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LISTING THOUGHT ARCHIVE

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Listing January - 2009
 
  Saturday
Jan-31
The eternal is not elsewhere, it is not distant. There is nothing as near as the eternal. The beautiful Gaelic phrase captures this, ‘fighte fuaighte’, which means ‘woven into and through each other.’ ~John O’Donoghue

Tomorrow is the feast of St.Brigid. It is always a turning point after winter. You couldn’t say that spring is quite here yet but there is a growing feeling that nature is slowly reawakening and responding. Brigid was so in touch with the rhythms of life and nature. Using rushes she wove them all into a cross, to remind us that all the different strands of our lives are connected. They are not connected by chance but by the gentle presence of God in our lives. God’s many blessings are not distant but are woven into and through the many different activities of our daily lives. We pray to St.Brigid and we ask her many blessings on each of us this weekend.
 
 
 
  Friday
Jan-30
 
 
 
  Thursday
Jan-29
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Jan-27
‘We must learn to live simply so that others may simply live’ ~CAFOD

The current credit crunch and the crisis in the banking system continues to dominate our headlines each day. It will for some time. It has also prompted deeper questions about where it all went wrong but more importantly where do we go now? There are massive obstacles that need looking at. There are millions of people around the world today who are migrating rapidly out of rural poverty into western consumerism. It is hugely attractive. But as it stands there are simply not enough natural resources on our planet to promise a comfortable standard of westernised living for everyone. Any teapot including the biggest we know can only pour so many cups of tea. The “I want everything” attitude has no future. Everyone will have to rethink our values system and standards of living. It’s not going to be solved today or tomorrow. But it now seems we have no choice but to rethink everything together.
 
 
 
  Monday
Jan-26
Thought For Today resumes as normal tomorrow
 
 
 
  Sunday
Jan-25
Our Thought For Today is written by Fr.Jack McArdle

Our very life is a gift, and it is filled with many gifts or talents. We all seem to get a different share-out of God's gifts. I can spend my life wishing I had what someone else was given. I wish I looked like him, could sing like her, or be as wealthy as someone else. I could spend my life wishing I was someone else, and never come to any level of appreciation of what I am, and what gifts I possess. Each of us is uniquely gifted and, unless we come to appreciate that, we are not likely to make any serious investments with what we are given. The gospel tells us that our talents are gifts to be invested, to be used.
 
 
 
  Friday
Jan-23
‘We can be so eager to foster interdependence that we forget that everyone needs a little independence’ ~Maria Byrne

Whether it be at work, school, home or leisure activities we tend to place a lot of emphasis on interdependence. When we work together we are more productive and lots of good things can begin to happen. This is good practice and usually works well. But working together is always a challenge and just doesn’t happen. For it to continue working well it needs to recognise our need for independence as well. Each person needs space to be creative, to express themselves with freedom, to get a fair chance at doing what they are good at and just to be themselves from time to time. It is all about finding the balance. When somebody is reluctant to be part of a team, it usually means a need for a bit more independence. Many of our Gospel stories are about Jesus bringing people from the fringes and including them in normal life while at the same time respecting their need for independence.
 
 
 
  Thursday
Jan-22
‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ ~The slogan currently seen on the side of many buses in cities across England and the London Underground.

There has been a surprise reaction to the current atheist advertising campaign which is currently running throughout the month of January. If the atheists behind the campaign thought they would ruffle the feathers of believers, then they are surely disappointed. All of the Christian Churches have welcomed the campaign. Even using the word ‘probably’ suggests that even the atheists are unsure! One priest, Fr.Stephen Wang said, “I love the idea of the bus winding its way through the streets of London and someone stopping to think, ‘Mmm..maybe there is no God…But maybe there is.” It certainly is an interesting publicity campaign. If you saw the bus passing by what would your reaction be? Sometimes it’s good to think and talk about the deepest questions of life.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Jan-21
Below is the homily that was given at Kevin's funeral Mass.

Any understanding of life must begin with the knowledge that life is fragile, unpredictable, challenging but also full of promise, opportunity and hope. Both go hand in hand. Clearly the past few days have been truly awful, dark, sad, devastating and a huge sense of loss felt by everyone. I or anyone else here today don't have any answer to the question everyone is asking – Why? Today is not about trying to find those answers. Even if we had an answer it doesn’t change anything. Kevin is no longer with us and today is all about acknowledging the huge loss he is to us, its about recognising the big impact he made on all our lives. Today is about celebrating his life cut so tragically short and today is also about looking forward in hope.

