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'Colourful Road'
(Archived on Thursday - August - 19/08/2021 )

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  Photo was taken recently on the Sheep's Head Peninsula driving from Kilcrohane to Bantry  
This is the colourful road on the Sheep's Head Peninsula as you drive from Kilcrohane to Bantry via the Goat's Path. You are looking across at the beautiful Beara Peninsula with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bantry Bay. This road is part of the Wild Atlantic Way and is one of the most southerly parts of the Cork and Ross Diocese.

Anyone who has driven, cycled or walked this road will know that it naturally invites you to slow down. Two cars will not be able to pass at speed. You have to pull in carefully for a car to pass or sometimes reverse into a roadside gap so that one car can safely do so. There is so much natural beauty all around this beautiful part of West Cork and the best way to enjoy it is to slow down. What a contrast to the huge motorways and dual carriageways, where traffic hurls by at great speed.

Spiritually we also need to slow down too. It is a cliche we probably have heard many times. But the need to slow down is even more important today. Never before has there been so many things to do, so many distractions, so many deadlines and with it anxiety and stress. It is good to step off the motorway of busyness and find our quite place, to rest, to relax, to pray, to recharge and to just be ourselves. The best place to start is today and to take a short spiritual time out break. You are worth it!


Thought on Thursday - August - 19/08/2021

There are many beautiful titles given to Mary such as "Health of the sick" and "Comforter of the afflicted". The shrines of Mary are associated with stories of all sorts of healing. A title that has become popular in recent years is "Mary, untier of knots". ~ Fr. Silvester O'Flynn

Last Sunday (August 15th) was the feast day of the Assumption of Mary. It is a time of year that always marks a transition. The summer holidays are over or nearly over. Planning for back to school has started with either enthusiasm or hesitancy. We can see our evenings are closing in and it gets dark now at 9.30pm and even earlier if it is cloudy. Our gardens have reached their peak of summer colour. The feast of the Assumption of Mary and her feast day gives us a little nudge to make the most of the remainder of this month.

The greatest disservice we have done to Mary down through the years is to have put her on a pedestal as if she is far removed from our world and lives. It is our loss if we see her as distant or irrelevant. Mary is especially close to our every experience.

She is a truly great friend to have as we journey through life. Mary is close not just to the good stuff in our lives but especially close to our own struggles, setbacks and disappointments. She experienced many in her life and even during the darkest of moments she still put her trust in God. Mary's feast day reminds us that we can learn to trust even when all hope seems lost.

When she is referred to as an 'untier of knots', it is very comforting to know that she is with us through everything. If we were to sum up the last two years of Covid we can say it has been a time of many knots. Noone can say that they don't have any. Knots are intertwined with life but sometimes if there are too many knots together, we can get overwhelmed. It can be a very tough place to be. We turn to Mary today and our prayer is asking her to help us untie our knots. We ask for Mary's guidance, direction and many blessings on each of us today.

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