Busy lives, restless hearts

It’s always a joy to meet and chat with readers as they share with me how much Madonna means to them. I hope you will enjoy this edition, inviting us to consider our busy lives and restless hearts. 

Life and time race past, and we get out of touch with what really matters, too rushed to value moments of grace as they occur. Our hearts become weary with an unnamed longing, ‘like the deer that yearns for running streams’. Our contributors share their thoughts with us. Some writers consider how best to slow down to create space for God’s peaceful company. Others discover that immersing themselves in their calling to serve allows them to find and hold what is true and valuable.

At the foundation of Jesus’ life was prayer, a continuous search for how to live as an authentic human being before a loving God. When we reflect in prayer on our actions and act out of our prayerful reflections, we share God’s life. Perhaps even our restlessness is God’s invitation to seek further and go deeper. One writer shares her experience of making the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius in Malta. And we interview two women who have followed their dream to build a house of retreat for the soul-weary.

In a special feature, we celebrate Saint Mary MacKillop, praying the scriptures with her in August. We also look in the archives from 1917, as Madonna reached out to Australians on the Home Front, grieving our losses in the Battle of the Somme. It was also in 1917 that Our Lady of Fatima first appeared to three Portuguese children, urging us to pray the Rosary for peace on earth. A hundred years on, the need seems as great.

May you walk peacefully with the Lord in busy-ness and quiet.

Margaret-Mary Flynn.

COVER IMAGE: Annie Ellis’ Dressing Gown.
In 1935, Annie Ellis, a Geelong dressmaker, made a dressing gown for her niece’s wedding trousseau. Pieced in crazy quilting technique, she saved scraps and samples of fabrics and motifs to sew and embroider by hand to make a special gift. The energy of the design and colour choice contrast with the painstaking attention to detail, and the meditative process of construction. It symbolises busyness and restfulness, the seeming randomness of our eventful lives, and the sense that God helps us to make of them, helping us in our discerning and noticing. Making the Australian Quilt, 1800–1950, NGV, edited by Annette Gero and Katie Somerville, p 97.