Monday, July 28, 2008

Let go and let God

The story is told of a monk who had a very short temper and who made life extremely difficult for his community. One day, for some unspecified but very trivial reason, he lost his temper and was so angry that he actually died in the midst of his rage. His community, having been at the receiving end of his wrath for so many years, had a discussion. Of course their brother must have gone straight to hell because nobody could possibly have held so much anger inside and still be forgiven by God. The result was that the community decided that it was a waste of time praying for the monk and continued on their daily routine somewhat more peacefully than usual as he was not around to disturb their peace.

A couple of nights after the monk’s death, the abbot woke from his sleep.
“Why are you not praying for your brother?” asked the Lord.
“Well with a temper such as his, we presumed that you could never forgive him for such an outburst and so we did not want to waste our time or yours”, responded the somewhat confused abbot.
“Ah,” replied the Lord, “That is where we see things differently. You think he died because he lost his temper. I know his death was the result of his efforts to control it!”

One of the beauties of a Retreat is that it gives the opportunity for a little bit of healthy self-examination. Recently, in the quiet of my room, I listened to some lovely Spanish instrumental music that I recorded during my Retreat last year. Out of the blue and, as I thought, with no trigger, I thought, “I was so angry!”

Stunned by the suddenness of something that had apparently come from nowhere, there was nothing I could do but take it to the Lord in prayer and try to sort it all out with Him. Eventually pinpointing the cause of last year’s anger, part of me declared, “But I had every right to be angry!” God tends to have an unanswerable response to such declarations. “Yes, you had a right to be angry, but with every right, there is also a corresponding responsibility. If you had a right to be angry, what was your responsibility?” Ouch!

Anger is part and parcel of being human. If life were smooth and unprovoking, it would be wonderful. Yet that is not the way in which things operate. There are events in the course of every single day that are more or less irritating and, sometimes, give more than enough reason for a cataclysmic explosion of wrath.

There are times when anger has an external cause, such as injustice towards myself or others. There can be a delightful sense of justification after letting fly with a few choice and potentially devastating words, aimed at reducing the object of my frustration to a little blob of quivering jelly. For sure, it is often then followed by agonised repentance and hours of wondering how I might make good the harm that I have done.

However, there are also frustrations that do not result in an explosion. Instead they fester inside, like a boil that will not ripen. The infection slowly builds up, perhaps over the course of many years. Often it is anger that others can see but I cannot, so deeply is it buried inside me. Instead, I re-live and re-live the harm done to me, picking at the unseen wound and making it worse, failing to see that the incident that sparked my reaction is over and done with. Certainly, it might have caused pain at the time, but now, is it not only the memory that is painful? The event is over and done with, part of past history. Yes, it might have been something that caused, not just pain, but indescribable agony and perhaps damage, but in holding on to my anger, who is really being hurt? Am I not causing my own pain by not shoving my injuries out of the window and letting them go away? What gain is there in hugging them close to my chest? A festering boil is very painful, but once it has erupted and the pus drained away, then the soreness goes. There might be a scar that will stay for the rest of one’s days, but the infection is over and gone forever.

Letting go of anger is not easy. In fact it can be incredibly difficult, especially if I have been a helpless victim of circumstances or of someone else’s nastiness. It is all too easy to say ‘forgive and forget’. There are times when it is possible to do both, times when it might be possible to do one or the other, but there are also those things which are unforgettable… and that is where memory is what is really the injured party. It is memory that is aching and sore, cracked and sometimes bleeding.

So, if I have a right to be angry, what is my responsibility?

There are people whose anger leads to great things: Fr James Nugent looked at the widespread greed, poverty, drunkenness, destitution, immorality and injustice of Victorian society as expressed in his native Liverpool. Justifiably angry, he took on the responsibility of setting up orphanages, training programmes for men, women and children. Instead of containing his anger, he went out to meet its causes and, in so doing, became an Apostle, the ‘Apostle of Liverpool’.

There are those who try to do good, but are knocked back at every step. Recently I read the life story of Pauline Marie Jaricot, the foundress of the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) and was astounded by the amount of suffering she underwent as a result of all she was attempting to accomplish on behalf of others. She encountered betrayals, cruelty and hardship that I could never have survived, and neither would many others, and yet Pauline initiated a worldwide organisation for the support of the missions.

