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…

Why I Won’t Tell My Kids They Can be Whatever They Want

Image by Bruno Cordioli/Flickr* “What would you like to do when you grow up, kids?” I asked our children the other day. Work as a basketball player, a vet, a detective, a teacher, and a lolly shop owner were answers I got back from the older three. “I want to be an adult when I…

Not-So-Sweet Parenting Scrupules

Image by Brian Turner. School holidays have ended and I am relieved. Not for the reason you might think; I love having the children around. We also hugely enjoyed the long break we had from the whole lunchboxes, uniforms, homework, and basketball routines. No, one big reason I am happy to be getting them off…

Three points to ponder from a retreat with Fr Jacques Philippe

Popular Catholic author and retreat director Fr Jacques Philippe has just completed a round of speaking engagements in Sydney giving retreats and talks at a variety of events held over ten days. I attended his retreat day for women held at Notre Dame University, along with around 300 others from all over the city and elsewhere who had heard about…

Thank you Elisabeth Leseur

As All Saints day approaches, here’s something I wrote about a woman who (while not officially a saint) helped me a lot about five years ago – although she died 100 years ago. I was in the city for a meeting recently and when it was finished I used the opportunity to visit St Patrick’s at…

Love, freedom, and the universal call to holiness

From last week’s column in the Catholic Weekly:   “Very often we feel restricted in our situations, our families, or our surroundings. But maybe the real problem lies elsewhere: in our hearts. There we are restricted, and that is the root of our lack of freedom. If we loved more, love would give our lives…

Reflections over the Easter Triduum

Holy Thursday Grace From the Divine Office for today (emphasis by me): Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who…