power-full prayer

Mount Carmel was a significant place for the prophets of Israel, especially Elijah 900 years before Christ. (you can read more about this in the first and second book of Kings, especially 1 Kg 18-19).  The section that is today’s first reading is one of the many great adventures in the Bible and ideal as a […]

love pray live

This morning from stuff.co.nz, a feature on life as a Carmelite in Christchurch. At the crossroads of two of Christchurch’s busiest roads, Halswell and Curletts roads, lies a desert of calm. It is tricky to straddle Halswell Rd to turn into the Carmelite Monastery, but this doesn’t bother the residents at all.    read more


Prayer is much easier than most of us think since prayer is our default setting, the most natural way of being in 24/7 relationship with Jesus Christ. I hope you find this brief video clip a helpful encouragement for your prayer.

seven years on

Today, February 22, marks seven years since the devastating 2011 earthquake which brought tragic loss of life to our city of Christchurch where we continue the long and difficult process of rebuilding lives and livelihoods. There are many signs of great hope as people work together to build a city that is not only stronger in […]

leading prayer

Prayer is a regular part of the day in a Catholic school or parish. I’m often asked by those who share the responsibility for leading prayer for ideas about how best to lead group prayer. In the video below I offer a couple of suggestions. Take a moment to watch the video then you will […]


Have you ever thought of prayer as child-like playfulness.  There are some similarities and today’s gospel in which Jesus encourages us to be childlike gives us an opportunity to consider these…

Feast of Francis

On a recent visit to Assisi, the birthplace of Francis whose feast we celebrate today, I recorded this three-minute clip as encouragement for all of us who often find it difficult to pray. I offer it again for today’s feast.


Often we think that the environment has to be just right for our prayer. The problem is that most of us struggle to see our own situations as conducive to prayer. If prayer was about us then this would be a difficulty, but the reality is that our prayer is primarily about what God is […]

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 […]

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 […]

let’s pray

I am often surprised and saddened to hear people speaking about their own experience of prayer with a degree of uncertainty and lack of confidence. But when I hear them speak it is clear to me that they have no reason at all to be uncertain because they are praying beautifully. They are in relationship […]

reality – or fantasy

I call it the magic carpet idea of prayer: the thought that prayer is a way of escaping from our present reality, floating away to a peaceful place before at the end of the time of prayer I have to come back to life’s worries and demands. But this is not Christian prayer. Christian prayer […]

pray like this

Thank God it’s Tuesday! Last week the parish was involved in six ecumenical services, two for Ash Wednesday and four for the World Day of Prayer. It is a moving experience to pray together remembering that the heart of our faith, relationship with Jesus Christ who is God with us, is something we share across […]

needing a miracle

These post-Christmas and early new year days provide many New Zealanders with annual rest and recreation. However some families have suffered tragedy in these vacation days. I’m thinking especially of a young Christchurch woman, Bridget (pictured) who while on holiday with her husband Dan and young family suffered cardiac arrest and following surgery remains seriously […]

monastery bells

Bring the peace and focus of life in a monastery to the demands and stresses of your own daily life using this simple technique. Bell tower in picture at Our Lady of Mt Matutum Trappistine Monastery, General Santos, Philippines