Some of the most beautiful people in this world are those who have had every right to be angry, but who have taken the responsibility of their anger and, instead of allowing their hearts to be broken, have, instead, allowed them to be broken open to love. Sometimes, those who have been hurt most are also those who have learned to love most. They had every justification for anger, with agonising memories to spur on a cataclysmic outburst of wrath, but, with God’s help and a great deal of personal hard work, they managed to turn anger into peace, hatred into love.

If, at this moment, I have anger inside me, however deeply, how can I handle it? How might I go out to meet it? How might I allow it to dissipate and vanish for ever?

Can I let go and let God?

God bless,

Sr Janet

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Abou Ben Adam

There is a famous poem about a man by the name of Abou Ben Adam. One night, Abou Ben Adam was lying on his bed. He couldn’t sleep because he was so full of peace and happiness. Well, I think that puts him in a lovely minority. How wonderful to be so full of peace and happiness that it is impossible to sleep!

Abou Ben Adam was then surprised by a visitor. The visitor was an angel. The angel carried a book and was writing a list of names. Abou Ben Adam was curious. He asked the angel what he was doing. The angel replied that he was writing a list of the names of the people who loved God. “Is my name there?”, Abou Ben Adam asked. “No”, replied the angel.

Abou Ben Adam was disappointed. “Well,” he said, “just write my name down as someone who loves other people.” The angel agreed to do this, and then disappeared.

Some nights later, Abou Ben Adam was again lying in bed when the angel reappeared in the room. The angel was again carrying the book in which he had written all the names of the people who loved God. The angel came across to Abou Ben Adam. He opened the book at the page in which Abou Ben Adam had asked it to be recorded that he loved his fellow human beings. There, on the page was Abou Ben Adam’s name. Because of his love for other people, the name of Abou Ben Adam shone more brightly than all the other names. His name was the brightest in the list of those who love God.

I love the poem about Abou Ben Adam. First of all, I think it must be an incredible gift of God to be so full of peace and happiness that it is difficult to sleep. In the poem it says that Abou Ben Adam is suffering from “a surfeit of peace”. In fact he’s almost ready to burst with it! I’d love to be in the same situation and I’m sure that everyone would want the same.

The other thing I love about the story of Abou Ben Adam is that he was trying so hard to love his neighbour that he didn’t realise how much he was also loving God.

I think that Abou Ben Adam was not a Christian. The writer of the poem was a Christian. I think that what the writer was also saying was that just because someone doesn’t know Jesus, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love God. The writer was saying that if we concentrate on caring for the people around us, we will automatically be showing God how much we love him. He was saying that everybody of every religion and even those of no religion at all, can know God.

If Abou Ben Adam had a “surfeit of peace” because he’d been trying so hard to be kind to others, we will find exactly the same results in our own lives. It is only through selfishness, greed, laziness, jealousy, envy and so on that we will never find the peace we all need so much. We find peace through practising kindness, generosity, compassion, love, understanding and tenderness.

Lord, help me today to be like Abou Ben Adam. Let me give myself so completely to others that, in finding them, I’m really finding you. Fill my heart with your peace and your happiness. Amen

God bless,
Sr Janet
PS If you would like to read the poem of Abou Ben Adam, go to my newly-launched website at You’ll find the poem at .
The site is not yet finished, but I’m heading off on retreat in a few minutes time, so any more changes will have to wait. Please pray for me as I will pray for you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Those who forget

It was an ordinary Sunday Mass in St Paul’s basilica in Rome. I’m sure everybody was touched as the priest started to speak.

He opened his homily by referring to his recent visit to his homeland, his first for some years, when he went directly to visit his mother. With the renowned love of the Italians for their mothers, congregation gave a sigh of approval and warmth when the celebrant explained that his own parent has recently celebrated her 100th Birthday.

But the sigh was premature, for the monk continued. His mother did not recognise him. “Who are you?” she asked. Try as he might, he was unable to have her remember her son. “But I have no son by that name”, the old lady declared.

Had a pin dropped, it would have been heard, even in the huge basilica, as we heard of the pain of having been forgotten.

As it happened, the personal illustration was perfect in setting the scene in order to highlight the Gospel. Yet it was also true that it was something with which everybody present could identify and offer their sympathy, regardless of nationality and language, social status and experience.

