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Showing posts from March, 2018


Placing Christ in the Tomb St. Thomas of  Canterbury Acting sometimes  has a strange effect on me. Today is one such time. We are taking part in the Good Friday ecumenical Procession of Witness in Hastings Old Town. We pray and we witness the enactment of the Way of the Cross mostly out on the streets. I feel disconnected from the early scene being acted out in the beautiful St. Clements Anglican Church. It seems untrue, unreal and the shouting too loud. The shouting disturbs something unnamed in the pit of my gut, in the same way that the unanswered crying of a baby does. It's like something primal. But it's no harm to be disturbed to the core when praying on the experience of the most awful suffering of that last day. We're outside the church now and all of a sudden Jesus comes tumbling violently down the steps, like he was thrown. He lands flat on his back and the Cross has fallen on top of him. I have forgotten the acting now and have an almost over

ANOINTING: The Fragrance of Love

Ch rism Mass reminds me of Mam and Dad, even though we never attended one together but it was one of their favourite events of the year. Bishop Eamonn Casey of Galway  began the custom of inviting the parents of priests to the Chrism Mass every Holy Thursday and afterwards to lunch in the Sacre Coeur Hotel. They felt honoured and acknowledged. And why shouldn't they be because there is no priesthood without them!   This year for the first time I'm at the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral in Arundel, following a frustrating two-hour drive. Beautiful church, lovely liturgy, magnificent singing! And heart-warming encounters   with priests and people I have never met before.   My mind wanders back and forth to my parents, to the other Chrism Masses I attended in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin during my time in Shankill, to those who attended with me – Joan Duignan, Derry, Jaimie, Liam, Pat Maguire. We would go for coffee afterwards.   This is an occasion  for the renew

HOLY WEEK: A Reflection - Eamonn Monson sac

“My soul at once becomes recollected and I enter the state of quiet. Everything is stilled and the soul is left in a state of great quiet.” (St. Teresa of Avila)         As we enter into Holy Week we are invited by God into a state of quiet recollection in prayer as we contemplate Jesus in His Passion, as we “look upon the one they have pierced.” (Zechariah 12:10). The appropriate form of prayer is that of silent gazing, a silent gazing on the person of Jesus, a loving gaze and a total surrender to Him in which I put aside my own thoughts, my agenda and my struggles. I surrender my self-preoccupation and allow love for Him to be stirred, awakened within me in the silence.     We sometimes flinch and turn away from the silence beca use we cannot bear our own pain and we cannot bear the full impact of the suffering of Jesus.   “He had no special beauty or form to attract us; there was nothing in his appearance to make us desire him.    He was hated, despised and


I miss you my Love this desolate night. My face turned to the cold wall, sickening silence. Hours and days of it. The only hint of You is that question You have asked these forty years and more - "Can you drink the cup that I must drink?"   (Matthew 20:22). The answer is always yes, though I often kick against the way in which the cup is given. +++ Recently it dawned on me that, unusually, I had come through the winter without getting depressed and I was moving towards Lent full of purpose and confidence. I knew what I had to give up and take on, fully aware that the practises of Lent should lead me closer to God, make a better person of me. Lent had hardly begun when I was hit by a nasty cold that soon turned into a viral infection but I still went ahead with plans to spend a few days in Worth Abbey, feeling the need of a monastic experience - the first since my arrival in England eight months ago. It was wonderful to walk into the silence of the place.