Saint of tooday
Tell a Friend
Feedback / Queries
Add to Favorites
Set as Homepage
Join Us On Facebook
Home About Site About Photographer Photo Archive Thought Archive  





Listing April - 2012
'I wish I were big enough to admit my shortcomings, brave enough to accept criticism, compassionate enough to understand human frailties, human enough to be thoughtful and open enough to be devoted to the love of God.' ~Gordon Taggart

These few lines of wisdom can best be described as beautiful and so appropriate. They merit careful reflection and can even be used as a personal prayer any time of the day. We sometimes need to be open and honest in acknowledging our frailties and limitations. Such honesty is not meant to be a put down but more about giving us the opportunity to turn it all into our favour. The invitation is to take it to the next step and to be open to the love of God in our lives. The cynic might add what difference could this make? But love will always make a difference. To be open to the love of God in our life opens us to endless possiblities. This is a good place to be especially in a world that often seems to be spinning a vacuum.
The following reflection is by Jane Mellett called 'The Good Shepherd'

Social media is here to stay, and a survey done in England recently has shown that more and more young people are lonely despite their hundreds of friends on social networking sites. Like this page, follow another, join this group, support this cause. The Gospel today refers to another kind of 'following' and emphasises the importance of relationship. The shepherd knows his flock and cares for them. They follow him and this is not a reference to Facebook or Twitter. it is a genuine relationship, not one reduced to numbers or 'likes'. Everyone matters to the Good Shepherd, regardless of their situation.

Today's Gospel is asking us to follow in a more personal way. In Jesus' time, shepherds would round up their sheep in the evening and guide them into their pen. But it had no gate and the shepherd would have to lie across the space in case the sheep were attacked in the night. The shepherds literally lay down their lives for their flock. John compares this sacrifice to the 'hired hand' who is not really committed to the flock. He does what he has to but flees at the first sign of trouble (unfriend this person). So this Good Shepherd Sunday we use the image of the shepherd to describe Jesus, not just any shepherd but the 'genuine' Shepherd who wants a personal relationship with each one of us and who would lay down his life for us: 'No, I don't mean Twitter, I mean literally "follow me".'
'I am only one but I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and with the help of God, I will do.' ~from a prayer card.

If ever we struggle with prayer then the above few lines will definitely steer us in the right direction. It's often the start that can be the hard bit. But once we're moving it is often much easier to keep the momentum going. We may feel we are just an ordinary one but in God's eyes we are an extraordinary special one. It is good to know that we cannot do everything. There are some who think they can and they mistakenly believe that everything will grind to a halt without their efforts. It rarely does and the show does and will go on. But the something we can do well no matter how small is of huge value and will always make a difference. So rather than not do it or leave it to someone else, it is always worth the effort. So why not ask God for the help to do what we can do best today.
'I do not look at the word impossible as being impossible. I look at that word and my life and say I am possible.' ~Joanne O'Riordan

Yesterday was a historic moment when 16 year old Joanne O'Riordan from Millstreet, spoke at a meeting of the United Nations in New York. She is the only person with a disability to be invited to this exclusive conference entitled "Girls in Technology". Joanne was born without any limbs, a condition known as Total Amelia. Joanne continues to inspire people worldwide by her positive, upbeat and bubbly attitude to life. Her speech yesterday received a standing ovation and was richly deserved. Joanne's motto is "no limbs no limits". She has never allowed her disability to hold her back. Technology is her best friend. Even without limbs she can type up to 36 words a minute. She said: "All my life I have struggled and overcome barriers. I have surprised doctors, nurses, strangers, friends and even my own family by what I have achieved. I am very lucky that I have the support of my family. They have done everything in their power to ensure that I would not lose out on my education and technology was the key in helping me. Technology is the limb I never had and has opened up a world of possibilities through which I have excelled. I am asking the girls of technology who are here today and who are the leading women within their field to start doing what I do in my life: think outside the box. Think of ways and means that you can make technology more accessible to those who really need it, because let's face it we all know women are better than men at most things, so why not technology! Life is about living and technology is not just a way of life, it's a way of living. Just because I have no limbs does not mean I will be limited and neither should you."
'I Promise Myself' by Christian Larson'

I promise myself to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
I promise to make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
I promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
I promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
I promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
I promise to think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.
I promise to live in faith that the whole world is on my side so long as I am true to the best that there is in me.
Life for many is a difficult or impossible riddle, a tangled web of unanswered questions. Inevitably people will ask questions, many, many questions. Answers need to be attempted. Maps are needed to give us an understanding of who we are, why we are here and what the way forward consists of.' ~Flan Lynch

