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Listing December - 2018
 
  Monday
Dec-17
Thought For The Week

'An individual is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.' ~Turkish Proverb

Every person is a complex mixture of strengths and weaknesses, toughness and gentleness, good points and not so good. We are delicate and fragile. Yet we are also capable of showing remarkable resilience. Everyone's personal story, beliefs and viewpoints are so varied and different. As life is complex so are we.

At the heart of the message of Christmas, God is present in the middle of all our complexities. God isn't present on the outskirts but right in the middle of whatever is going on for us. It may not be pretty, it may not be exciting, it may even be a huge struggle but that's where God wants to be. God isn't the cause of complexities but is most definitely the cause of a sense of purpose, hope, and a guiding force through these complexities.

Yesterday we marked the 3rd Sunday of Advent and it is called 'Joyful Sunday'. In many churches it is represented on the Advent wreath by the lighting of a pink candle. It is a day to celebrate good news stories in our community and in our lives. On this day no apologies are made for highlighting our good news stories. It is crucial and important that we do. We have a natural tendency to lean towards negative and sad stories. The vast majority of news stories shared online and through media outlets feed and thrive on our hunger for such stories. There is nothing to stop this hunger as it is part of our makeup. But what needs to be addressed is the total lack of balance. We need to hear good news, we need to nurture good news and importantly we need to celebrate good news. We need to bring the balance back in.

Christmas can be many different things to people with lots of spiritual significance. Christmas can be rightly called a 'Celebration of good news' but especially of your good news. The message of 'Joyful Sunday' is that of course you are special and always worth celebrating. If we can't do that, then there is no point having Christmas. Christmas celebrates you. You are special and always will be.
 
 
 
  Sunday
Dec-16
Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Saturday
Dec-15
Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Friday
Dec-14
Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Thursday
Dec-13
Thought For The Week

"No matter how rock bottom events are, in our personal life or society, the voice of hope is always there. At times it is almost inaudible and is a whisper. Lodged deep in our hearts, hope protects us from despair, when our life seems utterly meaningless. We must stir it up in ourselves and in others." ~Redempta Twomey

Advent is a season of hope. Advent reminds us that the coming weeks before Christmas may be hectic and busy but in the midst of everything is hope. The gift of hope can often be unused or under used. But hope is such a powerful force that can pull us out of darkness and energise us to keep going one step at a time. What gives you hope today and in this run in to Christmas?

Last Saturday Dec 8th was the feast day of Mary the Immaculate Conception. It was traditionally a day when the Christmas shopping officially began but events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed this in recent years. Dec 8th may seem just like any other day but it is still a special day during the month of December. Spiritually it marks Mary out as someone special as the mother of Jesus but it doesn't mark her out as removed or distant from us. Like us she experienced the fragility of life and experienced many unexpected and difficult moments in her life. But at all times she put her trust in God. She was a woman of hope and allowed this to energise her each day.

This is the challenge for us. Where would we be if we are not people of hope? Where would we be if we are not a person of hope? Mary was a woman of hope and it kept her going through the good days but particularly during the touch and difficult days. In all the complexities of life and the world we live in, we too are invited to put our trust and hope in God. The feast day of Mary on Dec 8th, is a reminder that we will not be disappointed when we put our trust in God.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Dec-12
Thought For The Week

"No matter how rock bottom events are, in our personal life or society, the voice of hope is always there. At times it is almost inaudible and is a whisper. Lodged deep in our hearts, hope protects us from despair, when our life seems utterly meaningless. We must stir it up in ourselves and in others." ~Redempta Twomey

Advent is a season of hope. Advent reminds us that the coming weeks before Christmas may be hectic and busy but in the midst of everything is hope. The gift of hope can often be unused or under used. But hope is such a powerful force that can pull us out of darkness and energise us to keep going one step at a time. What gives you hope today and in this run in to Christmas?

