It seems like I have not been this tired in years. I start this post in Rome – Fiumicino, to be precise, waiting for my flight back to Brisbane to be called.

It has been a long week… full of meetings in preparation for a big theological conference we are planning for next year.

If we pull it off, it will be no small gig: a gathering of the heads of all the major Catholic theological associations around the globe, with the heads of the key Catholic Councils housed in Rome: sometimes I wonder what would happen if we all really got around the table in the right spirit??


Our meetings went well. We are on track, but the attempt to be responsible, or let’s call it faithful, to the task assigned and the trust implicit in my theological association paying for this trip, has meant 7 full days of meetings, all over this eternal city! From left to right, east to west… who needs a gym, or a step-counter? I am sure I have lost weight…despite the richness of Italian food! We have roamed and met and explained and listened… I am as tired as I have ever been…

It is now after the first leg of my journey, in which I fell asleep before the flight had taken off and slept for 9 of the 12 hours. Thank you, Jesus. I now feel ever so slightly more myself. In Shanghai airport now, and have six hours before I take off again. I have left my stuff in a free luggage holder that opens and closes with your fingerprint – cool beanz! We need to share these amazing inventions ?

Forgot to take a picture. Next time!



So, picking up: Tired but also blessed. Why?




I am going to name two reasons:


  1. I have found that when there is conviction about a certain theme, God gives you friends and ‘partners in crime’, who become part of you before you even plan it. Some of the team I am working with are new to me. We met in a 2017 Bangalore meeting and are now united around a cause, an intuition, about what theology could offer the Church and the world if we were to unite forces. They feel like brothers and sisters – people I was always meant to meet and for whom I care. It was not so easy being in Rome, so close to home, without being able to touch base with the Heaney clan who ground me most, but these bonds make it easier. 
  2.  The second reason is more profound. And therefore, harder to name. So, listen up! I think there are a few people in each person’s life who have access to the core of who we are. This is my theory, anyway. We can be open to many, to everyone even, little by little, that God places in our paths. But some people weave into us in a way that makes us who we are. They leave a mark within… they change us… they are the ones without whom we are less than who we are. And I am blessed that in my travels across the world, every now and again, God brings me back into contact with someone who is key to me being me. Or to God being God in me. And this feels like one and the same thing. Because “crying with those who cry and laughing with those who laugh” (Rm 12:15) is simply the way things work when you meet those who have been part of your forging communion with God.

God has given me friends that echo and evoke his very presence in my soul. For which I could not be more grateful. Rome this week allowed for two such encounters, of which I did not take photos, as they are too important to not protect.

Now back in Brisbane… recovering and taking up other tasks – which do not disappear while away, I might add ? –  So I am at the end of my rope, but blessed, graced, in touch with God and myself. And ready to knuckle down again.


Thank you, life, and Giver of Life, for the richness that pours into me when I can recognise these others as part of the way You love me.