How do we create space for God in our lives? Reflections from Catholics exploring our relationship with God through prayer.
By Andrew Hamilton
*This article first appeared on the CAPSA website
There is so much to like about Pope Francis’ journey to Lesbos. There is also so much for us as Australians to be humbled by. He undertook his travel at a time when the people seeking protection on Lesbos began being put into enclosed camps, facing deportation to Turkey and perhaps return to the mortal danger from which they fled.
Pope Francis’ latest exhortation has come out just in time for me, as I prepare to be married in June.
While many have focused on the aspects to do with the divorced and remarried, and couples in crisis, I’ve chosen to focus my reading more on what the Pope is saying in the exhortation about our relationship with God and with each other.
Here are four things that have stood out for me already.
By Beth Doherty
‘My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms’ wrote Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. These words were likely written between 1960 and 1975.
‘Let that presence (of God) settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love’, wrote Teresa of Avila, in the 1500s.
‘The Lord desires mercy, not sacrifice. And no matter what I do to check off a box and puff up my chest, what God desires is a chest beat in humility. What God desires is a chest filled by a heart of pure love, a chest assured by God’s constant presence throughout the day. So the next time we are tempted to make time with the Lord just another thing that stands between us and a “successful” day, let’s remember this truth’, wrote Olivia Wilde last week on Blessedisshe.net.
By Susannah Bishop
At different times in my life, I have sought love, compassion and mercy. I’ve had to surrender my ego, and accept failure or struggle. As a practising (though imperfect) Catholic Christian for most of my life, I have wrestled, questioned and grown in awareness of my own need to love and be loved by God. At no time have I seen God’s mercy speak louder than when my failures drag me to the confessional, seeking and begging forgiveness and life renewed.
By Peter Day
To some of us it’s a time to pause, to reflect, to stand in awe. But to the vast majority of us it’s the silly season: a time of over-eating, drinking, buying, selling, worrying, partying, beaching, and pressured family gatherings. And don’t the silly season preachers love it; out of hibernation they come to herald their version of the good news - news that is best delivered away from pulpits and outside of Sundays. And what a persuasive, well-packaged homily it is: a seductive narrative that draws so many in: ‘CHRISTMAS IS A TIME FOR GIVING.’