“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.” Luke 1:48


In this episode we continue our reflection on the profound blessing of saying yes to God, saying yes to the ways in which we are being called out of pride and fear and into redemption and creativity and wholeness and freedom and life.

Mary reminds us that this incredible journey only ever begins in humility.

Every blessing, friends!

Art: James Tissot , The Magnificat

For another lovely piece of contemporary art to assist your reflection visit this page.


The angel Gabriel… came to her and said “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  

Luke 1:26, 28, 29


In today’s episode with pray with Mary, and the angel Gabriel’s incredible announcement to her. We observe her response and her willing participation in this story despite her fear and her lack of understanding.

Every blessing as you pray with this, my friends!

Artwork: The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Christmas in Ordinary Time


Dear Friends,

During the next few weeks, Contemplative at Home will be bringing you four special episodes on the theme Christmas in Ordinary Time.

As you know, Christmas is very specifically not ordinary time, it is an extraordinary season of festivity and abundance and celebration!

So why the theme Christmas in Ordinary Time?

As I’ve continued my prayer journey this year, I’ve been struck again by the ways in which God chose to work redemption through ordinary circumstances, relying on the willing involvement of real people just like you and me. I’ve also been pondering the repeated call to humility: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” said James, “He has regarded the lowliness of his servant” says Mary.

In the first episode (published today) we consider Mary, her call, and her willing response.

Later we will pray with the Magnificat, the Shepherds and finally, we will think about the ways in which God offers redemption in the ordinary details of our own lives, praying with John 1.

The more closely we look at our hearts, the more obvious it becomes how far we have to go on the spiritual journey, and I know that I personally have a very, very long way to travel! I very humbly offer these thoughts and this space so that we may continue on together.

If you can find pause to pray here between now and Christmas, I heartily congratulate you!, and pray that you will be nourished by the Holy Spirit. If you’d rather save these for another time (as likely your schedule will demand), the meditation will be relevant at any time of year, and, I trust, the Holy Spirit equally available to give you insight.

I wish you every blessing this advent my friends and I look forward to praying with you.




Image: Bus Shelter Nativity by Andrew Gadd

Consider the Lilies

Hello friends,

We continue our series “With Jesus in Ordinary Time” thinking about one or two of the ways in which Jesus used the ordinary world around him to speak truth into the hearts of his followers.

Consider these wildflowers, he said. They don’t reap or sow or spin, but their beauty is remarkable.

You don’t need to worry. The Lord is graciously and lovingly taking care of you and your needs.

I was fortunate enough to have a weekend retreat in Wales earlier in the month, so I recorded this while I was there, considering the wild foxglove (!) on an early morning hillside.

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May you know increased peace and trust as you sit with this text.

Every blessing, friends!!

A Quiet Place



Jesus invites his friends: “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”

In this episode you are invited to observe Jesus as he goes to a deserted place and prays to his Father, and to have your own conversation with God as well.

Every Blessing!


Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, …was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 

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In the wilderness, Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread, to take the glory and authority of all the nations on the earth, to test whether the angels will keep him from falling.

The temptations are for security, power and control.

Please do pray with us if you feel led! I’d love to hear how you find it. Thanks Friends.

Every blessing.


Jesus, a Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ (not an affiliate link)

To play the show please visit the Contemplative at Home website by following this link, or find us on iTunes!

The Hidden Life

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Hello Friends,

nazareth village 2

Have you ever thought about the thirty years that Jesus lived in a most ordinary way?

nazareth village 3
In this episode we pray with the Hidden Life: the years Jesus lived in obscurity, humbly given over to the hard work of a small community eking out a living from the land.


nazareth village 1


Every blessing.


James Martin, SJ’s book Jesus: A Pilgrimage quoted from the chapter entitled ‘Nazareth’
(*also: follow James Martin on social media, he is in the holy land this week!)

All photos were taken at Nazareth Village in April 2016

Ann Voskamp’s post in Holy Week

Richard Rohr interviewed by Rob Bell

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

The Beatitudes

Hello Friends!

Welcome to the first episode of Season Two: With Jesus in Ordinary Time.

This season we will consider the ordinary dynamics of Jesus’ life, the ordinary objects things he used to point people to the truth, and how he encountered ordinary people.

My family recently had the opportunity to visit Israel and in the midst of all that land holds we were struck by the ordinary realness of the place.




We especially had this sense went we went north to the Galilee. It is beautiful in a simple, gentle way and still relatively undeveloped.

From our guesthouse, we could just see the top of the church of the beatitudes. In this place, so tradition says, Jesus sat and spoke the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount.



Outside one morning I took in the landscape, considering the possibility that Jesus had been just here, living, walking, praying, listening, thinking, teaching.


And while I sat there, I recorded this episode, reading the words from Matthew 5 that Jesus first spoke somewhere very close to that very place.

