a bit of colour

Yesterday morning I was praying as the first light came into the sky. For some reason I was especially aware of the lack of colour in the darkness of the night. Looking for a distraction I went to the kitchen to make a coffee, but I felt drawn back to the chair as the sky was becoming a bit brighter and I sat a bit longer daydreaming, praying and meditating for a while.

A few minutes after my return I noticed a flutter outside the window and the bird pictured above landed on the telephone line just outside the window.  I’m new to Auckland. not familiar with the local birdlife, and had no idea that New Zealand had brightly coloured birds in the wild. I thought this one had escaped from an aviary and (I’m not being pious or superficial here) I had the sense that this bird had been sent as a messenger from God to remind me that Christ transforms our darkness not only with light but also with colour.

I picked up my phone and without moving from my chair took this picture.

Today as we move to Level 2 many people are feeling darkness deeply, suffering extreme financial struggles, job losses, relationship tensions, all of these causing anxiety and depression.

These darknesses are real and present and at times threaten to overwhelm us. The FFF prayer intentions sent in by readers also reveal the depth of struggle and pain experienced by those we know and love.

We also know and are grateful to and pray in thanksgiving for people who while losing a lot themselves and with all the worries listed above, are putting their own anxieties and needs aside in order to care for those who are struggling, especially those for whom they feel a responsibility as employers.

How can we live with and live through this shared suffering?

Join me in looking to today’s gospel for a way forward:

“Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love”.

It was yesterday morning in the darkness that I was praying with this passage. (I usually spend a day with the following day’s scripture so that in the evening I have something to share in these FFF posts.)  As I reflected I noticed a word that appears three times in these two verses. “Remain”. “Remain”. “Remain in my love”.  I couldn’t get the word out of my head.

I’m often tempted to not remain but to get up and be useful and active. It’s easy to use activity as an escape from the reality and opportunity of the moment. Yesterday morning I heard “remain” and so I stayed for longer than usual, And even when I did try to escape for an unnecessary coffee-break I heard the call to remain again and so returned to prayer.

If I hadn’t returned and remained then I wouldn’t have been present when the Eastern Rosella stopped by. The experience stayed with me through the day, and I have no doubt that Jesus used this bird which is generally understood to be a pest to speak to me.

And now as I write I see more clearly that even the people that I consider to be pesky can be divine messengers for me.

Which bring us to the word that appears not just three but five times in those two scripture verses: Love.

 

An Invitation:

  • Take time a few times throughout the day to remain, for a minute or two, in awareness of the love of Jesus for you. Ask Jesus to enable you to notice his voice, especially in the unlikely events and pesky people.
  • Pray to Sleep (a ten minute bedtime audio reflection) at this link.
  • Today’s readings at this link.
  • Send your prayer requests to john@fff.org.nz. Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to this list. Take a moment, perhaps 15 seconds, to pray in whatever way you choose for those whose initials appear below, and don’t hesitate to send repeat requests for prayer. 
  • One FFF reader sent me this note yesterday “Kia ora John. Each day as I run my fingers over your growing litany of initials, I recite this prayer”. 

Let us pray today (Thursday) especially for:   SLJ,  JJJ,  RM,  SJ,  SF, SLJ,  JS,  FS,  MD,  GPD,  JMC,  AM & I,  MS,  MC, MR,  JCP,  MON,  SS,  MS, OD, ND, CD, JD, JD & KJ,  EJH,  ARO,  

Upcoming back surgery. Surgery for repair of sports injury.  Work stress with responsibility for employees,  FFF invited prayers on Tuesday of one undergoing surgery – now word that surgery successful so thanksgiving prayers. In gratitude and thanksgiving for five wonderful children.  For son who celebrates birthday today. For nephew struggling to rebuild business.  Son preparing for marriage in complex religious situation & his fiancée, Mother died in pregnancy with twins.  A daughter needing healing, the mother of young boys.  Cousin’s daughter who is in a very depressed state living with her elderly mother awaiting help.  Sister distant from her faith for many years. Family member needing to take care of health controlling eating habits.  For God’s healing.  For twins.

Wednesday:   JS,  FS,  SF,  GJG (RIP),  JDG,  MD,  CGW,  SD,  TK,  JK,  RF,  GN,  OP,  GC, TN,  MC,  KJ,  SL,  AN,

Tuesday:   JMT,  KJ,   MD,  PM, MC, DP,  KD, AD,  BA,  RF,  MC,  PR,  JH,  GPB,

Monday:   AD, NF, PR, GPB,  BA, MA (RIP), LM,  SB,  MO’D,  S&SW,  DMcA,  SS, VM, PM, NM, 

Sunday:   BB,  BR, RM, IW,  BL,  AM, JM, SM, JH, CSL, BS, AW,  MR, SR, JC, LR, JF, AB, AB, MB, CB, LJ, AF, JB, CB, SB, MB (RIP), MR, MH, SR, RS, MTM, OH, MM (RIP),  SGS.  MC,  EH,  MAC, NDM,  JG, SL, JD, 

Friday:   AJ,  MLJ,  SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP,  GRJP,  JF, IC, RF,  JC,  LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG,  GC, AW,  DM,  MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)

Last week: AJ,  MLJ,  SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP,  GRJP,  JF, IC, RF,  JC,  LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG,  GC, AW,  DM,  MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)SS, BK, JKBP, CP, PP, BW, HT (RIP), SL, AW, DM, MM, PM, LH, TN, SF, SC, FM, T&TT, AR, HF, RF, JM, R&B, MC, MD,BH, SGS, JJHB, SJB, BB, MD, MB,  JT,  RF,  SS,  SS,  PB,  SD,  JR,  SQ,  JL, MCSM,  PR,  MJ,  MD,  SM,  PR,  MJ,  MD, 

 

LECTIO DIVINA FOR THURSDAY OF EASTER WEEK V (14 May 2020)

Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to john@fff.org.nz.