We have mentioned some of our happy memories of Kevin at the start of our Mass. I know all of Kevin's family could add endless memories to that list. I want to say to his family how brave you have been during the past few days. We sense the horror and devastation you have been through and are going through. You opened up your house to everyone during the past few days. It has been a mass invasion but one that will help you in the whole grieving process. You have been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and kindness. You know how Kevin’s life has deeply touched so many people. You as a family were described yesterday over a cup of tea in ye’re kitchen as the ‘salt of the earth’. Not just today or yesterday but that ye have always been ‘the salt of the earth’. There is no greater complement.

Kevin also was the salt of the earth, he got on with life, used his every gift and talent and shared so much of his time and energy with others. He'd be embarrassed if we made him out to be any different from his classmates and friends. We above all want to pray for you today as a family. We simply want to ask God to give you strength, courage, light and hope to face so many difficult days ahead. I know today is so dreadfully sad and dark for you but one day and some day the sun will shine for you in your lives again. It may only be a tiny ray first, even a flicker of light but when we put our trust in God we know that a light will shine again for you. It has to, it must and it will.

To all of Kevin’s many friends in Coláiste Choilm I want to say a brief word to you. Again like Kevin’s family we sense the great shock, disbelief, hurt, anger and confusion that you have been through the last few days. It’s been truly awful and you have also been so brave and courageous through it all. You have been there for each other. You have also been there for us the staff and we have been there for you. We have hugged and cried, we have shared and talked, we have written and prayed, we have sang and we have sat in silence. We have done all of this not on our own but very much together. What you have done says so much about you as a year group. Our journey forward from here today will be in that spirit, working together, trying to get our lives back to normal, trying to make sense of how fragile life is and knowing at all times that we are never on our own.

For all of us and this includes you as a young person, we experience tough and difficult days. Life is fragile and so it means that we will have those days. You could call them dark days. It could happen that like Kevin one of those days could be so dark that its like being in a dark room, so dark that you don’t know where the light switch or door handle is. But when we can’t find them, all we have to do is ask someone, a friend, a parent, a teacher,a member of staff, myself, anyone. Not only will we open the door but we will take you out of the dark room, tell you how much you are loved and know that all is ok no matter how bad you might think it is.
The way in which Kevin has left us is never the answer. It wasn't the right choice and never can be the right choice. You have seen for yourselves the utter devastation it has brought to Kevin’s family and the devastation it has brought to you his friends and classmates.
The message is simple today - You are never on your own, never - ever - ever are you on your own. I want you to always remember that, you or any of us here today we are never ever on our own.

I want to finish by saying that its so important that we put our trust in God. When we are helpless God also feels our helplessness. God’s compassion is wider than ours. God’s understanding infinitely surpasses our own. Kevin is safe in the hands of God today. That is at the heart of our faith. We call it the Resurrection and it’s the hinge on which we rest everything. The last few days have been so dark but as I mentioned a little earlier, the sun will shine for all of us again in our lives. At first it may only be a small little ray of sunshine, even a flicker of light. We put our trust in God and we know that a light will shine again for all of us. It has to, it must and it will.
May Kevin rest in peace.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Jan-20
‘The future lies before you, like paths of pure white snow. Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.’ ~Author Unknown

A wise owl asked a mouse the weight of a snowflake. “Nothing more than nothing”, was the answer. “In that case I must tell you a marvellous story,” the owl said. “I sat on the branch of a fir tree, close to its trunk when it began to snow. So as I didn’t have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of the branch I was next to. Their number was exactly 3,741,952. When the next snowflake dropped onto the branch, nothing more than nothing, as you say and the branch broke off!” The little mouse scurried off with nothing to say. It may only be a story but it highlights the power of one, the power of something tiny and insignificant, the power of a kind word, a hug, a moment of silence, a moment of prayer. There is no end to the list or to the strength and power of something that may seem tiny and insignificant.
 
 
 
  Monday
Jan-19
The following reflection has been written by Fr.Tom Clancy

We live in a world of ever more distractions, where loneliness grows deeper and more widespread. The increasing number of television channels, ensures that we need never endure silence. Distraction is always available at the press of a button. Loneliness can be temporarily suppressed through the short drink or the quick fix. But distractions or drugs do not meet the longings of the human heart.
Our core longing is for intimacy, a sharing of heart, of commitment and love. Some confuse intimacy with pleasure and end up devastated and frustrated. Others ignore this longing through constant activity in business, sport and entertainment. But like a seed buried under a tarmacadam, the longing eventually surfaces clamouring for attention. At the end of the day, we are made for relationships, relationships with God and with one another. We are not created to be individuals just beavering away, even at the most worthwhile tasks without reference to each other. To be able to relate is a tremendous gift that must be appreciated and developed throughout life. To be willing to relate, calls for decisions to reach out daily to each other and to God.
 
