Food For Faith - Book Review

Ten years ago Fr John O’Connor began a blog offering personal reflections inspired by the day’s liturgy readings and from experiences of life and faith. In response to many requests, he has gathered a selection of these reflections into a book.

Father John's words from the book's introduction:

When I was ordained I could never have imagined the diversity and depth of life-experience that would be mine as a Diocesan Priest. While my family, friends, and school and seminary faculty had been my teachers, now the people of the diocese of Christchurch in Aotearoa New Zealand were my educators.

With the opportunity for further study, and offering retreats and seminars outside my home diocese, an even greater diversity of people and experiences continued my formation. I think of the people I enjoyed and the experiences I welcomed, and also the people who found me more difficult and who let me know this. So many good people have had a hand and a heart in my education and today I am grateful.
I am especially grateful to those who have engaged with the Food For Faith mission at Food For Faith (FFF). I had little idea that my initial blog ramblings would grow over more than ten years to provide a daily contact with thousands of people across the globe.

While the daily reflections throughout the year have been well-received, other Food For Faith initiatives including Homily Studio, Prayer Wall, Lectio Divina and the Cafe gatherings have become a significant part of the lives of a great number of people.

In response to many requests, I now hesitantly offer this collection of reflections. It hasn’t been easy to choose just a few dozen from the three thousand that have been published on the website.
Each piece was written for a particular day, sometimes based on the scriptures given in the liturgy of the day and other times prompted by an event or an encounter in my ministry as a Diocesan Priest. The following day I would post a new reflection, never imagining that yesterday’s reflection would have an ongoing relevance. The temptation therefore was to re-work each piece to update it and to improve it, but I was wisely advised to publish the chosen pieces as they were, and trust that the Holy Spirit would use these reflections anew in their original form.
I know there are many who have appreciated the FFF invitation to meet in groups in a local cafe or bar. You might take my one reflection as a starter for your cafe-conversation.
You will notice that some of the reflections have an invitation attached, a starter for your own reflection. However most pieces leave it to you to design your own invitation to go deeper. You will be surprised at how easily suggestions for personal reflection come to you.
In the opening paragraphs I refer to the braided rivers of my youth. The cover of this book is a representation of the Waitaki River, a mighty waterway, significant for my ancestors as a source of water for their farms, a recreational spot for fishing and swimming, and more recently, after the building of three hydroelectric power stations, a significant source of electricity for the country.

While many rivers are large bodies of water, growing as they make their way from mountains to ocean, the braided rivers of the Canterbury Plains spread wide, meandering to and fro, even doubling back on themselves at times, giving water to irrigate the fields of the otherwise parched plains, with the remnant meandering to the ocean.
I like the braided river as an image of the community of faith. We all have the same origin and destination, and the unique pathways of our lives serve to reveal the richness and abundance of life lived in relationship with Jesus Christ who is God-with-us.
Let us now press on to know the Lord. (Hosea 6)

To purchase the book go to: Copypress