The PrayerBlog

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

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:40

How to become a saint

By Genevieve Nicoll

I attended a youth leadership forum recently and one of the speakers talked of how we could be saints. This idea seemed extraordinary to me. I wouldn’t put myself and a saint in the same sentence. I've always considered them way out of my league.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 10:20

Being 'love' at work

By Nirmalene Candappa
 
Work culture and morale were crumbling at my work. A new senior manager, while good and kind and approachable initially, had now for various reasons become ambitious, sneaky and untrustworthy. A once collaborative, humble group of staff working towards a common goal of creating safer environments was now being encouraged to seek ambition, to compete against peers, to think of self first.
Monday, 13 July 2015 15:39

Putting the 'e' back in time

By Helen Jacobs
 
The ‘e’ is a mischievous character. Often it disappears unannounced and leaves me scrambling. 
 
“Blasted ‘e’ “ I curse, grieving over not having enough hours in the day to do everything and be everywhere. 
 
“Come back here ‘e,’” I lament, fretting at not being able to get done what I (think I) need to get done.
 
“All I need is  ‘an extra e’”, panicking at the ever-growing to-do list which I’ve taken so long to rack my brain over to write. 
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:13

Praying during the royal commission

By Michael McVeigh
 
Last year, I did an interview with Patricia Feenan for Australian Catholics magazine. In her book, Holy Hell, Patricia tells the story of her son Daniel and the years of abuse and suffering he endured at the hands of their parish priest Fr Jim Fletcher. 
 
Daniel was a promising young cricketer, and was elected school captain in primary school and at his Year 7 to 10 secondary school. He had so many opportunities ahead of him, but then his behaviour started to change. It began with disappearances and emotional outbursts as a teenager, and continued with alcohol abuse and a suicide attempt at 19. 
 
Thursday, 02 July 2015 14:35

Laudato Sii or No?

By Bishop Michael Kennedy

Not everyone is happy about what Pope Francis has had to say in Laudato Si', his encyclical letter on the environment. One critic described the document as "a mixture of junk science, junk economics and junk ethics" which, if followed, would prevent the world's poor escaping poverty.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 14:55

When #LoveMakesAWay

By Susan Connelly RSJ
 
Love Makes a Way (depicted on social media with the hashtag #LoveMakesAWay) is an ecumenical group formed in response to the government’s statement to would-be refugees that ‘No Way’ would they ever receive refuge in Australia if they came by boat. 
 
On June 17, ten years to the day since John Howard said that all asylum seeker children would be released from detention, 40 religious leaders from various denominations and from across Australia sat down in protest in Parliament House Canberra, claiming that love would make a way. The lament sung was 'Were you there when our nation turned its face?' 'Were you there when the kids were locked away?' There are still children in asylum detention, over 200 of them.
Thursday, 11 June 2015 11:06

Big and small | pictures of refugees

By Fr Andy Hamilton SJ

Refugee week is a time for looking at big pictures and little pictures. This year the big picture is bleak.  The number of people who flee across land borders to escape war and persecution has grown, especially in the Middle East and in Africa.  They are often escaping from religious persecution, but their flight takes them into the path of international conflict and of the bombs that respect neither religion, nationality nor life itself.

By Natalie Gordon

It probably seems a little unusual to offer a reflection on the Year of Consecrated Life as a woman who doesn’t belong to a religious community or institute.
However, for a long while in my young adult life, religious life was something that I felt called to and deeply desired.

Some days the pull of God’s love on my heartstrings catches me and it’s in those moments that I am obliged to revisit the journey that took me to the convent and then beyond.
I fell in love with the idea of religious life in my early twenties. I had a great Aunt who was a Josephite in regional Australia and even though I never met her, her story seemed interesting and exciting.

One day, whilst praying in the convent chapel next to the school I worked in, the sisters jokingly offered me the ‘tour’ of the convent.

Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:00

Contemplating God's love

By Genevieve Nicoll

I compose blog posts in my head. Words and ideas are given birth deep within and then freed after a bit of pondering. Some of the blogs that I have written are the result of a lightning bolt of inspiration; a seed planted which just kept growing. Some are impatient and do not let go until the last word is written, the last thought expressed. This blog, however, has sat with me for over a month. I think, patiently waiting for me to learn enough to articulate it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:40

On my knees

By Christina Rocha

I have been resenting my knee exercises recently. I know they’re good for me, and as my physiotherapist keeps on reminding me, my knees will not get stronger unless I regularly do my exercises. But I keep on finding other things to do with my spare time other than said knee exercises: sleep, catching up with friends throughout the week, bike riding, hiking, swimming, gardening, reading, crocheting, anything really, other than those blasted knee exercises.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 14:22

When faith isn't enough

By Frances Morton

Like everyone, I’ve had some hard times in my life. Almost twenty years ago was one of the hardest, when I found out that something pretty bad happened to a close family member. Until then, I suppose I had thought that all things would work together for good in life, as Paul wrote in Romans 8:28. Although I felt very uncomfortable with the idea that God controlled everything (we have free will, after all) I had assumed that if terrible things occurred, there was a higher purpose involved. This was professed by others in my faith community who told anecdotes about God’s tapestry for our lives.

By Beth Doherty

It’s been widely reported that Pope Francis never owned a mobile phone while he was the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Yet, his election to the papacy was the first one to be heralded as much on Twitter as on television and in newspapers. He doesn’t tweet himself, but rather, the @Pontifex twitter account is run by the staff of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, taking small pieces of advice from his homilies and addresses.

Yet it’s his very way of proceeding that makes him such a dream on social media.

Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:49

Learning motherhood

 

 

By Liz Lillis

It was with an air of expectancy last Mother’s Day when I called Mum called to chat on the phone. I was 36 weeks pregnant and the doctor had told me I'd have my first child within days thus beginning my own Motherhood journey.

Just two days later my daughter arrived. For medical reasons lifted out of me as gently as possible in a C section procedure that in itself took only a few minutes. Drugs of both new life and the medicinal type assisted to dull pain of the procedure.

Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:26

Amazing Grace

Fr Andy Hamilton SJ

Shortly after midnight on April 29 on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan eight prisoners were taken out to be shot. They went out together singing Amazing Grace; their arms were tied to a cross bar; they died with their eyes open.

It was almost as if they were children acting out the words of the hymn they sang:

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see. 

Monday, 20 April 2015 14:12

God's humanity

Written by

By Genevieve Nicoll

Sitting in church after reconciliation I was struck by the two sides of God, human and divine. The divinity of God is such an out of reach concept for me. I don’t feel I have the capacity to understand it and when I try, it remains just beyond where I am.

Looking up at the cross though, I feel his humanity. I am awed that God gave his son, to become human, to enter our world and live among us, humble flawed people.

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