Posts

Showing posts from May, 2013

Rollerblading and redefining adventure!

Image
Ok, usually my sense of adventure is probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10! Believe me, you won't me zipping at 30 miles per hour on a wire line strung between two trees in the jungle or white water rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. In July I hope to make it to Niagara Falls for some sightseeing, that’s about it. However today I might have just pushed up the scale a little to a 3! After 14 years I decided to get back on the rollerblades.

No, it is a not an episode of Fr. Ted. One of the sisters in our house here offered me a loan of a pair of rollerblades. I hemmed and I hawed about it but in the end I decided to give it a go. I wouldn’t call myself a serious blader but even as a postulant I used to skate around my home town Athlone during holiday time on my sister’s rollerblades. I remember it being this incredible sensation of freedom, with a constant edge of adrenaline, because you never knew when the cracks in the path up ahead were going to make you fall and…

Trinity Sunday and the WOW factor!

Image
Explaining the Trinity is not an easy task. I take some consolation in the fact that the great Doctor of the Church St. Augustine of Hippo spent over 30 years working on his treatise De Trinitate [about the Holy Trinity], endeavouring to conceive an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity.
There is a story told that Augustine was walking by the seashore one day contemplating and trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity when he saw a small boy running back and forth from the water to a spot on the seashore. The boy was using a sea shell to carry the water from the ocean and place it into a small hole in the sand.
The Bishop of Hippo approached him and asked, “My boy, what are doing?”
“I am trying to bring all the sea into this hole,” the boy replied with a sweet smile.
“But that is impossible, my dear child, the hole cannot contain all that water” said Augustine.
The boy paused in his work, stood up, looked into the eyes of the Saint, and replied, “It is …

Commonsense be-attitudes!

Image
The Beatitudes are the Gospel's commentary on "attitude"

-Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves; they will always have entertainment.

-Blessed are those who can distinguish between a mountain and a molehill; they will save themselves a lot of trouble.

-Blessed are those who can rest and sleep without looking for excuses; they will become wise.

-Blessed are those who are intelligent enough not to take themselves too seriously; they will be appreciated.

-Blessed are you if you can look seriously at small things and peacefully at serious things; you will go far in life.

-Blessed are you if you can admire a smile and forget a scowl; your path will be sunlit.

-Blessed are you if you can always interpret the attitudes of others with good will, even when appearances are to the contrary; you may seem naive, but that is the price of charity.

-Blessed are those who think before acting and who laugh before thinking; they will avoid foolish mistakes.

-Blessed are y…

The cost of following Jesus

Image
Following Jesus is easy, said no-one ever! Just in case one happened to live with that illusion, today’s first reading is a stark reminder that as Christians we are constantly battling between what we want and what God’s plan has designed for us:

"My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.
Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persev…

The extraordinariness of the ordinary!

Image
Yesterday, the Catholic Church of the Latin Rite returned to the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time. It would be easy to presume that this season on the liturgical calendar is called "ordinary" because it seems that nothing extra-ordinary is celebrated on these Sundays. But that's not the case. “Ordinary” in this instance is actually intended in the sense of ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) or the weeks of the year “in order,” rather than as a characteristic of liturgical time that is drab or mundane. But the portion of Ordinary Time ahead of us has a festal beginning. Every year the Sunday after Pentecost is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (popularly known as Trinity Sunday) and the second Sunday after Pentecost is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (popularly known as Corpus Christi).

A quote reads: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” What is the little ‘extra’ which makes the difference in your…

May Magnificat

Image

Earthquakes and fear!

Image
First official day of holidays and we get an earthquake! Well, nothing like a bit of drama to keep the heart rate up. Earthquakes Canada just confirmed that the quake was magnitude 5.1 here near Ottawa. So why do earthquakes freak people out so much?  Well, you can’t see it coming, there is a beautiful blue sky and sunshine out here. Unlike tornadoes or hurricanes, earthquakes can test the limits of fear simply because its dramatic entrance is unannounced. The phobia name associated with this common fear is seismophobia. I don’t think I have seismophobia but my reaction wasn’t one of exhilaration, I can tell you. I think I was scared or maybe  bewildered even!  It took me a minute or so to realise what was going on and that it wasn’t my blood pressure acting up and that the building was actually moving!

Fear can do funny things to us. Sometimes it can be unmasked in much the same way an onion is peeled. Layers upon layers need to systematically be removed to help us get to the heart …

The Princess and the Tulip!

Image
Who has not heard it said in commercials by florists, 'Say it with flowers.' The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but some of the symbolism is still operative. For example, red roses still imply passionate or romantic love and pink roses a lesser affection; white roses suggest virtue and chastity and yellow roses still stand for friendship or devotion.

Those of you who know me know that I have a deep love and appreciation for flowers. We were blessed to have a beautiful garden with lots of different kinds of flowers at home. I love looking at them, smelling them, arranging them and even eating them! Recently I found rose-flavoured ice-cream in our local ice-cream parlour! At the moment I am somewhat spo…

Spiritual maternity and Mother's Day!

Image
Today in Northern America and in many other countries, we celebrate Mother’s Day! In Ireland we celebrated last March but prayers were said all the same for my own Mam and mothers all over the world. It really made my day when some of the priests here even wished me a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’.  If you find that strange, well, keep reading!

We live in times in which much has been said about woman, her dignity and her role in the family and the world. This week Pope Francis raised eyebrows around the world when he told a group of 800 visiting nuns they must be spiritual mothers and not 'old maids.' The sisters, who came from 76 countries, were in Rome for the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General. He asked them; "What would the church be without you? It would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness and a mother's intuition." In his talk to the women, Pope Francis said their vow of chastity expands their ability to give themselves to God…