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..

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday and Lent

I've just been to our two primary schools in the Parish to distribute blessed ashes. The students excitedly queued for a blessing and delighted in sporting their ashes to each other. Some came back for more. Wearing the blessed ashes is a visible reminder that I am going to try to make a difference in Lent. Please God, I'll try a little harder. The ashes are only visible. Its what goes on behind the scenes, on the inside that counts.

So, what do I do to make that difference this Lent? Well, that's up to you. Doing some small act of self denial is always good; going off the chocolate biscuits, alcohol, sweet-things etc. I gave up sugar in tea and coffee when I was a child. I couldn't go back on it now, I'd be poisoned, it would be too sweet!

Fasting and abstinence is a time honoured way of feeling some hunger and making a sacrifice.Traditionally, we are asked to abstain from meat on Fridays and especially in Lent. Meat was seen as a luxury once, and perhaps not anymore but it's still good to abstain and make that small sacrifice. Be sensible about giving things up and self denial. And if I fall, I get up and I try again with God's help.

What about making a special effort to pay a visit to the Church each day and especially going to daily Mass? When we visit the Church, when we go to Mass, we tune into the Lord's presence. In prayer, we connect with the Divine. As one of our friars said; "We get intimate with the ultimate." And in prayer there are no calls dropped and its 'always on broadband.'

There is a lovely Menu for Lent;
Fast from resentment. Feast on kindness.
Fast from lies. Feast on the truth.
Fast from cynicsm. Feast on things that things that help.
Fast from negativity. Feast on being positive.
Fast from swearing. Feast on words that build up.
You could put in your own ideas here...

There are those who don't have to wait for Lent every year to go without. They have Lent with them all the time due to an illness other struggles. I'd like to give a plug to the Trocaire box here. It's another way of making a difference in the lives of so many who have no choice but to struggle whether its Lent or not. Lent is more what happens to us on the inside and how we reach out to others.

Blessings to you all for Lent. And remember; as Archbishop Fulton Sheen said; "We diet for the sake of the body. We fast, for the sake of the soul."

Monday, 20 February 2012

Prayerful good wishes to the new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown. Seen here on the right with Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin on the occasion of the Liturgical Reception at St. Mary's Pro Cathedral in Dublin on 19/02/2012

(photo taken from www.dublindiocese.ie)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Padre Pio - Rare Footage


Pope Benedict XVI wrote his first Encyclical Letter to the Church in 2005 and he called it Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) At the beginning of this Encyclical he argues that there's a problem of language and he says; "Today the term “love” has become one of the most frequently used and misused of words, a word to which we attach quite different meanings." In English, the word love is used for  all sorts of meanings from the everyday to the most profound; "I love chips" to "I love you".

In the Greek language there are a few meanings for love. For example, the words; Eros and Agape. Eros does very well on Valentine's day; romance, flowers, chocolates, cards etc. Agape would be a deeper love.  It is a love that puts others first, a love that walks the road of life, a love that is unconditional. In Irish, the word cion would mean a love that is skin deep (I love ice-cream) whereas grรก means a deeper love.

Incidentally, the Latin word 'Caritas' or Charity, here means unconditional love. That is the love that last long after Valentine's day is over.

Happy Valentine's day! and as the old saying goes, say it with Flowers.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Tired of all the bad news.

Founded in 1969, The Capuchin Day Centre on Bow St, Dublin 7, it is well known that more than 600 hot meals are served there daily to anyone who calls. On Wednesdays, they give out over 1000 food parcels. During the week 'Safety Net' provide a doctor and a nurse on duty to all who need front line medical intervention. There are also hot showers and warm clothes available to anyone who needs it.

Br. Kevin and his team open early for hot breakfasts and close at 3.00 p.m.  They are so grateful to all who want to get involved and who wish to volunteer.  The great news though is despite the fact that they never do any formal fundraising, so many people get involved by making donations, etc. This was evident over Christmas 2011 especially and following the Today with Pat Kenny programme on RTE Radio 1.  Good News.