Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Fairly quiet at the moment. Many of us are away or busy with family commitments over the Christmas period. Still, the prayer goes on - either alone or together. We DO miss each other and our love and care is brought into more focus because of each others absence. Still, within a fortnight we will back to the rhythm of sharing each others lives in silence and prayer.
God bless you and Happy Christmas

Friday, December 10, 2004


Last Wednesday was a quiet one for us. As we have entered Advent the business of our lives seems to have increased exponentially. All of us were pretty shattered by the middle of the week and needed to relax and unwind a little. We spent the night chatting (and trying to get Noah to go to bed). However we didn't neglect our reason for coming together on a Wednesday night. Instead we said Compline, with the advent prayer from the Glenstal book of prayer, a nice little ritual to end the madness of the day and the wind down of our night.
In fact a few of us have been praying Compline on a Friday night before we all head from the Kan's to our own abodes. It really is quite funny sometimes to hear the girls saying the second verse of the Psalm (and Coralie puts such expression into this), "Oh men, how long will your hearts be closed?" Tonight should be no different. We'll say Compline again and (as it should be) it will be constant. One nice piece of stability in this season of business and rushing. I look forward to it.


Sunday, November 28, 2004

So far...

I am really enjoying the stillness and reflection of our "vespers" time with our community still and quiet is not something I'm good at unless I'm reading a book. I enjoy the rhythm of the Psalms and the singing of the Magnificat. I would love to see what we do grow into the wider community, but sometimes I wonder what our neighbors think when they see through our open curtains and see us standing holding hands singing the 'Our Father'. Unfortunately I feel like I would have to justify what we are doing on a Wednesday night now to some people... They wouldn't understand it and respect and value it for what it is.
I'm looking forward to growing through this experience!


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Reflection from Wednesday Night

You desire to hear something new,
but I have no news
except that love should renew you.
This commandment is the news I give you
yet nothing is more new

Gilbert of Hoyland
A Sermon on Love

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Doing the Business

Just a straight ahead prayer last night - no mucking around!
It is good to be together, to pray and laugh, and to sit in silence as a community.
God is as present in the day to day getting on with things as much, if not more, than in awesome moments or life changing experiences.
If you read this, and you are a pray-er, take a moment and pray for us.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Our community

Last Wednesday was the biggest we've had for some time. We did miss Chris and Pete but were really glad to see Jason, Rachel and Lauren. Of course I was back too. The evening started with a quick reminder that no matter what we are going to keep praying on Wednesdays (someone had suggested we skip it).

Chris had asked me to lead so I figured he might have already arranged a reflection or reading but as it happened I winged it. After my stint overseas I felt it was appropriate to talk about how we as a community were still a community even when we're apart. Just because we're not present with each other we are still able to be together in prayer. We pray in inclusive, group language. The Lord's prayer for a start is not, "My Father ... give me ..." but rather, "Our Father ... give us ..." Communal language. No matter where I was in Europe I was able to pray with my brothers and sisters; whether at Mass or on my own; walking on the tracks of Amalfi or sitting in my room in Raynes Park. As a community we share a bond in God and he links us, not only with each other, but with his wider community as well.

I'm looking forward to sharing next Wednesday (tomorrow) with all my little community in the flesh, but even if they're not there physically I know we will be together in prayer.

Peace, Pax, Shalom
Matt J

Friday, November 05, 2004

Email Contact

For information regarding the community feel free to email Chris at

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Message From Transfiguration Monastary, Benedictine Sisters, Pennsylvania

Dear Chris,
Thanks so much for the message. It is good for us to know that there is another Benedictine group with the same name. It seems there are many groups such as yours today and we find great joy in knowing that. A friend of ours, a UCC minister is also a founder of such a group. Our own oblate/associate group is ecumenical also. We are blessed to be able to share Benedict's way with a lot of good people in all the groups we have started here. Our lives are enriched by the sharing!

My Sisters and I appreciate very much the prayers you promise and assure you of ours in return. I would especially ask that you ask the Lord for vocations to our community that we may expand and continue the ministries we are involved in. By the way our retreat in August was directed by Sister Margaret Malone from you city of Perth. Although I realize it is a large
city, having this Benedictine connection you probably know her or of her. It was a really good retreat.

May God bless you all and once again thanks for the prayers and getting in touch.
With prayer,
Sister Germaine Hartle, OSB

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hard Yards

Last night was again a small gathering. Linda was at Youth Benediction, the Smiths exhausted and Matt on world wide travels - which you can access at his blog outofmybrain.blogspot.com
It felt less than exciting last night, despite the fact that we learnt to sing the Magnificat for the first time, but I suppose this is a good sign - a sign that we were joining as a community of prayer in the midst of our busyness, illness and even apathy at times. Our shared silence is a gift at this time, allowing us to rest in the love and company of each other and of God.

Last nights reading was from Abhisihiktananda, a beautiful part of which was:
Prayer is to see God in any person, or in any creature, with whom we come in contact ...
Prayer is the smile, the look of the eyes which conveys to the other the greetings of the heart, which tells the other, known or unknown that they are not a stranger, but recognised as a brother or sister"
(for more on Abhishiktananda check out our resources page )
Peace to all


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

It's nice to be loved

I've been missed by those I care for,
So I know they care for me.
Although I'm 10,000 miles from you,
I'm also there you see.
When we prayed together,
We became family.
So no matter where I am,
When you pray I am with thee.

