I took this photo while out for a walk on Saturday in Carrigaline, Co.Cork. It was a beautiful fine sunny weekend across Ireland and the energy of spring was very much all around. As we head towards St Brigid’s Day on February 1st it is good to know spring is here or at least nearly here!

On This Day

On January 30th 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated

On January 30th 1965 the state funeral for Winston Churchill took place at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and at the time it was the world’s largest ever state funeral.

On January 30th 1972 Bloody Sunday took place in Derry, in Northern Ireland. 27 unarmed civilians were shot and 14 were killed by the British Army during a civil rights march. It became one of the biggest tragedies of the troubles in the north.

Birthdays Today

Phil Collins (Singer) is 72

Peter Crouch (Former Liverpool Player) is 42

Hailey Reese (Singer and Actress) is 27

Saint For Today

The Saint for today is Saint Martina of Rome

Significance Of Today

As we come to the end of January we celebrate the end of International Creativity Month. It is about making sure you never underestimate the power and importance of creativity in your life. Creativity is an attribute that is all too often under appreciated and that is such a pity. The world we live in today can often stifle creativity. Let your creative side always have the freedom it needs.

Interesting Quote For Today

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Did You Know

Did you know that there is a precise speed where jogging becomes running. This is 9.6kmh or 6 mph!

Thought For The Week

“Happy the pure in heart, they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers, they shall be called sons and daughters of God.”  Matthew 5:6

 We all have seen a fireworks display at some stage. We marvel at its beauty, colour and energy. You can never predict the sequence of a fireworks display. It is a beautiful display of light and colour. We forget many things but we never forget a fireworks display. 

The Beatitudes are a bit like a fireworks display. They stand out as something very different and are also colourful. The Beatitudes may be complex and hard to live out but they are also very beautiful. Jesus was revolutionary in his thinking. He thoroughly disliked the old story and wanted to embrace and welcome the new story where every person was loved, cherished and celebrated. 

Jesus shared the Beatitudes as signposts to a better way of living, to a new way of doing things and most important to bring the best out in each of us. When Jesus shared the Beatitudes, people believed that if you were rich and powerful God was rewarding you and if you were poor, hungry and sick then God was punishing you.

Such thinking upset Jesus, it belonged to the old story. He was determined to change the way people thought about themselves and he wanted to bring in a new story that they could understand. The Beatitudes are the new story. 

They have inspired people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. They have also inspired Pope Francis.

He recently said: “A person who thinks only about building walls wherever they may be and not building bridges is not a Christian.” There are lots of walls being built in the world we live in today and not enough bridges. 

The Beatitudes encourage us to look at the new story. Walls block, divide and keep people apart but bridges connect, make life better and include more. Jesus is saying that if life is difficult for you right now, you are my priority, you are going to be first, you deserve the best of everything. 

Jesus talks about the poor and the hungry. But so many of us are also spiritually poor. People’s spirits are low, they feel discouraged by the state of the country and the world. Their sense of hope and optimism is low. Again the Beatitudes speak to us here as well. They remind us to begin believing in ourselves again, to celebrate every bit of good news in your life no matter how small. 

We are called to be people of the Beatitudes, to have the courage that Jesus did, to stand up for everything good and beautiful about you and to begin to believe in yourself again.  The new story for Jesus was where every person was loved, cherished and celebrated. Let the new story begin in some way for you also.

The Thought For The Week is updated each Monday