"Religion" is a much discussed subject in recent times - frequently for all the wrong reasons. The result is division and hate amongst people to the neglect of the good constantly being achieved in its name. I would like to single out the World Day of Youth, the Holy Father's Encyclical on "God is Love" as more recent events reflecting the ever present benefits being achieved by Families and Individuals throughout the world in the name of God.
Recently we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I have been thinking, recently, on how Christmas has an extended period in the Churchs year. We prepared for it the whole of Advent. We continue to drink it in for a couple of weeks, because on New Years Day, we celebrate the motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and later still, the Epiphany.
At the end of July, we held a Cross Cultural conference in the diocese. Those who participated were our Priests, Religious sisters working either in parishes or at diocesan level, as well as Lay leaders from such places as Nazareth House, St. John of God Hospital and some of our schools.
The call and responsibility to witness to the Love of God is for everyone in the church. Each of us through baptism and confirmation have received the love of God through the outpouring of the Holy spirit. In line with the nature of God who constantly reaches out, we also individually are called to share the love we receive.
Recently I visited the Stella Maris Centre in Fremantle W.A. and with the help of the Chaplain Deacon Patrick Moore updated myself with the work of the Apostleship of the Sea there.
While we were chatting we both focused on a large picture in the Centre of a seafarer at the steering wheel of a sailing ship with Jesus behind and around him with his hands also on the wheel. There was a storm at sea and waters lashed over the ship.
Soon we will celebrate again the most important event of the whole year, namely the Paschal Mystery. In our Priests Retreat early in January we were led by our Director, Fr. John Chalmers, to reflect more deeply on this Mystery and its meaning for our lives. Fr John began by enlarging our understanding. He helped us see that while the Paschal Mystery was basically the Dying and Rising of Christ the passing of Christ from Death to Life - it was also much more.
Over the past months we have heard much said about the economic climate¦ We have ridden a roller coaster of ups and downs along the financial markets of the world. It has reminded us all how closely linked all the nations of the world are. What happens in America can cause a tsunami across the economic seas to far off nations. With the economic meltdown comes fears of a worldwide recession. We are told to tighten our belts and prepare for the worse that is to come¦ the economic down turns will put an end to the good times¦ jobs will be lost. We have had it too good for too long and now we are going to reap what we have sown.. economic mismanagement. Through all this we becgin to see, or are reminded, just how vulnerable our combat zones are.
As Priests we are blessed to read or rather pray the Psalms each day. The Psalms are inspired prayers in the Old Testament. They are special also because they tap into all sorts of situations, human conditions, experiences and feelings of people.