‘And give us minds to comprehend driblets of Your design, awing us with skies and tides and glittering dust.’ (Pádraig Daly- A Small Psalter)
The Meath girls did it for the second year in a row. They had emerged as a surprise last year and very unexpectedly. But there was nothing surprising this year. It is a mighty achievement. The England lassies did it. 1966 can fade away. Martin Peters, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst can be replaced by Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo and Beth Mead. It may have helped that Germany’s best player ‘Popped’ out. There is great euphoria in Birmingham. The Raging Bull is on public display after the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Everyone appears to be happy with the ‘friendly games.’ The crashing cyclists at the velodrome added to the excitement if not to the state of their bodies. And then Adam Peaty missed out on the 100m breaststroke. That was a shock.
Political leadership demands trust and truth:
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak fight it out. Some of the tactics used to distract and discredit, are amusing. Those cheap earrings. Those expensive shoes. The two of them claim admiration for Maggie Thatcher as the greatest. Surely there should be a hesitation at least. Both don’t want to be disloyal to Boris. They appear to forget to mention why Boris was thrown out. It was integrity. It was truthfulness. It was trust. Why aren’t they focused on offering this, above all to the electorate? Honesty. Trust. Realism.
Pope Francis and cultural devastation: (1)
Pope Francis went to Canada. His body protested at such travel. But he had to make the pilgrimage. For some, such an apology is never enough. It could never be. Part of that apology was for the disregard of the religious culture of the indigenous people. There was the abuse of all kinds. It is humbling to think of what was done in the name of religion and what some ministers of God did. Disrespect for the culture of other people and their history in the name of religion comes from an assumption of superiority. We might consider this in our own days. We too have to watch what we impose on our people. Our own cultural insensitivity.
(2) Inculturation – Mission language!
How dare we dump a Latinised version of language on our Congregations. We too often assume that our ‘holy language’ is appropriate. Liturgical language is often stylised and wooden. The Latin structure above all is stupid. It doesn’t respect the local Community of faith. The ‘Word’ doesn’t become flesh in the experience of those present. We have to learn how to celebrate the God who is near to us and is part of our daily lives as well as the faraway God. The ‘gia e non ancora’ aspect is essential in our worship. (The already and the not yet). The core of our Liturgy remains psychological unfit for purpose! But it isn’t just Liturgy; it applies to all our ways of being Church and relating to people about God.
(3) The Homily………………
And then there is the Homily. I sometimes glance at published Homilies and find them so churchy. I’m seldom convinced that a Homily can be published. Homilies have to live and to find life among the people. The Homily becomes part of those present. They shape it. They create it. It can never arrive as the glorious thoughts of the preacher to the ‘ignorant.’ And now I return to Pope Francis. He talked sensibly about possible retirement. I don’t want him to retire. Some few others are fearful of his retirement. But he is of age. He should go. At 85 – it is nonsense and it is very wrong to impose on anyone of this age, such a responsibility. We always say that no one is indispensable; that applies to Francis too.
I went down to the Tolka this morning. The heron swooped down and we exchanged greetings. A pigeon was politely told to move on and did. They shared the same tree but not the same branch. The green shoots on the burned hill lifted my spirits. The burning hadn’t stopped when the green shoots proudly said that they wouldn’t lie down and die. (They aren’t members of the Vanity, Vanity squad in Ecclesiasticus). I met only one person this morning and I wanted to avoid people. Covid has invaded me. My deep concern at present is the worry lest I infected others. Had a funeral, a wedding and weekend Masses. I am blessed and pleased to have escaped Covid for so long and now to have such a light dose. I am drunk (not with alcohol). I am making mistakes on the keyboard and that doesn’t usually happen (whatever about the content). I have a heavy cold. I may even be tired! I am happy to be grateful for the chance to get to the Tolka where there are few people at that hour of the morning. We are blessed (again) by having such a facility beside us here in Finglas. I am back into isolation now.
She doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone. She is afraid of getting Covid from me. She is picking up a dose of paranoia from her mother! Indi has a new hobby. She goes around reading number plates on cars. I think that is as strange as many out on the back road by the airport – plane-spotting/watching. I don’t get it at all. Anyway. I think young Indi simply enjoys seeing all the numbers and letters and then proudly telling people what they are. She is doing well for two. Then her little mind has a thought. Does God drive? She doesn’t ask what kind of car God drives but rather what colour is the car? Typical!
She wasn’t pleased with God this morning and was rather blunt in expressing her views. It was raining. She wanted to go out. She wanted to find more cars. She wanted to go to the shops but more importantly she wanted to see the cars in the carpark. She is intrigued with God’s car. She says it has to be green. Why? Green is everywhere. Green is the colour of life. Green is flourishing. Green it has to be because she likes green and if she likes green; God must have a green car.
Seamus Ahearne osa
1st August 2022