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LISTING THOUGHT ARCHIVE

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Listing November - 2020
 
  Friday
Nov-27
'If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining.' ~Francis Frangipane

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the U.S and it is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In America yesterday many families gathered to celebrate, to share a meal, to relax and importantly to give thanks for blessings received. With President Elect Joe Biden's Irish connections there is much to celebrate.

It is a day for all of us to pause too and to quietly thank God for all our blessings. 2020 has been particularly difficult for all of us and maybe we feel blessings are very scarce all around us. But if we can look deeper we know we will find some things to be grateful for.

A spirit of thankfulness or gratefulness always goes a long way. It is something we always have to work towards as it is often easy to take so much for granted. We thank God for all our blessings and it is particularly good and fitting to do it on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Nov-25
'To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.' ~Aaron Copland

Last Sunday (Nov 22nd) was the feast of St.Cecilia. She is the patroness of music and musicians. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic it has been an extremely tough year for musicians. Everyone and everything has been impacted but especially music.

We so often take music for granted and yet it is the pulse and heartbeat of life. Music is there for every occasion. It can uplift and it can calm and relax. It can unite and break down barriers. It has been said that music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence and silence is full of music.

We live in a noisy world with little room for quiet time and silence. Quiet relaxing music can lead us to a much quieter place where we can often encounter the gentle quiet presence of God. Today we thank God and Cecilia for the great gift of music. As the old saying puts it so well: "When words fail, music speaks."
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Nov-24
'We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.' ~Adelle Davis

Did you know that every household in Ireland is responsible for 117kg of food waste per year. This can work out at a cost of between 500 and 1000 Euro per household per year. Much of the food discarded is actually in date and perfectly usable. The lock downs throughout the year haven't helped either as we tend to buy more to reduce our visits to the shops.

We've all been there and we've all thrown out food without thinking of the bigger picture. We live in abundance whereas in many parts of the world its survival on little and nothing.

A simple tip before we go shopping is to check our food cupboard and make a list of what we need and then to buy only what we need. Shops have many special offers but usually of stuff we normally would not buy.

We thank God for the food we eat each day, food that is our lifeline, nourishing and wholesome. May we never waste it or take it for granted.
 
 
 
  Monday
Nov-23
'To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.' ~Aaron Copland

Today (Nov 22nd) is the feast of St.Cecilia. She is the patroness of music and musicians. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic it has been an extremely tough year for musicians. Everyone and everything has been impacted but especially music.

We so often take music for granted and yet it is the pulse and heartbeat of life. Music is there for every occasion. It can uplift and it can calm and relax. It can unite and break down barriers. It has been said that music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence and silence is full of music.

We live in a noisy world with little room for quiet time and silence. Quiet relaxing music can lead us to a much quieter place where we can often encounter the gentle quiet presence of God. Today we thank God and Cecilia for the great gift of music. As the old saying puts it so well: "When words fail, music speaks."
 
 
 
  Saturday
Nov-21
Thought For The Week

'We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself.' ~Joseph Chilton Pearce


A magazine asked its readers, "What are the most inspiring words you have ever been told?" Some answers were predictable, some were flippant, some were deep and profound but one that stood out in particular was the following: "You may not know where life's road will lead you, but keep moving because God is walking with you".

There are few who know where life's road will take us. If we knew everything we might be gripped with fear or bubble with excitement. But to know everything would quench the element of surprise and a sense of looking forward. We are invited to put our trust in God knowing that God is walking with us, whatever may lie ahead of us.

The Gospel acclamation that was used at Sunday Mass at the weekend went: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me and with me, bears fruit in plenty." This is a beautiful line and is another reminder of how close God is to us. We often talk about this closeness. It is never occasional but is always real and lasting.

One of the best known poems/reflections in our Christian tradition is 'Footprints in the Sand'. In the dream a man saw the footprints of Jesus beside his own and these were present where ever he went. But the man wondered why there was only one set of footprints during the most difficult and challenging times in his life. And the words of Jesus to him were: "It was then that I carried you." During these difficult and challenging times of Covid 19 it is good to know that God is walking with us through everything.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Thursday
Nov-19
'We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power comes from God and not from us.' ~2 Corinthians 4:7

The image of an earthenware jar is simple and yet so powerful when we look at it closer. An earthenware jar is fragile and is made of baked clay. It is symbolic of all that's fragile particularly in our world and in our lives. Yet we are told it holds a great treasure despite its fragility.
It also reflects our own lives. We are indeed fragile and vulnerable. Despite our best efforts we have little control over what is fragile and unpredictable in life. Yet we give the impression at times that we are unbreakable, important and beyond any limitation.
No person can be fully any of these. Like an earthenware jar, we are limited and finite. We can't journey through life thinking we're invincible. The real treasure is an ability to invite God into the fragility of our lives whatever it might be right now
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Nov-18
Thought For The Week

'We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself.' ~Joseph Chilton Pearce


A magazine asked its readers, "What are the most inspiring words you have ever been told?" Some answers were predictable, some were flippant, some were deep and profound but one that stood out in particular was the following: "You may not know where life's road will lead you, but keep moving because God is walking with you".