For my own part, I need look back to the moment when I met up with a friend of mine who has Alzheimer’s. I’d been scared, I freely admit. She had recognised me last year and, for a few minutes, we’d managed an almost normal conversation by keeping it short and very concrete. It had been a joy. This year, I’d more than half-expected not to be remembered, and yet, once again, the mists cleared sufficiently for her to remember my name and to attempt to chat. This time, it was not a very sensible dialogue. I offered many little prompts even in those few minutes that we were together. Yet, when our ways parted, I carried with me the thought that not everything had passed into a relative oblivion.

It was strange. It was as if a second person had come to live inside the body of someone whom I regard with abundant affection. There is still the warm smile, the consistently gracious demeanour, the friendliness and the wish to be involved in whatever is happening, but there has also been an irreversible change. Whilst rejoicing in being recognised, I mourn the loss of a cherished friend.

Alzheimer’s has hit the headlines. Yet it often slips away from the limelight.

Before I left Rome, a young man could be seen, at about the same time each day, taking his father for a walk around the streets surrounding the Beda and St. Paul’s basilica. The older man had no conversation and could just shuffle at a painfully slow rate. Yet, daily, his son took him for a stroll and, with great love, guided him across busy roads. Gradually the father’s walking pace slowed so much that his carer would also carry a newspaper and read it on the way…but the daily exercise continued, and did so with the same care and respect. It was a beautiful example of love that does not care about appearances.

I’ve then did not see the two men for the few months leading up to my departure. Perhaps the old man’s condition has deteriorated to the extent that he can no longer go for a walk with his son…but their place was taken by a man who ferries his mother backwards and forwards to Mass in St. Paul’s basilica and, with similarly exquisite attention, makes sure that she can find her place in the leaflet provided on a Sunday. He adjusts her hearing aid and ensures that she is comfortable. Love continues…

Lord, help us to remember those who forget. Let us cherish their past, their present and their future.

God bless,
Sr Janet

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pause and Pray

Check out the newly-updated website at

It still has some distance to cover, but the ‘old’ site has a new look. My prayer is that you will find it a useful resource as you try to find God in the events of daily life.

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More of the Pope

Pope Benedict is not afraid of a gesture that makes a link with the people who encounter him.

I had the opportunity, when he visited Vatican Radio, to see just how much he tries to do what others want of him. Thus, when he visited Vatican Radio, it was less the Pope who organised the visit and more that the photographer from l’Osservatore Romano who insisted on him standing at the designated place, making it possible for the staff to have souvenirs of the occasion.

Then there was the day when, at a General Audience, a branch of the Italian Fire Brigade offered him the helmet of a fire chief.

Now, in Australia, he has been seen wearing a policeman’s cap.

But there are times when he has stood alone and taken the lead at moments that must have been incredibly hard. He insisted, during his visit to Auschwitz, on walking unaccompanied towards the wall where so many people were executed.

In America, he spoke out on our behalf, representing us, as he addressed the issue of child abuse.

Pope Benedict is now in Australia. Already he has addressed the issue of Aboriginal rights, will speak about the environment, will not shirk from the tragedy of child abuse, will call upon young people to look to the future and build a world that they will happily hand over to their children and grandchildren.

May God be with him and guide him.

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Wednesday, July 16, 2008



Before the Pope went to America, it was as if the media wanted to cover themselves for anything that might happen there. There was little that was positive. It seemed as if the only concern of anybody in the US would be that the Pope would say or do something about sex abuse and that he would be controversial, to put it mildly.

Looking at the situation from the outside, I was saddened. From having seen Benedict at close quarters, I felt that the media was not prepared to give him a chance to be himself… and then something changed. Suddenly all the stories were good. He was saying and doing all the right things. From being described as ‘God’s Rottweiler’, suddenly we heard him described as a grandfather figure. It was an amazing change.

A similar thing seems to be happening with regard to World Youth Day in Australia.

Once again, the first subject that was raised was that of sex abuse. Once again, the Pope has dealt with it and moved towards other issues whilst not sweeping the abuse under the proverbial carpet. Even since yesterday, the media is gradually beginning to be positive about the Holy Father’s journey to Australia and in the same way as events unfurled in the US. Already, he is gently pointing beyond their original banner headlines towards a deeper, more real and more urgent concern: healing.

Once again, his journey is seen as one of healing, not only concerning sex abuse, but also the fact that he will be acknowledging the 40,000 year history of the Aborigines, the damage to climate and the environment, towards so many other concerns…

…and he has also reached out in support and compassion towards the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion at this time of suffering and turmoil…

May God be with Pope Benedict at this time and watch over him as he begins his pastoral visit to Australia. May those who gather in that beautiful Continent be drawn closer to an understanding of his message.

