to where others are and recognise our common humanity and goodness…

Watch the video message here:

TO KNOW THE THINGS THAT LEAD TO PEACE…

November 21, 2015

And as he drew near, when he saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If [only] you also had known on this day the things that lead to peace; but now it’s hidden from your eyes.’ Luke 19:41-42 (The New Testament, Nicholas King)

The first two verses of a recent Gospel reading are a powerful reminder to me of the vital need to seek those things that lead to peace.  Those words couldn’t be more relevant in the light of recent news of horrendous acts of violence in several parts of our world.  It is more important than ever to find ways of promoting peace and justice wherever it is lacking – including in my own heart.  Recently, the concluding prayer for my morning prayer  included these words: ‘Help us to look lovingly upon all people and events that come into our lives today.’ (People’s Companion to the Breviary, Vol II, p 31)

Perhaps, if we can look lovingly on everything that is happening these days, including terrible act of violence, we might begin to understand why they are happening and we might also begin to glimpse solutions that bring the peace we all long for.

GOD SPEAKS IN SO MANY WAYS…

May 17, 2015

commOn the last two Sundays I attended two very different celebrations of the Eucharist.  The first was in a Trappist Monastery and the liturgy was rich and solemn.  The Eucharist was truly beautiful and the welcome and hospitality of the sisters made the day absolutely perfect!  Today I was at the monthly Mass for children and young people with special educational needs.  The liturgy was less formal and from time to time a child would surprise us and go a for a walk around the chapel.  The tea and snacks after the service were a lively affair!  God was tangibly present in both places.  Thinking about today “Communications Sunday” I give thanks for the many amazing ways that God speaks to us.

A Great Read!

April 27, 2015
Jesus – A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ
I am reading an absolutely brilliant book on Jesus these days and I couldn’t resist letting you know about it!  For all of us who love Jesus and are interested in knowing more about him I recommend this lovely read! It is good that the word ‘Pilgrimage’ is included in the title – as that is what it really is for me – a pilgrimage into Jesus through the reflections and words of James Martin.  Enough said by me – read James Martin’s own words: “…I would like to invite you to meet the Jesus you already may know, but in a new way.  Or, if you don’t know much about Jesus, I would like to introduce him to you.  Overall, I would like to introduce you to the Jesus I know, and love, the person at the center of my life.”

BEHOLD THE WOOD OF THE CROSS…O COME, LET US ADORE…

April 4, 2015

We left home early in order to get to church in good time for the Good Friday service. By this I mean we needed to be there almost an hour early so that we could get a decent seat. There was plenty of time for quiet reflection as we waited for the service to start. Just as 3pm drew near a powerful storm began. It was uncanny the way the whole liturgy was punctuated by loud claps of thunder and flashes of lightning. There were people of every age and type in the church. The service was beautiful. The passion story was sung reverently and with deep faith. There were four soloists and a choir. The adoration of the cross was long and solemn. It was deeply moving as we all lined up to kiss the cross. There were youths, married couples, parents with young children, grown children with elderly parents and many religious. My eyes were filled with tears as I watched elderly people bend to kiss the cross and parents with tiny babies gently touch their faces to the cross. God’s presence was so real it was tangible. The service ended with a deep and powerful silence. Our world may well be in an uncertain place but I knew for sure deep in my heart today that God is with us and that our love for God is as strong as ever. “Behold the wood of the cross on which is hung our salvation, O come, let us adore…”

PARENTS OF SPECIAL CHILDREN – A TRULY AMAZING VOCATION

January 18, 2015

Today I attended a Mass for Children and Young people with special needs.  I went with Mei and Rowena, our novices.  It was especially pertinent that today’s readings were on the subject of vocation and call: 1 Sam 3:3b-10,19 and John 1: 35-51.  As I reflected on the readings at the same time as watching how lovingly the parents were interacting with their children it struck me that I was witnessing the living out of a true vocation.  We know that all people are called by God and that parenthood is one of the most vital vocations there is.  This is particularly true of the call to be the parents of children and young people with special needs.  Every month at the end of this special Mass one of the parents shares her or his experience as a parent with the whole group.  Today I was deeply touched as one of the men spoke of his belief that he had been chosen by God to be the parent of a child with special needs.  If ever I am tempted to think I have a hard life I know that others have been called to a life that is far more challenging and grace-filled than mine.  I thank God for parents.