Symbolic of where I'm going,

Fog on the horizon
Cloaking the hills
Draping the trees

The serene fields of England
Fresh in vibrant green
White Hawthorne blossoms

Crowning - fifth mystery

Queen of the May
Help of Christians


The dead-slow stress of morning traffic

Mine a high speed pilgrim train
No less tranquil than the gentle pace of barges on the canal


I take a different route
Kick the ball in another direction
Sail against the current

For the glory of You the One True God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent

The saving of the soul
The unheard voice
Of the unseen child,
Hard pressed mother,
Troubled father

Leaders who act as if they were God and reach to touch the Tree of Life

At the risk of Paradise

The entertaining gods
At whose feet the masses lay down their approving ckoaks

Jesus said, "In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."
(Matthew 13:14)

Our soul salted with fire
Will pitch it's tent with the smallest, the most vulnerable and the lost
Perhaps to no avail in our time
Yet, please God, to our eternal credit

St. Cybi's Church Holyhead 

This journey began on the phone two nights ago. Maggie asked, are you coming home to vote. I have no vote I said. Check the register she said. I did and I have. I asked Evelyn to go up home and see if my voting card was there. It was.

Went straight online - Ryanair, edreams, Aer Lingus - others. All too expensive and I too late.

Thirty years ago this would have been the first and cheapest option. To my delight I found a ticket for train and boat and train all the way to Galway for £70 and got a return flight for €28. The other was going to cost £400.

Most importantly Fr. Tony came down Hastings to fill in. Otherwise it wouldn't have bee possible.

It's like a call from God. It came in a podcast I heard along the way:

"My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, 'Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.

For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.

'Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.' (Song of Songs 2)

I have felt burdened by this referendum, burdened at the prospect of what is about to happen in Ireland. And being in England I feel useless.

I understand the arguments and why people will vote differently to me but when I think of Nell McCaffertys description of what actually happens to the wee baby, I wonder why people don't care enough about that reality, the awful suffering of it that is contained in the laws that are to be introduced if repeal succeeds. In ministry we have also witnessed the suffering this has caused to mothers.

And I think of EQUALITY - those who fought, shouted and won it. Do they now fight and shout to win it for those who cannot shout?

Today as I pray and ponder I know I am not meant to bear all the buden of what others choose. I can only bear some and mostly I bear responsibility for myself as I stand before God. It doesn't satisfy me but strangely  I experience joy on this journey and peace. In His will there is peace.

I'm on the train to Galway now after the pleasure of spending a few hours on the sea where I feel so at one with myself, with life and with God and listening to Refiners Fire which is appropriate because my day began with fire in the readings at Mass.

Ah, the magic of coming home to Galway by train - the fields of Athenry that speak of my Mother's home, not to mention Ballyloughan and all of our innocent childhood summer's, Loughatalia and the thought of being met at the station!

God be with us all. My final prayer from Psalm 26, "Show me Lord Your Way so that I may walk in Your Truth. Guide my heart..." tonight, tomorrow and always. Amen!



OF YOU MY HEART HAS SPOKEN: Seeking the Face of God - Eamonn Monson

Katie's First Communion 2017

When I was preparing to move to Hastings last year I asked God for a Word for this new venture in my life and what came to me is, "of You my heart has spoken, seek His Face; it is Your Face O Lord that I seek," from Psalm 27. This is also the entrance antiphon for the seventh Sunday of Easter. 

So, it has seemed to me that the core of my life here is to seek the Face of God, to seek it constantly. It is not, of course, a seeing in the ordinary sense and it can also be a hearing and an instinct which indicates the presence of God in a particular moment. 

The seeking and the seeing has to be true. "Keep those you have given me true to your name!" - the prayer of Jesus in today's Gospel. True to the name, the identity of who God really is and not who I want Him to be.  

God's identity is always Love. "We have come to know and to believe in God's love for us. God is Love and whoever lives in love lives in God and God lives in that person." (1 John 4:16) Wherever there is Love there is God! 