Today’s church:   The 900+ year old Cathedral church of San Donnino in the city of Fidenza, Italy.

Thursday Easter Week V (15 minutes)

Thursday Easter Week V  (25 minutes)

15 Responses to "a bit of colour"
  1. Hi John,
    Blessings.
    A thought that came to me.For those struggling with prayer ,listening to this is is the first step,

  2. Calming reflection JOC, doing the same thing in the darkness right now but with a candle, a crucifix and the harbour lights. Will sit a bit longer and pray. Keep up the great work. God bless.

  3. Before lockdown I had been praying and received the same sort of message, Abide in Me!
    As my difficulty is the prayer tasks I set for myself in my prayer time. So I would find myself rushing to get to the next “thing “!
    The beauty of this lockdown time has been the ability to Abide… and your Lectio Divina has been a great help with this.
    So today my prayer is for the World to be healed of this virus, and I join with all of my friends throughout the world in this.
    Love is the answer!

  4. Thank you for your insightful reflections again today.
    The beautiful, colourful bird photo symbolizes for me ‘new beginnings and growth’
    for the people in Aotearoa.

    May God never cease to defend Aotearoa +

  5. Thank you for your insightful reflections again today.
    The beautiful, colourful bird symbolizes for me ‘new beginnings and growth’
    for the people of Aotearoa.

    May God continue to defend New Zealand. +

  6. Thank you Fr John for giving us an opportunity to ‘say’ things that have long remained in our heads and heart. For many reasons, people rarely talk about God and their religious beliefs in everyday life.
    The way you share your own thoughts and insights give me a sense of ‘my hand being held’ as I think about what’s going on around me in these troubled times.
    Because I don’t have appointments and meetings to attend, I’m able to reflect on what my eyes are seeing, and the sounds I’m hearing. The words of the hymn come to mind:
    Oh, the love of my Lord is the essence
    Of all that I love here on earth.
    All the beauty I see, He has given to me,
    And his giving is gentle as silence.
    Every day, every hour, every moment,
    Have been blessed by the strength of His love.
    At the turn of each tide, He is there at my side,
    And his touch is as gentle as silence.

    • One of my favourite scriptural based hymns and Fr John sums up well, his reflections are indeed fulfilling and super to read. My prayers don’t seem to be answered but I’m not giving up I know I’m not praying for the ‘wrong’ thing….so love to have a prayer tree for my son to be settled it is important as the years roll away

  7. What a wonderful experience, Father – this bird alighting outside your window –
    no doubt from above.
    May you always enjoy this memory.

  8. Hi Father John
    Thanks so much for your reflection s, they do bring blessings. That lovely prayer from Uganda most uplifting.
    Bless you in your Ministry,
    In Christ, Sue Sullivan.

  9. Hi FATHER John

    Such a beautiful bird that brings hope and love truly a beautiful message from above I have never seen that type of bird before in New Zealand I had a beautiful message from above, when my dear mother passed away a beautiful seagull fell out of the sky and walked to my side of my our car as my dad saw this bird falling from the sky and I didn’t The bird looked at me and said don’t worry about me I am in a better place and lifted up its leg and looked over its shoulder and the beautiful bird flew into the sunset It was such a wonderful message for me as I always said to my mom I will always forgive like this elephant necklace but I will never forget. The elephant was also lifting it’s leg in the same way that the bird did to me!

    This was such a strong message from my Mom who’s faith was very strong. She was granted a miracle to get into New Zealand when she was very sick and our Lady of Fatima granted me my wish that she would get into New Zealand and live for a year and a half. She did and her Farewell was held on the Feast day of our Lady of Fatima

    My prayers were answered by the loving intercession of of our Lady through her son Lord Jesus Christ and I have been blessed with so many miracles since then. God bless you Father in your wonderful work that you do for us Amen✨

    LC

  10. This is such a gift! The Holy Spirit takes many forms blessing, teaching, encouraging, and always it comes in Love.

  11. Thank you Fr John for your moving reflection today. It is wonderful that you have continued to provide spiritual nourishment for us at a need when there is such a great need for it. May you be richly blessed for this Ministry you so generously share with us.

  12. Thank you Fr. John for the wonderful multicoloured spirituality you have brought us in a time of uncertainty and darkness. I prefer the longer Lectio Divina but have been listening to the 15 minute one which I couldn’t access today and did ‘remain’ in ‘love’. Every blessing always.

  13. ‘Remain in my love’ I think I’ll just sit with that for a while. Reminds me of that time after receiving Holy Communion.

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