There are few who know where life's road will take us. If we knew everything we might be gripped with fear or bubble with excitement. But to know everything would quench the element of surprise and a sense of looking forward. We are invited to put our trust in God knowing that God is walking with us, whatever may lie ahead of us.

The Gospel acclamation that was used at Sunday Mass at the weekend went: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me and with me, bears fruit in plenty." This is a beautiful line and is another reminder of how close God is to us. We often talk about this closeness. It is never occasional but is always real and lasting.

One of the best known poems/reflections in our Christian tradition is 'Footprints in the Sand'. In the dream a man saw the footprints of Jesus beside his own and these were present where ever he went. But the man wondered why there was only one set of footprints during the most difficult and challenging times in his life. And the words of Jesus to him were: "It was then that I carried you." During these difficult and challenging times of Covid 19 it is good to know that God is walking with us through everything.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Nov-17
We all know how racing pigeons can find their way home. When left off they don't fly straight in the direction they're supposed to go. Instead they will circle many times as they find their bearings and then they set off. It's called the homing instinct.

We too have that within us. It takes the form of an inner restlessness and discontent. This is to be seen as a blessing. Just as the homing instinct of a racing pigeon doesn't protect them in their struggle with wind and rain, so it is with us. Our faith doesn't shield us from the hard knocks of life but it does give us our bearings. Our prayer for you today is praying that your faith does give you bearings during this difficult time of Covid 19. Without our faith we would be lost and with it we at least know where we are going.
 
 
 
  Monday
Nov-16
Thought For The Week

'We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself.' ~Joseph Chilton Pearce


A magazine asked its readers, "What are the most inspiring words you have ever been told?" Some answers were predictable, some were flippant, some were deep and profound but one that stood out in particular was the following: "You may not know where life's road will lead you, but keep moving because God is walking with you".

There are few who know where life's road will take us. If we knew everything we might be gripped with fear or bubble with excitement. But to know everything would quench the element of surprise and a sense of looking forward. We are invited to put our trust in God knowing that God is walking with us, whatever may lie ahead of us.

The Gospel acclamation that was used at Sunday Mass yesterday went: "Alleluia, Alleluia. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me and with me, bears fruit in plenty." This is a beautiful line and is another reminder of how close God is to us. We often talk about this closeness. It is never occasional but is always real and lasting.

One of the best known poems/reflections in our Christian tradition is 'Footprints in the Sand'. In the dream a man saw the footprints of Jesus beside his own and these were present where ever he went. But the man wondered why there was only one set of footprints during the most difficult and challenging times in his life. And the words of Jesus to him were: "It was then that I carried you." During these difficult and challenging times of Covid 19 it is good to know that God is walking with us through everything.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Sunday
Nov-15
My own Dad Con died back in April at the height of the first lockdown. Back then we were only allowed 10 into the church for the funeral Mass. It was an extremely difficult time and it was hard to grieve with all the normal grieving supports cut off. The journey of grief is a slow one but one we must take one step at a time.

Often its the little things that can throw you. This week I was doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning out shelves that can build up with books, letters and magazines. I came across a magazine with the words written by my Dad across the front cover: 'I will bring the paper today.' It was written some years ago but I obviously had left the magazine on the kitchen table and he used it to write his simple message down.

What moved me was seeing his handwriting. It was only a few words but knowing I would never see that handwriting again was my moment this week. There will probably be another moment tomorrow or maybe next week. Once we are open to these moments and open to where the journey of grief will take us, then I think we will be ok. I also get a strong sense that our nearest and dearest who have gone on before us are near us, minding us and protecting us.

I am also aware of so many families in similar situations who have had to grieve so differently this year. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself this November, take your time to grieve, be ready for the unexpected moments, be grateful for the many happy memories and feel the support and love of those most important in your life right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Friday
Nov-13
'May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. May you have the power to understand as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep God's love really is.' Ephesians 3:17-18

How would you respond if someone asked are you in love? Would it throw you or would you find it easy to answer? Are we in love with someone, with life, with God?
These are key questions but any honest answer can only come from within? Love is a word that is often thrown around wildly and carelessly. It is thrown around so much that we have cheapened its real meaning and value. We hunger for love and we yearn for it. It is the greatest energy in the world but often we search for it in the wrong place.