The Jesuit Superior General recently quoted a Japanese (?Chinese) proverb to the effect that when someone points to the moon, we look at the moon. We do not stop short at the finger.

The Pope is pointing to a closer relationship with God. More than that, he cannot do. Let us pray that he be an effective instrument of the peace, healing and reconciliation that the world needs so much.

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Monday, July 14, 2008

God bless

“Why do you write ‘God bless’ when he does not believe in God?"

It was a simple, genuine question, which I answered automatically before realising that I had said more than I realised. “Well, he might not believe in God, but I do and I have worked with so many people, especially Asians, who really understand and appreciate receiving a blessing. They do not have to be Catholics, but they know what is meant by a blessing.”

A few nights ago, experiencing Internet difficulties, I rang British Telecom and discovered that my call had been automatically forwarded to a centre in Delhi. Fortunately, it was a free call on both occasions, because sorting out the problem took some time.

On the first evening, I have no idea what religion my youthful helper professed. I only know that he seemed not to be a Christian. The help on the second evening came from a Sikh. Whilst they accessed my computer from the other side of the world, we chatted amicably. It proved to be a pleasant interlude that I appreciated, and think that they did too. I ended the conversation with my customary “God bless” and was genuinely touched by their surprise and appreciation… but then India has an ancient and deep spirituality that all of its religions treasure. Its people understand a blessing.

When living in Africa, it was easy to speak of God. Regardless of a person’s status, it could be presumed that he or she believed in God. The now emeritus Cardinal of Mozambique, when he was a newly appointed bishop, once remarked to me in a conversation at a friary garden party that ’to be an African is to believe in God’.

So, if most of the world believes in God why is there sometimes a reluctance to speak of him? Are not atheists and agnostics actually in the minority? Is there a tinge of political correctness if we hesitate to speak of the One who is the reason for our existence? Is it that we do not want to impose religious belief on one who does not believe? Do we think it unlikely that an atheist or agnostic’s response might be one of understanding that whether or not God exists, we wish them well…and if he does, then may they be blessed?

Personally, even if someone drives me mad, I think it is good to be able to say “God bless”. As we hear, ‘A kind word turns away hard words’. It is hard to verbally lash out at a person when, moments later, there will be a blessing on its way to heal any hurt.

My father once remarked that, as a father, he had the authority to confer a blessing on the family. “Every night when you go to bed, I bless each one of you.”

If we each blessed a few people each day, would the world not be a better place?

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mission Life

One of the useful things about searching for something is that it often leads to a discovery. This has happened today.
We can talk about ‘mission life’ as though it were something interesting and exciting. Indeed, there are those moments which are wonderfully unforgettable, but they tend to come in between hours devoted to ‘the daily grind’. Today, my serendipitous find was something I wrote one Valentines’ Day some years ago. I include it below as it presents one particularly busy night in Zambia, when I was ‘on call’ for the hospital.


It’s the end of the day and the day has gone on forever. It’s not that there have been major catastrophes for once. It’s little things, such as planning to watch a video that someone has deliberately carried for several hundred kilometres, by way of a relaxing treat. The community relaxes…and the electricity fails. People decide there’s nothing for it but to go to bed early…by candlelight…and ten minutes after the house becomes silent, the electricity returns….and it’s too late to watch the video.

It seems as though it’s only a few minutes since the candles were lit, the electricity returned …and failed again…and it’s 02.00am. The watchman is banging at the door. The chief wants an injection because he has hiccoughs again and he wants the Sister to give it, not the nurse on night duty…. “and when you come, could his relative have a pillow?”

Trying to be charitable and Christlike, you stagger out of bed and find something to disguise the fact that, under the chitenge, you didn’t bother to get completely dressed. No, you don’t remove your shoes to greet the Chief, who mutters about the length of time it’s taken for his injection. (What a shame the needle isn’t longer and thicker and wouldn’t you love to throw the pillow at his relative…and if he sees that you’re wearing shoes? Tough! The disrespect is intended, for once!) The night nurse comes in. She forgot to ask for some syringes and hasn’t enough for the children’s ward….and one of the women is vomiting….and a man has just come in who has fallen from his bicycle in the dark (he was drunk!) and cut himself. Does he need to be sutured and if so, could Sister please do it because there’s a very sick child in the children’s ward.

