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LISTING THOUGHT ARCHIVE

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Listing May - 2012
 
  Thursday
May-31
'In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.' ~Albert Schweitzer

Today (May 31st) is the feast of the Visitation when Mary made the journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Both were pregnant and we're told that when they met, the child in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy. We don't have a journalistic account of their meeting but we do have a poetic account of their encounter. Mary expresses beautiful words of praise to God for all that was happening in her life. These words have been put together to form the beautiful prayer called 'The Magnificat'. We might say the story has no relevance for us and yet it has much to say as well. Mary and Elizabeth made quality time for each other, shared their innermost feelings, their joys, their worries, struggles, hopes and fears. They were more than just cousins and treasured each other's friendship. Do I take for granted or do I really treasure my best friends?
 
 
 
  Wednesday
May-30
'People who pray for miracles usually don't get miracles. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayers answered. Their prayers helped them to tap hidden reserves of faith and courage which were not available to them before.' ~Harold S.Kushner

It has been said that miracles do happen but miracles are also rare and infrequent. What do we mean by a miracle? If are waiting for something big and spectacular like some of the miracles in our gospel stories then we are going to be disappointed. If we hope to win the Lotto or for some life changing event to happen then we have misunderstood the word miracle. Yes miracles do happen but much more quietly and subtle. Little miracles happen quietly around us each day, like the miracle of a smile, an encouraging word, a friendly gesture, a helping hand and so many more. Many miracles also happen through prayer particularly those prayers that are open, honest and heartfelt.
 
 
 
  Monday
May-28
'Nothing but fire kindles fire' ~Author Unknown

Yesterday was the feast of Pentecost. It is one of the most prominent feast days on the Christian calendar. The word Pentecost comes from the Greek word, 'Pentékosté' which translates as 50. The disciples and close friends of Jesus had been living in fear for 50 days since the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. On Pentecost they were filled with a great energy and force that we call the Holy Spirit. They were able to lay aside their fears and step forward bubbling with confidence. They began to preach and share good news where ever they went. Their lives were incredibly changed but all for the better and they never looked back. The symbol of the Holy Spirit is the dove and it is no surprise to find the shape of a dove in nearly every Church across the world, particularly in stained glass windows. Today the message of Pentecost is even more relevant. We live in uncertain times often shrouded in fear, doubts and endless worries about what the future holds for us. We can remain stuck in fear and darkness or we can hold our heads up with hope and optimism. Pentecost reminds us that there is something more, that there is a reason why and that this something more makes life much more meaningful.
 
 
 
  Sunday
May-27
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty called 'Speak their language'

Put yourself in your customers' shoes. Are you speaking your child's language? Find out what makes them tick. Speak their language. In order to be a good communicator, we have to learn how to speak other people's language. Great relationships are formed when we are able to put ourselves in the other person's shoes, to speak to them at a level that engages them. It is the basis of good communication.

On the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, each of the people gathered heard them speaking in his or her own language. The ability to communicate was the first gift they received from the Holy Spirit. Today, we need the gift of communication more than ever. We need to be able to share our message in a way that others can understand, to speak to our hearers' interests, needs and desires. We are called to spread the Good News of Jesus in our own time, and to do this we need to speak the language of the time. 'Pentecost is still happening,' said John Paul II. The Spirit which came upon the early believers is the same Spirit that guides us today. We must also learn to listen to the Holy Spirit at work among us.
 
 
 
  Saturday
May-26
'We pray for renewal, for ourselves and for the Church, that we experience the new life, the enthusiasm and the love of the early Church.' ~Billy O'Sullivan

Tomorrow is the feast of Pentecost. It is always a great feast day celebrating new life, energy, vibrancy, positivity, creativity, hope, light and so much more. It would be great if there was a simple formula in our search for God. We are often unsure where to start and how to begin. Our searches are many, from our local church, attending Mass and saying prayers that vary from traditional to deeply personal. Some find that these simply are not for them and search elsewhere. These searches include finding God in the humdrum of daily life, music, reading, reflection, meditation, relaxation and so on. Whatever and wherever our search, it is good that we are searching. The Spirit of God knows no limits. It is we who have created obstacles and made it almost a burden at times to be a follower of Jesus. Pentecost Sunday is all about enthusiasm and energy. There are many days when we lack energy and motivation. But God's love for us is constantly bubbling over with life and enthusiasm. Nothing can change this. We pray to the Holy Spirit to re-energise us and to help us find the missing links on our daily journey.
 
