Liturgical Cycle

Eighth Conversation

‘Dear Lord, it has been good to travel through Lent with you in the light of Laudato Si’. Easter, thank God,has arrived, with its message of lasting hope and joy, so let you and I finish our chats by looking ahead to the blessed life you have in store for us. Glory is our destiny in a transfigured creation: weeping and mourning will be ended forever; creation and ourselveswill be reconciled. The world of the past will fade away and you will make all things new and restore to even greater beauty the masterpiece of creation which we have damaged.


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Seventh Conversation

‘Lord, it is Holy Saturday, and all is over. You have died and are at rest in the tomb, and I am relieved. My soul is numb, but I can take my stance with Mary who still watches over our poor sick world. Like all good mothers, she keeps vigil and doesn’t know what it means to give up.

Pope Francis says: “Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creation laid waste by human power. In her glorified body part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She now understands the meaning of all things.”(241).

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Sixth Conversation

‘Lord, I gaze on you as you hang on your Cross. A line from the liturgy plays around in my head: By your holy cross you have redeemed the world. I don’t understand how this can be; but I do not need to understand, only to accept. The pain of today’s world is overwhelming to me. How can I help to take even one person down from their cross?

Pope Francis says:  “Food thrown out is stolen from the table of the poor. (50). Purchasing is always a moral act, not simply an economic one. “ (206).


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Fifth Conversation

‘Dear Lord,there were a few brave people who tried to comfort you in your Passion—your Mother and other women, Simon from Cyrene… Would I have risked being with them?Nothing they did could save you from torture and death, yet their solidarity must have helped you to continue on your via dolorosa, your path of sorrow.  But today how shall I help those who are being cruelly treated?

Pope Francis says: “Injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable… This is a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters.” (158).

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Fourth Conversation

Dear Lord, you were scourged, mocked, misused, forced to wear a crown of thorns. This fills me with shock and horror: how, I ask, could anyone do this to another person, especially to someone innocent? But I find people forced to wear crowns of thorns today. I see children whose eyes are without tears, without dreams, as they starve to death in the arms of their helpless parents.

Pope Francis says: “We fail to see that some people are mired in desperate and degrading poverty, with no way out—while others have not the faintest idea of what to do with their possessions… These consider themselves more human than others, as if they had been born with greater rights.” (90).

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Third Conversation

‘Lord, after your prayer in the Garden soldiers and guards took you arrested you and dragged you off to the authorities. We in our times take Nature by force and betray her kindness to us.

Pope Francis says: “Our Sister, Mother Earth, now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. Our violence is reflected in the sickness of soil, water, air and in all forms of life.” (2).

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Second Conversation

‘Dear Lord, let me spend time with you in the Garden of Gethsamene. There you endured the agony of the world, and you also came to accept what you must do to save us all. Help me to look with a loving eye at the agony today of the garden of Nature, which you entrust to our care.

Pope Francis says: “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” (21). Who turned the wonder-world of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of colour and life?” (41)

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Laudato Si’ and the Paschal Mystery

Seven Conversations

(Numbers refer to Laudato Si’)

First Conversation

‘Lord, Lent means Springtime, a time of preparation for new life in nature. New life of a deeper kind breaks in on the world through what we call the Paschal Mystery–your suffering, dying and rising to eternal life. What you have done touches all time and space, all matter and every person. So help me now, please, to link your Passion with the present passion of creation, so that Easter joy may dawn upon us all.


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Brian Grogan SJ

Soon Christians will celebrate Easter. We form one third of the world’s population, and if we become attuned to the cosmic implications of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, we will bring a saving and hope-filled message to our Common Home.

Contemplation of the passion cannot be only a private devotion between Jesus and ourselves. We form one Body of creation, we are children of the earth; all of us are inter-connected, and Jesus, the divine One, is at the centre. His passion, death and resurrection must radiate out through us to all creation. ‘We bless you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.’

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What is the Spirit saying to the Churches?

Helen Grealy

‘What is the Spirit saying to the churches’ is an oft repeated expression in the Book of Revelation.  After 2000 years of Christianity, it is a very apt question for us today. At this early stage of the third millennium our Church establishments are in crisis.  Could it be that the life and teaching, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is no longer life-giving in the 21st century?  I doubt it.  While Jesus does not walk this earth in person, he has sent us his Spirit to be with us for all time.  We have seen throughout the centuries that people have recognised and responded to this Spirit.  Prophets, saints and mystics have always been with us, some well known, and others not so.  This selfsame Spirit of God is still with us today, I sense, in a very powerful way.

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Remembering our loved ones who have died and are now with God.

‘Never ever doubt that we will meet again.

Until that happy day I will grow with God and wait for you.’ – Anonymous.

November is a good month for us in the northern hemisphere to remember those who have died, because nature is in decline – autumn is ending and winter beginning. When we visit the graves of those we loved, we gain a new respect for creation, down to its minute specks of dust. This is so because we humans are made of the dust of the earth and it has become sacred because through it our loved ones became human.

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Brian Grogan SJ



Lord, is each of us a book telling the story of your love? Is mine a love-story too, in all its downs and ups, its shadows and its light-filled times? I think of my story as pretty ordinary, hardly a best-seller! My image of myself is of someone who has plodded along quietly; nothing very dramatic or unmissable seems to have happened. No publisher would want my manuscript—it wouldn’t sell.


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Brian Grogan SJ


Dear God, I’m writing this with the memory of a London tower block that was gutted by fire. Hundreds endured smoke and fumes and some were burnt beyond recognition. Such a tragedy. And yet this is the world into which you make your quiet Advent, moment by moment, year by year. Your beloved Son endured as we do the pain of human life, and it cost him not less than everything. He endured the depth of human malice, but his love transformed it. The Gospel story reveals an astonishing expanse of love that encompasses our story of sin and evil, suffering and death. We are told that you ‘so loved the world as to send your Son to save it’ (John 3:16).  This was your Advent.

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Brian Grogan SJ


Dear Lord, recently I read of someone who felt that other people’s profiles were drawn in colour with magic markers, but that hers was sketched only in light pencil. I sometimes feel like that woman, almost invisible, unimportant.But am I missing something rich that is hidden in my life? Psychologists say that to become truly alive we need theloving gaze of another. Good parents across the world are the first to provide this loving gaze: it is steady, unwavering, and it lasts into eternity, whether we are aware of it or not.The friends and good people in our lives also help us to believe that we really matter. A loving gaze is followed by loving care.

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Brian Grogan SJ


Lord, over these Advent weeks please prepare me for your Coming! I ask this because my prayer is often a bit of a shambles, dull and unfocussed, and my days are a humdrum succession of bits and bobs—daily tasks, kindnesses given and received, interruptions, occasional glad surprises. Some days I don’t pray at all: instead I do ‘something useful’ like helping someone, or even writing pages like this! But I know I’m missing something when I don’t give even a little quality time to you, even if it’s empty.


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Christmas Reflection

“He’s One of Ourselves!”

The poet Alice Meynell makes the point that the birth of Jesus simply made him ‘one of the children of the year’.  Since there was nothing outwardly distinctive about him,Herod has to butcher all babies around Bethlehem to ensure the elimination of Jesus.

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