At 03.00, just as the thought of sleep is becoming an obsession, there’s a noise outside. A group of people have just paddled for five hours in a leaky canoe because a woman is having difficulty in giving birth, and it’s her first baby… she’s terrified and there could be problems. The thought of sleep recedes as you try to be as encouraging, kind and gentle as possible with a young girl whose grandmother has been telling her to push the baby out from the time the poor girl had her first contraction….so there could be problems. At 03.30, with the thought of a couple of hours sleep, you leave the hospital and head towards bed, that wonderful, wonderful place you just don’t see very often…and at 04.30, the girl is having difficulty in delivering the baby and might need to be transferred to a hospital for a caesarean section …but then again, she might just have the baby normally, but could Sister please come to check her out?

00.50. Bed!... and the roosters start to crow, the women are chattering as they go to the spring for water… and so mission life continues. Where’s the glamour?

Sr. Dorothy Stang fought for the landless in Brazil. Fr. Kaiser worked for his parishioners in Kenya. They gave themselves. They gave their lives. Murdered…for the greater glory of the God whom you’d have to be crazy to love and to follow, crazy to have night after night of disturbed sleep.

……but then, you do love him. Crazily!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Monday, July 07, 2008

Three years ago

Three years ago from yesterday, I arrived home on holiday from Rome.

Three years from today, I travelled into Liverpool as I had a couple of interviews lined up for me, only I was to be on the receiving end.

With time to spare, the free Internet connection in Liverpool’s Central Library was a useful prospect... only, a few minutes after I’d logged on, the librarian came around, telling us that we had to close down whatever we were doing because of ‘routine maintenance’. At the time, I thought that she seemed rather excessively concerned about a technician coming to fiddle with the computers, but passed it off, thinking she was just having a bad day.

Heading towards BBC Radio Merseyside, I vaguely heard a radio somewhere saying that something had happened in London, but could not make much sense of the announcement, coming, as it did, over the din of the early morning rush and traffic.

It was only on my arrival at Radio Merseyside that I heard about the bombs on the London Underground and on the bus in Tavistock Square.

The events of that day are now history, yet I will never forget the silence and the calm. Yes, people were nervous, but there was also an atmosphere of “We have faced this sort of thing before and we will do so again.” As people anxiously followed every news bulletin, there were also quiet discussions about the Blitz, air raid shelters and camaraderie.

Three years later, walking through Tavistock Square, it is hard to believe that anything untoward ever happened there. The Underground is still as busy, hot and overcrowded as ever.

Yet lives were changed and some ended. For some people, life would never again be the same.

Yet this sort of thing is happening in many places across the world. Terrible as that day was three years ago, some people walk in continuous fear. Their lives are always threatened.

It is all a question of emphasis and bias, is it not? The same person can be a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a guerrilla, a bandit, militia, vigilante or whatever, depending on whichever side of the bullet one happens to be standing.

Yet, regardless of cause, people are people and human beings are all made up of bone, muscle, cartilage, skin, hair and so on. Those who experience no pain are abnormal. Normality is to experience pain, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the circumstances. As Shylock declares in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, “If you scratch me, do I not bleed?”

Today, we pray for all those who are hurting in whatever way. We pray for those who are victims of violence, that they might find the comfort, strength, support and understanding that they need.

We also pray for the Anglican Communion at this time in their own painful search for the truth and in their efforts to clarify their understanding of the nature of the Church. May God guide them.

...and may God bless each of us,
Sr. Janet

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Have you noticed today’s date? It is 06.07.08. Interesting and unique!

This afternoon, wandering around the Imperial War Museum, an amazing place that is well worth a visit, but which cannot be seen in one day, I was struck by an unusual video, so moving that there was a lump in my throat as I watched.

The video screen was set in a pile of rubble in the middle of a bombed street, with ruined buildings reaching high on either side of the road and stretching into the distance. The film was actual footage of people ‘making do’ immediately after a bombing raid, homeless and helping each other to emerge from shelters or make their way to safety.

Unknown to me at the time was that, slightly to the rear, was the display of some of the ‘memorabilia’ of Buchenvald. Most of it is kept on a separate floor dedicated to the Holocaust.

However, as I stood, watching the video in the ruined street, the music of ‘Pie Jesus’ filled the air. Could it have ever been more appropriate?

