at last I can see

“Immediately it was as though scales fell away from Saul’s eyes
and he could see again.”
Acts 9

“It is very simple:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye. …
It is very simple:
one sees well only with the heart.
The essential is invisible to the eyes.”
“The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart.”
The Little Prince.  Antoine de Saint Exupéry
(also available on Netflix)

It’s the first day of a new month, May, known to many of us as the Month of Our Lady. (Encyclical Mense Maio)

The first day of May is also a traditional festival marking the return of spring, (which might make sense if you live in the Northern Hemisphere), the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and the day of the Mayday military parades.

Perhaps the first day of a new month can be a day for a renewed resolve to be free of the scales that cover our eyes, the blinkers that narrow our vision, the lenses that we adopt in an attempt to hide from reality.

In these weeks we have been brought to our knees not by the might of a military invader, but by a reality that is invisible to the eye, a virus.

Yesterday I was a part of an inspiring Zoom conversation of a dozen leaders of the Catholic community from around the country. I was moved by their willingness to face the reality not as an enemy but as an opportunity.

As Julian Carron reflected in the reading I suggested yesterday (available at this link):

“There is no other place where the meaning of life, our destiny, can be played out; we have no other way of walking toward our fulfilment except through the circumstances in which we find ourselves.”

Thanks be to God.


An Invitation:

  • As we begin this new month let’s not be afraid to set aside our limited vision. Let’s discard the lenses that do not serve us well. Let us pray that we can see reality as it is so that that in these circumstances we can encounter the reality of Jesus as he really is.





The new Chapel at St. Bede’s College in Christchurch.  Bell tower (& Church) pics still welcome – send to

Friday Easter Week III  (15 minutes)

Friday Easter Week III  (25 minutes)


4 Responses to "at last I can see"
  1. I love Julian’s statement “There is no other place where the meaning of life, our destiny, can be played out; we have no other way of walking toward our fulfilment except through the circumstances in which we find ourselves.” The circumstances we find ourselves in globally is Covid-19 which has emptied our churches but enabled us everywhere to find new ways to be community via Zoom or other media. It is as if the Spirit has been set free from the four walls of our church structures and can move freely in the world. However, many of our online liturgies have been limited to sharing the word and reflections, and we have endured a Eucharist famine. But as our gospel of today says “I am the bread of life …whoever eats this bread shall live forever”. Some communities globally have been brave enough to share the Eucharistic Prayer online too; each has in their own home a simple small loaf of bread and a cup of wine, someone leading the liturgy (not always a priest) says the words Christ gave us, we each break the bread and drink from the cup, and the experience of Christ among us is profound and real. We can have Eucharist, if we believe the Spirit is with us! I pray more and more of us will have the courage to reclaim this special part of who we are and celebrate the Mass in our communities wherever we are, even in this trying time of isolation.

  2. I’m struggling to find a way of introducing a friend of mine to faith in Jesus.
    He is dying of cancer, has been given 6 to 12 months.
    How would he even begin to understand eating the flesh & drinking the blood.
    I’ve decided I will just have to tell him from beginning to now my faith journey, how I was away for 14 years then felt drawn to return, then received the Holy Spirit on an alpha course being led by the Spirit in many miraculous encounters, but still struggle with myself at times.

  3. Good morning Father John.
    This reminds me of Romans 8:28 “We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.”
    I always think that “everything” in this verse means all the bad things in our lives, including viruses, all our mistakes and bad decisions, because you can’t turn good things to good.
    This means that if we love God the position we find ourselves in, in life must be where he wants us at that particular time and place. Rich or poor important or nonentity we must look to see what we can do for Gods kingdom, big or small.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.