26 January 2015
Prayer and spirituality
15 November 2017 |
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
If a trouble-struck government decided to hold a plebiscite for people to choose between Light and Darkness, Light would win in a landslide. But in fact, our natural condition is to live in shadow and to protect ourselves against the light.
08 November 2017 |
Throughout November the Church remembers those who have died and rest eternally with God. Here is one way you can remember them each day.
15 October 2017 |
Andy Hamilton SJ
We usually think of poverty as something that afflicts third world nations. But it is also present in Australia – shamefully so, in a nation of great wealth. We can see its effects in the lives of Indigenous Australians, with their poorer life expectancy income and educational opportunities, and greater likelihood of addiction, hospitalisation and jailing.
24 September 2017 |
Fr Ian Radvan, SJ
Those of us with ready access to various media are aware that we are being bombarded from every side with reports of violence: domestic violence, murders, robberies, suicide bombers, diplomatic spats, war, street protests, sexual abuse and even in nature.
19 September 2017 |
On Saturday Pope Francis received a delegation from the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. He gave a short address and specifically mentioned their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, encouraging them to 'return to your first and only love.'
11 September 2017 |
It certainly has been a wet year. At Saint Ignatius College we have been flooded twice and survived a recent close call. We have spent many lunchtimes indoors as ‘the heavens opened’ during break times. Our football oval still has an average of two centimetres of water over the entire surface and the road near our school was 30cm under water for a second time last week.
16 August 2017 |
Peter Hosking, SJ
Finding joy during the darker times will come easier if we practise finding meaning in the little things every day.
01 August 2017 |
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by.
27 June 2017 |
Australian Catholic Bishops
The following is an edited excerpt from the Pastoral Letter from the Australian Catholic Bishops for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday 2017:
Just a few months ago an Aboriginal Elder in the Kimberley, well advanced in years and at that time in poor health, wrote a letter a few weeks before his death. It was written in copperplate style, in blue ink on thin note paper and was several pages long. His instructions were that the priest at his funeral might share the letter with the mourners in attendance at the church.
25 June 2017 |
We’ve just passed the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice and the end of exams. Teachers had one week to frantically mark all the papers and complete the lengthy process of report writing. As we all become a little run down, we will also inevitably see an increase in illness across the College as the winter cold and flu season begins. Just in time for the holidays!
14 June 2017 |
I once heard a psychiatrist say that people who believe in God have a delusion. I felt sorry for him that he does not have faith in God.
27 April 2017 |
The world is full of bad news. Trump’s policies of hate; Brexit’s divisiveness in the UK, the reduction of the rights of vulnerable women in Russia; the continuing devastation in Syria; Australia’s current refugee policy and even the unwelcoming nature of some of our parishes, have made me shocked, angry and sad.
19 April 2017 |
Whenever I hear the fireworks, I don’t think of celebration, for it sounds like someone’s bombing the hell out of us, and I think of all those in war torn countries. On New Year’s Eve it doesn’t sound like the end of the year, it sounds like World War 3.
12 April 2017 |
A poem reflecting on the three times Peter denies Jesus on Good Friday.
23 March 2017 |
Peter Hosking, SJ
Lent is a time of preparation. It should not be all gloomy but rather a time to reach out for God in new ways. In some ways it is a type of pilgrimage.
19 March 2017 |
The International Day of Happiness is a quirky celebration. Most international days celebrate groups of people – women, children, journalists, refugees etc. Or they point to quite specific qualities that we need in order to flourish: mental and physical health, peace, asylum etc. They encourage us to be attentive to particular groups of people who are impeded from flourishing as human beings, and to act to ensure that society provides for their needs.
06 March 2017 |
Rachel McLoughlin IBVM
One of my heroes is at the heart of the Church; Mary Magdalene, recently justly reinstated as 'Apostle to the apostles'. On International Women's Day, we connect with her courageous witness and declaration ‘I have seen the Lord’.