Many of us can relate to having lots of questions and very few answers. We can relate to the complexities of life and how many things are often outside our control. We can relate to feeling at a loss spiritually as to why God isn't doing more. If God is all about love, why do so many bad things seem to be happening? A simple almost clinical answer is that God made us free, free to choose good or evil, free to do what we want or go where we want. God cannot intervene directly because we are free. There have been volumes of books written about this question and even these have more questions than answers. There is one thing we can say with absolute certainty, God may have made us free but God is totally on our side. The bible is a collection of many stories written about how God has journeyed with people in times of great joy but also in times of great distress. These stories continue to be written today, your story, my story, our story, their story, all our stories. It is some collection. The variety is incredible and the humanity in all of them makes them special and at times sacred. In every story God is present somewhere. While we may not have all the answers, there is great comfort in knowing we are not on our own.
Photo was taken at Murrisk (Muraisc), 8km west of Westport and is a little village at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Co.Mayo (Irl)

The famine of 1845 to 1849, was arguably the single greatest disaster in Irish history. One million people died from disease and starvation. Emigration accounted for the loss of another two million of Ireland's population. Conditions aboard the ships transporting these already diseased and starving people resulted in the loss of so many lives that they became known as 'Coffin Ships'

In 1996 Murrisk was chosen as an appropriate national site. John Behan, renowned sculptor, was commissioned by the Government to create a sculpture that would encompass the enormity of the loss and suffering endured by Ireland and its people. The composition of the National Famine Memorial, a bronze ship, with skeletal figures as its sails symbolises the many people who died in the 'Coffin Ships'.
'The truth is sometimes our hearts are on fire and sometimes the flame is nearly extinguished. Faith invites us to stay in the struggle, not deny that it exists.' ~Terri Mifek

When it comes to home decorating, there is always a choice whether to use wallpaper or simply paint directly. An even more difficult choice is if an existing room has wallpaper and you want to paint it. Do you remove the wallpaper or simply paint over it. Removing wallpaper can be difficult and messy. But painting directly onto wallpaper has its problems too. Sometimes because of too much moisture underneath, the paint can crack over time and show up what you were trying to hide underneath. It often happens to us in our spiritual lives too. We often try and hide what's underneath but despite our best efforts we can't hide everything and the cracks begin to show. This is especially true when it comes to personal worries, personal stress related events, trying to make ends meet financially, grief, an illness and many other things that can create cracks. We often let on that everything is ok until the cracks begin to show. The key message is that it's ok to have cracks. Every single person has them without exception. We are not meant for isolation and it is always good to share the stuff that gets us down. Spiritually God's light and hope can penetrate every single crack. Faith invites us to stay in there no matter how many cracks. It is at the heart of the Easter message.
The following reflection is by Jane Mellett called 'Open your eyes and hearts'

We hear in the Gospel today the two disciples announcing to the others about how they recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Think of all the times we break bread, not just at Mass, but at weddings, family meals, catch ups with old friends and so on. Jesus spent most of his earthly life at table, eating and drinking, usually with those who were considered 'socially unacceptable'. As we approach the Eucharistic Congress in June we must remember that the breaking of bread together is a powerful symbol. Each time we sit down at an important occasion or family meal we should remember that we are performing Eucharist. When we go about our daily work, when we help those in need of our love, our care, our listening ear, our action, we are doing Eucharist.

'God of the Resurrection, God of the living. Untomb and uncover all that needs to live in me. Take me to people, events, and situations. And stretch me into much greater openness. For it is only then that I will grow and change. For it is only then that I will be transformed. For it is only then that I will know how it is. To be in the moment of rising from the dead.' ~Joyce Rupp
The following reflection is called 'You're Never Alone' by Ita Ford. She died in El Salvador defending her faith and wrote the reflection for her 16 year old niece Jennifer.

