The Christian religion began with the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a Jew as were his earliest followers. In one sense it is possible to say that Christianity began as a movement within Judaism. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, these early followers believed him to be the Messiah… Read More
The Cross: From Shame to Triumph
On September 14 we celebrated the feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross. This is a commemoration of two historical events: the Finding of the True Cross and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion. The Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-38… Read More
Religion and Spirituality
When the Taoiseach, Micheāl Martin spoke to the nation on Tuesday evening, at one point he commented that the government did not want to interfere with the spiritual life of people. This was in response to a reporter’s question with regard to people going to Mass. His response was interesting because going to Mass is… Read More
First Preacher of the Gospel-Mary Magdalene
On July 22, we celebrated the feast day of St Mary Magdalene, a woman who has been both fascinating and controversial in equal measure. Magdalene is not a surname but rather identifies the place Mary came from, Magdala, a city in Galilee, located in the northernmost region of ancient Palestine, (now northern Israel). It lies… Read More
Respecting Our Elders?
This week saw the lifting of the government’s restrictive ban on people aged over seventy. There has been a lot of talk about it in the media, and it was greeted with delight by those in this age bracket. I listened to an interview with former government minister, Mary O’Rourke, speaking about how excited she… Read More
The Church in a time of crisis
The current unprecedented coronavirus crisis has affected all areas of life including church services. Not only are the churches closed, but we are unable to celebrate the end of life by having a funeral in the normal way. This has been particularly difficult for us Irish who are at our best on social occasions and… Read More
Now more than ever, great leaders are needed
What do great leaders do? They inspire confidence and trust; they are not afraid to flout the rules and conventions of the time. Nor are they afraid to fight, even to the point of laying down their life. They empower their listeners to believe that they can overcome all the odds stacked against them. When… Read More
We are an Easter People
This week we are preparing for Easter Sunday, the highest point in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church. This is the culmination of the Lenten journey and the day that makes sense of all that went before, some of it dark and terrible. In the Exsultet we are told ‘This is the night that expels… Read More
A Hidden Life – A Must See
Is it better to suffer injustice than do it?; is it right to put truth above your needs and the bodily instinct to survive?; is it wrong to think that a caring God would condemn a man for signing a piece of paper when he knows what is in his heart? This week I went… Read More
Little Women and Wise Men
On January 6th we celebrate both Little Women and Wise Men and by that I mean Nollaig na mBan and the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem. The latter, of course, is a well-known event in the Christian story of Christmas, but the former is a particular Irish tradition. I must confess that it did… Read More
Holy Days or Shopping Days?
December the 8th is a holy day and was once the biggest Shopping Day of the year. It was traditional for the people living in the country to visit Dublin to do their Christmas shopping. Indeed, for many, it was a big day out that they looked forward to with anticipation. To the present generation,… Read More
The First Sunday of Advent
First of December; First Sunday of Advent This Sunday marks a lot of Firsts… yes the first day of December, but also the first Sunday of Advent, the first season of the Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays, during which we prepare for the birth of Christ. It is… Read More
The People We Look Up To
Who are the people we look up to? In life who are the people we look up to and who influence us the most? Perhaps that is something we need to examine more closely. At the beginning of this week, the main story in the media and on everybody’s lips was the death of the… Read More
Mary: A Possible or Impossible Role-Model?
Mary as a Role – Model The Catholic Church has traditionally dedicated the month of September to Our Lady of Sorrows and on the 8th of this month, we celebrate Mary’s Nativity. Educated by the nuns, I had devotion to her instilled in me from very early days and I remember decorating the May altars… Read More
The Feast of the Assumption – What does it mean?
The Feast of the Assumption – What does it mean? The Feast of the Assumption The word ‘assumption’ means to take something for granted, even without proof. E.g. a mother might say to her child, who is off out to play in the evening, “I assume you have finished all your homework?” In the Catholic… Read More
Lent: the journey towards Easter
Did you notice anything unusual about some of the people you encountered on your travels on Wednesday of this week? Many of you might have wondered why they had a big black smudge on their foreheads; others among us will be familiar with the ashes which are distributed every Ash Wednesday during Mass. This is… Read More