01 March 2017 |
A reflection on the Aussie Camino in honour of St Mary MacKillop
22 February 2017 |
I've been attending church a lot lately, but it's what happens after that has been changing me. In church I don't put much in the collection bowl, often just a gold coin, but when I walk the city streets later, that's when I give.
12 February 2017 |
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
Before the Apology to the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008, many people canvassed the relative merits of symbolic reconciliation and practical reconciliation. Practical actions that will bear fruit demand listening with a humility born out of awareness of a destructive history, and taking time to listen and to build reconciliation, not simply to implement a policy.
05 February 2017 |
Fr Frank Brennan SJ
There is plenty of darkness ahead for our Church in the weeks ahead with the Royal Commission’s hearings into the Catholic Church. I think we need to reflect on these stark realities in the light of the scriptures. And this can be done only by holding the victims clearly in focus, not as statistics or as hard cases, but as individuals, erstwhile vulnerable members of our church community, citizens able to walk tall again because they have been heard, believed and affirmed.
16 January 2017 |
Fr Peter Carrucan
A Christmas day celebration at a detention centre provides an insight into the difficult lives of asylum seekers in Australia.
14 January 2017 |
'Argh! Just ten more minutes!' It's 6am, and already I'm in the throes of a heated battle with my alarm clock. My outstretched hand slams down on the snooze button, the only ally I can count on in this daily grudge match. It takes another three rounds in the ring for my conscience to finally leap into action, prying my unwilling eyes open with a few short, sharp pangs: 'Didn't you promise yourself that you'd be getting up early from now on?' Fine! I surrender!
14 December 2016 |
Andrew Hamilton, SJ
Many children associate Christmas with journeys made and odd places visited. Plane and train trips to visit separated parents, car trips to visit rarely seen relatives, camping expeditions to tent cities by the beach.
07 December 2016 |
My mother died about a month ago, on 26 October, 2016. On the news recently, we heard of the tragic deaths of young people from meningococcal meningitis, one of whom who had just finished high school. Others have even died from severe attacks of asthma during the storm in Melbourne. On top of all these, the news of the death of a friend's sister literally brought on an attack of dizziness. In the midst of this mental storm, I prayed for silence and stillness.
16 November 2016 |
Our lives are often cyclic. We wake up, go to school or work, go home, relax, sleep and then repeat until the weekend. Most of us enjoy the constant patterns of our lives and can find joy and security in the ‘ordinariness’ of life.
05 November 2016 |
It is easy to miss events in the world around us. So much of the beauty of creation occurs in slow motion, or in ways that are so minute as to be virtually unnoticeable. The wild weather here in Victoria over the last month has been quite exceptional however; it has imposed itself upon us and gained our attention. So often though, our attempts to divide our attention between all that life throws at us can be overwhelming, and we miss the wonderful, less obvious opportunities that God has placed in our way.
22 October 2016 |
A reflection on the feast of St Therese of Lisieux in the ‘Rose that never fades’.
13 October 2016 |
Andrew Hamilton, SJ
Everyone wants peace. But equally most people find conflict more interesting than peace.
05 October 2016 |
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
This week three apparently unrelated commemorative days follow one another: World Mental Health Day (10 Oct); World Homeless Day (10 Oct); International Day of the Girl Child (11 Oct). They are linked in telling us what is necessary if people are to find a home, are to enjoy mental health, and if women are to take their equal place in society.
31 August 2016 |
I first heard of loneliness from the Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen - in his books. Since then I have read many other people, priests, single and divorced people writing and talking about loneliness. People living on their own may feel particularly lonely because physically, there is no one around them. However, not everyone who is alone feels lonely, and when we are surrounded by people, we may still feel lonely. Being alone and being lonely are not synonymous.
18 August 2016 |
The homeless are under the bridges we walk over. They sleep in 24-hour bank foyers to get out of the rain while I get my money out. They are the ghosts of the dawn, carelessly placed like newspapers thrown on front lawns.