 
 
  Friday
May-25
This week 6th year Graduation ceremonies are taking place in secondary schools all over Ireland. The following reflection was read last night at the Graduation in Ballincollig Community School by Shane Horgan and Shannon Sweeney

May you find sincerity and tranquillity in a world that you may not always understand. May the difficulties you have known and the challenges you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with optimism and courage. Always know that there are those whose love and understanding will surround you. May a kind word, a reassuring touch, a warm smile, be yours every day of your life and may you give these gifts, as well as receive them. May you remember the sunshine, when a storm seems never ending. Teach love to those who hate and let love embrace you as you go into the world.

Remember those whose lives you have touched and those who have touched yours, they are always a part of you. May you not become too concerned with material matters but instead place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart. Find time in each day to see the beauty and love in the world around you. Realise that each person has limitless abilities but each of us is different in our own way. May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility. Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience and may you always feel loved on your journey throughout life. May you always have a strong conviction about the beauty of life, a vision of hope that endures in the face of challenge. May you be blessed with wisdom and discernment, determination and patience, kindness and compassion, gifts you bring with you as you make your journey into the new horizon.
 
 
 
  Thursday
May-24
The following was read by Philip Spillane at the Coláiste/GaelCholáiste Choilm Graduation Mass yesterday. It is called 'The Elusive Butterfly'

There was a butterfly of gleaming colours, brighter than the rays of the sun. It flew and flew from flower flower. I followed it across the meadow but...

Whenever I reached out my hand to catch the butterfly it kept flying away. Then one day I stopped chasing the butterfly so it circled round, flew about, then turned back, and landed on my shoulder.

Sometimes we rush and race to find what we think is really important in our lives. As we leave here today, it's good to know that what's really special and important is always within our reach
 
 
 
  Wednesday
May-23
'Human life is a journey. Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars to indicate the route. The true stars of our lives are the people close by us and who guide us along the way.' ~Pope Benedict

The month of May is traditionally dedicated to Mary. She is sometimes referred to as the 'Star of the Sea'. Considering the dangers of sea travel in ancient times, it is easy to imagine that sailors and passengers prayed to Mary for protection and a safe journey. One of the most powerful passages of scripture is when Jesus calms the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Not only did he calm the raging wind but the sea became calm and flat as a mirror. Even though the winds of a storm may ease, the waves will often take much longer to settle and calm. With Jesus it happened as soon as he spoke. This left a deep imprint on the disciples and something they would never forget. We pray today for guidance and direction on whatever journey we are on. If our lives feel like as if we are in a storm we pray for calm. We pray for those people who are close to us and who gently guide us along the journey of life. We ask God's blessings on them today as well.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
May-22
'Gratefulness is much more than an act, it is a mood that saturates my entire being. My deepest desire is to live every moment in this mood of gratefulness, handing back my whole life in thankfulness to the One who has given me that life.' ~Author unknown

Certain people seem to have this natural inclination of gratefulness. You know it from their body language. They seem at ease with the swings of life, at ease with their contribution to life and seem less inclined to stress when things don't go their way. Getting in touch with a sense of gratefulness is at the heart of nearly every religion. When we give thanks for the blessings we receive in life, we are in a much better position to reach our full potential. We begin to understand that we are merely pilgrims on our journey through life. We begin to appreciate that nearly everything in life is a gift, to be enjoyed and shared. These gifts can never be hoarded or can't become exclusively ours. When they do we are out of touch with the One who has given us the gift. When we have a sense of gratefulness we are indeed in a healthy place both physically and spiritually. Even when life is difficult we still try and keep a sense of gratefulness for even the tiniest of blessings. What are you grateful for in your life today?
 
 
 
  Monday
May-21
'Deep prayer doesn't come easy for us. Why? We struggle to make time for prayer. Prayer doesn't accomplish anything practical for us, it's a waste of time in terms of tending to the pressures and tasks of daily life and so we hesitate to go there' ~Ron Rolheiser

This is an honest reflection on prayer. We hesitate because we feel we are out of our depth. We find it difficult to concentrate when we try and pray. We are often overwhelmed with distractions. We then lack the confidence to make some time for prayer. In our Gospels it is Jesus who is the inspiration for all of us who struggle with prayer. We find Jesus praying in nearly every kind of situation, in the happy and sad occasions, in tragedies and in setbacks. We find him praying as he went about his daily work, we find him praying with others and praying on his own, sometimes going off to a quiet spot where no one could find him. Most often he prayed in the ordinary down to earth moments that made up his life. The disciples were most impressed. They knew he was uniquely special. He was unlike anybody else they ever knew. They knew that he drew his energy, motivation and drive from a power outside of this world. They saw him do this when he prayed and their natural reaction was 'Lord, teach us to pray'. It is our reaction too. We want to do the same. We can do it by praying in a way that suits us and works for us. The biggest trap is to make comparisons. The biggest mistake is looking for perfection. The best place to start is today and even a little is more than enough.
 