You will hear the wind and the birds in this recording, and I hope that as you hear the wind you can feel it blowing across your body, and imagine that same wind dancing around the first listeners to these words.


Jesus spoke these challenging words to ordinary people, in an ordinary place, surrounded by ordinary things: clouds, breeze, birds, children, friends. This remarkable truth is for those in an ordinary context.


How does it speak to you?

Season Two: With Jesus in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

I am so pleased to let you know that the time has now come for Season Two of the Contemplative at Home podcast.

In the spring of 2015 a friend of mine asked if I would come and speak to a group of people about “Spirituality and the Everyday.” I was very flattered to be asked, but I didn’t feel uniquely insightful on the topic.

However, the talk wasn’t scheduled until March of 2016, so in truth, I had the better part of a year to prepare. In one way, a year is an excessive amount of time to be thinking about an hour of speaking and sharing.

But in another way it is incredibly rich to hold up one question, in this case ‘Where is the integration of spirituality and our everyday experience?’ and to let the myriad of answers slowly sink in and marinate and take on depth and maturity.


I spent the year watchful and listening, reading relevant books and re-phrasing the question, catching snippets of answers in surprising places and finding new questions.

And suddenly the week was upon us, I’d formed my thoughts into a few categories, I’d photocopied pages, I’d organised how to say things and when to leave space for the group to speak to each other, and I zipped down the road to the venue.

I was prepared and hopeful for the zing of connection. For people to be engaged and moved, inspired and energized by the content. I was excited and slightly anxious.

But oddly enough, the whole evening was somehow, disappointingly, very ordinary. I was late. The hour I thought I would have on arrival to do a final review was not actually available. The group sat in a circle so that I couldn’t actually see many of their faces, and of the those I could see, a number were in fact….asleep!

While I felt some initial disappointment (and have taken away some good learning points for myself!), I am not discouraged. Spending a year with this question on the sidelines has been a privilege and has borne fruit, just not perhaps in the specific moment that I had envisioned that fruit bursting forth!

Just 36 hours after I gave that presentation, I boarded a flight, with my two small boys, for Tel Aviv.

My sister has been in Israel for three years (her husband is in a post at the US Embassy), and for the first time we were going to visit them, to see their home, to celebrate a 3rd birthday, and to see the land where nearly the entire Bible narrative was played out.






Israel is remarkable on so many levels, there is just so much to consider and take in, both past and present.

And as so often happens when far-flung family is gathered, time stood still. We found ourselves suspended in kairos moments of shared joy, cousins connecting and sister chats about all that matters. Sacred moments.

And sacred indeed was experiencing the very real and ordinary reality of the land and sea on which Jesus lived and ministered. To feel the sun and the warm breeze, to see and smell the plants, to hear the birds, and dip our toes in the sea of Galilee, to explore the ruins of Capernaum and Bethsaida and to imagine here and very ordinary were all the people Jesus met and knew and healed and loved.




In an ordinary place, in an ordinary time, amongst ordinary humans, Christ came and lived and ministered and extraordinarily extended grace and reconciliation and relationship.

And it became abundantly clear to me, while I was there, that Season Two of Contemplative at Home must be about the ordinary sacred.

During the next few months, I will publish a new series of new podcast episodes. Some episodes will consider Jesus’ own ordinary life, others will look at the way Jesus used ordinary things to point to the truth, and others still will consider how Jesus interacted with ordinary people.

I hope you will join me for Season Two of Contemplative at Home: With Jesus in Ordinary Time.

Click the subscribe button on the right of the screen (or at the bottom of the page on your mobile device) to receive each episode directly to your inbox. Please follow Contemplative at Home on Facebook and Instagram, too, and invite your friends to join us as well!

Thank you friends! Every blessing!

CAH10 So Peter Got Out of the Boat

He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. Matt 14: 29


Hello Friends!

I’m delighted to bring you episode 10, prayerful meditation on Matthew 14:25-33, Jesus and Peter walk on water.

When my mom gives a slightly expensive gift, she always lets us know: “It’s a good one!”  Which, of course, always makes us laugh, but today’s prayer was so deep and personal for me this week, and the story so rich, that all I want to say to you here is “It’s a good one!!!”

In this story of Jesus and Peter walking on water, we have fear and faith: fears addressed and more fears addressed, Peter stepping out in faith and then succumbing again to fear.

If you feel led to pray with this episode, I hope it is as significant for you as it has been for me.

Early in the morning Jesus came walking towards them on the lake

They were terrified and cried out in fear

Peter said “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water”

Jesus said “Come.”

So Peter got out of the boat

And started walking on the water.

May you have the gift of deep awareness of yourself, your fears, your faith and the Lord’s remarkable and reassuring presence.

Every blessing friends.


Matthew 14:25-33 read in the NRSV

Photo: The Sea of Galilee today, photo by Katie Tierney

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