In recent times what has been occupying your thoughts and prayers?

Around Australia alone there have been quite a few disasters- floods, fires and cyclones. West Australia had its share. Carnarvon was one of the first to be hit heavily. There was the tragic electrocution of a young woman in Geraldton after a strong dust storm. Fire ravaged places around Perth. Then of course there were the huge areas of devastation across the eastern board.


All this and the people involved, I am sure, have been constantly in our prayers. My prayers also continue to be for people who have died and their grieving families. Ongoing also are our sick, especially those who are seriously ill, among whom are members of my own family. As I write one of my young nephews has been told that he has weeks to live.

Prayer is like '€œtapping into God'€. Over these weeks as I do this I have been consciously bringing such people to God.

In the disasters areas I have brought all those affected as well as all those helping in so many ways.

Among the recently deceased was Bishop Joe Grech. A young, energetic and inspiring Bishop of Sandhurst Diocese, in Victoria, who died suddenly around Christmas at the age of 62. Since Christmas Parishioners in the Cathedral Parish have died and I myself celebrated the funeral of one of them. These and others who have died over the past few months I have brought to God in prayer, together with their grieving loved ones and friends.

The sick and terminally ill are regularly in my prayer. I feel for them all. The situation of my nephew together with his wife, family, parents and siblings, and their families, touched me more. 

During this time as I drive long distances I have been listening to talks on CD'€™s by Fr. Daniel O'€™Leary, an Irish priest and teacher. His talks were under the title '€œAlready Within'€. Enlarging on the truth that God is within us already, his words helped me go more deeply into this reality or as he puts it '€œdivining the hidden spring within us'€.

I thought again of these people I was '€œbringing to God'€, and realised again that God was with them already.

When one looks further one can see many signs of God'€™s presence and action in these people'€™s lives. People in these disaster areas time and time again, though they feel the burden of what is upon them, also display enormous courage. Then there is the generosity of so many others coming forward to help in many ways. In time of grief with the death of loved ones I have seen again deep Faith and Hope in Jesus, shown by family and friends. In the case of seriously and terminally ill people, and in the circumstances of my nephew, I have seen peace in their hearts as well as concern for the loved ones supporting them. 

These are all signs of the Incarnation. Many years ago when God'€™s Son took flesh He connected to all human beings. No longer were the divine and human separate. In the person of Jesus Christ the divine and human are one. Through Jesus the divine connects also to humanity. We are all in God and God is in all. The beautiful qualities displayed by people in disasters, people grieving and people in illness, show us clearly the truth of all this.

So in '€œtapping into God'€ and bringing such people to God in prayer, what I realised I was doing was praying for people whose lives God had already and very closely tapped into in Jesus.

My prayer now more and more for such people (apart from other things) is that they will know our God, our loving Lord, our crucified and risen Saviour, our friend, is close to and within them.