death and life

SADNESS & HOPE A cemetery is a place of great sadness, and a place of great hope. A visit to a cemetery is always an encounter with the ultimate reality. All the people buried in a cemetery have lived, and they have died. One day I too will die and lie in a grave. Without […]

laughter

Today is widely marked as April Fool’s Day and already social media is flowing with some ingenious pranks. We have all been the victims of good-humoured jokes, and most of us have initiated a few ourselves. Laughter is a great gift, and most of us do not indulge enough. The Bible speaks of humour and laughter often. […]

just fishing

Here in New Zealand, today marks the end of the tax year. While a number of businesses start and finish their year at other times, 31 March looms large as an annual moment of accountability when financial successes and failures are measured. I heard recently the story of the Mexican fisherman who rose early and […]

following desire

ATTRACTION & RESISTANCE In every moment, any human is motivated by attraction, or by resistance. Those who are beginners in life’s journey simply go with attraction and act against whatever they consider to be distasteful. The prisoner of this behaviour lives compulsively by the motto: if it feels good, do it, if it feels bad, avoid it. […]

the bells

A number of people have commented that this “Monastery Bells” Food For Faith clip (first published a few months ago) is one of their favourite FFF posts.  It is one of my favourites as well and was written on my return from a weekend retreat in a monastery near Manila. The bells at this Augustinian […]

pilgrims

I have been thinking a bit about pilgrimages in recent weeks. Pilgrimages to significant holy places were once an essential part of the life of the Christian. In the early Christian centuries every Christian was encouraged (and even expected) to journey to Jerusalem. A few centuries later when Holy Land pilgrimages were impossible because of the Muslim […]

hope in a pocket

We all carry burdens, anxieties, and concerns for those we love. We worry about ourselves and our future. Have you ever thought of carrying something that actually helps you? Pope Francis gives some good advice on this.

seeing reality

CAN I LIVE WITHOUT CHRIST IN MY GAZE? It seems obvious to answer this question with a ‘yes’.  We all know many people who would say they do not believe in Christ and yet they are still breathing. They are alive. OR, IS CHRIST ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE? The question is a bit deeper than you […]

God with us

t’s the feast of the Annunciation today – the day on which Jesus’ human life began and therefore nine months until Christmas. Take a moment to appreciate this Millet masterpiece. Even if you have never seen the image before, you will guess that these peasants are praying. When the one who commissioned this painting in the mid- […]

lectio divina

Many methods have been offered for the tradition of “divine reading” of the scriptures. Too often this beautiful form of prayer is complicated by well-intentioned teachers. It is really very simple. In a few minutes of prayer pick up a gospel passage. A search of “daily readings” will take you the US Bishops’ Conference website where […]

holy longings

A central part of the daily ministry of the life of any priest is ministry to those who have little or no contact with the Church. The most inspiring of these encounters are with people who are no longer satisfied with what relationships, possessions and projects can provide. The secular world of ambition and advertising […]

remember…

I can tell the full story some other time, but the punch line is: “remember that the most important thing, is to always keep the most important thing, as the most important thing.” Sometimes a punch line is enough. I appreciated this wisdom again at a recent retreat. All of us who had gathered were people […]

how to be happy

The great challenge at the heart of human life is the discernment of what will lead us to greater intimacy with God, and what will lead us away from this life-giving relationship. Of course most people don’t use “God language” to speak of this. So let’s re-word this great challenge: the decisions of each day […]

decide or discern?

Every day, every one of us makes decisions. Some of these are small and easy choices. Many are more difficult and complex. I offer this brief video clip as an encouragement to all of us. I am suggesting that decision making is more simple than we usually think. It’s called DISCERNMENT, and becomes a very […]

foster fathers’ feast

I took this picture a few years ago at Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The carving is of St. Joseph with a young Jesus. It is a rare and powerful portrayal of a delightful moment in this father-son relationship. On March 19 we would usually celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, husband […]