05 August 2016 |
'Just give Jesus a chance to let you know how much he loves you.' I read those words in an email from a friend at about 10pm on 17 April, 2016. The words brought immediate tears to my eyes but I did not know why. Perhaps, I was feeling sad partly because I was leaving my immediate family to go to visit my mother the next day, and my ever-present fear of flying has been exacerbated by what happened to flights MH 17 and MH 370. All I knew was that I had to suppress them, or I would wake up the next morning with swollen, puffy eyes.
27 July 2016 |
Although we are not fortunate enough to be able to make it to Krakow and celebrate and experience such a momentous and faith filled event as World Youth Day, we can engage in pilgrimage in our daily life and experience a closer relationship and understanding of God, writes Brendan Nicholls.
21 July 2016 |
Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment has triggered in me a dormant interest in growing roses. Why roses? Perhaps you ask. Out of so many other easier-to-grow or simpler flowers? My interest in these soft-petalled blooms still baffles me since romantic is a far cry from my staid nature.
14 July 2016 |
Catholics don’t sing. It’s a common refrain, but I’m not sure I believe it. Catholics will belt out a ballad while in the shower, they’ll sing along in the car (except at red lights of course), heck, I’ve even witnessed the most hardened men sing rapturous odes to their footy teams after a win. Music is a natural and unique facet of human culture. It expresses a connection to a common identity that can only be truly understood from the inside. As one of my philosophy professors explained, 'nobody but an Australian can fully appreciate the nuance in the lyrics of Waltzing Matilda.'
06 July 2016 |
The angel of healing has come into my life in different ways. For me, looking up to different figures has been a help for me. There is one figure that stands out. She stands out with a halo of light because she, the Princess, always liked hats and they went well with her golden hair.
30 June 2016 |
When I was a child, one of the prayers I said was prayer to St Joseph, patron saint of a happy death. Children don’t think of death but I learnt and said whatever prayer I was taught. As I remember it, the prayer goes, ‘O great St Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us and obtain for us the grace that we may die a happy death, as thou didst in the arms of Jesus and Mary, that we may receive Jesus before we die.’
29 June 2016 |
I was a child when my grandmother died, but I remember her wake vividly, and even now when I am in a hushed room I am again peering over the edge of her coffin and noting that she had the rosary with the blue beads rather than the rosary with the black beads. This was a surprise.
18 June 2016 |
In our office, there is a quiet little desk in the corner that is home to piles of books, a coffee cup, and a bespectacled Jesuit called Andy Hamilton SJ. He has a wide circle of friends, many of whom share his passion for writing. When I first met him 12 years ago, I noted that when he frequented events and met with young people, he would open with the line ‘do you like writing?’, and if they answered yes, it would lead to genuine friendship wherein he would mentor and encourage them.
11 June 2016 |
I am a huge fan of Flamenco. Wikipedia tells me that it is an art form native to the Spanish regions of Andalucia, Extramadura and Murcia. However, I first witnessed the drama and passion of Flamenco in Barcelona while backpacking around Europe. In an underground basement style theatre with chairs packed around a stage, I fell in love.
27 May 2016 |
I enjoy musing on what a modern day Jesus would look like. Perhaps wearing skinny jeans and sporting a dreadlock or two. I can picture his Facebook profile: dutifully linked to Twitter and Instagram, posting regular snippets of modern day wisdom to his modern day followers, sending friend requests to Pete Fisher, Matty Taxton.
12 May 2016 |
Bowls of lentil stew may not be what many consider the stereotyped Christian dish. There aren’t (as far as I’m aware) any Gospel passages where Jesus tucks into some lentil stew with his latest catch, although assumedly he did at some point.
07 May 2016 |
Lately I pray from my Grandmother’s morning and evening prayer book. One of the lines from my favourite prayer is for a quiet mind and a clean heart. I kneel on a little green elephant cushion (elephants were my Grandma’s favourite animal) with a posture of a straight back and a bowed head, a bit like the posture you adopt in the writing process. First I pray from the heart and then I read a prayer from the book.
