St Bonaventure is one of the greatest if not the greatest theologian of the Franciscan Order. His writings on the mind and heart of God for his people are still important sources of thought hundreds of years after his death. It just goes to show that the truth is immutable and endures from age to age. This is why we need to seek the truth and make it the foundation of our lives and reject the fads of our times when they are shallow and meaningless.

The Saints of the Church discover truths about the Christian life that command their attention and energy and so set them o n a path that becomes an example for all precisely because they are seeking and living the truth. This is what sets apart lives that will be remembered for their everlasting significance and those that will be forgotten by the next generation, or even the next fad culture! I think there is something in us all that desires to leave a legacy for the generations to come, but how many of us are willing to focus our lives to the extent that this will be possible?

Sportsmen and women have a singular purpose in […]

By |July 15th, 2016|Daily Scripture|0 Comments
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Why was Jesus a Carpenter?

Carpentry is a very strange profession. A carpenter will take a tree and intentionally destroy its natural beauty. The carpenter will hack away at the trunk of the tree, removing its defensive layer through the use of axes, saws and chisels. In fact, if you did not understand what the carpenter was doing, you would think that this person simply delighted in doing violence to a piece of wood.

But it is through this violent action that the inner beauty of the wood is revealed. A master craftsman not only shapes the wood for a useful purpose, they also allows the true colour and grain of the wood to be seen.

At this point we need to ask the question, was it purely an accident that Jesus was a carpenter? Was it simply a random chance that the saviour of the world would take on this profession or was God trying to reveal something about how he works with his people?

The scriptures often describe the purifying work that God does through the image of refining Gold or cleaning dirty clothing. But maybe the best image is the image of a carpenter. It can often be hard to understand what God is doing […]

By |October 16th, 2015|The Call|0 Comments
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Sow, don’t throw

A seed, no matter how small, is extremely powerful. All it takes is for a seed to fall into a crack within a large rock  or a block of concrete and eventually the seed will grow and crack the rock open.

All of us are like blocks of concrete. Our hearts are so hard or indifferent that the love of God normally doesn’t penetrate. Yet within our hard hearts, there are many small cracks: areas where pain or fear create an opening. If a word of love or hope is carefully placed into one of these ‘cracks’ in the surface of our life, it will grow, and take root, and eventually break open our hardened hearts.

This is a very simple image of evangelisation. When you encounter another person, you are looking at a block of concrete. Throwing seeds at the person is only going to make them more hardened to the gospel. Your task is to actually move closer to them, looking closely at that block of concrete (their life) until you find a small crack in the surface. This process could take minutes, or it could take years. But it is time well spent. As soon as you find an […]

By |February 12th, 2015|The Call|0 Comments


October 22    Whether we like it or not we all have responsibility for the graces God has given us and this means we have to discern how to use such graces not just for our own benefit but for the good of the Kingdom of God as a whole. The author of the Letter to the Ephesians reminds them how Paul has exercised stewardship of the graces of God for their benefit. This is why the community of faith has grown strongly. It is now up to each member of the community to respond accordingly and do the same.

This is also true for us today. In the midst of the secular world of today this can be quite difficult as the focus seems to be strongly placed upon ‘looking after one’s own interests above and beyond all else.’ This is true only to a limited extent in that if everyone only focuses upon themselves, then we will all lose out in the end due to lack of cooperation. If everyone is only interested in the biggest prize at a competition and shuns everything else, then there will only be one winner! If you remember the film “A Beautiful Mind” depicting […]

By |October 22nd, 2014|Daily Scripture|0 Comments

Youth Ministry after Evangelii Gaudium

I’ve just come back from Adelaide and the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention. It was a great weekend! This workshop looks at Pope Francis’s exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (EG) and ‘marries’ three key concepts from the exhortation with some key research from Dr Christian Smith of Notre Dame University Indiana which he presents in his 2014 book Young […]
By |October 8th, 2014|chris ryan|Comments Off on Youth Ministry after Evangelii Gaudium