I hope you come to find that something which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for. Something that energises you, enthuses you and enables you to move ahead. I can't tell you what it might be. That's for you, to choose and to love. Don't waste the gifts and opportunities you have to make yourself and other people happy. Life is a journey and no one can make that journey for you. But always remember, whereever you are, whatever the day and whatever the time, you're never alone.
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.' ~Author Unknown

Three friends were strolling home from school one sunny afternoon, when one of them said: "What will we do today?" "I know," said the second, "Let's spin a coin. If it comes up heads we'll go swimming, and if it comes up tails, we'll go running." The third boy chirped in enthusiastically, "And if it stays up on its edge, we'll go home and do our homework!!" If we're honest there are a few things that we leave to luck and one of these might be spirituality and our relationship with God. Like a coin that rarely sees its edge, maybe this is where we see God too. We just turn to God when it suits us or when we are in desperate need of a favour.

Just as a coin needs both sides, so do we: God and life itself. Both are connected. One balances out the other. Even when it comes to viewpoints there needs to be balance. There are two sides to every story. Extremes of anything can never be healthy. Even within the Church, there are many viewpoints. The Vatican's current attempt to silence liberal viewpoints has raised eyebrows. The story of Fr. Tony Flannery in Ireland is probably the most recent example. He and others have held the mirror up and called for honest reflection and honest challenge within the Church. But the call is to put such mirrors away and just get on with what you are doing. There is a loss here and a real sign of fear. Easter gives us the chance to look at both sides of the coin and to celebrate stability and diversity along with reflection and challenge. Hiding behind locked doors is not an Easter Church.
'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you' ~Isaiah 41:10

Every newspaper across the world yesterday carried a photo of the space shuttle Discovery getting a piggyback jumbo jet ride to retirement. The image of the space shuttle sitting on top of the 747 is one that has fascinated so many since the shuttle program was launched. On Tuesday it was for the last time and it was hugely significant. In its 28 year history Discovery has flown on 39 missions which is more than any other single spacecraft. It can also boast of 148 million miles of travel. The image of this spacecraft getting a piggyback lift also has spiritual significance. On so many occasions we also reach out, support and help each other particularly during difficult times. Like a piggyback lift we carry the other person through and over a particular obstacle. God also gives us a piggyback lift as we journey through life. During those times when we struggle, fail and fall, God lifts us up and carries us to a place when we can begin our journey again. The words from Isaiah sum it up best: "Do not fear for I am with you. I will strengthen you and help you."
Forgiveness does not mean the cancellation of all the consequences of wrongdoing. It means the refusal on God's part to let our guilty past affect God's relationship with us.' ~Saint Martin Magazine

The uniqueness of God's forgiveness goes beyond words. Critics will say it is all too easy to ask God for forgiveness and that in turn God forgives too easy. Critics will then say it almost gives permission to do what we want if God forgives in such a way. There is a lovely saying that says God loves the sinner but hates the sin. This is always the case. Every wrongdoing has a consequence. It chokes love and breeds negativity. Every time we are forgiven we are encouraged to go and sin no more. We are encouraged to generate love and continue to share it. But despite our best efforts we always fall short but that should never stop us seeking God's forgiveness. God loves us as we are, always wants the best for us, always wants to set us on new pathways, always wants to extend healing and blessings. Nothing we have done, are doing or may do will ever change this.
Many say we are going through dark times now, in the Church, in society, bleak, dream shattering times. But we are given a way out of the darkness into the light which can reach into the deepest, darkest cave of the heart.' ~Redempta Twomey

One story that dominated the headlines in 2010 was the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a deep mine. There was great rejoicing as each miner was brought to the surface. The first thing each one had to wear was a pair of dark glasses to shield their eyes from the sudden brightness. After many weeks in the darkness it would take time to adjust to the light. Easter is all about light. It is a story about darkness failing to get the upper hand. With schools back in full swing this week after the Easter holidays it might seem that Easter is finished and time to move onto something else. But the celebration of Easter lasts for 50 days (7 weeks) right up to Pentecost Sunday which this year falls on May 27th. Throughout these weeks of Easter the focus is very much on celebrating good news, celebrating new beginnings, celebrating light and in particular how God's light will always reach into our deepest and darkest of caves. Some feel that God could not come near the darkness of their story. But God's love and light have no limits. It's great to have Easter. It promises so much. Do we really believe in God's light and love? Even if our belief seems as small as a tiny crack it is enough for now. Let God's light in and feel the difference.
The following reflection is called 'This Jesus Challenges Me' and the author is unknown

