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?

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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.


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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

What did you find significant in this text? To leave a comment please click on “reply” at the top of this post.

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New Facebook Page

Hello friends

I’ve set up a Facebook page for contemplative at home, I thought it might be a friendlier place for people to give feedback and chat about the experience of prayer with contemplative at home podcasts. We’ll see how it goes! If you want to find us, please follow this link. It would be great to see you there.

Good news, I’ll be publishing episode 10 at the end of the week! Watch this space.

CAH09 “Why all this commotion and wailing?”

“Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”  Mark 5:36


Hello friends!

Things are getting a little crazy around here – the end of the school year (yes we are in school until mid-July), wonderful house guests, getting ready to travel home for four weeks and much more.

But the stillness is still there, waiting, inviting, calling us to pause, to rest for a time in the Lord’s presence.

In Mark 5 (21-25 and 35-42) we meet Jairus: a man of importance in the religious community, a man with authority, and until this point probably wary of Jesus, at best. Now, however, he is desperate as the life of his dear daughter is slipping away. He comes and throws himself at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to heal her.

Jesus speaks:

“Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”

“Why all this commotion and wailing?”

“Little girl, get up!”

Please do come and pray with this story, if you feel led. I’m sorry that it may not be the best I’ve produced, but I trust that the power of the word to speak to you is not dependent on my strength to deliver it.

Thanks again for being here. Lots of love, friends.


Bible read in the NRSV

Art: Christ raises the daughter of Jairus, Yelena Cherkasova

The play I refer to, by the Riding Lights Theatre Company is called Inheritance 

Closing prayer from the Church of England

This is the companion story to Contemplative at Home Epidose 8: Jesus heals the woman bleeding.

What did you find significant in this text? To leave a comment please click on “reply” at the top of this post.

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CAH08 If I but touch his clothes

She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well” Mark 5:27


Hello Friends!

Wow, can I have another favorite? I loved the space I found as I prayed with this story. Perhaps you too will find the time to pray with this story, to hear what the Lord has to hear to you in this space.

Unclean for twelve years. Excluded from the temple and religious expression. Unable to touch anyone, anyone she loved, anyone at all. Twelve years.

All her money spent, countless medical procedures, which had only made things worse.

Courageously she moves towards Jesus, touches his cloak, and finds healing.

I love this story. I look forward to sharing it with those of you that feel led to join me.

Every blessing, friends.


Reading from the NRSV

Closing prayer from the Church of England (

Art: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Woman with an Issue of Blood (L’hémoroïsse), 1886-1896. Brooklyn Museum.

“Courage and Vulnerability are the same thing: letting yourself be seen.” I heard this today in this podcast from Care for the Family.

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What did you find significant in this text? To leave a comment please click on “reply” at the top of this post.