Autumn 2018 - Madonna Magazine

Autumn 2018

31 March 2018


Peace I leave you, my peace I give you

As Autumn approaches, we welcome the coolness of mornings, and softer light of evenings. It is a time of shifting perspectives, as our Lenten journey continues towards Easter. We pray for transformed hearts, 'to give and not to count the cost.' 


For much of 2017 we Australian Jesuits and many of our lay companions have been engaged in a marathon listening exercise in preparation for some hefty apostolic planning for the Province. It is called strategy planning in corporate speak. This revelation that Jesuits could exercise enough discipline to participate in spiritual conversation requiring active listening and intentional speaking might surprise some of our readers. Well, let me assure you that the old Native American adage 'listen or your tongue will make you deaf' has been heard and taken seriously.

Love and loss

I looked out the window for the ambulance to arrive. Ten minutes later, the ambulance pulled into the driveway. Two female paramedics stepped out and made their way to the front door where I waited to lead them to Dad and give them a brief description of what had happened.

Everything will be fine -

Dear Charlotte, It's been a hard week. The death of a family friend, the rural area I went to secondary school in is succumbing to a devastating and deadly fire, and at eight-and-half-months pregnant I've developed a rare itching condition, which means I may be induced early. I'm waiting for test results. Powerless. But I'm finding solace in the words of a song from the 1970's Catholic cult classic Brother Sun, Sister Moon.

Peace is hand-crafted

My grandson and his grandfather are in the shed. Heads together, small hands and large search through the box of wooden offcuts, pulling out random pieces and deciding on suitability. 'We're making a car, Grandma,' the little boy announces as I arrive. 

Paper cranes of peace

It is unfortunate that we are still listening and looking at the violence of war between some nations today. It might be well then to heed some thoughts from Pope Francis himself, who says 'a true builder of peace is one who takes the first step of goodwill toward the other. This is not a show of weakness, but is one of strength; the strength of peace with each other.'