I am furious and he tells me forgive.
I am afraid and he tells me take courage.
I have doubts and he says to me have confidence.
I feel restless and he says to be calm.
I prefer to go my own way and he tells me to come and follow him.
I aim towards material goods and he says leave them behind.
I want security and he says I promise you absolutely nothing.
I like to be the boss and he says serve.
I like to understand and he says believe.
I like clarity and he speaks to me in parables.
I like my tranquillity and he likes me to be challenged.
I like violence and he says peace be with you.
I draw the sword and he says put that away.
I think of revenge and he says offer the other cheek.
I choose hatred and he says love your enemies.
I like to be greatest and he says I need to learn to be as small as a child.
I like to remain hidden and he says let your light shine.
I look at the best place and he says sit in the last bench.
I like to be noticed and he says pray in your room behind locked doors.
No, I don't understand this Jesus. He provokes me. He confuses me. Like so many of his disciples I too would like to follow another master who would be more certain and less demanding. But I experience almost the same as Peter: "I do not know of anyone else who has the words of eternal love."
The following reflection called 'Shalom' is by Jane Mellett

We know the end of this story, but for the disciples after Jesus' death fear was the driving spirit. They were suffering and had locked themselves away to nurse their despair and their fear. The doors were firmly closed. In this account of the resurrection appearance, notice how John constantly refers to the wounds of Jesus. Even though he has risen he still bears the wounds. His suffering happened and he bears the marks of that suffering. He wants Thomas to literally get in 'touch' with his suffering. Thomas is often unfairly referred to as a 'doubter' and yet in this text he makes one of the most profound statements of faith: 'My Lord and my God'. We can look back on times when we suffered in our lives and perhaps see those resurrection moments that it brought. It is through those moments that Jesus says, 'Peace be with you'. One minute the disciples are locked away in fear for their lives, the next they are ready to embrace their mission to the world.

'The Jewish greeting of shalom, that is so much more than a good wish for a quiet evening. Shalom expresses the desire that the person receiving the blessing might be whole in body, mind and spirit.' ~Margaret Silf
'Time may have dimmed the harrowing grief caused to the bereaved. But 100 years on those victims still occupy a special place in our hearts.' ~President Michael D.Higgins

The Titanic has never been bigger. The story has brightened rather than faded with time. Most historical events turn into standard textbook stories but not with the Titanic. A century after the ship hit an iceberg late on the night of April 14, 1912, the story still captivates so many. The story has been written about extensively during the week. Not much more can be written. It is time to remember and pray. What came through strongly were all the human stories, how people ended up on the Titanic and how communities were devastated afterwards. Cobh was the last port of call on April 11th 1912. The story of Jeremiah Burke from Glanmire is particularly interesting. He boarded the ship at Cobh (Queenstown) with his cousin Nora. Both died and their bodies were never recovered. Thirteen months later a small bottle was found on a beach near Cork Harbour. Inside was a pencilled message "From Titanic. Goodbye all: Burke of Glanmire Co. Queenstown". The bottle was brought to the local police station and later passed on to the Burke family. His mother had filled a bottle with holy water and had given it to him as he left the family home. The handwriting was unmistakably that of her son's handwriting. For the Burke family it is one of their most treasured possessions today. Their story is one of so many that will never be forgotten. We remember all those who died. May they rest in peace. We pray for the safety of all those who travel today and in particular those who work or travel by sea.
A story about anger.....

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven many nails into the fence and then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered that it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those hard nails into the fence. Finally the day came when he didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about his achievement and then his father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well my son, but look at all the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same again. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar, just like the holes here. Always take care of what you say and how you say it."
The Few Things You Really Need to Remember this Easter ~Author Unknown

Remember that your presence is a present to the world.
Remember that you are a unique and unrepeatable creation.
Remember that your life can be what you want it to be.
Remember to take the days just one at a time.
Remember to count your blessings, not your troubles.
Remember that you'll make it through whatever comes along.
Remember that most of the answers you need are within you.
Remember your dreams are waiting to be realized.
Remember that decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Remember to always reach for the best that is within you.
Remember that nothing wastes more energy than worry.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Remember that the longer you carry a grudge, the heavier it gets.
Remember not to take things too seriously.
Remember to laugh.
Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that happiness is more often found in giving than getting.
Remember that life's treasures are people, not things.
Remember that miracles can still happen.
Remember that God loves you, nothing in the whole wide world can or will change this.
'Despair accelerates a downward spiral but those who know God turn to prayer. Prayer breaks the downward spiral and is a motivating force that empowers us to ultimately turn tragedy to triumph.' ~Victor Parachin