 
 
  Sunday
May-20
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty

'Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours; yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion looks out on the world, yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.'

These well-known words of Teresa of Avila give us a taste of how we can make Jesus present to others as we go about our daily lives. We are called to treat everyone we meet with the same love and compassion Jesus did - including those whom we find difficult, those who are alienated or marginalised, and those most in need of a kind word or deed. That is what Jesus did.

In today's Gospel we hear the very last words of Jesus before he is taken up into heaven: 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.' With these words he hands over the responsibility for his mission to his disciples. There is an immediacy to his instruction, and we don't get the impression that the disciples hung around for any length of time; even as Jesus took his place at the right hand of God in heaven, the disciples are already going out, preaching and performing signs. Jesus could no longer be here, and he needed someone to carry on his work of spreading the Good News. The handover was instant, and the task urgent. It is just as urgent today.
 
 
 
  Saturday
May-19
The following reflection was read at a Remembrance Mass yesterday in Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig for the late John Rea and former staff member. While this prayer is quite old, its richness and depth of meaning makes it as relevant today as it ever was.

Lord, I give you my hands to do your work. I give you my feet to go your way. I give you my eyes to see as you do. I give you my tongue to speak your words. I give you my mind that you may think in me. I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self that you may grow in me so that it is you Lord Jesus who live and work and pray in me. Amen
 
 
 
  Friday
May-18
'I have always believed that it is important to accentuate the positive and live for the joy of living in this magnificent world. Of course, one cannot always entirely or instantly eliminate the negative, nor would it be wise to attempt to do so. You have to confront the negative and the difficulties in life squarely, fully and honestly' ~David Norris

It is good and important to nurture positivity and every good news story in our lives. It would be a mistake to think that we can entirely ignore the negative stuff or to try and avoid it. Much more important is what to do when surrounded by a negative. In our Gospel stories Jesus always tackled darkness and negativity straight on. He never ran from it but always dealt with it in a way that seemed the right way and best way. In facing it he always invited the person to take a step forward out of the negativity and darkness. This first step is often the hardest and most important one. It gives us permission not to let the negative take over but instead to be open to the blessings that life can bring. In facing difficulties squarely, fully and honestly, it leaves us in a much better position to make room for all the good stuff in our lives.
 
 
 
  Thursday
May-17
Thought For Today is a repeat and will be back to normal tomorrow

'The wall which prevents us from seeing God is our concept of God. We miss God because we think we know. That is the terrible thing about religion.' ~Anthony DeMello


Many of us think we know a lot about everything. If we're really honest there is so little we know. We discover more and more about our world and our lives with each passing day. We will never be able to say at any stage that we know it all. This is especially true of God and who we think God is or might be. No religion can give you the whole package and say this is what it's all about. Every day is our gift from God to use it as best we can. Each day we can discover God in the heartbeat of life, at home, at work, at church, at school, on the training pitch, in our garden, in our local shop, everywhere and anywhere. We can never know everything about God but one thing we know with absolute certainty, God is closer to us than we can possibly imagine.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
May-16
The Thought For Today is a repeat and will be back to normal next Friday

'If you judge people, you have no time to love them.' ~Mother Teresa


Two Buddhist monks on their way to the monastery found an exceedingly beautiful woman at the river bank. Like them, she wished to cross the river, but the water was too high. So one of the monks lifted her on his back and carried her across. The fellow monk was thoroughly scandalized. For two full hours he berated him on his negligence in keeping the holy rule: Had he forgotten that he was a monk? How dare he chat her up and actually carry her across the river? And what would people say? Had he not brought their holy religion into disrepute? And so on and so forth. The offending monk patiently listened to the never ending sermon. Finally, he broke in with, "Brother, I dropped the woman at the river. Are you still carrying her?"
 
 
 
  Tuesday
May-15
Psalm 139 is one of the most beautiful psalms in the psalter. It has been spoken about, written about and shared in lots of different ways. The following reflection is just one sharing on this unique psalm.

