the way forward

Today is the last of this series of daily email FFF reflections. There will continue to be two or three reflections on the website each week (but not sent by email) and these can be seen by visiting www.foodforfaith.org.nz directly. (You can save the front page to the home screen of your device to make visiting easier).

These past couple of weeks since the move back to level 2 lockdown in New Zealand have been a difficult time for many. Requests for prayers for those who are suffering from effects of the virus and other unrelated health and financial struggles have been regular, and more than 200 people have used these days as a FFF retreat-in-daily-life.

Thank you to all FFF readers for following the posts, and for your encouragement not only to me but through your comments to other readers.

Your prayer and support encourages us to continue to develop this www.foodforfaith.org.nz mission as time and resources permit.

One reader commented that I write a lot about relationship with Jesus. That got me thinking about how easily we forget our human dependance on God and focus instead on ourselves.

It is only in recent centuries that humans have come to accept that the earth on which we live is not the centre of the universe. While the Greeks a couple of thousand years ago suggested that the planets might revolve around the sun rather than the earth, it was only after the 16th century Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus presented this clearly that people accepted this understanding.

Today it’s hard to understand how our ancestors could have misunderstood something that is to us so obvious.

But then each of us can have the same misunderstanding of reality when we think, speak and act as if we ourselves are the centre of our own existence. We forget that a human can be fully human only when living in relationship with Jesus Christ. We are not our own centre. We are created to be centred on and totally dependant on God.

We find our human health and happiness only when we live with this awareness: we are dependant on a higher power for everything, even for every breath that we take.

Only when we let God take central place in our lives can we live fully.

Too often we focus on ourselves, even when full of good intentions we seek to improve ourselves working to overcoming our imperfection and weakness. But when we shift our gaze to Jesus, everything falls into place and we feel as though we can relax a bit. This is the perfect remedy for human stress – passing all our burdens to Jesus and trusting that He will work powerfully in our lives in response to our invitation.

That’s the message that I want to finish this FFF daily-email reflection series with, and the former Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe (d.1991) offers this powerful reflection.

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

Painting Above:
Cape Cod Morning. Edward Hopper

40 Responses to "the way forward"
  1. Dear John
    I have a regular daily practice of scripture reading and prayer…but your insights and wisdom has so enriched my daily devotional time. I will be sad not to get my daily fix! I’m imagining the time to reflect and write these pieces is time consuming, so thankyou. Theresa

  2. Fr. John, thank you. May we remain in the loving gaze of Jesus as we continue to be nourished by your words. Every blessing on your ministry.

  3. In the words of the song ‘Keep your eyes upon Jesus. Look full into His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His beauty and grace’.
    Thank you Fr John. I too will miss these wonderful reflections.

  4. Thank you Father John for your very thoughtful and inspirational reflections which I have really appreciated.
    I too will miss them. Thanks and God bless.

  5. Thank you – long may the Food For Faith mission continue. It has challenged me to think deeper and open my eyes wider to my relationship with God and people.

  6. Many blessing for your mahi, John, in making available thoughts and ideas that make ripple like impacts on those who take time to read them and reflect.

    I look forward to more, once you decide, if, where and when things can start up again.

    Nga Mihi

  7. Thank you Fr John for the daily spiritual food that inspires, guides the soul in becoming to know and love Jesus more daily. Search becomes more meaningful as the unfolding of the daily journey gradually reveals. Pray for you in gratitude.

  8. Thank you Fr J for these daily readings, and ‘yes’ I will copy the short cut to my desk top. The painting suggests the despair of not finding the FFF daily input on her screen, and where/how will she get the guidance she needs for a difficult day.

  9. Morena e Pā, The image of the planets revolving around the sun sits so well with our lives revolving around Christ. Thank you so much for your inspirational thoughts each morning. They have helped overcome the some very human inertia to face each each day with trust. Ata marie ki a koe, Barbara Te Miha.