Our prayer today is to acknowledge those whom we love and who are so vital and important in our lives. May our roots go down deep into their soil and also into the soil of God's marvelous love.
 
 
 
  Thursday
Nov-12
Thought For The Week

De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase

The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.

Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.

My own Dad Con died back in April at the height of the first lockdown. Back then we were only allowed 10 into the church for the funeral Mass. It was an extremely difficult time and it was hard to grieve with all the normal grieving supports cut off. The journey of grief is a slow one but one we must take one step at a time.

Often its the little things that can throw you. This week I was doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning out shelves that can build up with books, letters and magazines. I came across a magazine with the words written by my Dad across the front cover: 'I will bring the paper today.' It was written some years ago but I obviously had left the magazine on the kitchen table and he used it to write his simple message down.

What moved me was seeing his handwriting. It was only a few words but knowing I would never see that handwriting again was my moment this week. There will probably be another moment tomorrow or maybe next week. Once we are open to these moments and open to where the journey of grief will take us, then I think we will be ok. I also get a strong sense that our nearest and dearest who have gone on before us are near us, minding us and protecting us.

I am also aware of so many families in similar situations who have had to grieve so differently this year. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself this November, take your time to grieve, be ready for the unexpected moments, be grateful for the many happy memories and feel the support and love of those most important in your life right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Nov-10
Thought For The Week

De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase

The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.

Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.

My own Dad Con died back in April at the height of the first lockdown. Back then we were only allowed 10 into the church for the funeral Mass. It was an extremely difficult time and it was hard to grieve with all the normal grieving supports cut off. The journey of grief is a slow one but one we must take one step at a time.

Often its the little things that can throw you. This week I was doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning out shelves that can build up with books, letters and magazines. I came across a magazine with the words written by my Dad across the front cover: 'I will bring the paper today.' It was written some years ago but I obviously had left the magazine on the kitchen table and he used it to write his simple message down.

What moved me was seeing his handwriting. It was only a few words but knowing I would never see that handwriting again was my moment this week. There will probably be another moment tomorrow or maybe next week. Once we are open to these moments and open to where the journey of grief will take us, then I think we will be ok. I also get a strong sense that our nearest and dearest who have gone on before us are near us, minding us and protecting us.

I am also aware of so many families in similar situations who have had to grieve so differently this year. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself this November, take your time to grieve, be ready for the unexpected moments, be grateful for the many happy memories and feel the support and love of those most important in your life right now.


Thought For The Week is updated each Monday
 
 
 
  Monday
Nov-09
Thought For The Week

De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase

The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.

Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.

My own Dad Con died back in April at the height of the first lockdown. Back then we were only allowed 10 into the church for the funeral Mass. It was an extremely difficult time and it was hard to grieve with all the normal grieving supports cut off. The journey of grief is a slow one but one we must take one step at a time.

Often its the little things that can throw you. This week I was doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning out shelves that can build up with books, letters and magazines. I came across a magazine with the words written by my Dad across the front cover: 'I will bring the paper today.' It was written some years ago but I obviously had left the magazine on the kitchen table and he used it to write his simple message down.

What moved me was seeing his handwriting. It was only a few words but knowing I would never see that handwriting again was my moment this week. There will probably be another moment tomorrow or maybe next week. Once we are open to these moments and open to where the journey of grief will take us, then I think we will be ok. I also get a strong sense that our nearest and dearest who have gone on before us are near us, minding us and protecting us.

I am also aware of so many families in similar situations who have had to grieve so differently this year. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself this November, take your time to grieve, be ready for the unexpected moments, be grateful for the many happy memories and feel the support and love of those most important in your life right now.
 
 
 
  Sunday
Nov-08
The following reflection is by Tom Cahill

Social isolation can damage your health as much as smoking can. According to new research it can be as bad for you as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day, or daily binge drinking. It's twice as harmful as being obese. Good relationships are crucial for physical and mental health. This is true not just for the elderly as previously thought but for people of all ages. Those with strong bonds to others are 50 per cent less likely to die over a seven-year period, for example, than those lacking quality relationships. One researcher explains that having a sense of meaning in life helps people to take better care of themselves.