You are special. In the entire world there is nobody just like you. Since the beginning of time there has never been another person like you. Nobody has your smile, your hands, your eyes, your hair. No one owns your handwriting or your voice; nobody can paint your brushstrokes on the canvas of life. You are the only one in the whole universe who sees things as you do. Throughout all eternity no one will ever think or do exactly as you do. What makes you laugh or cry is unique to you.

You are the only one who has your particular set of abilities. There is always someone who is better at one thing or another; everyone is superior in at least one way. But no one else can match the combination of your talents, your feelings, and your special gifts. A combination which when used in harmony is a uniquely beautiful symphony. You are rare. Like all things rare your value is beyond price.

Therefore, because of your great value you don't need to imitate anyone else. You are special and it is no accident that you are. You should realise that God made you special at this time in history, and in your particular circumstances, for a special purpose. There is something to be done in God's world now that only you can do. God dreams in you.
 
 
 
  Monday
May-14
'Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.' ~Jane Addams

Sport was a clear winner yesterday with one of the most exciting finishes to the Premiership in recent years. The spotlight was on two key games all afternoon: Sunderland v Man Utd and Man City v QPR. Both games started at the same time and on 90 minutes Man Utd were winning and Man City loosing. The Premiership title was heading to Man Utd. On 91 minutes Man City equalised but still was not enough for them. Then incredibly on 94 minutes they scored again through Aguero. It was a finish that no one could even have come close to predicting. For Man City fans their neighbours have dominated for years but now they could celebrate. There has been much analysis about the game but the key message through it all is never give up. Somehow the Man City players kept battling, working together and fighting for the dream they so wanted. In the end their win was richly deserved and they held it together when others thought they were falling apart. There are many stories in our community about people who never give up, who believe that things can happen, who hold it together despite huge obstacles and who trust that everything will work out. The TV cameras and newspaper stories don't pick up on these stories but they rumble throughout every community. We all can play a part in keeping these stories rumbling. It's good to know that when all seems lost there is still hope. Just ask any Man City fan!!
 
 
 
  Sunday
May-13
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty called 'All you need is love'

'Love? Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many-splendoured thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.'
In an attempt to express the depth of his love, the character Christian from the film Moulin Rouge pulls together the lyrics of some of the most famous love songs of recent decades. Since time began, poetry, prose and song have attempted to put into words the great mystery that is love. 'At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet,' the philosopher Plato put it. Today's Gospel reading offers one of the most eloquent passages on love in the Gospels. It reveals the vision of Jesus for his followers and explains how we should treat one another. We are to take a leaf out of Jesus' book; we are to love each other with the same love he showed during his time on earth, that great love which culminated in his 'laying down his life for his friends'.

Reflecting on this love, author Daniel O'Leary suggests that, sometimes, 'we find it so hard to accept the revelation that it is God's delight to be worshipped in the way we touch and look at each other, in the way we listen and talk to each other, in the way we forgive and promise to start all over again'. It is in the way we love one another, the way we forgive and 'lay down our lives' for one another, that we experience the life and love of Jesus.
 
 
 
  Saturday
May-12
A flea was on top of an elephant as it crossed a wooden bridge and after crossing said, "Boy, how we shook that bridge when we crossed!"

There is another story told about two geese who were about to start southward on their annual migration, when they met a frog who wanted to take him with them. The geese expressed their enthusiasm if they could get a plan together. The frog produced a long stalk of pond grass and got the geese to grab each end with their beaks, while he clung to it by his mouth in the middle. The three began their journey. Some farmers below noticed the strange sight. They loudly expressed their admiration for the travel device and wondered who had been clever enough to discover it. The frog bursting with pride shouted, "It was me!!" and of course lost his grip and fell to the ground far below. The moral of the story: Boasting about everything you do will land you in trouble sooner or later.
 
 
 
  Friday
May-11
'Sit on a stone for three years and it gets warm' ~Japanese Proverb

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated. It expresses a truth based on common sense. The book of proverbs found in the Bible is one of the best collection of proverbs known but every culture has examples of its own. Many Japanese proverbs are usually very short and to the point. They also echo the scriptures. The above proverb is a reminder on the importance of perseverance. It is often so easy to give up, to not bother or care, to leave it to someone else and to give up when the challenges get serious. But most good things in life take time. While sitting on a stone for three years seems like an awful long time, the key message here is that all the really good things in life need quality time. We are pulled and dragged in how we spend and use this time. We are encouraged to persevere, to keep going, to do our best, to use our time wisely and to know that everything will work out for the best. We are also encouraged throughout scriptures to put our trust in God who will always persevere with us to get us where we want.
 
