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Listing July - 2011
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty

Earlier this year I read a selection of entries for a Mother's Day competition, in which sons and daughters described why their mother deserved the prize. The entries had several themes in common - She never does anything for herself; she's always thinking of other people; I can't remember when she last had a break.

In today's Gospel it is Jesus who needs a break. It is a very human Jesus that we encounter. Having learnt of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus withdraws from the crowds in a boat to a 'deserted place'. Like any of us, he feels the need to be alone from time to time, and this is a time of particular pressure for him. He has been preaching solidly for some time, Herod is asking questions, and now he hears his cousin John has been killed.

But there is little time for rest. Seeing the crowds that follow him, Jesus feels another very human emotion - pity. The disciples are protective of Jesus and want the people to go away, but Jesus has other ideas. It is a compassionate Jesus who addresses the hunger of his large crowd of followers. While he needs time to reflect and pray, and we can only imagine how tired and weary he feels, he is happy to postpone his own needs it while he cares for his flock. It's an example followed by many a parent. But it is interesting to note what follows the story of the feeding of the five thousand. Having dismissed the crowds, Jesus makes another attempt to retreat by himself, this time up a mountain. His alone time is important.
A Reflection called 'Needed men and women of character' ~Author Unknown

The world needs men and women who cannot be bought; whose word is their bond; who put character above wealth; who possess opinions and a strong will; who are larger than their vocations; who do not hesitate to take risks; who will not lose their individuality in a crowd; who will be as honest in small affairs as in greater; who will make no compromise with wrong; whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it"; who are true to their friends through good and bad, in adversity as well as in prosperity; who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hard headedness are the best qualities for winning success; who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular; who can say "no" with emphasis, although the rest of the world says "yes".
A bottle nose dolphin jumps clear of the water just off the coast of Gibraltar. If you go out on a boat you are guaranteed to come across many pods of dolphins, swimming together and sometimes will even follow your boat jumping alongside!
'A big part of a weekend break is devouring a full Irish breakfast. But these days a strange intruder has appeared - small, generally greasy, always tasteless and best described as rectangular things called 'hash browns'. These bear about as much resemblance to proper hash brown potatoes as I do to a ring-tailed lemur!' ~Gloria Gaghan

You can't beat the real thing when it comes to home cooking and baking. Some try and copy those special recipes but the end result like the hash brown can often fall short. There are also many recipes out there to nourish us spiritually. Some fall well short but many are life giving, personal and priceless. The ones that work best are often the ones that are simple, often done quietly and without fuss. The God we believe in can never be tied down to one exclusive recipe. Each spiritual recipe should allow us to express our inner most thoughts and to be free to say what we want. It should allow us to turn to God in prayer, be it a few simple words or something that just can't be put into words. If it works for you, then your recipe is precious, priceless and something to treasure each day.
'I've had some bad moments in the last 10 years but that just makes the good moments even better. I can't quite believe it all now.' ~Cadel Evans winner of the Tour De France 2011

The Tour De France finished last Sunday with the cyclists after cycling a staggering 3,430 kilometers in three weeks. There was genuine delight and warmth for Cadel Evans who became the first Australian to win the famous yellow jersey. During the race this year there were two rest days. On each of these days one would expect that the cyclists would relax, unwind and not even look at a bike. But each team on the rest days would cycle for up to two hours. It seems daft that they would do such a thing, but apparently their muscles would seize up if they didn't! On a spiritual level there are some things that we need to keep doing too, even on rest days. The list will be different for all of us but things like love, care, friendship, honesty, prayer, support and encouragement are things we all need to keep doing regularly and as naturally as we can. If we stop and not bother, we could seize up and lose sight of the really important things we need to do each day.


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