July 2008


Yes, I am a Benny fan, and even more so after seeing the faces of the pilgrims returning from Randwick. Perhaps they were so in the moment that they didn’t listen to the homily, but I was inspired by his words.

My favourite quotes:

On prayer and the spirit:

Yet this power, the grace of the Spirit, is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift. God’s love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer in the quiet of our hearts and before the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church. Prayer is pure receptivity to God’s grace, love in action, communion with the Spirit who dwells within us, leading us, through Jesus, in the Church, to our heavenly Father. In the power of his Spirit, Jesus is always present in our hearts, quietly waiting for us to be still with him, to hear his voice, to abide in his love, and to receive “power from on high”, enabling us to be salt and light for our world.

On the witness of young people:

Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom? How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make? The power of the Holy Spirit does not only enlighten and console us. It also points us to the future, to the coming of God’s Kingdom. What a magnificent vision of a humanity redeemed and renewed we see in the new age promised by today’s Gospel!

On the renewal of the world through the prophetic witness of young Christians:

The world needs this renewal! In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair. How many of our contemporaries have built broken and empty cisterns (cf. Jer 2:13) in a desperate search for meaning – the ultimate meaning that only love can give? This is the great and liberating gift which the Gospel brings: it reveals our dignity as men and women created in the image and likeness of God. It reveals humanity’s sublime calling, which is to find fulfilment in love. It discloses the truth about man and the truth about life.

And finally — and for me, the piece de resistance — this extraordinary challenge:

Being “sealed with the Spirit” means not being afraid to stand up for Christ, letting the truth of the Gospel permeate the way we see, think and act, as we work for the triumph of the civilization of love.



Why give that appalling man (Phillip Jensen) a platform for his turdlike opinions?

Here is the letter they didn’t publish. I thought the last line was pretty good. Oh well, the Herald’s loss is the blogosphere’s gain.

Phillip Jensen (Opinion 17 July 2008) has given us a timely reminder of the importance of ecumenism. It is truly miraculous that religious leaders from two traditions have managed to offend whole sections of the Australian community within a day of each other. Bishop Fisher’s saving grace is that he is presiding over a festival of young people whose joy, idealism and commitment give all of us who have been fortunate to come in contact with them a vibrant injection of optimism. As an educator, I look forward to seeing my own students reinvigorated as they continue their search for their own vocation and as they commit themselves to a world full of hope rather than an embittered past.

It is not their brotherly love that is delusive. It is the Jensen brothers that are divisive.

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