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I HAVE SEEN THE STAR: Epiphany 2021

"They were men with restless hearts, not satisfied with the superficial and the ordinary. They were men in search of the promise, in search of God. And they were watchful men, capable of reading God’s signs, his soft and penetrating language." (Pope Benedict XVI) Sahara 2020 In the above photo we resemble modern day Magi, trekking through the desert in search of that which God had in store for us. We set out as strangers to each other with our own personal, private pursuit but it was necessary that we travel and arrive together and, like the Magi of the Gospel, we would return to our own country a different way. The route back might look the same but it was we who were different in our returning and our destinations would never be the same again. All pilgrimage draws our gaze forward and upwards, with little time for looking back. Like St. Paul we leave the past behind, straining forward for the gift to come. The gift and the victory. And even if the past chases us, even when
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He asked me to take Him in my arms: RESPECT FOR GOD

  One day in the silence after the Gospel at Mass I picked up St. Faustina’s diary and asked God to show me something that needed to be seen in that moment. This is what I saw, “I saw the Infant Jesus near my kneeler. He appeared to be about one year old, and He asked me to take Him in my arms. When I did take Him in my arms, He cuddled up close to my bosom and said, “It is good for Me to be close to your heart. … Because I want to teach you spiritual childhood. I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart, just as you are holding Me close to your heart right now.” ( Aleteia ) There is the danger at this point of the Christmas season that, as we begin to put away the decorations, we might also be inclined to put away the child Jesus, forgetting about this essential aspect of what He came on earth to reveal about who God is, what God is like. The Word became flesh and lived among us. Flesh is an important word here, a vital part of the birth o

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL THING YOU ARE DOING: Christmas 2020

  This is not Samuel - A striking picture I found online I drink from your cup Eat from the bowl You left behind in the rain White and pure, soiled I dip into your absence Tasting traces of your life And search for signs Of you on the street Remembering how you prayed Out loud in the church And slept awhile to ease Away the harshness of days You played music I sang songs We were bonded there Where Jesus and Mary Make their presence felt Enfolding us in their Tent Through weather that is Unkind Unfair The above lines were inspired by the departure of Samuel (already posted in a separate blog but fit here) after I had gathered up and washed some of the bits and piece of his time here. Someone asked if he held it against me that I sent him away, if he resented me for it. The answer is below.  Right now, I’m puzzled and frazzled by the sausages that have just disappeared out of the fridge. Was looking forward to a rare fry. Went through the fridge and freezer several

DEBRIS OF HUMAN FRAILTY

  Bare tree Naked rosebush  Spiking the dawn Dripping drops of dew The tears I cannot shed My heart a mayhem of crows Swooping on a single seagull Outside in the Green Where we played by day And partied by night Until grief disfigured our joy Love fatally fractured  The man has died He who became my enemy We made our peace A defrosting  Long before it was too late Yet still a broken legacy Remains The wounds of hate  The scars of love Debris of human frailty  We must stand still  And wait for God To win the victory For us all (January 9, 2020)

I DRINK FROM YOUR CUP

I drink from your cup Eat from the bowl You left behind in the rain White and pure, soiled  I dip into your absence Tasting traces of your life And search for signs Of you on the street Remembering how you prayed Out loud in the church And slept awhile to ease Away the harshness of days You played music I sang songs We were bonded there Where Jesus and Mary Make their presence felt Enfolding us in their Tent Through weather that is Unkind Unfair

THERE WAS NO ROOM: Sending Samuel Away

“There was no room for them…” – the phrase from Luke’s Nativity is branded in my brain because I have become one who made that a reality for another couple at my place, in my time. And whatever justification I may find, however I might want to present myself in a good light, there is something lacking in the logic of what has taken place. Sunday night when I left out the bin, I was somewhat perplexed to see that another tent had been set up next to Samuel’s. Perplexed because this could mean a trend was starting and I wasn’t sure that such a thing could be allowed. In the context of the virus, I didn’t want any kind of gathering that could endanger the health of people coming to Mass. Already another man who was previously homeless, now in a flat, told me he wanted to move out and to set up a tent by the church. To him I said a very definite no. Moving from a flat into a tent in the winter doesn’t make sense. The second tent unsettled me for part of the night and in the end, I entrust

SHADOW OF THE MOST HIGH: Reflection For 4th Sunday of Advent

Gospel of the Annunciation