 
 
  Sunday
Jan-18
The following reflection has been written by Fr.Tom Clancy

We live in a world of ever more distractions, where loneliness grows deeper and more widespread. The increasing number of television channels, ensures that we need never endure silence. Distraction is always available at the press of a button. Loneliness can be temporarily suppressed through the short drink or the quick fix. But distractions or drugs do not meet the longings of the human heart.

Our core longing is for intimacy, a sharing of heart, of commitment and love. Some confuse intimacy with pleasure and end up devastated and frustrated. Others ignore this longing through constant activity in business, sport and entertainment. But like a seed buried under a tarmacadam, the longing eventually surfaces clamouring for attention. At the end of the day, we are made for relationships, relationships with God and with one another. We are not created to be individuals just beavering away, even at the most worthwhile tasks without reference to each other.

To be able to relate is a tremendous gift that must be appreciated and developed throughout life. To be willing to relate, calls for decisions to reach out daily to each other and to God.
 
 
 
  Saturday
Jan-17
‘The more we allow ourselves to be servants of having more, the more we shall let ourselves fall prey to the gnawing anxiety which having involves.’ ~Gabriel Marcel

The expression ‘quality of life’ is one that is often used and can mean many things to different people. It is clear that for many people in the western world our quality of life has improved considerably in recent years. In terms of material goods we are well set up, from houses, cars, fashion, computers, electrical gadgets, and holidays. The current world recession has prompted everyone to take a closer look. A quality of life that depends on lots of money is not always guaranteed. A much more accurate summary of quality of life is how we view life itself. It includes our relationships, our sense of values, our priorities and those things that money simply can’t buy. There is a shift towards prioritising these at the moment. This is positive, good and healthy. Everyone’s recipe is different but what are the ingredients that make up my quality of life?
 
 
 
  Friday
Jan-16
‘A high recommendation is frequent, daily retirement into the solitude of one’s heart, where separate from all people, you can lay open your soul and speak face to face with your God.’ ~Francis De Sales

There are 1,440 minutes in any given day. Between 400 to 500 are given over to sleep. That still leaves a sizeable 1000 minutes to use positively and creatively. Many of these will be used for essential jobs and tasks that need to get done. Some will be used for relaxation and leisure purposes. How many will use a few minutes from the initial bundle for quiet time, silence and prayer? The benefits of taking some few minutes for essential quiet time each day are many and substantial. It is quality time and a time to recharge our inner selves. It is quality time that can be used to pray and to speak to God quietly. Prayer may or may not be on your agenda but there are few genuine arguments to counter the benefits of quiet time each day.
 
 
 
  Thursday
Jan-15
A child asked his grandfather, “Granddad, do you ever see God?” To which the wise old man said, “My child, God is all I see any more.” ~The Universe

What a beautiful expression of faith, wisdom, experience and love. It is no surprise to hear children and young people speak so highly of their grandparents. This is not a criticism of parents on their part but a complement and an acknowledgement that grandparents play an important role in every child’s life. They are huge role models. In terms of faith matters, grandparents have a great sense of the presence of God all around them. Their experience over time has helped them sense God in many places and in different people particularly their grandchildren. Often it’s our view of God that is limited. But God has no limits. There are no boundaries. Wherever you find God, know that you are indeed in a privileged place.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Jan-13
‘I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelisation’ ~Pope John Paul II

The late Pope John Paul II had his finger on the pulse with so many different issues that were going on in the world around us. Some of these issues were straightforward while some were complicated and difficult. Many of these issues remain the same today except that we are now living in a world that seems uncertain about where to go with a global recession. Pope John Paul II called for a new way, new means and new methods. This is inviting and refreshing. It also applies to faith matters. The day we stand still with our faith is a sad day. We will always be looking for new ways of expressing and understanding our faith. Nobody has it worked out fully but once we’re searching and looking we can do no more.
Prayer:
Lord, as we journey into the middle of this month of January it is a time of new beginnings and looking forward. Help me to be open and creative each day. Help me to be open to new ways and new methods of expressing my faith. Help me to know that there is no absolute right way but once I'm trying I am as good as there. Amen
 
 
 
  Monday
Jan-12
‘A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow’ ~Old Proverb

A young woman decided to redecorate her bedroom, but she wasn’t sure how many rolls of wallpaper she would need. She knew that her neighbour had recently done the same job and the two rooms were identical in size. “Jane” she asked, “how many rolls of wall paper did you buy for your bedroom?” “Ten” answered Jane. So the woman bought ten rolls of paper and did the job. Afterwards she found that she had two rolls of paper left over. “Jane” she said, “I bought ten rolls of paper for the bedroom, but I had two rolls left?” “So did I,” Jane replied! A different question earlier would have solved a lot. It goes to show that a bit of planning always makes life so much easier. We ask God’s help to plan as best we can for today knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect plan.
 
