Showing posts from September, 2012

Letter-writing: a thing of the past?

Recently I passed on a book to a friend of mine called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’. A great book and one I would recommend if you haven’t read it. It’s even available free online as a PDF.
 One of the pages is entitled: “Once a week, write a heartfelt letter.” (note to self, don’t give advice to people unless you’re ready to take it yourself!)  So I embarked upon this task and made a new resolution to write one letter every week. Letter writing or 'snail-mailing' as it is also known is one of those things said to fall under the rubric of “lost art.” Why bother to write when it’s so much easier to just dash off an email or a text message? The answer is simple: handwriting is an intimate and accurate reflection of who you are and what makes you tick. It’s a behaviour that gives you an opportunity to express something about yourself in a way that you can’t do with a keyboard.

For a while, I used to write my letters on my computer and then printed them out. The primary reasons …

The silence of the storm


The future of Catholic education in Ireland

Today the Irish Independent, one of our national newspapers ran this headline: “Parents get vote to take schools out of control of the Church”

I have to say that I was saddened to read this.  Why? Firstly, this statement is one which is very misleading, provided by a media, which is supported by anti -church sentiment which has grown amongst those who have proffered from the system but now reject said system. I am proud to say that I went to a Catholic school run by the Sisters of Mercy for 14 years, from when I was 4 years old to when I was eighteen. To be honest I have to say, my Catholic education has given me a strong foundation in my religious life. It gave me values which complimented the values which I received from home, a love for educating and learning, a respect for those who sought to teach me in many ways. All the preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation was done in a classroom setting. My teachers brought me to the parish on Fridays where we joined for the …

Who do you say that I am? XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who do you say that I am?  This may be one of the most important questions of all time!

For some the disciples had talked to, Jesus was another great prophet like Elijah or Jeremiah (Mt 16:14).For the disciples, Jesus enigmatically pushed them past the literal (Mt 16:7-12).For Peter, Jesus was the Messiah . . . but not the right kind. Jesus was the vanquishing Saviour here to whip up on the Romans, not die on one of their crosses (Mt 16:16, 22).Who is Jesus for you? Who do you say Jesus is? This doesn't mean rhyming off answers which we have learned or parroting off the experiences of others. Who do you say Jesus is? This is the question that all people must grapple with and answer. Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well. That is the inescapable question.

Pedro Arrupe, SJ, would put it another way, saying:
"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final wa…

"You are a priest forever, a priest like Melchizadek of old". (Ps 110,4)

From our Rule of Life 144: "Inserted through baptism into the one priesthood of Christ, we participate in the mission of the ordained ministers, in the spirit of Mary, most Holy. As women associated with priestly zeal, we accompany vocations to the priesthood and collaborate in their formation through prayer and service. We have a special concern for priests and religious, especially those living in situations of poverty, sickness and old age. We offer suffrages for them after death."
With this in mind, I post here the homily given by Cardinal Se├ín Brady at Funeral Mass for Very Rev Andrew McNally, Adm. in the Church of the Assumption, Magherafelt on Sunday 9th of September 2012.  It is quite long but is a beautiful profile of a priest who ministered and gave of himself completely for his people in God's name. Fr. Andrew passed away after a long sickness at the age of  52. We continue to pray for his soul and for all those priests who have ministered to us on the journe…

XXIII Sunday in Ordinary Time: 'Ephphata'

The liturgy of this Sunday is an invitation to welcome the beauty of the promises of God. In the First reading from Isaiah, we are told:"The eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf opened, then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy" (Is 35,5). We see how God promises that we will never thirst, never hunger. He will always satisfy our desires!

In the Gospel, Jesus challenges the way we relate to others. Sometimes sickness or disability can make us feel awkward but Jesus shows us that we cannot expect to enter into relationship with others if we are not prepared to enter into the messiness and the imperfection of each others lives. This is the Incarnation where God comes into what is utterly human. The incarnation is a reminder that God does not wait for us in marble temples or buttressed cathedrals; rather, He is present with us in the ordinary, the squeamish, the everyday stuff that we wallow in. The incarnation is God-wit…

Lectio Divina explained!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2654: “Seek in reading and you will find in meditating, knock in mental prayer and it will opened to you by contemplation.”

One of the cornerstones of our prayer life as Disciples of the Divine Master is meditation on the Word of God. It is the first formal prayer time which we have together each day. We gather in the chapel to meditate on the Gospel of the day according to the specific prayer method of our Founder. We do this in silence before we celebrate Lauds and then join for the Eucharistic celebration. It gives a strong foundation to our day and by doing so we enter into the century old practice of praying Scripture over and over in our heart throughout the day (ruminatio). Then when we come to our Adoration, we take up the Gospel once more and carry out Lectio Divina. Once a week, we gather together and meditate upon the Sunday Gospel and share with each other what the Word says to each person. We open this gathering to our collabo…

But what does God want!?

I put this together a few days ago for somebody who asked and thought it might be useful to share. It might shed a little light on someone's journey as they seek out where God is calling them in their lives. Have fun reading!

1. ‘On the Dignity of Women’ (Pope John Paul II)

2. ‘He speaks to you’ by Sr. Helena Burns (Daughter of St. Paul), you can preview it here:

3. Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Classics) by James Martin (this guy is great so anything by him is worth reading!)

4. What does God want? A Practical guide to making decisions by Micheal Scanlan (TOR)

5. God's Voice Within: The Ignatian Way to Discover God's Will by Mark Thibodeaux

6. There is a little book in Knock Bookshop published by CTS at a wow price of only  2.30 euros, “How to discover your vocation”. It’s a gem! I h…

50 years .....and counting!

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118).

This weekend our communities in Ireland are in great celebration because we celebrate 50 years of presence as a religious Congregation. In occasion of this celebration, I am going to take the opportunity to share a little about who were are. Since I have arrived in Canada, I realise that so few people have actually heard of us..shock horror!

I am sharing with you some fragments from a booklet put together by a good friend of ours, fondly known as 'Dan the Gatherer', because he gathered together spiritual and charismatic gems in one booklet to share with our collaborators, friends and Adorers in the Adoration programmes in Ireland. It gives a flavour of who were are and what we do. It's interesting to see how others see us and our mission... enjoy!

"The Divine Master Centre is the home of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. They are one of ten members (five Religio…

A re-post from Ron Rolheiser about vocations