04 May 2016 |
In 'Amoris Laetitia: Families – Love and Marriage', Liturgy Coordinator Brendan Nicholls breaks down Amoris Laetita to help readers digest the document and further illuminate its wisdom.
25 April 2016 |
There is so much to like about Pope Francis’ journey to Lesbos. There is also so much for us as Australians to be humbled by. He undertook his travel at a time when the people seeking protection on Lesbos began being put into enclosed camps, facing deportation to Turkey and perhaps return to the mortal danger from which they fled.
20 April 2016 |
Pope Francis’ latest exhortation has come out just in time for me, as I prepare to be married in June.
While many have focused on the aspects to do with the divorced and remarried, and couples in crisis, I’ve chosen to focus my reading more on what the Pope is saying in the exhortation about our relationship with God and with each other.
09 April 2016 |
Easter is that season where ‘Alleluias’ are plenty, where the dazzling figure of a levitating Christ, shows his open but bloodless wounds across churches. And why wouldn’t we celebrate? It is all so bright and joyous! Soon enough we will go back to the tried roads of ordinary time, when we go back to having God in heaven, death below and us wandering somewhere in the middle.
28 March 2016 |
‘Do you love me?’ Jesus asked Peter three times, to Peter’s annoyance (John 21: 15- 17).
26 March 2016 |
I'm well loving Easter this year... It's just really special this time around for some reason. As Lent drew to an end and I entered Holy Week, I was relishing this time of the year more than ever. I work as a youth minister in a parish, and I’m finding myself inspired and touched by the gift of young people, their insights, and our faith.
16 March 2016 |
Recently, I was asked to talk about survival. Yet, the things I’ve survived aren’t a patch on some of the issues others have survived. Some people have survived horrendous upbringings, illness, accidents, natural disasters, crime, injustice, or other catastrophes. Mine are what people call ‘first world problems’.
09 March 2016 |
‘My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms’ wrote Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. These words were likely written between 1960 and 1975.
05 March 2016 |
Andy Hamilton SJ
Cultural diversity is a fact of our daily lives. In the streets we see people with turbans, head scarves, clerical collars, the latest sneakers, Armani suits, smell people with Chanel perfume, hear Greek music from the next car, and walk past people playing bocce and others doing Tai Chi in the parks. And mostly we appreciate all this diversity as a blessing.
24 February 2016 |
It started with a billboard next to a quaint Anglican church in Copenhagen, last July. I was travelling for a wedding and very much enjoying the lack of schedules on my holiday. For once, there was nowhere I had to be, nothing I had to do. This made me more receptive when I stopped to read the priest’s message. He spoke of rest and recreation as “goods” in themselves and that we didn’t have to justify taking a break on the grounds that it would make us more productive. He said that ‘on the contrary, Sabbath rest is an intrinsic and indispensible part of the divine cycle of creation and re-creation.’ The bit that really made me pause was when he said that: ‘taking time away from the incessant demands of phones, emails and social media might be one of the most counter-cultural things that people of faith can do in today&
01 February 2016 |
Andrew Hamilton SJ
The best spiritual guides both comfort and provoke us. Pope Francis is no exception.
27 January 2016 |
I’ve returned to work for 2016, fresh from a delightful holiday with my family touring our nation’s capital. It was one of those family holidays that lifelong memories are made of: a road-trip, late night board-games, corny puns, sun burn and many many laughs and hugs. One of those ‘you really had to be there’ experiences.
11 January 2016 |
The beginning of the year brings all kinds of resolutions and promises. Fresh starts, new commitments, a different outlook. It’s a bit like Lent for Catholics. We might give something up, or take up something.
16 December 2015 |
To some of us it’s a time to pause, to reflect, to stand in awe. But to the vast majority of us it’s the silly season: a time of over-eating, drinking, buying, selling, worrying, partying, beaching, and pressured family gatherings. And don’t the silly season preachers love it; out of hibernation they come to herald their version of the good news - news that is best delivered away from pulpits and outside of Sundays. And what a persuasive, well-packaged homily it is: a seductive narrative that draws so many in: ‘CHRISTMAS IS A TIME FOR GIVING.’
