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….

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…

What Mother Teresa taught me about sowing world peace

As the canonisation of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta approaches I’m reminded of one of her oft-repeated themes; the need for peace in the home. She said, often, that world peace begins within the family, that home is where we sow peace, and that love begins not with the doing of great charitable works in…

The freedom to believe

From my column in the The Catholic Weekly. Social researcher and commentator Hugh Mackay has a new book out this month with the title Beyond Belief. I’m yet to read it, but the publisher’s blurb says that it is Mackay’s examination of the phenomenon of Australians moving away from organised religion and religious institutions, while…