Posts

Showing posts from December, 2013

Goodbye 2013!

Image

P. S: You’re beautiful!

Image
"BELOVED: I hear my love. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills. My love is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the opening. 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. The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come. My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely." (Song of Songs 2:8-14)- First Reading, 21st of December 2013.
Yep, guess who got to read this today at Mass. Maybe it’s the Irishness in me but I was kind of cringing. Excuse the pun,…

Simply 'Yes'!

Image
One word: Yes! A life programme! Surrender all! Fiat! Amen! Let it be done.   Believe it or not, the word YES is the most powerful prayer you can make. It’s saying that, “I believe God that you probably know what’s best for my life . . . for my life more than I do, and I’m willing to trust you with my life. And I’m willing to go along with what I understand to be your plans for my life.”

Today, the liturgy had us meditate the scene of the Annunciation of the archangel Gabriel to Mary. Pope Francis reflecting on this Gospel back in October, sums up the Annunciation like this:

“God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful and God is our strength.”

He explains saying that God surprised Mary, but despite this she was able to say, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, be it done onto me according to your word”. God does surprise us, he wreaks havoc with our plans, but he also says “trust me, do not be afraid”. In his second reflection “God asks us to be faithful” Pope Francis explained th…

Room for one more?

Image
In our dining room here in New York, as part of the Christmas decorations, there is a statue of Joseph leading a donkey upon which sits a heavily pregnant Mary. It is the statue which often is associated with a tradition called Las Posadas. Las Posadas is celebrated in Mexico from December 16th until Christmas. Las Posadas literally means “the inns” and is based around a reenactment of Mary and Joseph trying to find lodging at numerous inns and being turned away. As the candlelit procession with Joseph leading Mary on her donkey winds through the streets, the Pilgrims knock on the doors of various houses. They sing the first stanza of the song, and the people behind the closed door reply with the second and so on, back and forth. The pilgrims are turned away several times before they reach the night's chosen house. Here, the householders realize who is really knocking. The final choruses are sung, the door swings wide, and the pilgrims are allowed inside.
The words are as follow…

The Advent Desert

Image
A repost from last year about the figure of St. John the Baptist and the desert.

The second Sunday of Advent presents to us the figure of St. John the Baptist as the ‘voice’ which cries out in the desert. It is a solitary voice. However John knows that he is the one who prepares the way and continues with this certitude.In the Year of Faith opening Mass homily, Pope Benedict spoke of the “desertification” of the world, and of the rampant godlessness that surrounds us. “But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive,” he sa…

Christ comes with a January flower

Image
Nothing like a Kavanagh poem to set the Leaving Certificate flashbacks in motion.


Advent

We have tested and tasted too much, lover-...
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.

And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.

O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we'll hear it among decent…

Returning to our roots

Image
Each person that is born is granted the gift of life by their parents. Today is the birthday of our beloved Pope Francis, a day to give thanks for his life, his priesthood, his pontificate, his parents who gave him  life. The gift of life for each one of us is a link to our ancestors who lived before us and then to those who lived before them and on and on. From the beginning of time people have sensed a need to belong. This is why family-community-parish is very important to us. Recently I had the opportunity to introduce a friend of mine to my religious community here in the US. As a student community back in Ottawa, composed of students from the four corners of the world, we don’t often get a chance to introduce each other to members of our family so this was a special moment for me to share part of my life of my religious family with someone who shares my daily life back in Canada.

Back to family! There is a dictum that says 'you can choose your friends but not your family!&…