Life is not just fragile but incredibly fragile. Despite massive developments in technology, computers, internet and phones we know that the unexpected can happen any day. Unforeseen and sudden events can often throw us completely off balance. Even if all is well with us at the moment we know of some family or friend who is trying to find balance in their life again. It can be a tough place to be. These days of Easter speak so much to us as we all try and find our balance in life. At the heart of every Easter prayer is finding the strength and courage to begin a step on our journey again. Easter breathes new life and hope into moments of despair. Easter breathes a fresh start, turning tragedy to triumph. We all crave balance in life and in particular when we are knocked off balance with the unexpected. We pray this Easter for the strength and courage to face whatever challenges, crosses and obstacles we need to overcome and triumph. Easter doesn't say maybe but instead yes we can.
The women said to each other: "There is a large stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Who will move the stone for us" ~Mark 16:3

There are few words that can properly sum up the significance of Easter. It is not a remembrance of some historical event that happened 2012 years ago. Easter is all about this year, all about us, all about you, all about today and all about this present moment. Easter reminds us that there is light, hope and meaning to what we do. The darkness and horror of Good Friday was not the final chapter. So many thought it was. So many still think it is. Easter pulls us from Good Friday. We are not to remain under the cross or in the dark tomb. Easter invites us to roll away the big stone and allow God's wonderful love and light in. Sometimes that's a big ask of us because we're afraid, unsure and have grown used to the darkness. But all that God wants is a crack to allow a flood of love and light in. Easter is the reason why. Easter is the fuel, the energy and the reason why we keep going each day. It makes today possible. It gives hope when it might be easier to give up. Without Easter we would have absolutely nothing but with Easter we have indeed everything.
The following reflection called 'Revisiting The Tomb' is by Jane Mellett

In today's Gospel, Mary Magdalene is faced with the tomb. Every death we experience, whether it be physical death, the death of a relationship, an addiction, financial crisis, civil strife, they all bring new life in some form eventually. This story gives hope to millions of people, that these 'deaths' are not a full stop, but more of a comma. That despite the suffering, heartbreak or injustice, good will triumph. Whatever our 'death' experiences may be, we revisit them, going to the tomb as usual. And then we realise that something has changed, the stone has rolled away.
'The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.' ~Robert Flatt

The Resurrection is the hinge stone on which we rest everything. Without Easter and the Resurrection our lives are simply in a meaningless spin. At the heart of our Easter message is new life, energy, celebration and new beginnings. Yesterday Good Friday could best be described as a dark bleak day touching in on all our sadness and struggles. But in the middle of the mess of Good Friday, God has the last word. Today Holy Saturday is a day of waiting until God does indeed have the last word. That last word will shatter the darkness and despair of Good Friday. We wait in expectation.........Happy Easter

I also like the following reflection from Holy Saturday' last year.

'Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it.' ~Terry Pratchett

Today Holy Saturday is a day of waiting. You could call it the 'in between day'. You could also call it a strange day. Darkness seems to have got there first. The fallout from Good Friday is massive. The disciples have fled. There is total grief, shock, dismay. Everything seems to have collapsed with the death of Jesus. Nothing makes sense. Darkness has truly taken over. Sometimes we have to wait in darkness, wait in the middle of our struggles, wait in our anxious and lonely days before something may happen. If darkness has got there first, then when the light does come, it will completely shatter it. This is the Easter story. The resurrection of Jesus will shatter the darkness. It has no escape. In its place is a great sense of hope, new beginnings and a new journey. We are not on our own. Many like you and me are in waiting. We wait for the light to shine into our darkness. We are Easter people and without the light of the Resurrection we have nothing to hold onto. Life is meaningless without it. As we wait I wish you a very Happy Easter.
Why is today called Good Friday?

It's a simple question but also a challenging one. Why not call it Dark Friday, Bad Friday, Bleak Friday or even Horrible Friday? But why call it good? It is anything but. The story of Jesus on Good Friday may be familiar but nothing can ever take from its awfulness, the pain, the suffering, the betrayal and the desperation. It's a tragic story that has few strands of love and goodness except for the women who stood by Jesus so faithfully when everyone else ran for cover, (with the notable exception of John). Today is called 'Good' because we know that Jesus triumphed over evil, darkness and sin. Jesus knows better than anyone our struggles and difficulties in life. Life is fragile and so our journey through it is fragile at the best of times. We are never on our own and we are given the strength to carry whatever cross we may carry in life. We also pray for anyone we know who may be struggling or who may be carrying a particularly heavy cross in their lives. The world unites in prayer today. We pray for each other and especially those who are struggling.
Jesus said, "One of you is going to betray me. The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I've dipped it." Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. ~John 13:25-26

