'We must become sensitive enough to observe and ponder what is happening around us. Be alert. Be awake. Let life and all of its subtle messages touch us. Often, the most extraordinary opportunities are hidden among the seemingly insignificant events of life. If we do not pay attention to these events, we can easily miss the opportunities.' ~Jim Rohn

On Thursday the funeral Mass took place of 17 year old Christopher O'Sullivan in Rathmore. His short life ended tragically a week ago, after he got into difficulties while swimming in the River Blackwater, near Knocknagree, Co.Cork. His parish priest Fr Pat O'Donnell said they were "toiling with a multitude of questions and failing miserably to discover reasonable answers."

Such tragedies and other desperately sad stories happen in so many communities up and down the country. We just get on with life, until suddenly our community and sometimes our family, is engulfed in sadness and grief. We often say that life is cruel and it is but not all the time. Life can also be good, exciting, ordinary, uplifting, boring, unfair, harsh, gentle, peaceful, unusual, full of energy, troublesome, strange, uncertain, filled with hope and so much more. The Christian message is that whatever happens to us in life and whatever life is for us at the moment, that God is in there too in the mix of everything. Belief in a loving God does not shield or protect us from the knocks life may throw at us, but we are given an incredible strength and deep inner resolve to keep going and get through. That is why we need to let life and all of its subtle messages touch us. We need time to reflect on them, to allow them shape us, to learn from them and to know that whatever happens we are not on our own.
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