My Reflections on the Power of Love

In reflecting recently on the gifts that have been provided to me on having reached older age, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to be able to appreciate our wonderful natural world, so many valued good friends, and the joy of seeing our children and their children achieve satisfying lives as caring, loving people. Sadly, many people leave this earth far too early in their lives as a result of illness, neglect, misadventure, greed and tragically due to war.

At this present time there seems to be so much disillusionment with the critical concerns facing us all. Climate change, and the extreme situations that it has brought, is seriously impacting all life on our planet right now. Pandemics and illnesses that are leaving suffering people struggling to re-gain their lives. Political corruption and abuse of power appears to be increasing. We see escalating wars fuelled by greed and hatred that cause suffering on an immense scale. Everywhere these tragic situations are calling out to us to seek a better way to live together.  If life on this beautiful planet is to continue on into the future then we must address these things.

Presently our Australian nation is seeing the deep divide that has occurred since the announcement of the referendum to give Indigenous people a voice to address the inequality that has beset them since colonisation. Based upon widely promoted biased, non-factual and fear-based information we are experiencing just how destructive and divisive this has been.

We have heard negative remarks juxtaposed against the tragic lives of some Aboriginal people. These are all too frequently reported in the media, and sit against what is being sought through a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum. The failure within the conservative media to find intelligent, thoughtful information that enables respect and compassion has created a huge chasm. It fails to understand what comes from inter-generational trauma, deprivation, racism and inequality. Fear has been caste abroad from a political and biased  perspective and it has spread like an epidemic.

Love is the direct opposite to fear. The Uluru ‘Statement from the Heart’ was born of generosity, respect, hope and love. It is a powerful statement that seeks to be a way-shower. It embraces the deep spirituality of this land’s First People as they extend this generous invitation for us to walk with them into a united future.

Today there is disillusionment and disappointment with organised religion. People have seen the hypocrisy displayed all too often within the rules and structures that have been formed. We have heard the pain of those who suffered as victims. As a result, many people fail to have any faith in a higher power to sustain them, or to offer hope for their future lives.

Yet we also see that there is a growing awareness within our society of our need to care for each other. In this caring for the greater good of others, perhaps we are seeing a new expression of that eternal deep spiritual core that has been over-looked and ignored for too long. It likely was known by another name and was one that divided us and caused dissension. Perhaps the way forward might be to not give this a name at all. To see it purely as Love and a yearning for the Common Good.

In reflecting on the huge power that results when fear is broadcast perhaps our attention could now be to reflect upon the immense power that love can bring to change situations. Love that travels from heart to heart because first and foremost we care for others and seek to create ways to change destructive situations. These heart-felt yearnings change situations. They become sounding forks that hold the love and intention of our hearts enabling them to continue to vibrate and resonate within others. Some people still name these energies prayer – a term used within many faith expressions.

I have been imagining the powerhouse of energy that focused and committed love towards a YES vote for the referendum can bring forth. Love, used as a positive sounding fork each time we think of this referendum during our daily activities and when we speak with other people. In our quiet reflective times these positive thoughts can re-energise our heart’s desire so that we can go forward trusting that our nation’s soul will choose Hope.

Please remember that the opposite to love is fear. If we are seeking the common good for others and ourselves, then surely we are treading the right pathway.


Encouragement Grant awarded for 2023

Our charity, Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust, is pleased to announce that our Encouragement Grant for 2023 has been awarded to Elka Wood of Bega and her project ‘Celebration Days for Girls’.

Elka has two children and in watching them grow she recalls her own childhood and the transition from child to adult. Realising that it can be a lonely and confusing time, Elka has felt passionate about helping young people access all the information that they need, as well as the importance of face-to-face connection and the support of community during this time.

Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust is a relatively small charity that was founded back in 1983 by Franciscans, Brother Edwin Thomas Lloyd-Jones (LFSF) and Sister Laurel Clare Lloyd-Jones (LFSF). Our Trust’s annual Encouragement Grant of $2,000 is offered with the intention to support early initiatives by individuals, or groups, that offer hope for humanity through their endeavours. Especially when offering projects for young people, marginalised people, and all whose lives might be enriched through caring, especially at this time with the major challenges that face us all.

Elka Wood’s project Celebration Days for Girls focuses on the cusp of puberty (approximately 9 – 13 years) or in the early stages of transition, and the day offers a sharing circle which includes mothers, female caregivers and also older teenage mentors.

Elka describes these days, “it begins with a shared morning tea and then time without the mums when the girls are offered comprehensive period education and activities which focus on living cyclically. Then, after lunch, the girls make fresh flower crowns for when the mothers come back to crown their daughters in a small ceremony”.

“These days can create a positive experience of first menstruation and begin to untangle the menstrual taboos that leave so many who feel alone in their menstrual experience. In hearing the first period stories of a variety of older women, not just from their own mothers, this allows the girls to realise that half of the world’s population is having a menstrual cycle and that without this totally normal and feminine effort, humanity would cease to exist.”

Elka’s vision shines through in her comment “I love seeing young women empowered by their cycle and valuing themselves highly because of what their bodies can do, rather than dreading it.”

Anyone interested to know more can contact Elka by email at