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…

Here’s a humility project challenge for you

Humility, however deep it be, neither disquiets nor troubles nor disturbs the soul; it is accompanied by peace, joy and tranquility. St Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection. Ok, so I had a couple of people wanting to follow me on this project I set myself of wanting to spend the month reflecting on and…

The humility project – days one to six

We’re mid-way through my favourite 15 days of the year, from October 1, the feast of St Therese of Lisieux, to October 15, feast of St Teresa of Avila, with our wedding anniversary, my birthday and the full bursting forth of Spring in between. This month I set aside to dedicate to a humility project,…

I’m doing a humility experiment this October – want to join me?

I know we’re not there yet, but let me sing October’s praises for a sec. It is just the BEST, firstly because it’s mid-spring in Sydney, which is always glorious and a little taster of heaven. I also have a significant birthday this October (yes, that’s code for ‘I’m turning 40’), my husband and I…

The Best Thing You Will Do All Year For Your Children

To welcome guests to our home I keep a peace lily plant in a pot by the front door. Whenever its dark glossy green leaves lose their graceful arch and start wilting (usually when I’ve been too busy to notice it for a few weeks) I don’t just spray some water onto it and expect it to perk up.  I…

Happy New Year!

I hope I’m not too late to wish you a very Happy New Year! It seems like a strange quirk of human nature to get so excited over the simple change of December 31 to January 1 each year – but I still do. Last year was good for me and my family in many ways; this…

Peace, judgement, culture of life

My column published recently in The Catholic Weekly   I’ve been following lately an excellent book study on the Interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila run by author Connie Rossini on her blog Contemplative Homeschool. I highly recommend this Doctor of the Church’s teachings on prayer and the nature of spiritual growth. Like with…

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…