 
 
  Thursday
May-10
'Sport in its truest form, does not involve trophies, victories and titles. It flows deeper than that. It brings a group of people together to share in an experience that cannot be replicated.' ~Anna Geary guest speaker at the annual sports awards in Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, last night

Cork Camóige player Anna Geary gave an inspiring talk to hundreds of students and parents in Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm. Her words are worth sharing with you today: "The skills I learned while playing sport at school have stood to me throughout my life, not just in my sporting career but in my personal life too. If I was to highlight two skills that sport has taught me - they would be team work and perseverance. No matter what, both of these skills will stand the test of time. To be able to work as a unit with others towards a common goal, is a skill that can never be underestimated as you move forward in school, college, work and life in general. Learning when to lead and when to be a team player is vital in my opinion. Equally perseverance is a key ingredient for success. We will all face challenges and not just in sport. Learning to overcome these challenges will make you stronger and will help mould you into the person you are capable of becoming. Things don't always go to plan and that's ok. Sport will teach you to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and try again. You are all very talented so don't be afraid to express yourselves. Develop an attitude for excellence now and set the standards. Remember impossible is not a fact, it is only an opinion, so even if the odds are stacked against you, go out there and strive to be the best!"
 
 
 
  Wednesday
May-09
'Dig within. Within is the wellspring of good and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.' ~Marcus Aurelius

We so often put the emphasis on the externals, stuff to get done, deadlines to meet, shopping to be done, bills to be paid and so much more. Much of this stuff is important and most of it has to be done. But in all the doing we think everything else is unimportant. But within each person is a vast treasure or wellspring of goodness and love bubbling up. It needs expression but only if we allow it. At the heart of our belief system is to give expression to what is important within. No person can ever take that away from us no matter how hard they try. The image of something bubbling up has always been associated with the Divine. We can ask God to allow us to bubble over with love, goodness and so many more blessings.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
May-08
'A sense of humour doesn't necessarily mean a knack for telling jokes. It means the ability to take some setbacks and still see that the world has not come to an end.' ~Author Unknown

We all experience setbacks. Some are serious, challenging and can knock us right of our track. Other setbacks are much less serious. When these happen we can just readjust and simply move on. We may have complained about little things that didn't go right for us across the Bank Holiday weekend. But when such lesser setbacks are put next to other people's real stories and pain, these lesser setbacks fade into total insignificance. Smaller setbacks and knocks are a feature of all our lives. Let's be honest we're lucky than most and we can count our blessings. We pray today for any person or family who really is experiencing any tough or difficult setback in their life right now.
 
 
 
  Monday
May-07
'The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that and live that way, you are a really wise person.' ~Euripides

There was a big turnout this weekend for the Traditional Crafts and Blacksmithing Fair which took place in Millstreet Country Park. The beautiful fine weather was a huge help but there is massive interest today in how things were done in the past. Technology advances have been quite incredible in recent years and it has made life so much easier. But sometimes these advances have been so fast, that the way of doing things in the past was quickly forgotten. This is all changing. The way of doing things in the past was clearly simple and down to earth. It always met simple needs of warmth, food and shelter. There were fewer pressures, less stress and people were much more content with a simple and relaxed pace to life. Today people realise that we may have left something behind in all our advances. We are now searching again for those bits and pieces that can and will bring balance to our lives. It is not something buried in the past but very much within our reach today.
 
 
 
  Sunday
May-06
The following reflection is by Triona Doherty

How does your garden grow?
Have you ever seen a vine close up? I remember stopping at a French vineyard on my first ever trip abroad, fascinated to set eyes for the first time on the rows upon rows of vines, heavy with clusters of ripe grapes. If you haven't had the good fortune to visit a vineyard, think of an apple tree laden with apples, or a fruit bush ripe for picking. Imagine the many factors that must come together so that the tree can bear fruit - the sunlight, rain, nutrients, and of course the proper pruning from a prudent gardener.

