Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2013 Contents It is often said (and agreed by many)
that parenting is the hardest, yet most
rewarding, role one can undertake. Not
all parents and families have the support
of extended family to help them in this
role. With families becoming smaller,
fewer reliable resources are available to
new and even experienced parents.
Through the support of the Australian
Government, the Department of
Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) has
developed a very useful and engaging
website, http://raisingchildren.net.au/ to
help families better manage each age
and stage of their child's development.
The website also has many resources
to help the adults look after their own
needs. The resources are presented
logically and in a non-judgemental way
with scientific evidence to support the
information provided. The user-friendly
site allows users to access information
in many formats such as articles, videos,
pictorial instruction leaflets, printable
posters and interactive guides. The
topics discussed cover all manner
of health and well-being issues from
bathing, sleep and nutrition for babies
through to relationships and technology
advice for teens.
While many sites can offer similar
information, this site appeals to a wide
audience and caters for the cultural
diversity within our community. The site
is also being enhanced to cater for those
with vision or hearing impairments.
Another distinctive aspect of this site is
the "My Neighbourhood" link in which
you can connect with health services,
community groups and family support
services within your local area. The
interactive home safety guide has many
useful tips and allows you to see your
home from a child's perspective. The
additional requirements for families of
children with special needs are given
particular attention with first hand advice
from parents facing similar challenges.
The underlying theme of this website
is one of support -- for children and
for their parents and carers. There is a
deliberate recognition of the role of Dads
in the lives of their children. The notion
of communities becoming stronger
and more cohesive by giving families
the support and care they need 'rings
true' and is something for which all
communities can strive.
Most of us are compulsive 'doers'.
'Nothing' is hard to do. It takes some
doing. Yet it is so necessary. In this
sense Do Nothing to Change Your Life
resolves the ambiguity of its title.
The author, Stephen Cottrell, Anglican
Bishop of Chelmsford, England, is a
busy man who is required by his wife,
his children and his sacred office to
do many things. His 38 books did not
publish themselves. What can he tell us
about doing nothing?
Much - and in an engaging manner!
This self-confessed dreamer and
poet has the gentle air of the English
mystics about him, co-habiting with the
theologian, Scripture devotee, man of
the people, family man and Church man.
Taking time, he says, to do nothing (and
he gives us practical advice) is vital to
experience ourselves as we really are
meant to be -- to discover our purpose
and delight in who we are.
Cottrell counters the short-lived instant
gratification and nihilism, the ego-
centrism and consumerist frenzy of
our world with an invitation to consider
'what if' God really is love. What are
the implications for happiness? His
excursions into 'what ifs' are engaging,
while his direct proclamation of his
Christian faith is compelling for its clarity
The 'doing nothing' he proposes is not
wasting time, but using it differently,
richly. It is not laziness, but self-
discovery, creation-discovery, God-
discovery and celebration.
What can we discover if we do nothing
but allow a habit of stillness to grow
in our daily lives? We discover we are
immensely valuable in ourselves, but
we are not the centre. We discover
the wonderful otherness of others. We
discover a grand scheme of 'immense
loveliness'. We discover the 'scandalous
hospitality' of God and the 'wiles' of
God who leads us gently to appreciate
interdependence and communion. We
recognise our true selves with certainty
Cottrell laments that "sometimes the
Christian Church seems busy telling
other stories" apart from the good news
of God's prodigal love. That story can
come home deeply in us if we 'waste'
time being still and come to know that
God is love.
What if you read this book, allowed
its homeliness to enchant you and its
possibilities to engage you, experienced
its suggestions, and discovered delight
in doing nothing? Doing nothing like this
could change your life.
BY MICHAEL O'CONNOR
BY MARGARET WALKER
Stephen Cottrel, l Do
Nothing to Change
Your Life: Discovering
When You Stop.
Seabury Books New
Aurora on tour
If you have a photograph
that you would like to be
considered for Aurora,
please ensure it is high
At the Church of the
Primacy of Peter in
the Holy Land, these
Sisters were spotted
catching up on news
from the Catholic
Diocese of Maitland-
Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations,
CONTRIBUTED BY SR LOUISE GANNON RSJ
Our DNA is divine, and the Divine Indwelling is never
earned by any behaviour or any ritual, but only
recognised and realised (Romans 11:6, Ephesians
2:8-10) and fallen in love with. When you are ready,
you will be both underwhelmed and overwhelmed
at the boundless mystery of your own humanity.
You will know you are standing under the same
waterfall of mercy as everybody else and receiving
an undeserved radical grace, which gets to the
"root" of your own soul.
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
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