How did the people in the bombed street regard that particular day? How did the prisoners in Buchenvald face their own situation? Did they all know hope or despair, sadness or joy, tranquillity or turmoil as they faced an uncertain future? For sure, those in Buchenvald knew they were probably soon to meet their Maker, but not all died. Some survived.

However, the poignancy was not all war-related.

The Imperial War Museum is housed in the building that, many years ago, was the dreaded Bethlehem Hospital, the lunatic asylum that gave birth to the word ‘bedlam’. In those days, a pleasant Sunday afternoon’s occupation was to visit the hospital in order to watch the lunatics. Of course, in those days, there was not the medication that can now so readily treat those who are suffering from mental illness.

…but those occupants of Bethlehem, how were their days? One imagines that, for those who had some awareness of their situation, there must have been an interminable horror. Fortunately, now, all are at peace and can no longer be disturbed by horrific surroundings and curious onlookers.

06.07.8. How has your day been? How will it be? May God grant that there have been hours of peace, with no fear, no illness, no cruelty…and may we pray for those for whom today has been a nightmare.

God bless,
Sr. Janet

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Proverbs and fingers

“The wise man points to the moon, but the fool looks at the finger”.

That is a Chinese (?Indian) proverb of which I had never heard until this morning when I read the final section of an interview with the new Jesuit Father General, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas(

It is a beautiful saying, one that has been rattling around in my brain for much of the day. I suppose it is another way of saying that we should not judge a book by its cover.

Proverbs are amazing! They distil so much concentrated wisdom within a few words and in a way that crosses language and culture. Perhaps a Zambian variant on the one used by Fr. Nicolas would be, ‘he who has a tongue does not lose himself in a forest’. In other words, if you are unsure, ask for advice.

My mother’s favourite proverb is ‘Today is the tomorrow that you dreaded yesterday, but now that it is here, all is well.’

We probably all use proverbs far more often than we realise. They are many, varied and so appropriate to every situation in life. We probably have many favourites. One of mine is ‘A cat may look at a king’, something I generally use to persuade myself to do something that most people would think crazy and actually takes a bit of courage to accomplish. A cat is a small and unimportant animal, but there is nobody to stop it investigating passing royalty. In fact it is quite likely to saunter up and rub against a convenient leg with a contented (and noisy) purr.

…but back to the finger…

Today is the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. How did he feel when Jesus told him to put his finger into the wounds made by the lance and the nails? Embarrassed? Scared? Did he wish he had not opened his big mouth? Was he squeamish?

Yet just think about it for one moment. At a guess, the wounds of Jesus must have been pretty messy and unattractive to any onlooker. Who would seriously want to poke about in them? Thomas probably did not want to carry out his threat. Did he try to forget, for an instant, that he had hands and try to hide them under his cloak?

Yet if Thomas had looked no further than his fingers, he would not have seen the full reality of the Resurrection. His fingers went past the wounds and into a profession of faith, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus knew what he was doing. He was pointing to the Resurrection rather than the moon. Thomas would have been a fool had he thought no further than his finger.

“The wise man points to the moon, but the fool looks at the finger”.

God bless,

Sr. Janet

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blame time

Do you ever think that it would be wonderful to have twenty-four hours every day to spend reading all those books that there was never time to read, to listen to the unheard radio programmes, to watch the unseen films and programmes on television? If only work did not get in the way!

There would be so many things I could do with my time if only it were slightly more elastic. How much time would I spend exercising, eating well, appreciating the ‘great outdoors’ and learning to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’?

If each day were 26 hours long rather than 24, how many heroic and wonderful deeds would I perform, lives would I save, aching hearts would I soothe and heights of sanctity would I attain?

Unfortunately, most of life is made up of the mundane. Somehow every day starts with climbing out of bed, washing and dressing and organising the activities of the day. Would it be any more exciting if, instead of wearing clothes front-to-back, I were to wear them back-to-front or put my left shoe on my right foot and vice versa? I suspect life would be rather interesting, but it might also demand an abundance of humility… or a very thick skin!

Would it save time if….?

So often, it is easy to blame time and the lack of it for not being able to achieve this that or the other. Is the fault that of ‘time’, or is it my fault for not organising my activities?

The French priest, Michel Quoist, prayed,
“Yes, Lord. I have time.
I have plenty of time…
all the time that you give me.”

God bless,
Sr. Janet