the centre

Dec 22, 2020

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 its 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 when we live with this awareness.

The image of the hub of the wheel comes to mind. Only when the hub of the wheel is in the centre can the wheel run smoothly.

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 God, everything falls into place.

On her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary turned to God in the prayer we know as the Magnificat. This prayer is used in the Liturgy of the Hours at every Evening Prayer and follows the pattern of all Christian prayer beginning with a clear focus on the centrality of God.

Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

Note that not only is God central for Mary, but her demeanour before God is one of praise of God and rejoicing in God.  The prayer continues outlining the great action of God in the life of Mary…

for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

…and the power of God in human history:

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

An Invitation

  • Make a decision now to place God at the centre of every thought, word and action for the next 24 hours.
  • If you began your own prayer: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My Spirit rejoices in God my saviour. For he has….     How would you continue? What would you give as your personal reasons for proclaiming the greatness of the Lord?

O Antiphon: 22 December

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.


  1. Amen thank you Father John for your teachings and Inspiration Amen

  2. …. For He has done great things for me

  3. For HE has given His life
    So that we may be saved,
    Never forget,HIS GIFT
    to us.
    Thankyou for inspiring these thoughts fr John

  4. He has given me hope and the strength to continue my toil, despite my many stumbles.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



I try not to repeat these daily Lenten posts year to year but there are times when the same scriptures pop up annually and I realise that I can’t write it better than I did last year. Today is one such day, not only because of the thought I share but even more in the comments that are added by FFF readers. Today I have left some of last year’s comments helping us to appreciate the power of today’s readings.

my word your home

my word your home

The heart of the home in years past was the hearth.
It was at the hearth that the family gathered for the warmth and light of the flame and the food that was prepared there.
The fire was treated with respect since the same flame which provided energy for the home could just as easily destroy it.

stand up look up

stand up look up

The Israelites in their forty years in the desert were journeying from captivity to freedom, but the struggle of their desert years made them vulnerable to attack from every temptation as today’s first reading continues

confident in God

confident in God

I’m not sure if children today are told the great story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, but if not let’s make sure that the parable is taught at all schools of higher learning.

the teenagers

the teenagers

A few years ago I discovered the wonderful way that God uses my imagination in my prayer.
Such openness to imagination when seeking God does not take us away from reality into fantasy but instead brings me into what is most real and inescapably personal and intimate.