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…

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…

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…

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…

What St Teresa of Avila and Jamie Oliver have in common

I’ve been following lately an excellent informal book study on the Interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila run by author Connie Rossini on her blog Contemplative Homeschool. St Teresa is a Doctor of the Church because of her teachings on prayer and the spiritual life. Next year, 2015, will be the 5th centenary celebration (500th anniversary) of…

Jealousy sucks – smother it with gratitude

Jealousy is a destructive anxiety and a poison which divides communities, said Pope Francis recently, and families too I would add. We see its impact in the first pages of the bible, as the reason for Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. And we see it in the news headlines every day. But what about within…

Parents the first educators when it comes to faith

From The Catholic Weekly column: Joachim was finishing up his breakfast the other day when he suddenly looked up as if all inspired and said in a rush, “You know Mum, I used to think Jesus was just a statue in the church, just a dead statue, but then I went to Kindergarten and learned all…