Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Slán agus Beannacht Pápa Benedict XVI

Today, February 28th 2013, we wish our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI well in his retirement. From the beginning of his pontificate, he has been the pope of surprizes. His first encyclical letter, 'Deus Caritas Est' reminded us all that God is Love. This was from someone with a personal, prayerful relationship with Jesus Christ which has stood the test of time, and seen highs and lows.

As an expert in Theology, he has constantly taught that true freedom and happiness is found in the witness to the truth and in doing the right thing. Pope Benedict was always someone who never wanted to be pope but always sought to serve the Church so he accepted the papacy as a witness to service and humilty. He said as much when he was elected; "I am....just a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord..."

Perhaps his most powerful witness was his announcement on February 11th that after much prayer and reflection and conscious of his age and energy levels he dedided to renounce the papacy effective from today. This has not been done in six centuries. I believe this is a wonderful example of minority and service and of detachment to power which is very much the oppostie in our world. The Holy Father intends to live the remainder of his life as Papa Emeritus or Emeritus Bishop of Rome in prayer and solitude.  We accompany him with our prayers and good wishes. I'm sure the new pope will be grateful for the prayerful support of the retired Bishop of Rome.

Let us pray for a good, wise and holy pope to be elected by the Cardinals as they gather these days in Rome.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Story Bud?

You've heard of London's Cockney language? And most places have their own. Here's a few Dublinisms.  I'm sure James Joyce, and Brendan Behan would agree!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Joel 2: 12-14
'But now; declares Yahweh - come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, and mourning.'
Tear your hearts and not your clothes, and come back to Yahweh your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents about inflicting disaster.
Who knows if he will not come back, relent and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a libation to be presented to Yahweh your God?

This is a section of the first reading from Mass for Ash Wednesday. Joel describes in it how God desires a change of heart and mindset as a way of returning to him, and asks us to hold nothing of ourselves back. I am reminded of the words of St. Francis of Assisi; in his ‘Letter to the Entire Order’ ‘Therefore, hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves so that He who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally.’

Lent is a call to generosity and to renewed efforts to see the need in the other person. It is a time par excellence to put the other person first and to see the image of Jesus Christ in others and especially in those who suffer.
We are called too to give up something we like in order to make a sacrifice and/or we are also invited to take on something. So this may be a time to consider giving up alcohol or sweet things. It could be a challenge to cut down on social media or television/movie viewing. Some things we give up can have great benefits to a healthier lifestyle.  Quitting smoking and cutting down on our food intake can be a great thing to do in Lent and can have positive effect on our health into the future.

But whatever we do, we are invited to do it with a cheerful heart and to keep trying. The most important thing to bear in mind it we do it for God. This changes us on the inside and makes us happier people. And of course as Joel says; “Who knows if God will not leave a blessing for us?”




Monday, 11 February 2013

Pope Benedict XVI

Today, February 11th 2013, Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick, We learned that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has decided to resign from the Papacy from February 28th. This is something that hasn't happened in over 5 centuries.

Let us pray for the Holy Father in his retirement and also to pray for a good and holy Pope to succeed him.

Friday, 1 February 2013

St. Brigid of Kildare / Naomh Bríd

Saint Brigid of Kildare, or nicknamed Mary of the Gael  (Naomh Bríd) (c. 451–525) She is one of Ireland's three main patron Saints; along with Sts. Patrick and Colmcille

'One of the more commonly told stories of St. Brigid was when she went to the King of Leinster to ask for land to build a convent. She told the king that the place where she stood was the perfect place for a convent. It was beside a forest where they could collect firewood and berries. There was also a lake nearby that would provide water and the land was fertile. The king laughed at her and refused to give her any land. Brigid prayed to God and asked him to soften the king’s heart. Then she smiled at the king and said “will you give me as much land as my cloak will cover?” The king thought that she was joking and because Brigid’s cloak was so small he knew that it would only cover a very small piece of land. The king agreed and Brigid spread her cloak on the ground. She asked her four friends to hold a corner of the cloak and walk in opposite directions. The four friends walked north, south, east and west. The cloak grew immediately and began to cover many acres of land. The king was astonished and he realized that she had been blessed by God. The king fell to the ground and knelt before Brigid and promised her and her friends money, food and supplies...'

(Taken from Wikipedia)

Brigid also gives us her famous 'cross' made out of straw and is as associated with her as shamrock is with St. Patrick.

Her feast day is February 1st.