Friday, 29 May 2009

No To Homophobia

Please read the following article to see why no homophobic acts, no matter how small, should ever remain unchallenged.

It's a shocking article so if you're easily affected by such things then consider if you should read it or not. The article can be found on ZNet here.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Richard Rohr : The True Self

The true self can never be hurt, nor has ever been hurt. The only pain it suffers is longing for God and absence from God. It is only the false self that suffers and takes offence, and hopefully those sufferings lead you to collapse into the True Self. The false self is necessarily insecure and always hurt.

The True Self is indestructible and cannot be offended. The True Self does not stand around waiting for you to like it before it can like itself. It doesn’t wait for accolades or external successes before it can believe in itself. It quietly knows.

G. K. Chesterton spoke of the “mystical minimum,” which he defined as gratitude. When we stand in the immense abundance of the True Self, there is not time or space for being hurt. We are always secure and at rest, and foundationally grateful. Saint Ignatius said that it would take him 25 minutes to get over the pain if the pope condemned his Society of Jesus ! That is abundant, grateful Self speaking. The false self does not even understand such silliness.

The grateful response of what is given - seeing the cup half full - requires seeing with a completely different set of eyes than the eyes that always see the cup half empty. I don’t think it’s oversimplification to say that people basically live either in an attitude of gratitude or an overall attitude of resentment. The mystical minimum is gratitude:

Everything that is given, that you are breathing today, is pure gift. None of us have earned it, none of us have a right to it. All we can do is kneel and kiss some ground – somewhere, anywhere, everywhere.

Richard Rohr : Hope Against DarknessThe Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety. Pg 156/7

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Step Back


In a busy world where everything keeps moving
Where a certain hand seems way beyond your grasp
And familiar scenes are a thing of dreams.
And real life seems too far away for you today.

Step back, and view the bigger picture,
Widen the horizon of your sight.
Trust in God, do not be afraid,
Leave the cloud of all the detail with the Lord.

In a crowded mind where every thought’s confusing,
When a single sound of sense is hard to find
And a kindly word is hardly heard,
And comfort seems to far away for you today.

Step back, and view the bigger picture,
Widen the horizon of your sight.
Trust in God, do not be afraid,
Leave the cloud of all the detail with the Lord.

In a lonely place where no-one else can follow,
Where a focussed view is hidden from your mind,
Let God’s love flow and his peace bestow,
But peace just seems too far away for you today.

Step back, and view the bigger picture,
Widen the horizon of your sight.
Trust in God, do not be afraid,
Leave the cloud of all the detail with the Lord.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Quaker Meeting House, Lancashire

Some time ago I visited the Quaker Meeting House in Crawshawbooth. My Great Grandmother (Hannah Briggs) lived there at the time of the 1881 census. It’s a tranquil place steeped in history and bothered by occasional flooding.

Have a look at their website. Meanwhile here’s the entry from the 1881 census

Quakers Meeting House, Higher Booths, Lancashire
PRO Ref : RG11 4132 Folio 96
John BRIGGS Head U 37 Male Weaver Cotton Mill Water, Lancashire
Alice BRIGGS Sister U 43 Fem House Duties Water, Lancashire
Hannah BRIGGS Sister U 26 Fem Weaver Cotton Mill Saddleworth, Yorkshire

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Same sex Relationships

A brave article from the Catholic Herald headed "Marriage Care head sees grace in same-sex relationships" by Simon Caldwell worth reading. It begins:-

The Church must begin to think in terms of the "sacrament of relationships" rather than the sacrament of marriage, the head of a leading Catholic marriage agency has said.

Continue reading it here.

Prayer . . . .


  • an attitude of gratitude
  • awake in the present of the present
  • the essence of presence
  • a date with the advocate
  • resuss with Jesus
  • meet with the paraclete
  • nod in God
  • feel free to add your own . . . . . . .

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Way that I Am !


Open my eyes Lord that I may see clearly,
For I am content with the way that I am.
Sharpen the vision of living around me,
For I am content with the way that I am.

That I may live Lord the life you became ,
With ordinary people with everyday pain.

Open my ears Lord and teach me to listen,
For I am content with the way that I am.
To hear with compassion not listening blindly,
For I am content with the way that I am.

Loosen my tongue Lord to speak what is needed,
For I am content with the way that I am.
Stretch out my hands let them touch new horizons,
For I am content with the way that I am.

I want to serve with your people in need,
In ordinary places with everyday dreams.

Waken my heart to the life that I’m living,
For I am content with the way that I am.
Heighten my senses to live your creation,
No longer content with the way that I am.

Living my life in a village or city,
No longer content with the way that I am.
Prayer and reflection in service of others,
No longer content with the way that I am.

Naked for others I don’t want to know,
So lead me down the pathways I’d rather not go.

Every disturb me and challenge me daily,
No longer content with the way that I am.
Fire and temper my own aspirations,

That you may shine forth in the way that I am.

The Ragamuffin Gospel

For the past week or so I have been reading "The Raggamuffin Gospel” written by Brennan Manning. The whole book is full of brilliant insights that enable you to open the curtains, pull up the shutters and allow the light of God’s love to shine that little more brightly in your life. What a gift. Here’s some quotes.

“It is not those who are well who need the doctor but the sick. The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners” (Morton Kelsey). Quoting Thomas Merton he says “A Saint is not someone who is good, but someone who experiences the goodness of God.”
“The child of God knows that the graced life calls them to live on a cold and windy mountain, not on the flattened plain of reasonable, middle of the road religion.”