We are now some weeks into the Church season of Easter. During Lent we went through a pruning process of sorts. We cut back on areas of excess, and weeded out some bad habits. What are the unhealthy habits that need to be pruned back in our lives, in order that more loving thoughts and actions may emerge? The symbolism of the vine works on many levels. A branch that is separated from the tree cannot flourish on its own; it must be connected to the vine from which it gets its nourishment. Each of us must remain firmly rooted in Jesus. And if you look again at the vine plant, often its branches are so entangled it can be hard to know where one ends and another begins. There is no way of untwisting them to locate individual branches. We note that Jesus did not address himself to an individual saying 'You are the branch', rather he spoke of branches. We are a community, and we grow together.
 
 
 
  Saturday
May-05
'God's love is all-inclusive and we should be as well.' ~Joanna Hollis

A few years ago, Pluto was removed from the list of planets. It held a unique status as the smallest of all the planets. It was also the furthest from the sun at 5.9 billion km or 3.7 billion miles. Pluto is so far from the sun that it takes 249 years for it to make its way around the outskirts of the solar system. As it is so far from the sun there is no life on Pluto, with everything frozen solid. Sometimes we're a bit like Pluto as well. Our lives can at times seem removed, distant, dark and cold. We sometimes feel left out, on our own, excluded and out on the fringes. It is not a good place to be and it's not a good place to remain. God is always calling us in from the fringes. We are always called into light, love, warmth, hope and life. Others may try and push us out but God always wants to pull us right back into a healthy and good place. Do you feel on the fringes and on the outside? Can you allow God and others to pull you right back in?
 
 
 
  Friday
May-04
'People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they cannot find them, make them.' ~George Bernard Shaw

It is easy to blame our circumstances and how if they had been different, so much else would have been different. As it happens many of our circumstances are often outside our control but not always. Circumstances can change, they do change and often for the better. Sometimes we have to make them happen. If we wait and hope that they might change, we are in for a long wait. So a change in our circumstances starts with us and especially today. Also at the heart of what we believe in, is how God is with us no matter what our circumstances. We pray today for guidance, direction and help in whatever our circumstances may be.
 
 
 
  Thursday
May-03
The following reflection is called 'Your Love For Me' and the author is unknown

Lord, we thank you for the poverty, the pains and the passion that you suffered for me. You slept in a manger that was not your own. You cruised on a lake in a boat that was not your own. You were buried in a tomb that was not your own.

Your holy fingers made the meadows, yet they produced the thorns that crowned your head. You made the forests, yet they gave the tree upon which you hung. You made the sky, but it darkened over your head when you died.

And it was for love of me that you suffered all these. Your love is so great, so vast and so mighty that I could count the leaves of the forest tree, or the sparkling drops of dew at sunrise but never could I tell the depth of the love you have for me. Thank you for your love and help me to walk with you each and every day.
 
 
 
  Wednesday
May-02
'Every single young person has a unique and irreplaceable gift for the world. This is precisely for the world of today. All our schooling and rearing of young people is a tragic failure if we have not been able to open up to them and reveal to them their own particular gift for society.' ~Dr Brendan Kelly

Anyone who has the chance to journey with young people knows it is a privileged journey. They like all of us need support, direction and encouragement. In return they bring to us abundant blessings. In particular what stands out is the energy they bring to the present moment, their sense of hope for the future and an ability to bring their own something special to whatever they do. Rather than seeing their journey as a possible failure, I would put the spotlight firmly on the huge variety of gifts they do bring to us. Sure the challenges are huge, the distractions endless and many obstacles to be found on their journey. Support structures are vital, there needs to be a willingness to listen and be non-judgmental. There has to be trust and openness. With young people you don't need to have all the answers. Once you are willing to walk the journey with them, the rewards are beyond words. The unique and irreplaceable gift they bring means today and our world is indeed bright and full of hope.
 
 
 
  Tuesday
May-01
'Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year' ~Author Unknown

Today is 'Lá Bealtaine' which translates as May Day and today is also the feast of St Joseph the worker. It's a day that goes way back many generations in Irish culture and history. The day was celebrated to mark the beginning of summer. It was a day when the herds of livestock were driven out to summer pastures. The lighting of bonfires on hills and mountains was a part of the tradition. At the heart of Bealtaine is a reminder of growth, abundance and life flourishing at this time of year. Summer is a season of energy and fulfilment. The darkness of winter is far behind, the promise of spring has delivered and the coming months are about making the most of everything connected with life. For the past few weeks in Ireland the weather has been harsh, wet and cold. Summer seems a long way off at the moment, but today 'Lá Bealtaine' is a day of hope and a reminder that summer is nearly here. Today is a day of great blessing and we ask God to help us make the most of everything connected with life this summer.
 
 

 

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