Keep your eye on AI for your kids’ sake

Brain-machine interfaces. Now this issue’s on my radar, and should be on yours too if it isn’t already. And I know there is so much going on that we need to care about, but honestly, this could sneak up on us and send the other important concerns about raising our kids into hyper-drive. Read the…

Reading as spiritual practice

I’m deeply encouraged by St Teresa of Avila’s advice in her autobiography, Life, that reading a spiritual book is a good substitute for mental prayer if one finds it hard to pray. I find that keeping a dedicated mental prayer time can be both the easiest thing in the world, and the hardest, but I can always pick…

Female beauty and St Thérèse’s Unpetalled Rose

I can’t help proceeding with caution when it comes to letting any of our kids spend a great deal of time, effort, and mental space on their appearance, or other people’s. We live in a world where it is practically considered morally unacceptable to not be physically attractive according to narrowly-defined standards of physical beauty….

First Holy Communion Perfection

Recently our eldest boy received his first Holy Communion along with 38 other children at one of four first Holy Communion Masses at our parish this month. As with any big occasion where there are families, high emotions, layers of traditions, and a lack of personal space involved, there were some truly memorable moments…the delightful,…

What is ‘carrying my daily cross’ really about?

As I move into middle age I see that increasingly, a big part of my daily cross is my experience of myself as I struggle to accept life as it is and be grateful for it, including the annoying and distressing bits that have been annoying and distressing me for five, or 10, or 20…

Love in the family wins when it comes to bringing people to God

A recent survey has confirmed that one’s parents and other family members have the greatest influence on a person’s religious attitudes and beliefs throughout his or her life. And many people are attracted to examine their ideas about religion and faith by people, not celebrities or public figures, who they observe to be authentic examples…

The beauty of home, and a decluttered heart

Almost a third of the year has slipped away already, and the earlier sunsets prompt us to make use of the day while it lasts. The cooler days pull many of us towards the rhythms of home. I’m often at home during the week so my days are usually punctuated by a load of laundry,…

A softer Lent of little penances

My Lenten penance this year was easy to settle on. This life in the suburbs with routines of work and a clutch of young children, shows me very clearly every day, what my weaknesses are, where I can become a bit better as a person, where I can give God a bit more leeway to…

Thoughts after reading Night’s Bright Darkness by Sally Read

Who else loves a good conversion story? I’ve known many, but found it a great grace to begin the year reading Sally Read’s memoir of her conversion, Night’s Bright Darkness. At the end of 2010 she was confirmed and received her first Holy Communion in the chapel of Santa Marta in Rome after a dramatic…

New Year’s resolution!

My column in last week’s Catholic Weekly. Click here for more like it. One day in the week before Christmas I decide to get back to praying Morning Prayer from the Divine Office. I go to a quiet room, pull up the Universalis website on my computer and get two verses into the invitatory psalm…