Two words have really stayed with me over the past 2 weeks - Open and Change. In light of my last blog post - We All Bleed Red. I have had many conversations and a healthy dose of personal reflection about judgements…
Where do judgements come from? Why do we judge?
It seems that a lack of understanding and lack of openness combined with an abundance of fear can be a huge part judgement. Fear of change can lead us to falsely judge and can ultimately hold us back from growth - *Hangs head... Nana fist shake... Sigh*.
It's so easy to judge. Trying to live in the moment // the present // the now, is something that is always a work in progress; one day at at time. Sketching is a form of prayer and meditation for me, it helps me think process things. I recently created a new sketch on this topic (see pic’s below).
"Fear makes us ultimately vulnerable to domination while interior freedom makes us strong enough to face whatever needs to be faced without either temerity or cowardice"
~ Sandra Schneiders
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1. LENT >> CLICK HERE for more explanation + please watch the short videos below
This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. It's a time that marks the start of Lent. Some of you may be asking - What is Lent again?
It's really a time of - Prayer, Fasting, Alms-giving. A practice of preparation for Easter. A time to nurture your commitment & time with God. It lasts for 40 days (45 if you include Sundays), in remembrance of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.
In years past teachings would have had us all simply thinking: What can i give up for lent? Alcohol, chocolate etc. But it's really not just about that, it's more about deepening your heart commitment to something greater than yourself. A time to remember the world does not revolve solely around you. A time to remember the sacrifices that Jesus showed us. A time to remember selfless acts of love for those in need.
This lent I'm not focusing solely on what can i give UP, but more so - What can i give OUT?
2. #LetThemStay Rally >> CLICK HERE for rally pic's and info
I wonder if it’s a fear of change, and lack of openness that led to the high court ruling here in Australian last week? How the federal government can possibly even entertain sending children back to Nauru is beyond me.
What are they so afraid of? Why are they not more open to welcoming these children?
I went to Villawood Detention Centre again on Thursday and attended a rally in Sydney with a few thousand other supporters. As we all chanted #LetThemStay I felt my skin warm and tingle, goosebumps came next. Thank God that in the midst of hate and fear, there is still an outpouring of community love.
It is indeed a small world too. I stood in solidarity with the Sisters of St Joseph + also ran into some of the JCA crew + was also delighted to see the SASS group that I go to VDC with… we’re a Sydney family of licorice all-sorts!
3. An Alternative To Offshore Detention >> CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE
“The present system of dealing with asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel (intentionally) and hideously expensive. There is a rational alternative to the intentional cruelty of the present system…”
“There are better ways of responding to asylum seekers. If I could re-design the system, I would choose between two possible models…”
I recently watched the new film Spotlight with 6 of our sisters. It’s well worth a watch - although be warned it’s pretty raw and very real. I came away feeling somewhat numb for about 2 days afterwards. And it certainly sparked a-lot of healthy open discussion within our community.
As a society we were all shocked by the scale of the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, other churches and organisations such as Scouts etc. Among many things Spotlight highlighted the fact that any good organisation needs strong leaders. Leaders that are vulnerable and open, that enforce doing what is right, for the dignity in every human soul. Leaders must lead by example, to face reality and to admit faults. If leaders place pride first then surely a gigantic fall is inevitable... Our leaders surely still have quite a bit more work to do on vulnerability!
The film highlighted the fact that 6% of priests were abusers. It’s just so hard to fathom… just thinking about it makes your stomach churn.
An excellent review by Fr Richard Leonard SJ is well worth a read >> CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW
"In the Bible we hear about righteous anger, where God or humanity realises something is so wrong and sinful that 'holy anger' is the first and right response. At its best in the scriptures this anger leads to justice, making things right.
Spotlight is an occasion for holy, righteous anger and every adult Catholic should see it. Not because it is easy watching, but because it is necessary watching. The time to look away has gone."
+ Radio Interview >> https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgzE6J3JDV?play=true
Now moving forward I think we need to keep our eyes open. Yes, to get angry, to be aware, but not to be afraid too. We also need to remember the 94%. How sad is it that now some teachers cannot simply hug a child now because of fear?
I hope we keep being open and create awareness. But also that we balance that with not letting fear rule our actions of love.
We understand that our St Mary MacKillop reported an abusive priest, and she coped flack for it too. She led with vulnerability, compassion and love. I feel called to be vulnerable and open, to be angry when injustice occurs, to stand loudly for the dignity in every soul. Our God of love is bigger than the church alone...
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:6
>> CLICK TO WATCH TRAILER (or see below) + >> CLICK TO READ MORE
5. How Expressing Gratitude Might Change Your Brain >> CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE
“A lot of so-called “positive psychology” can seem a bit flaky, especially if you’re the sort of person disinclined to respond well to an admonition to “look on the bright side.” But positive psychologists have published some interesting findings, and one of the more robust ones is that feeling grateful is very good for you…”
6. Wunan >> http://wunan.org.au/
*High fives* to our amazing Sr Rita Malavisi - I have recently learned that she is involved with the inspirational Wunan organisation
“Established in 1997, Wunan’s purpose is ensure that Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley enjoy the capabilities and opportunities necessary to make positive choices that lead to independent and fulfilling lives. Essentially, to have dreams and a real chance of achieving them.”
>> CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO (or watch below)
7. Kids Help Pope Francis Publish A Children's Book >> CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE + see video below
“…Dear Pope Francis,” 10-year-old Mohammed begins, “Will the world be again as it was in the past?”
Signed “Respectfully yours,” the boy wrote from a Jesuit-run school for refugee children in Syria and was treated to a long and personal answer from the pope himself. So were 29 other children who posed questions to Francis in letters from around the globe for a new book poignantly illustrated with their own artwork…”
8. Nerd Fitness Adventure >> CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Have a listen to a podcast that had me hooked - inspirational Nerd Fitness Founder Steve Kamb.
He has a fresh game theory way of looking at fitness, wellness and the Good Life.
>> CLICK HERE TO HEAR PODCAST or click the ORANGE PLAY BUTTON below
I hope you enjoy the 2 new iPhone Wallpapers below + to see more >> CLICK HERE
+ remember to email me if you would like higher resolution images for free: email@example.com
OPEN. CHANGE. GROW.