The PrayerBlog

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

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.'
Thursday, 09 June 2016 10:30

Blessed by the mess of the princess

Peta Edmonds 
 
The angel of healing has come into my life in different ways. For me, looking up to different figures has been a help for me. There is one figure that stands out. She stands out with a halo of light because she, the Princess, always liked hats and they went well with her golden hair. 
 
She died of massive heart injuries. Like mine seems to be, her heart was always broken. Midnight struck, the glass carriage crashed and it seemed that the man in the moon looked down upon the woman he loved. 
 
Weeks after they had to collect the dead flowers that had been strewn in her honour. There were antique tears made in England. 
 
I keep a little picture of her in a round brass frame.
Thursday, 09 June 2016 10:16

Election reflection

By Andrew Hamilton
 
In democratic theory, elections are times when citizens take personal responsibility for the directions that their nation will take. Voting is almost a sacred act in which we express our allegiance to our country and have an active role in its government. This Australian election campaign, like many others throughout the democratic world, has been notable for a pervasive undertow of apathy and alienation. Many people believe that the political dysfunction and its consequences are so strong and intractable in Australia that they cannot be alleviated by the casting of votes and by election results. 
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 10:35

The memory of the heart

By Susie Hii
 
When I was a child, one of the prayers I said was prayer to St Joseph, patron saint of a happy death.  Children don’t think of death but I learnt and said whatever prayer I was taught.  As I remember it, the prayer goes, ‘O great St Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us and obtain for us the grace that we may die a happy death, as thou didst in the arms of Jesus and Mary, that we may receive Jesus before we die.’  
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 12:44

The Quotidian Instrument

By Brian Doyle
 
I was a child when my grandmother died, but I remember her wake vividly, and even now when I am in a hushed room I am again peering over the edge of her coffin and noting that she had the rosary with the blue beads rather than the rosary with the black beads. This was a surprise. She had any number of rosaries but the rosary with the black beads was the workhorse, the favorite, the quotidian instrument; you might see the blue beads on days having particularly to do with the Madonna, and once a year, on the feast day of Saint Dorothea of Caesarea, she would haul out the wooden beads, because Dorothea was the patroness of fruit trees.
Friday, 27 May 2016 14:10

Writing down bones and flesh

Written by
By Beth Doherty
 
In our office, there is a quiet little desk in the corner that is home to piles of books, a coffee cup, and a bespectacled Jesuit called Andy Hamilton SJ. He has a wide circle of friends, many of whom share his passion for writing. When I first met him 12 years ago, I noted that when he frequented events and met with young people, he would open with the line ‘do you like writing?’, and if they answered yes, it would lead to genuine friendship wherein he would mentor and encourage them. 
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 10:06

Dancing to God's Tune

By Genevieve Nicoll
  
I am a huge fan of Flamenco. Wikipedia tells me that it is an art form native to the Spanish regions of Andalucia, Extramadura and Murcia. However, I first witnessed the drama and passion of Flamenco in Barcelona while backpacking around Europe. In an underground basement style theatre with chairs packed around a stage, I fell in love.
While at a Flamenco concert in Canberra recently I was reflecting on the relationship and intimate connection between the guitarist and dancer on the stage. Flamenco is extraordinary as an art form because it is very improvised. While groups rehearse together, there is also a lot of unpredictability, often with the guitarist not knowing what the dancer will do, when she will turn and when she will stop. They are in tune with each other, communing and communicating. I heard a Flamenco guitarist speak of the language of the music and how guitarists speak to the dancers through rhythms, arpeggios and strumming patterns. The dancers respond through their body language, a glance and the rhythm of their feet or hands. What the audience witnesses is a virtuoso conversation.
Monday, 23 May 2016 13:28

Being the bread of life

By Andy Hamilton SJ
 
In many parts of the world the Feast of Corpus Christi is a huge celebration, with processions, pageants, song and feasting. Its
origins lie in early Middle Ages conflict about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The feast emphasised the reality of Jesus’ presence. It became even more popular in Catholic countries during the Protestant Reformation, when conflict about the Eucharist arose again.
Monday, 16 May 2016 11:00

See how much Jesus loves you

 

Susie Hii

'Just give Jesus a chance to let you know how much he loves you.' I read those words in an email from a friend at about 10pm on 17 April, 2016. The words brought immediate tears to my eyes but I did not know why. Perhaps, I was feeling sad partly because I was leaving my immediate family to go to visit my mother the next day, and my ever-present fear of flying has been exacerbated by what happened to flights MH 17 and MH 370. All I knew was that I had to suppress them, or I would wake up the next morning with swollen, puffy eyes.
In the morning, the floodgates still threatened to burst. I prayed to Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help me not cry at work.

Thursday, 12 May 2016 11:28

Modern day Jesus

By Susannah Bishop
 
I enjoy musing on what a modern day Jesus would look like. Perhaps wearing skinny jeans and sporting a dreadlock or two. I can picture his Facebook profile: dutifully linked to Twitter and Instagram, posting regular snippets of modern day wisdom to his modern day followers, sending friend requests to Pete Fisher, Matty Taxton. 
 
On Monday he’d post “Just saw a homeless lady put all her coins in the Church moneybox! #Truealsmgiving #Atleastsomeonegotthemessage”. On Tuesday, Pete Fisher would receive “Jesus invites you to his event ‘water hiking’”. 
 
My newsfeed would probably say “Jesus is attending an event near you today. Let him know if you’ll join”. 
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:49

Lentil Stew and the Bible

Written by
By Beth Doherty
 
Bowls of lentil stew may not be what many consider the stereotyped Christian dish. There aren’t (as far as I’m aware) any Gospel passages where Jesus tucks into some lentil stew with his latest catch, although assumedly he did at some point. 
 
Curries and lentil stews do tend to be more likely associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, perhaps with parts of India, Africa and vegetarian Asia. So, what do lentils have to do with the Christian faith? 
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 15:12

Steps in prayer

By Peta Edmonds
 
Lately I pray from my Grandmother’s morning and evening prayer book. One of the lines from my favourite prayer is for a quiet mind and a clean heart. I kneel on a little green elephant cushion (elephants were my Grandma’s favourite animal) with a posture of a straight back and a bowed head, a bit like the posture you adopt in the writing process. First I pray from the heart and then I read a prayer from the book. 
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