Séamus Ahearne: ‘My prayer is the prayer of the street: Of addicts berating the dark, of crows descending for discarded suppers.’ (Glimpsing More -P Daly.)

Off the air:

My fingers are twitching; It must be stress. The phone is down. The printer is silent. The internet is dead. The broadcasting is off. I am excommunicated. Vodafone are dithering. It takes forever to get through to them and then for them to do the job. It will be a few more days. I’m bereft. I can’t think without an active keyboard.

Parenting or not:

I’m possibly more aware of it now or is it more obvious? So many parents are finding it difficult to cope with their teenagers. So many youngsters are self-harming; so many are running away; so many are caught up in anxiety; so many live in a world unknown to their parents (the cyber world). There is a kind of luxury in being celibate. Or do we miss out on the mess that is normal living? The incarnation can’t fully happen for us. The ‘Word’ can’t become flesh  if  such problems as rearing, are avoided. I was just thinking…

The clamour of Spring:

Oh the crocuses! I had a funeral for Hugh on Thursday. He was 97 and 3/4! He lived until he died. He had even got caught up in the discussion around Kilmacud Crokes and Glen. He once won a Leinster medal in hurling for his local club team in Wicklow. (1954). Did you know that Wicklow were hurlers? For symbols of his life – the hurley appeared. The Wicklow jersey appeared. A photo of that team, appeared. And then the bowl of  Spring flowers appeared. He loved the appearance of those whispers of Spring. The family gave me that bowl of flowers. I loved the gesture. He was a real gentleman. He brought a smile to everyone’s face. As I walked down to the Tolka these past few days – the crocuses smiled at me tool. The heron and the swans forgot to welcome me back. The birds did accompany me with song. The ribbon of water gurgled with delight to see me!  I still have friends down there. I am blessed.

Kiev and the clown:

The miracle of the week was that Zelenski could appear in London, Paris and Brussels. The secret visit hadn’t escaped into the News. How was it possible to keep this quiet? The security worked out. He got back to Kiev. This man who once played at being President is no longer playing; he is serious and impressive. This comedian is not joking when he does his Stand Up. It is a wonder how he keeps going, but his words do lift a nation, and inspires the world. Our own comedian Tommy Tiernan is deadly serious in his reflections and in what he evokes from others. ‘Clowning in Rome’ wasn’t a bad commentary either on the life of ministry  (Henri Nouwen). ‘The Clown’ by Heinrich Boll was taken by some, as a useful model for priesthood. What can we learn? The clowning has to go on. It is very serious.


The Lord said to Cain: “If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head.”  (Gen 4.7). Tony O’Riordan SJ spoke from Aleppo this morning (Monday). He had been there a week earlier than the earthquake and he was told that it was hell. And now the poor people surely are in the nine circles of hell as described by Dante’ Inferno. There aren’t any words to grapple with as we watch the horror of the earthquakes. The little miracles of rescued babies is a moment to lift our heads. But nothing copes with the devastation. These poor people have had to deal with too much. They do shout: ‘God is great.’ But some of us are inclined to be less willing to join in that chorus. We had our own ‘earthquake’ in Covid but it was nothing compared to this. Most of what we see to be important and upsetting, is relatively minor. But we do moan and growl and complain.

Young Indi:

I think she has joined the school of Trump. (Fake News). She has informed her mother that she is now grown up and is as big as her mother. She is still under three but her parents say she is going on 33 and is giving orders all the time. She doesn’t like being told what to do. She is full of mischief.

It is Spring that speaks to her these days. She is intrigued by the colour of life changing. The buds. The flowers. Growth. Light. She doesn’t want to go to sleep in case she misses something. I tell her that life is a Treasure Hunt. She says that it is a bundle of goodies. She sees God as someone who is a tease and who is constantly playing tricks on her. Her big question is – What has God in mind for me today? She is very exciting at finding out. Oh why do the rest of us grow up and see so little and even imagine less?

Séamus Ahearne

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One Comment

  1. Patrick Rogers says:

    Thank you Seamus for sharing your tolka walks with us and the various characters you meet. Including the Heron and the ducks. It’s nice to know how other people see life on the river liffey. I’m here on the bank of the puddle which flows down by Dublin Castle. Nothing so exciting to report from this site I’m afraid since the river is converted just below our front field. Continued good health to you and all our ACP readers.

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