The PrayerBlog

How do we create space for God in our lives? Reflections from Catholics exploring our relationship with God through prayer.

Thursday, 19 January 2017 09:18

Celebrating Mass Among the Unwelcome

By Fr Peter Carrucan

A Christmas day celebration at a detention centre provides an insight into the difficult lives of asylum seekers in Australia.

Sunday, 08 January 2017 22:07

Remaining Resolute

By Mark O'Shea

'Argh! Just ten more minutes!' It's 6am, and already I'm in the throes of a heated battle with my alarm clock. My outstretched hand slams down on the snooze button, the only ally I can count on in this daily grudge match. It takes another three rounds in the ring for my conscience to finally leap into action, prying my unwilling eyes open with a few short, sharp pangs: 'Didn't you promise yourself that you'd be getting up early from now on?' Fine! I surrender!

Thursday, 22 December 2016 10:12

Making Christmas Burdens Light

By Andrew Hamilton, SJ

Each Christmas morning I celebrate Mass at Melbourne's Ozanam House with homeless men, and later with people imprisoned at the Immigration Detention Centre. Each mass makes me ask why they would want to celebrate Christmas. And each highlights for me the difference between our cultural celebration of Christmas and its Christian roots.

Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:07

Strange Journeys

By Andrew Hamilton, SJ

Many children associate Christmas with journeys made and odd places visited. Plane and train trips to visit separated parents, car trips to visit rarely seen relatives, camping expeditions to tent cities by the beach.
Journeys and odd places are also the stuff of the first Christmas stories: where Joseph, Mary and Jesus make roundabout journeys to be in strange places that turn out to be God's right places.

Monday, 05 December 2016 09:52

Hope

By Susie Hii

My mother died about a month ago, on 26 October, 2016. On the news recently, we heard of the tragic deaths of young people from meningococcal meningitis, one of whom who had just finished high school. Others have even died from severe attacks of asthma during the storm in Melbourne. On top of all these, the news of the death of a friend's sister literally brought on an attack of dizziness. In the midst of this mental storm, I prayed for silence and stillness.

Friday, 18 November 2016 10:22

The Joy of Waiting

By Brendan Nicholls

Our lives are often cyclic. We wake up, go to school or work, go home, relax, sleep and then repeat until the weekend. Most of us enjoy the constant patterns of our lives and can find joy and security in the 'ordinariness' of life.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 10:59

Take Another Look

By Brendan Nicholls

It is easy to miss events in the world around us. So much of the beauty of creation occurs in slow motion, or in ways that are so minute as to be virtually unnoticeable. The wild weather here in Victoria over the last month has been quite exceptional however; it has imposed itself upon us and gained our attention. So often though, our attempts to divide our attention between all that life throws at us can be overwhelming, and we miss the wonderful, less obvious opportunities that God has placed in our way.

Thursday, 06 October 2016 00:00

The Rose That Never Fades

By Susie Hii

On the first of October, I went to Mass at the Carmelite Monastery in Melbourne for the feast day of St Therese of Lisieux, the Doctor of the Church known as The Little Flower. Arriving on the dot at 10:30 am, I was surprised to find the chapel packed to the rafters. I was ushered to stand in the centre aisle. Looking around, I saw people lining up both the side aisles. It was a most impressive sight.

Thursday, 29 September 2016 09:02

Becoming Peacemakers

By Andrew Hamilton, SJ

Everyone wants peace. But equally most people find conflict more interesting than peace. Compare the number and the relative success of television series that trade in war and violence with those that describe a serene peace. Yet almost always wars are fought to secure peace – on the right terms. Enemies are attacked so that they will be driven to negotiate peace. That was true for the ancient Romans. It is true for the powers now fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:00

Mercy in the Streets

By Sacha Bermudez-Goldman, SJ

Doña Tere is probably in her late 60s, but looks more as if she would be in her early 80s. She stands every day for several hours on a very busy intersection in one of the wealthier suburbs of San José, the capital of Costa Rica, where I have spent the past couple of months. I have always encountered Doña Tere in the same spot. In a way she has looked pretty much the same for the past ten years or so.

Thursday, 08 September 2016 09:57

Finding God in Loneliness

By Susie Hii

I first heard of loneliness from the Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen - in his books. Since then I have read many other people, priests, single and divorced people writing and talking about loneliness. People living on their own may feel particularly lonely because physically, there is no one around them. However, not everyone who is alone feels lonely, and when we are surrounded by people, we may still feel lonely. Being alone and being lonely are not synonymous.

Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:59

The Heart of the Homeless

By Peta Edmonds

The homeless are under the bridges we walk over. They sleep in 24-hour bank foyers to get out of the rain while I get my money out. They are the ghosts of the dawn, carelessly placed like newspapers thrown on front lawns.

Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:34

A D.I.Y. Pilgrimage Guide

By Brendan Nicholls

Although we are not fortunate enough to be able to make it to Krakow and celebrate and experience such a momentous and faith filled event as World Youth Day, we can engage in pilgrimage in our daily life and experience a closer relationship and understanding of God, writes Brendan Nicholls.

Monday, 20 June 2016 13:00

Blossoming buds

By Claudia Appaduray
 
Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment has triggered in me a dormant interest in growing roses. Why roses? Perhaps you ask.  Out of so many other easier-to-grow or simpler flowers? My interest in these soft-petalled blooms still baffles me since romantic is a far cry from my staid nature.
 
So here I begin my attempt to grow a single pot of roses. I want to brighten and prettify this white-washed apartment. Its plain walls and side tables need colour and fragrance, character both vintage and modern.
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 12:33

Do Catholics Sing?

By Mark O’Shea
 
Catholics don’t sing. It’s a common refrain, but I’m not sure I believe it. Catholics will belt out a ballad while in the shower, they’ll sing along in the car (except at red lights of course), heck, I’ve even witnessed the most hardened men sing rapturous odes to their footy teams after a win. Music is a natural and unique facet of human culture. It expresses a connection to a common identity that can only be truly understood from the inside. As one of my philosophy professors explained, 'nobody but an Australian can fully appreciate the nuance in the lyrics of Waltzing Matilda.'
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