 
 
  Sunday
Jan-11
The following reflection is written by Fr.Tom Cahill

As a missionary in Indonesia I baptised hundreds of babies, but only one adult. Part of a Holy Saturday vigil, that adult baptism hugely impressed the congregation by the dignity of its rite and the sincerity of its candidate. Seeing an adult freely and joyfully commit himself to Jesus for life in public was a compelling sign of God’s Spirit at work.

Today’s feast, the Baptism of the Lord, is a reminder of our own baptism. For those of us baptised as babies it’s a non-event because we can’t remember it. Its impact is not what it might have been had we been adult when baptised. Either way, today’s readings Isaiah 55:1-11, where God says that God’s word does not return empty but fulfils its mission, and Mark 1:7-11, where God calls Jesus the beloved son in whom he is well pleased, applies to us baptised. In baptism God gives us a mission. It’s a mission to make God known to our world, especially to those who do not know God.

While that mission is general to all baptised, the way we carry it out is specific to ourselves. Realising we have it, and discovering how to carry it out, gives purpose to our life – and makes us the beloved son or daughter in whom the Father is well pleased.
 
 
 
  Saturday
Jan-10
‘When all is said and done what matters to God is you.’ ~From the late Fr.John O’Donovan whose funeral Mass took place yesterday in Newcestown.

The late Fr.John presented the programme ‘Faith Matters’ on C103 down through the years every Sunday evening. He touched on so many different topics and nothing was left untouched. He will be remembered for his kindness, openness, honesty and his chuckles of laughter. At the end of every radio programme John always finished with those beautiful words ‘When all is said and done what matters to God is you.’ He always wanted to finish on a positive and upbeat note. The message couldn’t be simpler, you are important, you are special and unique, God loves you to bits no matter what you may have done and you are worth celebrating. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
 
 
 
  Friday
Jan-09
‘Some people are like a wheelbarrow. They go no further than they are pushed.’ ~Author Unknown

Only we can honestly answer whether we fall into this category or not. Do we just do the bare essentials or are we willing to do the extra bit. In our gospels we are encouraged to go the extra mile, to go out of our way in making a difference to someone else and to seize the initiative when no one else will. This does not mean that we are pushed to levels that are uncomfortable or outside what we can do. But we encouraged to push further than what’s needed. It’s the extra little bit which can make an extraordinary difference to somebody else. Surely we can’t allow our lives to fall into the category of a humble wheelbarrow!
 
 
 
  Thursday
Jan-08
'Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes us to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountain.’ ~Author Unknown

President Mary McAlese praised young people yesterday at the opening ceremony of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS for their great energy, enthusiasm, hope and energy. Young people have a great openness and willingness to meet every challenge. Their creativity knows no bounds. We may be in a current world recession with many heads down but with the hundreds of exhibitions on display at the RDS there is a cause for great hope. President McAlese praised the many young people present for giving everyone a lift through the many inspiring projects on display. As we journey through these early days of the New Year we ask God to continue to inspire young people and to encourage them to keep generating fresh ideas and possibilities into our world, which so badly needs them at this time.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
Jan-07
‘Beauty gets attention but personality captures the heart.’ ~Author Unknown

Beauty is so temporal. Take the example of a hard frost which transforms a landscape with a covering of a multitude of tiny white icicles. The early rising sun turns these into sparking diamonds with beauty beyond compare. Soon after the thaw sets in and the moment is gone. The same goes with each of us too. Beauty gets our undivided attention and yet real and lasting beauty is often to be found within each person. Jesus throughout the Gospel stories never judged by looks or beauty. He always looked within and often saw vulnerability, brokenness and fear. But he also saw potential and the unique personality of every person. People can take many things from us but they can never take our uniqueness, self worth, potential and inner beauty. Anyone who tries is a bully. As we journey on after Christmas, we must nurture and look after what is precious within. But it can only begin as soon as I start to believe in this precious gift.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
Jan-06
After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. They said, “We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.” ~Mt 2:1-2

Today the feast of the Epiphany is celebrated with great joy particularly in many Eastern countries. Such is the significance of this feast that in some countries Christmas gifts are given out on this day. Today is also traditionally known as ‘Women’s Little Christmas’ or ‘Nollaig na mBan’.

The wise men were searching and looking for something they knew they had to find. It was a journey with many questions and a journey that took time, patience and faith. It was a journey that may have seemed futile and pointless. Why bother? Why take a risk? The wise men knew better. Today’s feast day is a reminder to keep searching and to keep going as best we can on our daily journey even when we don’t have all the answers. Like the wise men the end result is what it’s all about.
 
 
 
  Sunday
Jan-04
 
 
 
  Saturday
Jan-03
 
 
 
  Friday
Jan-02
 
 
 
  Thursday
Jan-01
 
 

 

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