Today's Second Reading (2 Thess 3:7-12) agrees. There, Paul says that we need to earn our bread. In other words, we must pull our weight in working with others for the common good. We don't isolate ourselves emotionally or physically from others. We don't become loafers, spongers or gossips. We remain active, and contribute to the common good. In that way, we remain in good shape, in every sense of the word.

It also means looking out for those who because of circumstances may find themselves either in, or slipping into, social isolation. It means being on the watch so that we never lose our sense of meaning, or because of indifference allow another to lose theirs. In that way we revere God's name in those he created and, as the First Reading (Mal 3:19-20) so charmingly puts it, we go out to face life 'leaping like calves from the stall'.
 
 
 
  Saturday
Nov-07
'De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase

The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.

Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.
 
 
 
  Friday
Nov-06
'Life is like a cup of tea. It depends on how you make it.' ~Author Unknown

When it comes to making tea there are so many traditions. Some like it quick and instant, throwing the bag into the cup and hoping for a quick cup. If you have time the scalding of the tea pot is one that seems to guarantee a nicer cup of tea. Some like it strong, some very weak and some middle of the road. Of course if you are from Cork, it has to be Barry's Tea!

Like tea, life depends on how we make it. Our attitude, our approach and our value system all make a difference. If we're going to sit back and hope that everything might come lucky then we are going to be disappointed. If we don't put in the effort we're also going to be let down. Each day is God's precious gift to us. Like making a cup of tea its up to us to make the most of it.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Nov-04
'De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase

The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.

Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Nov-03
'Death ends a life, not a relationship.' ~Robert Benchley

It is always difficult to understand death or make sense of the loss of a loved one through death. We want our loved ones with us always and yet we know that just as we are born we must also die. During these days of November we remember and it is a time to pause, reflect and pray for those who have died particularly our nearest and dearest. Many people will visit a cemetery today or some part of this month. It is not an empty or meaningless task. It's always good to remember those who have died.

Our belief is that death is not an end but a beginning for the soul or spirit of the person who has died. Our belief is that our loved ones who have died are still near us but not physically with us. Trying to put this into words is never easy. The only words that really matter today are to our loved ones who have died. Some of these words might be: we still miss you, thank you for so many memories, you are remembered with love today, you will never be forgotten and may you rest in peace. Amen
 
 
 
  Monday
Nov-02
'Death ends a life, not a relationship.' ~Robert Benchley

It is always difficult to understand death or make sense of the loss of a loved one through death. We want our loved ones with us always and yet we know that just as we are born we must also die. Today is traditionally known as All Souls Day and is a day to pause, reflect and pray for those who have died particularly our nearest and dearest. Many people will visit a cemetery today or some part of this month. It is not an empty or meaningless task. It's always good to remember those who have died.

Our belief is that death is not an end but a beginning for the soul or spirit of the person who has died. Our belief is that our loved ones who have died are still near us but not physically with us. Trying to put this into words is never easy. The only words that really matter today are to our loved ones who have died. Some of these words might be: we still miss you, thank you for so many memories, you are remembered with love today, you will never be forgotten and may you rest in peace. Amen
 
 
 
  Sunday
Nov-01
'Maybe it will cause us as people to pause and give thanks to God for what we have. We can ask not just for what God can do for us but for what we can do to make this world a better place for all God's people.' ~Nuala O'Loan

Last night was Halloween and today (Nov 1st) on the Christian calendar is All Saints Day. The origins of Halloween go right back to our Celtic ancestors who celebrated the feast of Samhain on Nov 1st. They celebrated the new year on this day because it was a time of transition from light to darkness. They also believed that the boundary between the living world and that of the dead was very thin, so much so that the spirits of the dead returned.

Some say Halloween is silly nonsense, a commercial opportunity and a waste of money. But Halloween has a lot to offer. Children love it and always will. Despite trick and treat not happening this year, there will still be lots of fun and games at home for everyone. The old traditional game of snap apple will surely make a comeback!

For adults it brings back childhood memories of our Halloween. But it also puts us in touch with the mystery of life and a time for us to reflect on deeper stuff that we may not always give time to. We of course know so well that some things in life are often clouded in darkness. It put us in touch with our own struggle between light and darkness and the struggle between good and evil.

Halloween may have pagan origins but the Christian message is wrapped around it. It's a simple Halloween message that God is near and close to us even when it seems that darkness is overpowering. We are invited to take down our Halloween masks and not to hide the beautiful person that is you. We are invited to begin to believe in our light and goodness. We can't stop darkness but as believers we always will continue to believe that light, hope, goodness and kindness bring the balance back in. We especially need it this weekend and this Halloween.
 
 

 

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