The Face of God comes to me especially in the Mass, in the Word of God, in the Eucharist and it also comes to me in the people I encounter. I find it in the baby I baptize, I find in in the faces of people approaching me for Holy communion or for blessing and I find it in other hidden or unexpected ways. 

There was a man who used to sell smiles in George's Street, sitting there on the cold hard ground in all weathers with a sign in front of him that said, "smiles for sale!" I bought a smile every time I came by him and, while we never got to know each other by name or anything else, a bond developed between us. He appreciated the fact that "you never pass me by!" I valued the smile he offered, valued the fact that he found plenty of reasons for smiling and he became the Face of God for me, the smiling, humble Face of God. Then he just disappeared, stopped being there and I think of him every time I walk down George's Street. 

The other day I was coming back from town when I saw a woman sitting in the sunshine with a sign that said, "smiles for sale!" I told her I knew a man who used to sell smiles. "He was my husband" she said, "he died on Christmas Day!" Died of pneumonia. I sympathized. Felt a huge sorrow in me, the sorrow of missing him, the sorrow of missing God. His name was Graham. 

Something that prevents us seeking the Face of God is our own sense of guilt, shame or hypocrisy; when we realize that we are not the good Christians we are meant to be or seem to be; when someone reminds us of these realities. It's easy then to get discouraged, to think there's no point seeking because I will somehow always be less instead of more. But it's important to keep seeking, keep striving, no matter how badly I feel about myself, remembering that there is not one of us without sin and only Jesus is perfect. 

A most beautiful discovery of the Face of God came to us in the First Holy Communions we celebrated today. The children participated so perfectly and when they read the Word of God I felt Him entering into my heart and soul. When I gave them Communion I was consumed in the perfect Innocence of God Himself. 

And a really special moment came at the beginning of Mass when I looked down at the congregation and I saw the parents of one of the boys. She was pregnant all during the time of his preparation for Communion. Today she was holding her new baby girl who was born just two days ago. Our eyes met, the three of us, and we smiled. 

Huruma Eamonn Monson
May 13, 2018

LOURDES: Silent Witness To Love - Eamonn Monson

You can smell the flood, the after-effects wafting from the closed hotels and shops. In the river a snapped tree juts sideways into the air. Reconstruction, sacred areas cordoned off, inaccessible for now. 

Thankfully the Grotto is open. There’s an overwhelming innocence in the unpretentious humble pilgrims. A recently born baby in her father’s arms, toddlers, ordinary modern young women and men, the old, the sick; every race and nation. 

I kneel in the spot where St. Bernadette prayed when she saw Mary and my prayer is intense, sad with the sorrow of those I’m pleading for. It is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. 

A strong breeze blows down the rock rustling the leaves, blowing out the candles that the attendant is trying to light. I always feel that Mary is present in the breeze in the trees but I wonder would she extinguish the flame and the joy of her people. 

And I wonder about the floods that destroyed this place twice in two years. Nothing is as it should be. There’s turbulence, conflict, a spiritual warfare going on in the world where everything sacred, including life itself is trampled upon in the name of progress. The wolves are scratching at the door of all that is holy. 

Angry is how you would describe the river. It runs fast and high and green. It too reminds us that it burst its banks once and could do so again. And still there is peace and joy and hope here in the Grotto.

It’s lovely to observe the young who are keen to stand or kneel in the spot where St. Bernadette knelt when she first saw Our Lady. Do they find a connection in the spiritual experience of one as young as themselves? 

The place where St. Bernadette prayed! In the evening I was sitting near this spot again before the candle light procession. A young couple came and knelt there close to the spot where the miraculous spring emerged. He took a little box from his pocket, opened it and there was a ring inside. Without a word he took her hand and placed the ring on her finger. She smiled and then started to cry. They both cried and embraced a while. Then they prayed in silence for a long time. 

There is love in Lourdes – so much love! When it was time for me to leave I bent down to wish them God’s blessing. She reached up and kissed me on both cheeks. I gave him a hug and went off to join the procession. I was the silent witness to love, the ultimate treasure of the human heart.