Last Saturday Dec 8th was the feast day of Mary the Immaculate Conception. It was traditionally a day when the Christmas shopping officially began but events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed this in recent years. Dec 8th may seem just like any other day but it is still a special day during the month of December. Spiritually it marks Mary out as someone special as the mother of Jesus but it doesn't mark her out as removed or distant from us. Like us she experienced the fragility of life and experienced many unexpected and difficult moments in her life. But at all times she put her trust in God. She was a woman of hope and allowed this to energise her each day.

This is the challenge for us. Where would we be if we are not people of hope? Where would we be if we are not a person of hope? Mary was a woman of hope and it kept her going through the good days but particularly during the touch and difficult days. In all the complexities of life and the world we live in, we too are invited to put our trust and hope in God. The feast day of Mary on Dec 8th, is a reminder that we will not be disappointed when we put our trust in God.
 
 
 
  Monday
Dec-10
Many of the emails that come through the feedback ask whether there is copyright on the Thought For Today. The simple answer is no. You are free and welcome to use it or part of it in a parish newsletter, school assembly etc. It is good and important to share good news with as many as possible. The only exception is if the material were to be used for financial gain.
Many thanks....James
 
 
 
  Sunday
Dec-09
"Don't walk in front of me I may not follow. Don't walk behind me I may not lead. Walk beside be and just be my friend." ~Author Unknown

The X Factor final on TV over the weekend has been a big talking point. It was one of the most watched programmes in recent times. Huge expectations were resting on the three finalists. There are also high expectations put on all of us in these weeks before Christmas. Some of these are artificially high. We are expected to be in good form, to be in good spirits, to be able to buy gifts at ease and to be in many places at one time. Not everyone can meet these high expectations and particularly during the current recession. This can lead to so much unnecessary stress and worry. The greatest gift we can give to those closest to us is to walk with them and be their friend. When we do this we pull down all expectations and allow someone just to be themselves. No shopping catalogue could ever match such a gift.
 
 
 
  Saturday
Dec-08
Many of the emails that come through the feedback ask whether there is copyright on the Thought For Today. The simple answer is no. You are free and welcome to use it or part of it in a parish newsletter, school assembly etc. It is good and important to share good news with as many as possible. The only exception is if the material were to be used for financial gain. In return and in particular with parish newsletters it might be nice to print the link to the website www.2u.ie Again this will give others a chance to link in with the website.
Many thanks....James
 
 
 
  Friday
Dec-07
Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Thursday
Dec-06
Thought For Today

'Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.' ~Francis Church, New York Sun, 1897

There is a lovely story about a girl who wanted to write a letter to Santa Claus. "Of course dear," said her mother, "You want to tell him what you would like for Christmas then?" Her daughter shook her head, "I just want to tell him I love him," she simply replied.

Today is the feast of St.Nicholas. He came from a wealthy family and decided to give all his money to the poor. He always did so quietly and without fuss. He would drop some gold coins down the chimney of those who were really poor. People wondered who the generous donor was. One day someone found out it was Nicholas. His name and fame began to spread to many countries and so Santa Claus as we know him today came into being. We give gifts at Christmas because we know deep within that it's good to express our love for those who are special and important to us. Thanks to Nicholas, Santa is alive and well. Our world would be such a darker place without his inspiring presence.


___________________________________________________


Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Dec-05
'We understand why children are afraid of darkness but why are people afraid of light?' ~Plato

Everyone lives in some shadow or darkness in life. It is hard to avoid difficulties and circumstances that don't go our way. They often come to us unexpectedly and at a time we least expect. But we don't have to live in these shadows for ever. The message of Advent and the run in to Christmas is all about light and a call towards light, hope and new beginnings in our own lives. We can be afraid of many things but there are no grounds to be afraid of God's light. The many Christmas lights on display are doing their best to brighten up our dark winter evenings. But only God's light can penetrate the darkest of corners. The invitation this week is to be open to God's light, whether it's a little chink or a big beam. It's not about how much or how little, but all about being open to it.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Dec-04
Thought For The Week

"One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God's arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust knowing that it is God who gives us that faith." ~ Michelle Blake

This first weekend of December marks the beginning of our journey of Advent. It usually coincides with the Toy Show on RTE and again Friday night's programme was packed with fun and energy. The season of Advent is filled with opportunity, promise and spiritual things to do in getting ready for Christmas. But for some reason Advent is a season that always falls short. The Advent wreath is probably the best known symbol of Advent but after that it struggles to connect.

