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Showing posts from January, 2020

I BECOME HIS CAPERNAUM

I don’t like Monday but I love the Word of God. Monday morning, even though it’s my day off, feels like a hangover. Heavy, slow, dull. And it’s raining, so the temptation is to stay in but there’s a movie that I want to see – A Hidden Life – and it’s only on in Ashford at lunchtime. I get myself together and out the door. Walking down the street I run into a young family from the parish who are on their way back from the doctor. I hear them before seeing them. The young voices exclaim my name in unison and one of them looks up at me and says, “I am sorry about your brother-in-law!” It is so tender the way she says it. “Thank you!” I reply, adding that he needed to die because he was in a lot of pain. “He rests now” I say and she adds “in peace!” The Word of God is alive and active and it comes to us in many forms. It is impossible to resist it when spoken by a child and my mood is completely altered, the strain in me dissolved. Yesterday was Word of God Sunday, named so

WAR ON THE ORDINARY PEOPLE: Days in December

“This is the war on the ordinary people”, the man shouts and shouts again on the crowded train. We’re squeezed in like sardines. Standing. There’s chaos at the station. Delays and cancellations. Yet, most of us remain silent in the face of it and some try to stop the man shouting his protest against this form of war on the people. I’m happy to have gotten in to the train at all but I wonder if it is our silence, our quiet resignation that allows government to become so detached from what is happening in ordinary lives. Although, it’s only a week since people had the opportunity to protest by means of the ballot box and they chose not to protest at all. Maybe they are too tired. At Dublin airport the wind howled through the departure door, rain swept down across the tarmac. We were left standing on the stairs for quite a while after having presented out boarding passes. A young official asked, “would anyone like to skip the queue?” Two of us accepted the invitation to go down

A Page That Aches For A Word

From the train - Galway to Dublin January 15, 2020 “The nail bomb is an anti-personnel explosive device packed with nails to increase its effectiveness at harming victims." (Wikipedia) Death is like a nail bomb that scatters itself indiscriminately, fragmenting further what is already fragmented. It scatters people, pushes them against each other, pulls them apart. Some deaths do that.  Others are grace-filled, a grace that bathes the most severe sorrow in peace.  Those who survive have a choice to make. It's within our gift to decide what to do with what we inherit. That choice is simple enough, though never easy, when what comes to us is a loving legacy. When division is left behind, the task given us is much harder and it calls us to be more than who we are, to go far beyond ourselves, so that painful history does not have power to destroy our present and future.  Being mourner and priest is seriously challenging, more than those closest can ever imagine. There is the m