  10. I say thanks too Father John I have greatly appreciated your reflections which have given me good food for thought and inspiration. I’ll miss them!
    God bless you in your life and ministry. May you continue to encourage many in their faith life.
    Sincerely Sue Sullivan.

  11. Thank you Father John. These refelections have kept me focuses on a relationship with Jesus Christ and in turn helped me to restore my faith and devotion. I will continue my morning ritual and log into your website daily. Every reading is worth much more than one reading. Go with God, continuing to spread the Word. It is so very necessary to know.

  12. Thank you Father John for your daily reflections over such a long time. I will miss them but will visit your website in future. God bless you Father.

  13. Tēnā koe, e Pā. Your Christ-centred FFF posts this year are beautiful gifts, taonga, rays of morning sunshine to warm and sustain my day. Very best wishes to you, as you look for ways to use your gift to continue this ministry

  14. Indeed, we are born with an insatiable need for goodness – for love, truth, justice, and freedom.

    Thank you, John, for your morning reflections to live by. I have appreciated your generous, graceful and grateful words that have inspired and transformed me every day.

    G. K. Chesterton also illuminated the meaning and purpose of a happy life when he wrote:

    “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”. +

    God bless you and my Companions in FFF on our way forward in life with the Loving Spirit of Life & Love at our centre +

    Virginia.

    • Tēnā koe, e Pā. Sincere appreciation for the daily uplifting of the FFF. These have been challenging and encouraging. Best wishes for your future ministry – surely a gift being used to sustain us in our daily lives.

  15. Thank you Father John for the wonderful daily reflections. I have looked forward to them and they have been such a help for us during these trying times

  16. Thank you Fr John for the gentle words of wisdom …. I have been inspired and enriched…
    God’s richest blessing to you and your team…

  17. Fr John, your reflections have touched me each day with a richness only God could inspire. The reflections that others leave is an added gift. You are daily in my prayers. God bless you and your apostolate abundantly.

  18. God Bless you Fr John, I have loved receiving your FFF each day, your thoughts and prayers have been very healing and peaceful and prayers have made me feel I’ve been blessed.

  19. Thank you Fr John for helping to keep our lives enriched again during these ‘lockdown’ days. How wonderful to be able to be part of this ‘retreat in daily life’ with over 200 others walking this path with me – talk about a Faith community! May the Lord continue to richly bless your (and our!) Ministry(ies).

  20. Fr John – while these have been written by yourself, reading them has felt like having a friend walk with you through the day, someone who has your happiness and best interests at heart. Thank you and God bless you!

  21. Late in the day I have just read all these wonderful comments and there is nothing left to be said! They say exactly what I wish to say. The book title “Gratefulness – the Heart of Prayer” comes into my mind – our gratefulness to you as well as our gratefulness to God. May God bless you and keep you and bless your many good works!

  22. With gratitude I thank you for stoking my embers with your fff emails. I really appreciated knowing so many were praying for me and my intentions as I mooch through the rough process of parish changes. I know so many continue to look out their windows in dismay. As covid pushes us further apart from the familiar ways of faith communities your website has been a safe and rich community to deepen our prayer life and relationship with the Holy Spirit.

  23. Thank you Fr John, always an inspiration to read your posts. I will continue to follow FFF. Blessings to all the followers.

  24. ‘Let go and LET GOD”
    In my full on days and
    Tired end of days, I found
    after reading food for faith
    specially tonight, I need to
    ‘Let go and let God’
    God Bless, thankyou and look very much forward, to more
    Food for faith, we ALL
    Need this Spiritual food retreat.

  25. Many thanks for your perseverance in producing these reflections. I have found them very prayerful and inspirational. May God bless you.

  26. I thank you Father John for your inspiring & thoughtful reflections. A lot to think about & very helpful. May God Bless you & your team & also for everybody in these very trying times, the Pandemic & the fires & other tragedies

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