Do I have permission to lament?

This month, I have asked my wife, Rite, to write on the topic of lament.  During our Europe/Africa meetings, Jonny Clark spoke about lamenting and in our current global pandemic, it is an important subject. During my Lent readings, I was meditating on John 11:33-35 from the passion translation: “When Jesus looked at Mary and saw her weeping at His feet, and all her friends who were grieving, He shuddered with emotion and was deeply Read more about Do I have permission to lament?[…]

What changes are we to embrace as we continue in this crisis?

How are you doing now that we have reached the 6 month marker into this pandemic? Most of the people I talk to are doing ok considering what has happened. The challenge is that under the surface is an insecurity about the future, an inability to plan anything for sure, a sadness at the many losses of lives, loss of businesses and jobs, a struggle financially, pressure with kids at home and a level of Read more about What changes are we to embrace as we continue in this crisis?[…]

What needs a necessary ending in your life?

Do you need to end something?  I think we would all agree that we are over COVID 19 and want it to end but it seems to be re-emerging in country after country.  The end isn’t in sight yet.  Some endings are out of our control.  Some of us like to end things that are in our control, but perhaps a little too quickly – like important but tedious activities, relationships that cause tension and Read more about What needs a necessary ending in your life?[…]

What can we learn about self awareness from the Jesuits?

I have just been reading an inspiring book called, ‘Heroic Leadership’ by Chris Lowney, about the Jesuits who have been working as an order or company, as they prefer to call it, for over 450 years.  They have obviously been doing something right!  The following thoughts are excerpts from a few chapters of the book. Ignatius, who was the founder of the Jesuits with 9 others, wasn’t your classic saint. His background was colourful. He Read more about What can we learn about self awareness from the Jesuits?[…]

What are we learning two months into lockdown?

‘My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.’  James 1 Read more about What are we learning two months into lockdown?[…]

How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?

When you have a forced isolation, or lockdown like we have in Spain and other nations right now, what do we do with our time?  Even when the world isn’t involved in a pandemic, we have issues of sickness, accident, hospitalisation, burn out, imprisonment, cancellation of events and suchlike, that cause us to rethink our rhythms and activities.   What do we do with free space when it comes?  Fill the space with something as soon Read more about How can we effectively use our time during lockdown?[…]

How do you give your very best strawberries?

I read a short quote from our SacredSpace morning devotion a couple of weeks ago that hasn’t left me. I share it with you here: In an essay about the crushing loss of a friendship novelist Jacqueline Mitchard crafted a brilliant phrase. To describe how she had neglected other relationships during the ill-fated friendship, Mitchard wrote that she had given the ‘very best strawberries’ of her personal life only to that one particular friend. I Read more about How do you give your very best strawberries?[…]

114. Have you debriefed your journey this year?

It’s been a habit for years now of taking a day in December to reflect back over the past year, and then look forward with expectation for the new year ahead.  I like to mix it up every year and create a different way of reflecting.  I think I could call it a spiritual discipline now, as it has become such an important tool, to learn lessons from the past and move into the new Read more about 114. Have you debriefed your journey this year?[…]

113. Am I indifferent?

The dictionary definition of the word ‘indifferent’ is ‘lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.’  For example: “she shrugged, feigning indifference”.  But this isn’t the kind of indifference I want to talk about.  St Ignatius, the Spanish monk who began the Jesuits, developed many spiritual exercises, one of which was called ‘indifference.’ Let me tell you a simple story to illustrate.  Years ago, while living in Scotland, we had moved into a new home with a Read more about 113. Am I indifferent?[…]

112. How is my confession?

When I think of confession, I am immediately reminded of the verse I memorised in my early discipleship: 1 John 1:9 ‘But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.’  I was taught that confession was a personal practice between me and God.  Yet when we read the famous story of the prodigal son, we see that his confession Read more about 112. How is my confession?[…]

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