Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

When they crucifued my Lord...


"Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

"Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble..."


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spy Wednesday


The Wednesday of Holy Week is known as "Spy Wednesday". Tradition holds that it is the day when Judas conspired with the authorities to betray Christ. Take a look at this video for a quick explanation...

Pope Francis spoke about Holy Week. His comments about following Christ are very appropriate for anyone discerning a religious vocation. I've included some of his address below. Note how he mentions the excuses we all give "I have no time" but the challenge for us all as disciples of Christ is to "step outside" of ourself.

For those who are discerning a religious vocation, I invite you to read his comments (see below) closely and reflect on them...

"Following, accompanying Christ, remaining with Him requires a "stepping outside," a stepping beyond. Stepping outside of ourselves, of a tired and routine way of living the faith, of the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to the creative action of God. God stepped outside of Himself to come among us, He pitched His tent among us to bring the mercy of God that saves and gives hope. Even if we want to follow Him and stay with Him, we must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the ninety-nine sheep, we have to "step outside", to search for the lost sheep together with Him, the one furthest away. Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of Himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of Himself for all of us.

Some might say to me, "Brother, I have no time", "I have so many things to do", "it is difficult", "what can I do with my little strength?", with my failures, with so many things? Often we settle for a few prayers, a distracted and inconsistent presence at Sunday Mass, a random act of charity, but we lack this courage to "step outside" to bring Christ. We are a bit like St. Peter. As soon as Jesus speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection, of self-giving, of love for all, the Apostle takes him aside and rebukes him. What Jesus says upsets his plans, seems unacceptable, it undermines the sense of security that he had built up, his idea of ​​the Messiah. And Jesus looks at the disciples and addresses Peter with perhaps one of the strongest words of the Gospel: "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do"(Mk 8:33).

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Holy Week




The Busted Halo website and YouTube channel has some excellent material. Here's a great summary of what Holy Week is all about. Take a look.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

St. Patrick


St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s better known saints. He was born in Britain towards the end of the fourth century. Tradition says he was captured and taken to Ireland where he worked as a slave. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his faith for solace, becoming a devout Christian.

He eventually escaped to Britain and studied for the priesthood and later became a bishop. He returned to Ireland, preached the Gospel and converted many.

For people discerning a call to religious life there are similarities with St. Patrick.

• Prayer was important to him.
• He faced challenges in his life and moments of decision.
• Ultimately he chose to devote his life to others and to the service of the Gospel mission.

St. Patrick’s Day also reminds us of the strong missionary tradition of the Irish Church and the missionary dimension of the Christian vocation. We remember our Irish missionaries throughout the world and also the Irish people who have had to leave home to work.
Today, indeed, is a day of celebration and thanksgiving. Life can be tough at the best of times and we need to relax and enjoy ourselves on this day. St. Patrick lived through difficult times too but at all times he simply put his trust in God. For some that may be a step too far but to give it an honest effort puts us in a very good place.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

"And our hearts shall yet burn where so ever we roam, for God and St Patrick and our native home."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Daffodil Day


Daffodils are blooming in parks and in the country side as winter gives way to spring. They symbolise renewal and new life, promise and hope which makes them significant in Lent, and approaching Easter. As a child I loved their scent maybe because of their calming effect on me.

I have come to associate daffodils with the Irish Cancer Society. Daffodil Day takes place on Friday, March 11th and various events take place nationally throughout the month of March. It is the biggest fundraising day for the Irish Cancer Society. Thousands of volunteers sell daffodil pins and flowers on the streets, in businesses, homes and shopping centres to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

The daffodil is used for its bright, life-giving qualities and it is seen as a symbol of hope. Cancer affects us in so many different ways. As a child growing up in rural Ireland, I recall people referring to it as the “The Dreaded C” or the “Big C”. It was an illness of which little was known with no immediate known cure. We often hear of sad stories but we are aware too of stories with happy endings.

Daffodil Day is the flagship fundraising day of the Irish Cancer Society. Our fundraising efforts help cancer patients at every stage of their journey. Patients are given information and support by the Society’s Nurses on line or in one of the 13 Daffodil centres throughout the country, to being driven to and from chemotherapy treatment by the Society’s Volunteer Drivers, to receiving emotional support through their professional counselling service. Fundraising for the Society makes sure cancer patients can access these services free of charge when they need it most.

It is the Society’s Night Nursing service which is synonymous with Daffodil Day and which supports patients at the end of their cancer journey. The Night Nursing Service operates every night of the year, providing palliative care to cancer patients so they can stay in the comfort of their own home. The Society’s Night Nurses give end of life care, offering support, advice and reassurance to their patients.

So when you buy a daffodil, support Daffodil Day or participate in an event organised in your local area, know that you are supporting a great cause, helping patients and families affected by cancer. We pray for all affected by cancer, we pray for doctors, nurses and carers who are bearers of God’s healing to all who are affected by cancer!