Maybe Advent was always going to struggle, especially as it coincides with a busy time of year for everyone. But I firmly believe it has much to offer and is full of meaning and deep symbolism. In the depth of winter we know that darkness is very prominent. Advent puts the spotlight on light and good news. Where there is light there is hope and meaning in our lives. Advent is a celebration of our good news. Even when we sometimes struggle to see it or appreciate it, it is very much there and it is ours. It is healthy, important and life giving. Christmas is a wonderful celebration of our good news.

Equally the good news of Jesus in our Gospel stories is extraordinary, life-enhancing and life changing. But it often gets lost in a lot of unnecessary complaining, wishful thinking and idle projects that go on around us. The challenge is to bring this good news alive and to believe that it does make a difference. This is at the heart of the Christmas message. The birth of Jesus is a reminder of God with us and among us. It's not just about some event in the past but all about the difference it can make in our lives right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Sunday
Dec-02
Thought For Today is by Triona Doherty called 'Be Prepared' and it is from Intercom Magazine

Have you ever heard the story of the ant and the grasshopper? It tells the tale of a grasshopper who has spent the summer singing and so is not prepared when winter comes, whereas the ant has been working hard all summer and has stored up enough food for winter. Like many of Aesop's Fables, it has a stark moral lesson, in this case about the virtue of hard work and being prepared for the future.

Of course, Advent is about looking forward to Christmas and our celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is a special time of preparation to welcome him anew into our lives. But today's readings remind us that Advent is also about looking ahead to another time, the second and final coming of Jesus at the end of time. 'Advent' comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning 'coming'.

The problem, of course, is that we have no idea when this will happen. Unlike the ant and the grasshopper, we have no way of knowing when the seasons will change. We don't even know when the sun will set on our own individual lives. All we can do is to be prepared and to 'stay awake' - to live now in such a way that when we meet Jesus, we will be ready. This readiness is less a practical skill than a condition, or a way of life. Look at how St Paul describes it: he talks about increasing our love for one another, and continually making progress in living the life that God wants. That is how we store up treasures here on earth to make sure we are ready for the heavenly things to come.
 
 
 
  Saturday
Dec-01
Thought For The Week

'Take it one step at a time is inarguably wise advice. And yet we all take a running leap, hoping the wind will catch us on its wings and lift us clear.' ~Richelle E Goodrich

The BBC always does nature documentaries so well and the current series called 'Dynasties', lives up to the high standards that they always set. Last Sunday week its programme featured penguins living in the Antarctica. The film crew were there for nearly a year, sometimes filming during snow storms and blizzards. After one of these snow storms, they found that a group of about a hundred penguins had fallen into an ice bowl about half the size of a football pitch. Every time the penguins tried to climb up and out of the ice bowl they would slide back down to the bottom. They were doomed to die with no escape.

Normally film crews do not intervene with nature when filming, but on this occasion they felt they had to do something. So over a day they built steps into the side of the ice bowl, all the way up to the top, to give the penguins a chance to get out. Sure enough when they had finished, the penguins almost instinctively knew this was their chance. Taking it one step at a time they slowly were able to climb out of the ice bowl to safety.

This has meaning for us too. Life can often be like the ice bowl and we keep slipping back to where we started. We think we are making progress and that things are going ok. Suddenly we slide back down again. Life has to be taken one step at a time. It is the only way forward. Far too often we take on too much and we are always catching up.

Taking it one step at a time has its roots in our Gospel stories too. Jesus on so many occasions was the one who held his hand out to help someone, to heal them, to give them a second chance, to get their life back on track, to be themselves again and to restart their lives again. In Mark 6:50 we have those beautiful words of Jesus: "Courage. It is I, Do not be afraid". We too need courage as we take it one step at a time. We do it in the context of today. It is the only day that matters.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 

 

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