“If in our hearts we really don’t believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the Cross.”

“The Lord drove me deeper into solitude seeking not tongues, healing, prophecy or a good religious experience each time I prayed, but understanding and the quest for pur passionate presence.”

“If we are going to keep on growing, we must keep on risking failure throughout our lives. – men will always be making mistakes as long as they are striving for something (Goethe)”

“In every denomination Christians are seeking to win God’s favour by plunging into more spiritual activities, multiplying altars and sacrifices, making charitable contributions, lengthening the time of formal prayer and getting involved in more church related organisations. There is need for careful discernment here. The evidence of earnestness, sincerity and effort is considerable. The Christians lifestyle is pious, proper and correct. What is missing? He or she has not surrendered to the Christ of Grace.”

“Perhaps the real dichotomy in the Christian community today is not between conservatives & liberals, creationists & evolutionists but between the awake and asleep. Just as a smart man knows he is stupid, so the awake Christian knows he is a ragamuffin. If you really want to understand someone, don’t just listen to what they say, but watch what they do.”

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Alleluia is our song !

It’s interesting to note that on many blogs and websites I follow you can still see a good range of meditations for Lent.

I’ve always suspected that we identify most clearly with lent and penance rather than Easter and resurrection.

We know how to celebrate what we need to renew rather than that which has been renewed in us to the glory of the God in which we live and move and have our being.

Let us be Easter people and let Alleluia be our song !

Friday, 8 May 2009

Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

We are a people filled with contradictions. We say we have a God of love and then struggle to keep to the rules and avoid sin. When we fail we fill ourselves with guilt.

Surely the price has been paid for our sin. Not that we should take it for granted and sin as much as we like. Isn’t this something we should celebrate?

Wouldn’t it make more sense if we used our energy to learn how to trust the God of love. We try to twist Gods arm with our super human struggle to make ourselves saints? Shouldn’t we rather learn how to enjoy becoming what God wants us be ?

Isn’t that to be found in the ordinariness of everyday life, in all the gifts that come our way each day ? The opportunities to laugh, eat, comfort, sustain, drive, walk, sing, shout, sleep, to shop, to touch, fear . . .

Thanks be to God for the ordinariness of our everyday gifts. How true it is that Richard Rohr says, “God comes to us disguised as our life.”

Thursday, 7 May 2009

St Mary's in exile Brisbane - latest

I think the news from St Mary’s Brisbane is very positive especially if the local Bishop recognises they celebrate the mass ! The Church is willing to sanction the lifting of an excommunication on a holocaust denier but a community that worships in spirit and truth ? ? ?

Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby has written to former St Mary's South Brisbane administrator warning him that penalties will be imposed unless he ceases to celebrate Mass at the Trades and Labor Council building.
Read the latest update from St Mary’s website, the courier mail and the Cath news.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Richard Rohr : Things Hidden

Guess who’s been revisiting Richard Rohr, “Things Hidden, Scripture as spirituality?”

Each time I re-read a book I always see different things. So often the passages that spoke so much to me in a previous reading are strangely silent.

Here’s a flavour of some passages that have sung to me recently.



  • We all start by thinking we are going to do something for God and by the end of our lives we know God has done it all for us.

  • To allow yourself to be loved is to be God’s beloved
    To allow yourself to be chosen is to be chosen. To allow yourself to be blessed is to be blessed.
  • There is absolutely nothing we can do to make God love us more than God already does: and there is absolutely nothing we can do to make God love us less.

  • Do not be concerned about giving things up and putting energy into it tearing sin out of your life. Be more concerned with letting God be God in your life, into choosing good.

  • How we relate to God always reveals how we will relate to people and how we relate to people is an almost infallible indicator of how we relate to Go and let God relate to us.

Monday, 4 May 2009

All that is Hidden

When you are feeling a little wobbly just press play !

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Homage to Meister Eckhart

Closer

You are closer to me,
than I am to myself
and yet I search for you.
I seek you each and every day,
to hear just what you want to say,
yet do I listen ?

When you’re within then I’m without,
when you are here then I am there,
you’re never where you should be.
I want to lose myself in you.

You are closer to me, than I am to myself
and yet I search for you.

I seek you each and every day,
to hear just what you want to say,
and when I find you

You’re in the stranger I ignore,
the chaos in my life and more
not where I want you to be.
I want to lose myself in you.

It’s not that I desire so much
to live and move and grow in you,
than to let you just be in me.

You are closer to me, than I am to myself
and yet I search for you.

I seek you each and every day,
to hear just what you want to say,
and when you touch me.

I try to lose myself in you
and yet you build and then renew
what you created in me.
I want to be myself in you

St Catherine of Siena


Having followed up my instinct from Wednesday, I offer a little more about St Catherine.

She considered herself an illiterate little one. She was possessed of God through prayer, given her share of grace as Christ allotted it and received power through his Spirit for her hidden self to grow strong.

She wrote letters, by dictation, to the Pope of her day with the aim of bringing the papacy back to Rome from Avignon. A simple act with powerful results. She exposed the things that were hidden from the learned and the clever but revealed to little children.

Catherine also suffered ill health, but in spite of this kept herself going to help the poor and the sick wherever she found them. A powerful example for all who do ‘little things’ today. I think we're going to get to know each other very well !