To Hope Means...

Our guest writer is Afra fcJ, who lives in Manila. Read her last post "To Be Humble and Not Know It!" here.

When the destruction is so overwhelming –           from smoky mountains of garbage and plastics,           to floods and uncontrollable forest fires,           and global warming – When divisions intensify (in families, work places, schools, the Church, and all around us),           radicalism is getting stronger and more powerful           and terrorism, violence           and harsh and doubting words even from those closest to me fill the air – To hope means           to choose not to be paralyzed by the size of the problem           not to close my eyes to the reality – both local and global –           but to learn what is happening around me           and take what small steps I can, today. It takes courage and it is a choice           to be positive today           to swallow the doubting words           to show appreciation instead           to …

In the Footsteps of Christ: Reflections from a Pilgrim

Our guest writer this week, Grace, is a Singaporean Roman Catholic. Her last post on this blog reflected on four years of law school. One and a half years later, she tries her best to capture her experience on "Sequela Christi": a Franciscan pilgrimage for young adults through the Holy Land, Rome, and Assisi. The photographs accompanying this post are her own. 

5.25am. I (not a cold-weather person by any means, and definitely not an early-morning person) trundle out of the hotel in the cold, my hands encased in gloves and shoved into my jacket pockets. I am joined by a few pilgrims, but for the most part, we’re too tired to talk. As we walk away from the hotel and get closer to our destination, the stones beneath our feet get older, our path more steeped in history. When, for a brief moment, we make a wrong turn in one of the Old City’s many alleyways, the brief sight of another group of foreigners is enough to orientate us. This early in the morning, in this place, we …

Finding Meaning in Work

I spent the last 8 days making a “silent retreat” at a beautiful Jesuit retreat centre just outside of Manila. Such a retreat – Ignatian-style – involves quieting oneself and giving time for a certain amount of prayer and reflection each day with the aim of reconnecting with God, oneself, and nature, usually with the help of a guide to whom you talk each day about your inner process.

Going on retreat, it occurred to me this year, is a bit like going up a mountain. In the whirlwind of work, play and activity that fills our days, we sometimes lose track of where we have come from and where we are going – or why we are going anywhere at all! It is only when we are on the mountain, gazing down at the road we have travelled in our daily experience, that we regain a sense of the bigger picture: yes, I have travelled that road, and look how far I have come! Looking down at the paths by which we have come gives a deeper sense of meaning and direction to the daily grind; the flurry of busy-ne…

The Hopes of a Young FCJ on Our Bicentenary Year: Part III


The Hopes of a Young FCJ on Our Bicentenary Year: Part II