Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 7

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. Jonah 1:17-2:1 There’s a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth that has particularly held on to me since I first read itContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 7”

And who is my neighbour? Part 3

Being a neighbour is fraught at any time, but in a time when suburbs, states and families are being isolated from one another, it is even harder. As an Australian, being part of an island nation has much impact on how we view our own place in the world, and in this time of remindingContinue reading “And who is my neighbour? Part 3”

Free ebook and short film: “And who is my neighbour?”

If you have not yet read or bought your copy of Les Feuilles Mortes, you can get a taster of the collection in this free ebook, featuring some poems from Les Feuilles Mortes as well as some old poems and some brand new ones. You can also check out the short film I made toContinue reading “Free ebook and short film: “And who is my neighbour?””

George Herbert at Bemerton

I am the man who has seen affliction… (Lamentation 3:1) His portrait would have him serenely contemplating a garden, one hand raised beatifically like the saints of old. Often I would have my days like that, passed in that perfect serene of green, spirit quiet within like the waters without, no trouble straining pastoral brow.Continue reading “George Herbert at Bemerton”

If Ye Love Me

So many ways to wash feet: the posture, not the precise nature of the action, matters – poised at ground level, familiar with the dust and grime of the day’s streets, outer garments shed to throw off all show, the creak in the knees accompanying the splash and the mess of the self washing offContinue reading “If Ye Love Me”

My Examen

Give me only your love and grace. That is enough for me. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Suscipe Resolution is void. The more I look inward, the more each motive, each spirit I discern becomes a snarl, a defiant reminder that my best attempts are, at best, no good. Though I ask my conscience to justifyContinue reading “My Examen”

Isaiah and the Seraph

I shame at mine unworthiness, yet fain would be at one with Thee: Thou art a joy in heaviness, a succour in necessity. (Sir William Leighton, 1614) Shame and joy move in polyphonic sway: the vision delights, augments, and yet diminishes the confidence. How can I, with unclean lips, hymn praises without minor chords? MustContinue reading “Isaiah and the Seraph”

Damascus 2: Pentecost

I missed the flames that day, was at my books, learning the whys and wherefores of Law, determined that every subscript iota would not be neglected when I stood before God. The Spirit blows wherever it wills. Mine was the letter, not the wind. When, years later, I clutched letters in hand, I held everyContinue reading “Damascus 2: Pentecost”

Chiaroscuro

To Cleopas and his friend, the revelation and its impact no doubt stuck. Their paradigm, irremediably shifted, could hardly go back. Such things as resurrections we don’t forget in any hurry. Yet for those serving at table, I wonder: did the light dawn so quickly, so decisively? More or less a normal night’s work, andContinue reading “Chiaroscuro”

Learning Father

History has few exemplars to be proud of. The Greeks did well with Priam, at least, willing to face “iron-hearted, man-slaying Achilles” for the sake of a son. My own culture’s replete with absent men, “bronze Anzacs” taught from birth not to cry. The Biblical witness, too, leaves something to be desired: most too busyContinue reading “Learning Father”