‘Shine like lights in the universe, as you hold out the Word of life’ (Phil. 2: 15, 16). A season of silence ends: now back to airports, bills, staff management, and decisions, big and small. 2020 marks our 40th year as a ministry. I shall covet quiet around the edges to reflect on where we’ve been, where next. It helps to trust the Word has been sown deeply in our hearts and will bring forth fruit—His will deepening, growing, breaking forth as He sees fit. We position oursel
‘Advent means a heart that is awake and ready, which does not let itself become bitter and deadened by hard blows but stays awake and aware of the free coming of the Lord God. That is why this free God must be met by a free person…who may well suffer hard blows but without going under.’ (Fr. Alfred Delp) Christmas invites us to welcome Jesus into the mangers of our lives. He alone can make a feast out of what frightens, even repulses us. Gabriel, the scary angel of Annunciati
‘The incarnation has forever hallowed the flesh.’ Charles Williams (as quoted by Leanne Payne in The Healing Presence) Today we rejoice in God assuming baby flesh—the Father and Son’s choice for the King of glory to become as small and dependent as we are. It’s weird: here I am on the crest of my 60th Christmas and I feel smaller than ever, reduced to utter dependence upon Jesus. Our spiritual life is not like our psychological journey in which we master one stage in order to
The next few weeks beg the question: ‘What is home to me?’ Holidays highlight our origins and our goals surrounding home. In the countdown to Christmas, some forego reflection for a cyclone of activity; surrounded by love, we worry only that we will forget to give love to deserving ones. Others dread the quiet of remembering what did not happen this year. Will our place at the table this year confirm our progress in forging family or remind of us of the gaps? I write this on
‘All I wanted, something special, something sacred in your eyes; I will be your father-figure…’ George Michael The pop singer died on Christmas, the day Christ was born afresh in the hearts of faithful ones. Michael’s broken heart gave out as Jesus offered us broken ones the Father’s heart. ‘When you were children, you were slaves under the world’s system. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son…so we could receive our full rights as sons and daughters. Because we are now H
‘This child will be a stumbling block, causing some to fall and others to rise in Israel; He will be a sign that divides and reveals the hearts of many. Your heart, Mary, will be pierced as well.’ (LK 2:34, 35) Simeon prophesies the piercings incited by the Prince of peace. Perhaps this is why the day after Christmas we celebrate the Church’s first martyr, St. Stephen; having barely mediated upon Jesus’ birth, we honor the cruel death of one who embodied Christ by forgiving h
‘A woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown to twelve stars on her head…was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth…then an enormous red dragon stood in front of her …so that it might devour the child the moment it was born…she gave birth to a son …who was snatched up to God and to His throne…And there was war in heaven.’ (Rev. 12: 1-7) Creating new life requires faith. Only in surrender to the One under whose shadow we cre
‘At Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.’ (Lk 1:41) At the same time that angel Gabriel announced Mary’s unusual pregnancy, he invited her into solidarity with her barren elder cousin Elizabeth. ‘Even Elizabeth is having a child’ (Lk 1: 36) he said as Mary pondered her own fate. God knew the ‘conflicts on the outside, and the fears within’ (2 Cor 7:5) that awaited the two. He provided a partner for each. For those of us
Simeon prophesied to Mary as she cradled the Babe: ‘a sword shall pierce your heart too.’ (Lk 2: 35) He referred to the suffering that Mary and all who lined up with Christ would face. Simeon planted a Cross right in the middle of the crib. From the onset of God’s entry on earth, the battle between good and evil manifested itself. Last week, Annette and I faced spiritual warfare of unprecedented proportions. As I prepared for a ministry trip, everything that could go wrong di
‘When I talk about her, I cannot stop!’ St. Augustine ‘How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—a place near Your altar,
O Lord God Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
they are ever praising You.’ (PS 84: 1-4) Let’s start