Holy Thursday is a day when the spotlight is often put on Judas. Why did Judas betray Jesus? Was he fed up and disillusioned with Jesus? Did he see Jesus as too soft and easy with not enough fight? Was Judas simply fed up with life? There are many questions with not enough answers. It's quite probable that Judas never expected things to go as far as they did. He must never have anticipated the hostility and anger of the crowd and religious leaders. In the darkness of Holy Thursday night Judas was lost and desperately lonely. It is so easy to blame Judas and be hard on him. But somewhere today it would be appropriate to pray for those who are feeling lost and desperately lonely. Judas lost sight of everything that Jesus stood for. It can happen to us too, the dream dies, we don't know what to do, we're in a dark corner and some of the choices we make can leave us vulnerable. Judas was in such a place but let's not blame him for everything. Our prayer today might be....Lord, help me not to lose sight of you, even in the middle of my darkest hour.
Some of the most important words we speak can often come in just three words. As we journey through Holy Week some of the following may resonate with you.....

I LOVE YOU: These words sum up the events of Holy Week and in particular God's love for us.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME: It takes a brave person to hold their hand up and say I got it totally wrong. We all make mistakes and the story of Holy Week is a collection of all sorts of mistakes.
I FORGIVE YOU: God always wants to forgive us, no matter what our story, our mistake or what we may have done.
I MISS YOU: People are absent and separated from loved ones for various reasons. They are remembered with love this week.
I APPRECIATE YOU: How often we take our loved ones for granted. Three words of appreciation can make all the difference.
I THANK YOU: Good and close friendships are built when a sense of thanks is present no matter how small.
COUNT ON ME: We can say these words carelessly and let someone down or we can say them and know that they can make the world of a difference.
LET ME HELP: A helping hand is always appreciated and makes a burden so much easier and lighter.
I UNDERSTAND YOU: To say these words one must not judge, one must be open to accepting the other person as they are.
GO FOR IT: We live in a world that is often negative and pessimistic. It is good to be positive, hopeful and always encouraging.
During Holy Week the theme of reconciliation features strongly. There is a lovely invitation extended to let go of anger, hurt, bitterness, darkness and anything that might be holding us back. The following reflection was read at a Reconciliation Service in Christ Our Light Church, Ballincollig last evening called 'The Past Can Haunt'

We know the secrets that make us shudder, people we have hurt and the memories that still cause us guilt. There are injustices we could have prevented along with the bitterness and harshness which are part of life. Everyone has a past and we can bring the past for healing. Through it the Grace of God flows. It reaches and touches into our past so that the painful haunts of the past are healed. From this flows new life, we are free and reconciled. We may not forget our past but it is forgiven. Our sins and failings can be stepping stones on the ladder of love.
The following reflection was read yesterday at the Divine Word Church, Donamon, Co. Roscommon by Fr.Tom Cahill. It was originally written by a soldier.

I asked for strength that I might achieve but I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things but I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy but I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of people but I was given weakness that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life but I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for but everything that I had hoped for. Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered. I am among all people most richly blessed.
Father may this prayer be our prayer. May its values be our values. As we enter Holy Week and prepare to celebrate Christ's Resurrection let us confidently face all obstacles to our own Resurrection that life may put in our way. May we too feel ourselves most richly blessed by the greatest gift of all, the gift of life eternal.
The following reflection is by Jane Mellett

Today we read Mark's account of Jesus' Passion and we may find ourselves asking, 'Where do I stand?' Yes it is the long Gospel but we should try not to miss the journey that this offers us this week. The cry of abandonment on the cross has to be one of the most frightening aspects of this account: 'Eloi, Eloi Lema Sabbachtani?' My God, my God, why have you deserted me? (Psalm22). Jesus' sense of loneliness is emphasised in Mark as he is betrayed, rejected, denied, mocked, tortured and then, at the crucial moment, even God is silent. We also see an unlikely hero in the Roman soldier who confesses Jesus' identity. We can remember those today who stand for justice, who fight for human rights, those who are counter-cultural, those who stand against oppressive systems even though the path is dangerous and lonely.

'Lord how true it is that success and popularity are not really important in life. The only important thing is that some unbelieving centurion, seeing how we live and die could say, 'In truth, this was a son/daughter of God.' (Michael de Verteuil).


Copyright © Today is My Gift to You