09 December 2015 |
Celebrating Christmas in different parts of the world can be an interesting experience. One year, I was visiting my sister in Dubai. It was an amazing experience to visit bright shopping malls, covered in tinsel and other non-religious festive decorations, playing non-religious Christmas tunes, with not a Christian symbol in sight. The celebration was there, and there was a significant warmth to it. But it had become something very different in the majority Muslim culture - Xmas, or Christmas without Christ.
02 December 2015 |
PrayerBlog regular Christina Rocha explores the discomfort of the Gospels and why Christians should remain vigilant against comfort.
23 November 2015 |
The abhorrent attacks in Paris two weeks ago have been at the forefront of our conversations. Sadly our world has seen these types of events before, in both affluent and in impoverished countries. We of course take more notice when these things happen in ‘safe’ places.
16 November 2015 |
I wonder whether I am brave enough to write about this. I am a 29-year-old woman and I know that there are many life experiences I haven’t had, sorrows whose depths I haven’t plumbed. I honestly believe, that no matter who we are or how old we are, our lives have significant bumps in them. There are times of intense pain and struggle where we wonder how we can go on. There are times of hurt and betrayal where our hearts feel like they are crushed, torn, broken and bleeding. All we want is to be fixed, made whole again and never ever have to bear this pain again.
11 November 2015 |
I’m lost in Melbourne walking down Little Lonsdale St attempting to find a Japanese restaurant where I’ll later meet some friends. As I walk towards Elizabeth St I see a lady with a pram about to cross the road. She looks me straight in the eyes and asks if I have any change. I’ve developed a habit where I try as much as possible to give some money or food when asked.
04 November 2015 |
I have just returned to Australia after spending some time with family overseas. It was a time of joy and consolation, of much laughter and story-telling, and of feeling completely at ease in the presence of those who have known me and my kin since before I was born. It was also a time of grief as family friends were farewelled and buried, and as goodbyes were said before embarking on the plane back to Australia, in the knowledge of the very real possibility we may not see each other again in this world.
21 October 2015 |
The Sisters of Mercy first came into my life on the eve of the millenium. They were plain clothed nuns.
19 October 2015 |
I was talking recently with a Catholic liturgical musician about the songs that people enjoy hearing at Mass, and the conflicts that take place over what's going to be played and sung on a particular Sunday. I had an embarrassing confession to make: 'To be honest, I don't really like any of the music I hear at Mass'.
12 October 2015 |
I have a confession to make: I’ve become a Mass junkie. There’s a hunger that’s developed recently that seems to be a grace. I have been wary of it, asked myself if it’s authentic, but the sense of consolation I feel makes me believe that the Lord is blessing me at the moment.
06 October 2015 |
The idea of heaven is that of clouds, people in white clothing, angels and God waiting at the gates for us. Yet for some people their view is slightly different. For me I imagine all of my family and beloved lost pets waiting for me at the gates, waiting with open arms to be able to embrace for me all eternity.
24 September 2015 |
Full disclosure here: I rather like cats. The site of a little mangy abandoned kitten can reduce me to sobs. Pope Benedict XVI apparently liked them too, and according to one source confided to the Father General of the Jesuits that the cats hanging around St Peter’s Square were ‘the audience that listened to him.’
22 September 2015 |
Last week, on 22 September, Yom Kippur was celebrated in the Jewish tradition. The holiest day in the Jewish calender, Yom Kippur is the day of atonement. We bring you this blog from a Catholic Canberra writer who had a privileged visit to a Synagogue as part of an interfaith excursion.
14 September 2015 |
Virtues are good habits for a reason. They are the coaches and spectators of this marathon called life, whole-heartedly advising you and cheering you on, wanting you to become a better person.
02 September 2015 |
Despite growing up Catholic and attending Catholic schools, until recently I had stopped regularly attending Mass.
