Those were the days, my friend:
Mikhail Gorbachev has died. Glasnost. Perestroika. Rapprochement. Are recalled. Even if official Moscow TV suggests that Gorbachev had a too romantic view of the West. Those terms meant something refreshing and hopeful back in that time. Young Henry Kissinger also reappeared. With a tribute. There is a heaviness and a weariness and a hopelessness around now. That Romance was heart-warming. The fall of the Berlin Wall (November ’89) was part of the excitement of that time. We had begun to think that war and killings would not be happening in Europe ever again. Or elsewhere. There is sadness. There is disappointment and disillusionment these days. I think the world of faith could also borrow and explore the words associated with Mikhail – Glasnost. Perestroika. Rapprochement.
Rory hates the chaos caused by Liv:
Rory McIlroy finds it ‘hard to stomach the appearance of the Liv golfers at Wentworth.’ He also told us last week, after winning the FedEx Cup (for the third time) that he had the least interest in money of anyone on the circuit. It is the golf that matters! Now he had just won $18m for his victory. He didn’t have to be too interested in money matters. It was however a mighty comeback and a great performance.
The Begley music:
Breanndán Ó Beaglaioch was on RTÉ Sunday morning last (28th August) with Brendan O’Connor. We did hear about the house. The house on stilts. The planning permission. The Dingle Peninsula. The values of the Irish culture and language. The fears that the young might be chasing dreams which are shadows. There was something very wholesome in his words and his speech. There were echoes of our deep cultural past. There was music in his words and in his thinking. He didn’t need the button- accordion to make such music. One of our local musicians spoke of meeting with Breanndán out in Rush one night. The Seisiún went on until six in the morning. The same Mick Cantwell sings a song quite often: ‘My wife is an all-knowing woman.’ Stephen Foster – Thomas Hampson. It is rather apt for their carry-on! Six o’clock in the morning.
Robbie Burns is right:
We did a broadcast on Facebook, Wednesday past (31st August), to share with the wider community what is happening in the Greater Finglas Parish. Some felt that the sound wasn’t good. I did a spot check. I thought the sound with all the speakers was fine. However, I got a shock. I didn’t recognise the old man. He was a stranger to me. He has got very decrepit looking. I mustn’t have looked in the mirror for a long time! How did I get so old looking, without knowing it? “O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!” (Robbie Burns).
The Red Brigade:
I had a report back from Rome. My ‘ambassadors’ had attended the consistory (if that name is correct.) There was a huge display of red. Very ornate. Francis does speak the language of simplicity but ‘the relics of old decency’ remain.’ I don’t think ‘the princes of the church’ is an idea worth holding onto. However, these new ones were chosen from the peripheries. Now I think I can claim with justification that those out here in Finglas South live on the periphery. So why didn’t Pope Francis give us a call? We would have dressed up for the occasion. It might even smell of sheep. Their outfits looked somewhat garish but we could have found something more suitable for the celebration.
The music of creation:
‘Listen to the voice of creation.’ The music of the morning speaks to me. The gurgling water. The christening robe of the air. The variety of birds waking up the day. The stillness of the heron. The praying bushes and trees waving their arms. The colour of the sky as it gently appears, stirring itself from sleep. Teilhard de Chardin must be purring as the altar of the ground savours the fruit of the morning. (Mass on the world). It has to become Eucharist. Every Communion could overwhelm us. If we humbly gathered the love/faith of our ancestors; the friends of our everyday life; the neighbours surrounding us; the humourists who tickle our hearts; the poets who help us to see; the fields; the birds; the air; the beauty; the wonder of life. We are so rich that we have to become very humble. The nourishment of life is Communion. God is lavish. Flúirseach. That generosity has to bring us the kiss of life. We wake up.
She wants to start a protest. She hears the News and everyone is sad and moaning and groaning. They all want more. She smiles and wants to shake them. Her first suggestion is – turn off the Radio/TV. No more news. But then she says that turning off the news won’t make it go away. She was considering a plan and a protest of her own. She had got gloomy and was about to wave placards outside the schools. She can’t understand why all the youngsters dress up and go back to school. Why can’t she go? She wants to learn. She is curious. She loves seeing new people and learning new things. Then she changes her plan.
She is going to mount a protest in Youghal, Dungarvan, Clashmore and Aglish. It is a different type of protest. It is herself against the world of doom and gloom. She needs help. She will give each place a day. She will bring along Sun Flowers. She will hand them out. She will tell people that they can’t have them unless they are committed to smiling and not having one bad, sad, dour thought or muttering for the day. She is on a crusade of spreading Good News. She says that God is about Good News. And anyone and everyone who spreads Good News is a prophet for God. That is her thought for the day. She won’t accept all this moaning.
Seamus Ahearne osa 1st September 2022.