Check out my comments on Sunday's adventures via the link.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Prayers on Wednesday night were tinged with sadness as we prayed for Chris' safe journey to New Zealand for the sad occasion of his Granna's funeral. We also pray for Hillary who has lost her Mum and pray that the family has the strength and love to get through this sad time together.
On another note also related to travel and bittersweet we said good bye to our Brother Matt who is off on his holiday this week (see his holiday notes on his blog site outofmybrain) We wish him also a safe, happy and fun journey. We will miss you Matt but look forward to lots of great stories and photos when you get back. And lots of evenings of four handed bridge and good wine again!!!!!! We hope to hear about your visits to the various monastries on your travels and hope that this time can enrich our little community. Take care and best of luck.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Yesterday I recieved a call from Chris. It was one I've been expecting for a while but it still came as a bit of a shock. All our love go to you Chris and to the rest of your family as you mourn your loss.

In a way this is why I keep coming back. The community that says, "We are here for you no matter what. It doesn't matter how hurt or lost you may be we still love you and want to care for you through it all."

We can all come and be ourselves at prayer. Hey, there's no hiding who we really are from God anyway. We invite Him in when we call on Him, "Oh God come to our aid, oh Lord make haste to help us." And the thing is He does come, and he will help us, whether we feel anything or not is irrelevant.

In 10 more days I temporarily leave our little community and head overseas for 3 and a half weeks. I'll be missing all the time I normally share with all of you and I'll miss each of you terribly. But don't despare, you should be able to keep track of me via my blog (outofmybrain.blogspot.com). I'll try to put some bits and pieces up there from time to time. With all this technology out there we are not really out of community anyway. Although this isn't anything new, God's had us in community for years (even before we'd met we prayed together, "Our Father...").

But hey, I'll try to say Vespers on Wednesday nights anyway. It's something I want to share with you even if I'm not there in body.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Community Talk

When we gather together on a Wednesday night,
we celebrate Vespers, the evening prayer of the church.

We sing Hymns and Psalms,
Participate in Prayers and Readings
and sit in Silence.
We do all of this to praise God,
trying to hear the still, small voice.
We bring the moods and madness of our busy day,
and try to see God’s presence in our relationships and tasks,
We allow healing and integration to begin.

As we chant the psalms and hear the reading proclaimed
We see God’s action is history,
through the lives of his people in Old and New Testaments.
It is their story, but it is our story as well.
Struggling, rejoicing, stressed and relaxed
The moods of scripture speak to us
of the God who is present in every moment and mood of our lives,
and whose love longs to bring healing and peacefulness
into the mystery of our daily life.

The high point of our Vespers Prayer
Is the long period of silence,
followed by our proclamation of the Magnificat,
the Song of Mary.
In the silence we bring our very selves to God
The deepest parts of who we are.
With or without words
we place our true selves into God’s mystery
We can truly proclaim
“My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour”

Our prayer tonight is also, perhaps most importantly
Celebrated as a community.
A community of friends
A community of Christians
A community of seekers

We bring our history as people,
We bring the history of our group, with its own celebrations and struggles
And we bring our hopes for our groups future
We place all of these in the presence of God
And they bring a reality, a groundedness to our prayer.

When we join hands at the Our Father
When we smile at each other over coffee
Or lovingly embrace each other on parting
We are reminded that God is with us

Vespers prayer is the prayer that brings us together as a community.
Not just into each other’s physical presence
But into each others depth.
It is a gift we can carry with us
For Vespers is also the act of “Lighting the lamps”
Bringing light to the homes at evening
Not only light to our homes,
but also to our lives.

May we let the light of vespers,
The God we have met in word, song and silence
Shine outwards into the rest of our lives.

Monday, September 20, 2004


The best prayer is the one in which there is the most love.
Adoration, wordless admiration, that is the most eloquent form of prayer:
that wordless admiration which contains the most passionate declaration of love."
- Charles de Foucauld

"Receive very simply from God
the gift of being"
- Abhishiktananda

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Little Distractions

Last night's pray time was special, it reminded us about how important it is to go with the flow and allow little distractions (namely 9 month old Lauren) to enhance the prayer time. It brought to mind how important family is and that our group is like our family. Speaking of families it was a shame that Chris could not join us last night, as he was at home with the two youngest members of their family Noah and Eliza (who turns 5 today- happy birthday :) ).
I shared a reading from a book written by singer/songwritter Michael W Smith, it focused on how important it is to take the time to cultivate our relationship with God and with others and how precious those relationships can be.
May everyone's week be full of positive interactions with the ones you love and may you find little distractions to make you giggle and enhance your day.
God Bless

Monday, September 13, 2004

Have you ever noticed how we start the week with a rush and then run out of steam by Wednesday? It struck me this morning that that's why we meet to pray on Wednesday nights. It's a chance to refresh and recharge the batteries. Considering the recent medical advice I had (ie "Rest up!" thanks Dr Simon) it's somewhat useful to take that time out. As someone who struggles to be disciplined enough to set aside regular daily time to rest in God I think our prayer time is invaluable (sometimes it's the only time during the week I seem to spend really connecting with God). At the same time it lets me know I'm not alone in my struggles.
I think I'm going to really take the time to do that this Wednesday at prayer; relax and just rest in God. It should be good.

Rest in Him

New Norcia Retreat

Here's some shots of the community gathered together for our first retreat