26 August 2015 |
As part of Migration awareness month (August) Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen shared his journey from fleeing Vietnam as a refugee, to his ordination as a Franciscan, to finally being appointed a Bishop in Melbourne.
25 August 2015 |
In 2012, Pope Benedict wrote a letter for the World Day of Communications on silence. It was an unusual departure from the tradition of the previous 10 years, which had focused on the changes in digital media platforms and the Internet.
18 August 2015 |
Andrew Hamilton SJ
If there is one line by which Pope Francis has become famous, it is ‘I do not judge’ or perhaps rather ‘who am I to judge?’. The most famous instance where he used this line was on a plane coming back from World Youth Day in Brazil. Journalists were given open slather to ask him about a range of topics, and he was asked about homosexuality.
12 August 2015 |
I watched on with fascination recently as an elderly woman in our congregation received five kinds of communion.
03 August 2015 |
Last week we were fortunate enough to be visited by Pope Francis. Although he was not able to be with us in person, we had a creative substitute in the form of a life size cardboard cut-out. Students were encouraged to ‘meet’ him at various locations around the College during lunchtimes and with supervision take a selfie on their laptop or an iPad from the ILC.
28 July 2015 |
Genevieve Nicoll mulls over the possibility that she too could strive to be a saint.
20 July 2015 |
Research Fellow Nirmalene Candappa describes a challenging time when she was called to love the unlovable in ‘Being love at work’.
12 July 2015 |
The ‘e’ is a mischievous character. Often it disappears unannounced and leaves me scrambling.
07 July 2015 |
Australian Catholics' editor Michael McVeigh reflects on how we can turn our attention to others during the Royal Commission.
01 July 2015 |
Bishop Michael Kennedy
Not everyone is happy about what Pope Francis has had to say in Laudato Si', his encyclical letter on the environment. One critic described the document as ‘a mixture of junk science, junk economics and junk ethics’ which, if followed, would prevent the world's poor escaping poverty.
22 June 2015 |
Susan Connelly RSJ
Love Makes a Way (Depicted on social media with the hashtag #LoveMakesAWay) is an ecumenical group formed in response to the government’s statement to would-be refugees that ‘No Way’ would they ever receive refuge in Australia if they came by boat.
18 June 2015 |
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ reflects on the big and small picture of the world’s refugee crisis.
27 May 2015 |
It probably seems a little unusual to offer a reflection on the Year of Consecrated Life as a woman who doesn’t belong to a religious community or institute.
27 May 2015 |
I compose blog posts in my head. Words and ideas are given birth deep within and then freed after a bit of pondering. Some of the blogs that I have written are the result of a lightning bolt of inspiration; a seed planted which just kept growing. Some are impatient and do not let go until the last word is written, the last thought expressed. This blog, however, has sat with me for over a month. I think, patiently waiting for me to learn enough to articulate it.
25 May 2015 |
I have been resenting my knee exercises recently. I know they’re good for me, and as my physiotherapist keeps on reminding me, my knees will not get stronger unless I regularly do my exercises. But I keep on finding other things to do with my spare time other than said knee exercises: sleep, catching up with friends throughout the week, bike riding, hiking, swimming, gardening, reading, crocheting, anything really, other than those blasted knee exercises.
19 May 2015 |
Like everyone, I’ve had some hard times in my life. Almost twenty years ago was one of the hardest, when I found out that something pretty bad happened to a close family member.
14 May 2015 |
Beth Doherty, editor of PrayOnline, reflects on Pope Francis’ twitter phenomen in ‘Tweet others with love: Pope Francis on Social Media’
06 May 2015 |
It was with an air of expectancy last Mother’s Day when I called Mum to chat on the phone. I was 36 weeks pregnant and the doctor had told me I'd have my first child within days thus beginning my own Motherhood journey.
29 April 2015 |
Fr Andy Hamilton SJ
Fr Andrew Hamilton reflects on the last moments of Andrew Chan’s and Myuran Sukumaran’s lives and God’s amazing grace.
19 April 2015 |
Genevieve Nicoll contemplates the human and divine sides of God.
