Visio Divina

May 2021

For regular movie reviews by movie critic Peter Malone msc, visit our facebook page.

Movie title:  ‘Healing’

See the trailer here.

Not a religious documentary. Rather, a moving Australian drama (winner of the Catholic award for 2014), now on Netflix.

The accompanying theme in Healing is Redemption, the possibility for repentance, absolution, purpose of amendment and atonement, the key elements for reconciliation. In fact, the setting is a low security prison in rural Victoria. Don Hany plays a depressed prisoner, Hugo Weaving a case officer interested in rehabilitation. There is great beauty and tenderness in the storytelling and the imagery. The prisoner’s task is to care for and heal a wounded eagle (as well as begin to relate well to fellow prisoners, help healing them). Can the eagle soar again? Can the prisoner?

This kind of storytelling elicits our compassion for the prisoner, our hopes for his change of heart. And the questions arise about our own captivity by our failings, our sins, and our process of healing and redemption.

Movie title:  ‘Nomadland’

This month’s film, on the day of the 93rd Academy Awards, is Nomadland.

In centuries past, Morality Plays were very popular, even performed for a wide public on the steps of cathedrals. Now, we see contemporary Morality Plays on our screens, again available for the wide public.  But, not just for morality, but for our spiritual lives.

The past hero was called Everyman. In Nomadland (many awards and nominations), double Oscar-winner, Frances McDormand, plays Fern, a 21st century Everywoman. We can identify with Fern. She is middle-aged plus, a widow, a teacher, factory closures and depression hitting her Nevada town. She decides to go on the road in her trailer. She likes to work, takes on all kinds of jobs (Amazon mailouts, cooking, cleaning…). She is kind, a listener, meets a whole range of other nomads, older women, young men, on the road – and we listen to them, actual nomads, not actors. We enjoy their company.

We, the audience, are invited to share the life of this microcosm – and find a challenge to experience our own Nomadland (even if we live a quiet life at home, at work). How do we live our day-by-day journey? Authentically, with integrity? Those close to us, friends and acquaintances? Passers-by? Sharing our journey, sharing theirs?

Nomadland is a place, places of spiritual discovery of our true selves.

For more of Peter’s film reviews, click here.

Audio Divina

30 May 2021

We offer you something to listen to which may feed your soul.

Deep Listening is our passion. Heart of Life acknowledges the wonderful work of Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, and her Miriam Rose Foundation . We encourage you to listen to this amazing interview as she describes ‘dadirri’ – the art of deep spiritual listening. As ancient as 60,000 years old.

See our facebook page for more reflection resources.


We invite you to explore the reflections, texts and resources that we find helpful for our own spiritual journeys.  Visit our facebook page, or read the latest reflection by our director, Paul Beirne.

The Tree on the Hill

by Paul Beirne

In 1966, after taking a year ‘out’ following high school to determine what to do with my life, I joined a Catholic religious order to begin training as a missionary priest. One did this by ‘entering a Novitiate’–a religious tradition dating back centuries–which required a significant leap of faith. There were twenty of us in the Novitiate, and ironically, considering our future occupation, we were required to spend the first two years of our training in prayer and reflective silence, hidden away from society, rather than proselytising within it. Continue reading


Term 1
15 Feb to 1 Apr

Term 2
19 Apr to 25 Jun

Term 3
19 Jul to 17 Sep

Term 4
4 Oct to 19 Nov

Graduation & Missioning of Students (including Mass)
Monday 22 November, 7.30pm at St Joseph’s Church,
47 Stanhope St, Malvern



Autumn Reflection

by Paul Beirne

About 25 years ago, give or take, when I was residing in Seoul, South Korea, I had the opportunity to play host to two German priests who were on their way home from missionary work in Indonesia. They were in Seoul for a day and a half, and they had just one simple request: “Show us Korea” they said. “We want to see it all!” At least they had the grace to laugh! Continue reading

The Gift of Spiritual Direction

by Brian Gallagher msc

People often ask me ‘what do you do all day?’ For some reason, ‘mowing the lawn, pruning the roses, and walking the dog’ never seem good enough answers. ‘But what’s your work?’ they say. ‘Well, okay, I’m a spiritual director.’ Sometimes the next response is ‘A what!?’ but, often it’s something like ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Who do you talk to? Like, who comes to see you?’ Now that’s a story in itself…  Continue reading