Labyrinth Spirituality

In August 2019 I led a workshop at the Franciscan Schools Conference: Using the Labyrinth for peacemaking –

These resources are published to provide both initial information as well as ongoing formation for your journey into the spirituality of walking the Labyrinth.

Walking the Labyrinth

Spirituality and the Labyrinth

May 4th is World Labyrinth Day. We honour and acknowledge the First Nations peoples of the land on which we place our labyrinths.May we learn to walk in harmony. May we find the stillness of the centre of our lives. May we remember the footsteps of all who have walked and traveled before us May our journey in and our journey out be a grace of awareness and healing. May the rhythm of life protect us at the edge and nurture us at our centre.


On this World Labyrinth Day I walk the sacred path united to my ancestors whose DNA I carry I my body. 

I walk this sacred path with a commitment to walk gently on the earth.

I walk this sacred path in solidarity with all who seek refuge and asylum from war, exploitation and terror.

I walk this sacred path as I will walk with the poor and hungry to a place of justice and welcome.

I walk this sacred path united to my sisters and brothers around the globe who seek a spirituality that nurtures life.

Labyrinths in Australia

St Basil the Blessed and Naked

St Basil the Blessed

Having a patron for organisations and causes is pretty common. Today I celebrate one of the the patrons of my religion and spirituality blog The Holy Irritant. Along with the wonderful Christina the Astonishing, Virgin I have adopted the Russian, St Basil the Blessed. His sacred memory and feast is celebrated on 2nd August.

Now as you can see from this icon, Basil wasn’t one of the fashion dandies of the East. Long before Mark Twain penned his quotable quote about cloths making the man and naked people having little or no influence in society Basil was streaking around the countryside rebuking Ivan the Terrible.

Basil comes out of the noble tradition of the Holy Fools. In contemporary terms he could easily be described as a Court Jester. He was not into timid social reforms of petitions and novenas. Instead he was known to destroy the merchandise of dishonest tradesmen and hurl stones at the houses of the wealthy. It seems he made the cleaning of the Temple a model for daily life.

Adopting Basil’s practices may restore a bit more theatrical gravitas to the Church’s mission and would no doubt make for interesting videos. So, if you happen to see me unclad and upturning the tables at a casino you know I am only celebrating the saintly practice of an Eastern holy man.

More reading
St Basil’s Cathedral

An architectural tour of St Basil’s Cathedral

Week of Solidarity for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

How Open Are My Eyes?

Image of eyes with text: We Don't see thongs as they are, we see things as we are

Week of Solidarity for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

From 21 to 27 March is a week of solidarity for the elimination of Racial Discrimination

In Australia this usually begins with Harmony Day (which was yesterday)

This is the week when we consciously look at our own actions in regards to racial discrimination, our own attitudes, and then that of our country, our world…
• Are we discriminating against others on the basis of race and if so what can we do about it?
• How can we be compassionate to the victims of this discrimination, to those enabling this discrimination?
• How can we raise the powers of love upwards to the next stage of consciousness – consciousness that will lead to action?
Perhaps if, for one week, I lived in the shoes of someone suffering daily racial discrimination, my eyes would be opened
Read the whole reflection here

Singing My Way Through Catholicism

Two weeks ago I celebrated my 66th birthday and give thanks for those who sent good wishes. Today I mark another milestone with the 66th anniversary of my Baptism.

Yes, with names like Anthony Gerard it is pretty obvious that I was baptized Catholic an acknowledgement I make with some trepidation in the current climate.

However, there is a spectrum of Catholicism. At one end you will find George Pell and at the other, Andy Warhol You will find Mary Queen of Scots, but you will also discover St. Mary MacKillopTony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce carry membership cards as did Mum Shirl. and Fr Ted Kennedy of Redfern. Scoundrels, saints and sinners , have filled the pews,written our history and taken us on the highs and lows of human experience.

I grew up in a era of Catholicism that nurtured a love of music and singing. The popular Hymn, “How Can I keep From Singing” is rarely sung in Catholic Churches but it captures a sentiment that some of us will identify with as we scroll our social media and watch the reports of clergy abuse dominate our screens.:

Thro’ all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

Each year I publish a list of hymns and music that I have sung in Catholic communities from childhood to my adult years. The list now runs to 66 pieces to commemorate this anniversary. If you are Catholic you might enjoy a trip down memory lane. If you have never sung with Catholics, you will probably be amazed at the clips you can find on youtube!!!

I hope the sharing of this post nurtures hope for all of us who live in these days of “tumult and strife”

Singing My Way Through Catholicism

Reflections for the 12 Days of Christmas

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During the 2018 Christmas Season I have published my series of reflections originally posted in 2012 . I hope you enjoy them and invite your response. Come back each of the 12 Days to read a new post.

First Day of Christmas

Second Day of Christmas: St Stephen

Third Day of Christmas

Fourth Day of Christmas

Fifth Day of Christmas

Sixth  Day of Christmas

Seventh  Day of Christmas

Eighth Day of Christmas

Ninth Day of Christmas

Tenth Day of Christmas

Eleventh Day of Christmas

Twelfth Day of Christmas

Ramadan Reflection

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My best wishes and solidarity to my Muslim friends during this holy time of Ramadan.

May we who are not Muslim fast from prejudice, misinformation and ignorance about our sisters and brothers of Islam.

May we who are not Muslim be generous in our willingness to understand this faith and welcome this community into our neighbourhoods.

May we who are not Muslim take time to reflect, pray and be still with the wonder of faith that calls all people to peace, collaboration, respect and love.

 

Worth reading

Franciscan Message for the Month of Ramadan

Christian-Muslim Relations

Pope to Muslims for end of Ramadan: Promoting Mutual Respect through Education (2013)