13 April 2015 |
Australian Catholics magazine’s editor, Michael McVeigh, reflects on why some need ‘proof’ in God’s existence to believe.
07 April 2015 |
Fr Brian McCoy
Fr Brian McCoy reflects on our post-Easter journeys and how we can move from the passion of Christ into the joy of the Easter season.
30 March 2015 |
As a teacher in an all boys’ boarding school in tropical far north Queensland, this lent has been somewhat different to all the other Lenten seasons of my adult spiritual life.
15 March 2015 |
As pilgrims we need inner compass points to help us discern between those places in our lives that fill us with peace and those which drain us of life. One daily practice which can help us with this, and which we can include in our Lenten observance, is the awareness examen.
01 March 2015 |
Even if I'm open about my faith, it's not something I put in front of people all the time. Yet God is very much a part of everything that I am. Ash Wednesday provides an opportunity to set ourselves aside and show people that God is an important part of our lives, and who we are.
25 February 2015 |
Ramesh Richards SJ
Ash Wednesday’s second reading from Paul to the Corinthians invites us to be true ambassadors of Christ and the appeal is to be reconciled back to God. If you have stuffed up, acknowledge it, own it, and as Taylor Swift says, 'shake it off' through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
24 February 2015 |
Those of us who attend parishes frequently have probably experienced the plethora of options ranging from the 85-year old playing the organ with traditional repertoire; the majestic Cathedral choir; or folky choirs complete with guitars, cymbals, triangles and tambourines. But what happens when, regardless of the style of music, it is just not played well?
15 February 2015 |
An Australian mother looks for Jesus in China, and discovers he looks just like the people she encounters there.
04 February 2015 |
In my prayer today I light a candle and take off my sandles, and the floor of the church feels cold in my socks, like a fishpond. It’s my first day without cigarettes, without sugar and chocolate, without drugs and the world feels like a Persian rug pulled from under my feet. I’m not afraid to admit my powerlessness. I am powerless and afraid. Still it is only through prayer I can admit this, the first steps of a baby.
26 January 2015 |
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ looks at what we can learn about God and prayer on a summer holiday at the beach.
05 November 2014 |
The 150 songs we call the Psalms (meaning accompanied songs) and which in Hebrew are called Tehillim (praises) have an enduring voice. One way or another Jews and Christians of whatever persuasion have always sung the psalms and the variety of their musical settings, through the ages and across cultures, is extraordinary. They’re our great, shared songbook. The 20th Century German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that ‘wherever the psalms are abandoned, an incomparable treasure vanishes from the Christian Church. With its recovery will come unsuspected power.’
29 October 2014 |
Religious sisters, brothers and priests continue to bring gifts of reflection and pause to the church in a digital world besieged by distraction and increasing anxiety. My work at Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) has shown me this is tangible ways.
24 October 2014 |
Coming to know God takes time; forming your faith is a journey upon which you encounter many influential people. Who are these characters? What can we learn from them?
08 October 2014 |
Earlier this year, I went on a silent retreat for a week. It was my first retreat longer than just a few days, and it was my first silent one. What better, I thought, than a week of silence for an introvert?! It would be a perfect opportunity for getting all my discernment done in one go and ‘sorting out’ my life. So it was somewhat of a disappointment that the first thing I heard in all that silence was: Let go of your agenda and of trying to get me to comply.
07 October 2014 |
In countries like Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Europe, urban centres tend to have their fair share people on street corners, begging for money, food, accommodation, all manner of things. For years, I've struggled with this. There are so many questions that this situation demands. Why? How do people fall through the cracks, how do we respond? Does giving $2 really help or would $50 be better? Will they simply spend the money on alcohol or will they indeed use it to acquire lodgings for the night? What does the Gospel demand of us? What did Jesus and his followers preach?
01 October 2014 |
My mission began around two years ago in the remote town of Wadeye in the Northern Territory.
23 September 2014 |
In making decisions, we face practical questions, spiritual questions, moments of emotion, and various ups and downs which cause us to pause.