another realm

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I remember someone once defining an intelligent person as one who can hold apparently contradictory thoughts in their heads at the same time without having to attach to one thought or another. I suppose another way of expressing this would be to say that an intelligent person can live with a degree of ambiguity rather […]

too easily pleased

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It’s 54 today (22 November) since C.S. Lewis died in England. Because the media reports and newspapers in the days following were so full of JFK’s assassination, many of Lewis’ friends did not know of his death until several days after his funeral. To mark the anniversary I’ll share my favourite Lewis quotation. It’s a […]

up a tree

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You know the story of today’s gospel reading:  Jesus meets Zacchaeus. Jericho is the place where it happened – the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.  It is the site of many great Old Testament losses and conquests. Yet in this encounter between Zacchaeus and Jesus something happens that is more significant than any […]

lost in grace

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An interesting experience this weekend on the new Christchurch Belfast bypass road. GPS has not yet caught up with the fact that after several years of planning and construction the new motorway is open. Instead of following the road, my car’s GPS showed me driving without a road to drive on across farmland. (the red […]

Advent online

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Earlier in the year Food For Faith offered daily reflections for the season of Lent during which those who signed up received daily email encouragements. The feedback we received was very positive with many encouraging us to continue the initiative regularly. Food For Faith is now offering an online retreat for ADVENT 2017. The format […]

at all times

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I have a friend from the USA staying for a few days and soon after his arrival we headed for the hills. That’s a bit metaphorical because our first days were at a small seaside town, but now we really are in the hills in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Magnificent! I realise […]

the networkers

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In recent years I have marvelled at the steady emergence of the new Christchurch western transport corridor bypass, a key stage of the unfolding city motorway network. Before the first turf was turned on the project, years of planning had drawn on the best of traffic analysis, roading advice and bridge design, engineering and earth moving […]

church beauty

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Today’s feast of the Dedication of the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran might seem like a strange focus for a feast. It is however a timely feast for our Christchurch diocese embarking on the rebuilding of Catholic churches destroyed by the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes. It was the emperor Constantine who built the first basilica on the Lateran site in the early […]

cemetery visits

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Here in the Hurunui in the first weekend of November each year,  priest and parishioners meet in each of the eight cemeteries of the parish to pray for those who are buried in each cemetery. Our prayer is simple and brief, five minutes of prayer together before people go to stand by the graves they […]

FFF: a new era

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Dear Friends, It was almost eight years ago that Food For Faith began. The beginnings were small, a blog intended to last for a couple of weeks during a Holy Land pilgrimage. When the pilgrimage was over, the blog continued and then continued some more as I realised the potential for this new form of […]

All Souls

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On November 2 the Church celebrates the Feast of All Souls and the month of November is named as the month of Holy Souls. In this month we take pause to remember those who have died. We pray for those whom we have loved in life on earth. We pray for those who have loved […]

All Saints

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On this day, the feast of All Saints, in the year 1541, Michaelangelo‘s Last Judgement was unveiled on the rear wall of the Sistine Chapel. There was no coincidence in the date: the feast of All Saints was a most appropriate day to dedicate this masterpiece of world art.Michaelangelo’s ceiling tells the story of our salvation history: the encounter […]

Halloween

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People have always had a need for annual moments in a year that are highly ritualised around social gatherings with food and drink. Halloween has relatively recently become one such significant day on every town calendar. The marking of Halloween (literally “All Saints Eve”), became significant for Christians who were preparing to celebrate the feast […]

Luther + 500 yrs

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It’s 500 years (31 October 1517) since Martin Luther published his 95 theses by reputedly nailing them to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany. With this gesture he intended to begin a debate aimed at reforming the Catholic Church by correcting misunderstandings of doctrine and abolishing abuses in church practice. He could […]

a touchstone

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A good homily story I heard a number of years ago had as its punch-line “remember that the most important thing, is to always keep the most important thing, as the most important thing.” It’s a great line, even without the preceding story. For me it has become a regular touchstone, a method for taking […]