Our family is a mess!

The Christmas Vigil Mass features the Gospel of Matthew (1:1-25). Depending on whether you get the long or short version, you might hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ – a rather long list of the forebears of Jesus, going all the way back to Abraham. It includes some of the most dysfunctional characters from the…

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When history repeats, choose freedom

We remember sitting with a young couple who were locked in combat. She was prone to reactive outbursts and he was mystified as to what he was doing to trigger it. As we probed her on her family of origin the penny dropped; she was repeating a relationship pattern that she had established with her…

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How can I make your day better?

I read a blog post recently from a husband who brought his marriage back from the brink with this one simple, daily habit. Each morning he asked his wife: how can I make your day better? The wife was suspicious at first and deliberately gave him tedious and demanding tasks, like cleaning out the garage,…

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Love in the Waiting

Advent is the season of waiting; we wait in anticipation of the coming of Christ. But are we the only ones doing the waiting? I (Francine) was hurrying to get out the door for 7am Mass. I looked at the time on the car clock and sighed in defeat: 6:58. There was no way I’d…

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Perfectly imperfect marriages

Despite the promises of Hollywood and fairytales, the perfect marriage is the one that helps us grow the most. And that’s not likely to be a marriage without hardship or trouble. Yesterday, as we were preparing to run a training session later on, we had ‘one’. An argument of sorts. It was more like a ‘splat’…

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Romance and Mystery

One of the things that makes a new romance so exciting and attractive is the element of uncertainty: Is this person really interested in me? Will this person really be the one I’ve longed for? We can all relate to the thrill of the start-up relationship where the other is essentially still a stranger and…

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How to Forgive More Easily

We remember those long nights in the first year of our marriage. In the infancy of his career, Byron was often late home from work as he juggled the demands on his time. Initially, Francine was so grateful when he finally arrived that she didn’t register the hurt that his lateness caused. Over time and…

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A Little Restraint Goes a Long Way

It happens all the time – one of us does or says something and it triggers a harsh reaction. To break the habit of reactivity, try this mindfulness tool to develop the virtue of restraint. While often associated with Buddhist meditation, Mindfulness has in fact been a feature of many religions under different names, including…

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Undoing the Knots is Easier than you Think

September 28 marks the feast of Mary Undoer of Knots. The devotion is over 300 years old and is based on a Baroque painting by an unknown artist located in Germany. The painting features angels feeding a knotted rope to Mary who unties the knots one by one. It was inspired by an ancient homily…

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Why Reality TV Makes Us Stupider

These days we rightly talk a lot about exploitation and abuse. It comes in many forms and we worry we might walk past it without noticing. Recently 665,000 Australians not only walked past but sat and watched something that we should recognise for what it really is – workplace exploitation abuse. The airing of ‘reality’…

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