Posts Currently viewing the category: "for Advent"

what to do?

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to take part in the annual Hearts Aflame gathering of 100 young NZ Catholics aged between 18 & 35. I was asked to share a few thoughts on discernment and I am happy to share the video with you at the link below. While it is a…(Read More)

a New Year gift

Today is the final email in the Advent / Christmas pilgrimage. If you have not yet completed the brief survey please take a moment to do so by clicking on the image below. The future of this Food For Faith mission depends on your feedback – even a word or two in response to one…(Read More)


For most of the history of human civilisation the term family has been used to speak of a community of love: parents and children, with a complex and diverse range of relationship connections through blood, legal contract and friendship ties. In the “Western” world family was often defined as a household of wife and husband…(Read More)

my inmost calm

If you didn’t read my request yesterday could I ask that before you read today’s reflection you take a moment to complete the brief evaluation. Your comments will determine whether this Food For Faith mission has a future. Our direction and development is dependant on your feedback so please click the image here…(Read More)

take a moment

Today is the fifth day of the Christmas Octave, and on the eighth day of the Octave (New Year’s Day) our Advent / Christmas daily retreat pilgrimage concludes. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to bring you these daily reflections. Could I ask now that you take a moment or two to help…(Read More)

how sensible 😇

You may have noticed that my post yesterday mistakenly featured the feast of the Holy Innocents instead of St John whose feast-day it actually was. It wasn’t that I had just mixed up the website dates since I even turned up at Mass prepared for the wrong feast! So today, which really is…(Read More)

holy & innocent

Surrounded by gifts, good food and Christmas goodwill, it is easy to forget the full reality of the birth of Jesus.  At the time of the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were travellers. Pope Francis made this the central point of his Christmas homily in St. Peter’s. The homelessness of Mary, Joseph and…(Read More)

no place for them

With yesterday’s celebration of Christmas we began the eight days (the Octave) of Christmas, and we conclude our December retreat with a relaxed journey through the Octave with the last of our daily emails arriving in your inbox on New Year’s day. I thought you might be interested in Pope Francis’ homily for…(Read More)

where is love ?

Christmas Greetings to you all. There are many things that I could share in this Christmas day clip, but the image that keeps coming to mind is the Christmas dinner table around which people will gather today with family and friends. A few decades ago the people seated at one Christmas table probably held similar…(Read More)


In 2014 at the Rimini Meeting I was moved by an exhibition of the work of French artist Francois Millet marking the 200th anniversary of his birth. Millet appreciated the simplicity and beauty of peasant life and labour, and many of his works depict the poor at work in the field and home. Before Millet…(Read More)

the refiner’s fire

The first reading from today’s liturgy is perhaps best known because it features in Handel’s Messiah: Let’s take a moment to examine the message which seems to be a bit of a violent prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. In an Advent sermon in 1928 the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected…(Read More)

on the road

Have you ever noticed how much of the account of the birth of Jesus involves travellers? The angel Gabriel was a traveller to the home of Mary, and soon after Mary was on the road to visit her cousin Elizabeth for a three month stay. Then shortly after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph…(Read More)

a discerning life

If you are following the daily liturgy gospel readings this week you’ll notice a couple of repeats. Yesterday’s gospel from Luke is the account of the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary and we will hear this again on Sunday. This is the moment we call the Annunciation, when God became incarnate…(Read More)

humble hearts

This year the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has celebrated 150 years of caring for the poor, the sick and the vulnerable in New Zealand. Throughout the country and in every other part of the world the Vinnies’ reputation is one of closeness to those who suffer most in our world. This week Food…(Read More)

just do it !

It is Monday evening as I write and I am just home from from the pre-Christmas gathering of priests of the Catholic diocese of Christchurch. It is always a remarkable and inspiring gathering. Fifty of us met at 5 this afternoon in the parish church of Christ the King, Burnside to celebrate the Sacrament…(Read More)