Space for reflection

Space for Reflection - Note for contributors

The FCJ Centre of Spirituality Space for Reflection is a blog-sized space to share food for the soul - short thoughts, quotes, inspirations, pictures, prayers that can be of help to a wide community of 'seekers'.

Contributions should aim for not more than 200 words. On a webpage, short really is sweet.

Contributions can be mailed to

Praise Song for the Pandemic

"In times that strain our resources, our energy, and our resilience, we need refreshment of spirit more than ever. The following prayer by Christine Valters Paintner — an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland, who founded the Abbey of the Arts — helps refill our wells by recalling all for which we can be grateful during this pandemic and by blessing all who find themselves in need. Our thanks to Christine for her permission to share this work-in-progress with you...."cont. Spiritualityand

The Nativity

Luke 2: 6-7: "While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the Inn."

Matt 2: 1-2: "After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came from Jerusalem from the East. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose, and have come to do him homage’."

Our Christmas wish for you: May the birth of Jesus be your joy, source of peace, and guiding star this Christmas, and always. Thank you for your unfailing support and be assured of our prayer for you, your family and friends.

Blessings in abundance, Joan and Margaret fcj

O Christ, Light of all lights

O Christ, Light of all lights, Star of all stars, Emmanuel – God with us,

Dwelling within the whole of creation,

Open our wandering minds and hesitant hearts

So that your endless goodness may radiate more completely in each one of us.

We welcome you again and again, with great gratitude and trust in this season of Christmas, helping us to carry the glad tidings of your abundant and abiding love to all we meet.


A Christmas Prayer, by Joyce Rupp (adapted)

Emmanuel, God with us you chose to come for each person, the destitute and the wealthy, the unfortunate and the privileged, the troubled and the peaceful, the healthy and the ill.

You came in human form with a message of extravagant love, showing us how to be with those who have much less than we do.

Change our hearts. Turn them towards the larger world. Remind us daily of those who struggle with their basic existence because of poverty, suffering, loneliness, homelessness, unemployment or the Coronavirus.

Enlarge our awareness. Increase our generosity.

Guide our choices of how to live, what we purchase, and how we use our material wealth.

Boundless Love, thank you for cherishing each one of us and the whole of creation.

May we go forth in joy to share the good news of your abiding presence among us.


Thomas Experiences Joy, by Loretta Pehanich

"...I’d gone out for provisions. They were afraid to go. On my return the room was lighter, jubilant even. Rather than moping in solitary soul-searching, people were now chatting eagerly in small groups.

“We’ve seen the Lord!” they said.

Something’s definitely wrong, I thought...cont."


"Relationships are tricky.

The deepest relationships are often the most challenging. They call us to encounter the other, and ourselves, at a level of openness and vulnerability that can be risky. But these deep relationships are also the ones which are most fulfilling, which lead us to a truer sense of ourself and lead us out of isolation and into a sense of connection.

Relationship with God is no different .....cont. "


"Sometimes the challenge isn’t hearing the call, but knowing how to respond to it or having the courage to say yes to it. It’s one thing to hear the call, but it’s a whole other thing to know how to respond.

Let’s look this week at the four-step discernment process I invite people to go through when discerning an invitation or choice.

Four-Step Discernment Process: Cont...."