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A March to remember March in Melbourne is my favourite time of the year but this year it’s backgrounded by empty shelves in my go-to supermarket and ripples of anxiety.

Pinch of guilt My grade 4 teacher told us never to use the words ‘nice’ and ’got’ in our weekly compositions.

Where to now? Last November, when most of us were revving up for Christmas and end-of-year festivities, the Australian Catholic Bishops had a meeting.

Nothing stays the same But knowing that doesn’t seem to stop my expectations that I am in control and some things will stay as I want them.

2020 Tomorrow 2020 begins its slow unfolding.

A Christmas paradox Babies-they’re tough but oh so vulnerable. They carry within them a future that is chock full of possibilities. And this is how God chose to be revealed to us

Looking for Advent Whatever happened to Advent?

Ordinary time From the viewpoint of my own days, other people’s ordinary can seem to be a lot more interesting.

Halloween Even though it comes dressed up as skeletons, witches and monsters, Halloween sounds a lot more fun than the All Souls Day of my childhood . . .

The 7 o’clock news Now and again an echidna lumbers across the weedy stretch of rocky land that divides our block from that of the neighbours . . .

Seed planting Parents do an awful lot of seed planting, all kinds of seeds.

In praise of young dads Parenting at its best is assumed to be a responsibility shared by a woman and a man.

That wardrobe feeling Do you know this feeling? Standing in front of an open wardrobe and deciding that everything is either too tight, out of date, too worn, too hot- or cool, just not right!

Ginger cake Not for the first time a childhood memory had snuck into my adult life and I wanted to roll back time and recapture whatever it was that I remembered

Anna There were a surprising number of women in Jesus’ life, but he would have had no personal memory of Anna, though it’s possible that she figured in his “Tell me about when I was a baby” stories.

Warrandyte winter It was summer when we moved in to our house in Warrandyte, where the houses are tucked into leafy green folds, lean gum trees climb up and down the hills, and the possibility of bushfire lurks behind every hot day.

Dying with dignity Right now I can’t imagine myself approaching my GP and asking for his assistance to end my life, or the life of someone I love.

First Communion Day Last Sunday was my grandson Jack’s first communion day.

In praise of women, and men, who have mothered There is more than one way to ‘mother’.

We had hoped Expectations surrounding hope are like Emily Dickenson’s “thing with feathers”. So often they float away, too light to sustain reality.

Bamboo Once upon a time, in the heart of the Western Kingdom, lay a beautiful garden. Of all the plants in the garden, the most beautiful and most beloved was a Bamboo.

Prodigal’s mother It’s a familiar story. Painters have painted it, primary school children have dramatised it and the theologically trained tend to pad it out in dense sentences.

A nameless woman You’ll remember this story – a lone woman surrounded by a circle of finger pointing males, a handy pile of stones – and Jesus.

About a fig tree  Fig trees seem to have been around forever. Five centuries before Jesus was born an Assyrian sage told a story about a fig tree that had never fruited

Wonderful to be here We all have occasional experiences like this, something we would probably hesitate to call a ‘God moment’, but might label as spiritual.

Finding life The early Australian explorers entered the desert lands at their own peril, fearful of what lay there. Maybe that is the whole point of Lent: to move into the desert places in our lives – and find Life.

We plant and water That our Australian way of being Church is a rich mix of European, Celtic, Asian, and Aboriginal cultures.

Colouring outside the Line I’m aware that these days I have a lot of trouble keeping my religious colours in between acceptable edges.

A Reflection for Australia Day The first time I flew across Australia, from Melbourne to Darwin, was a memorable experience

The year that was I will remember Christmas 2018 with this picture of Jack, nine years old, captured in the wonder and excitement of a gift he half believed came directly in response to his Santa letter.

Needing Christmas  December is my birthday month. It was a long time ago and I don’t recall my parents telling me any of the details that marked the day. Birth–day stories didn’t make it into our family stories.

10 Rules for life to become more human The older I get the less religious I seem to have become and conversely, the more I am appreciating the gifts that come with being human.

An unexpected ending  A fortnight ago the publisher David Lovell died. The books he chose to publish reflected the Vatican 2 values he lived by, words that nurtured our spirits and gave a voice to people like me.

Stumbling saints and sassy sinners  For every Francis of Assisi and Teresa of Avila there are thousands of others who all lived prayerful lives, imbued with the Gospel values of Jesus Christ. In other words – saints.

Spring mindfulness – Australian style   There’s a scent of excitement around spring that’s not solely to do with football grand finals. Longer days and the promise of holidays are just around the corner.

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In Jesus’ name  My childhood Jesus has given way to a Man who knows what life is like.

All fired up  Jesus said he came to scatter the earth with fire. That’s our Pentecost legacy.

Easter challenges me  Culturally, theologically and liturgically, Easter continues to challenge me.

More than just a mum It sounds weird to say this out loud, but now I’m older than my mother.

What does God look like?  In the 2016 census 29.6 % of the Australian population ticked the ‘no religion’ box. I swirl this fact around my brain for a while before I drift off into something that might be relevant to this fact.

About a Red Car  It was a small red car, its paintwork pockmarked with tiny dints left in the wake of an unexpected hail storm. The insurance company said it was a write-off . . .

Visiting after dark  If Nicodemus was around today he might have been a politician.

Autumn landscape  That morning mist is how I sometimes catch a glimpse of who God is, of the relationship between God and me. I see, but I don’t see.

Faith is a slippery fish  It’s  easy to lose sight of the fact that faith is deeply personal, dynamic and living and changing, while religion is the way faith may be expressed.

Women on the Edge  Jesus stuck his neck out for women, women like Peter’s mother in law. They belong to the “no-name” cast of women who people the pages of the four Gospels.

Snakeskin  Our pasts are littered with the slipped skin of other times and places.