TALK TO JOE:
Joe Duffy. He is one of Noel Kelly’s ‘stars’ and among the high salaried in RTÉ. Joe does great work but his programme, it is, however, a garden of Eden/Paradise for whingers. The ‘poor me’ is outpouring everywhere. But it isn’t only on ‘Liveline,’ it spills out and pollutes all the Media. ‘Morning Ireland’ is a very good programme but it would spoil every breakfast if we hoped for a bright morning. Everyone is moaning and then we get most mornings some report or other which attempts to tidy up everything. It borders on rubbish. It is ‘how am I feeling today?’ kind of stuff. It likes to tidy up life and presents a picture which is so unrealistic and I think, is utterly useless. It keeps someone busy. And again it isn’t only on the Radio – it is everywhere. Bad news spews out. It is like a volcano of nonsense and stupidity. I know. There are problems but not everything is a problem.
Russia has invaded the Ukraine. Somalia and Sudan are in a mess. The earth is heating up and we aren’t capable of doing much about it. Sadiq Khan tried and lost a seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip for Labour. An American tourist is badly injured. There are stabbings. Murder occurs frequently. There is bad news rotting the airwaves. Drugs are floating in from the sea. The Church has messed up lives is popular cant. It goes on and on. Will someone, anywhere, set out to tell the story of the good news in life? The wonderful communities. The great families. The kindness and care. The love and the laughter. The sprinkles of Godliness. The holy moments everywhere. A Church if it was real – would be splashing the Good News everywhere as an antidote to the darkness. We should have a perspective which is brighter, broader, brilliant.
By writing on the ‘poor me’ syndrome, something has seeped into my bones. I have caught the disease. I have several complaints to make. I am caught up at present in dealing with Electric Ireland. I want them to read their Meters. They have charged us a huge sum and I have asked them to check it out. It is an impossible task for them. I have got ten different people who responded. Each one asks me for the same material that I have given them six times. They don’t talk to each other. They can’t just check the readings. The water meter too was read by the Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) people for the Church. Once more the reading was enormous. It took me months to get it sorted. No one seemed able to check and find out what was going on. Their reading was wrong. It was rectified eventually and went from €3000 to €80! And now I am trying to get basic information from a Nursing Home after the death of a resident. It has gone on for 3 months and somehow, this simple task is too much for the administration. Months too have passed, attempting to get Eir to upgrade the internet in the Parish. Somehow nothing gets done. The time and energy I have wasted getting these things sorted is so ridiculous. Now I have some ease of access and some stamina. I think of the many who are stressed out doing an equivalent. Joe Duffy has helped many with such problems. I am sorry for the moan. There may be problems in RTÉ but to me these are simple managerial issues to fix, whereas this ingrained fog of bureaucracy is smothering every organisation.
Three grannies at a Team Meeting sharing (from last week) on the wonder and mystery of grandchildren. In honour of Joachim and Anne. A Graced Moment. The Prayer at that Meeting: On a Leaf; on a Rose and again on a Baby. A Graced Moment. Scripture – Jacob and that ladder. ‘God is in this place and I never knew it.’ Knowing the awesomeness of the kingdom of God in our lives. And able to talk about it. Graced Moments. Moses and the burning bush. Taking off the shoes. And Holy Ground. Waking up to the holiness of the ground we walk on. Multiple Graced Moments. A funeral of our Sacristan Jimmy. The family being surprised by what he did. They weren’t fully aware of his giving-presence in the Community. He worked so quietly. A Graced Moment. Sharon calling. Hadn’t met her for years. Recalling her Wedding. She didn’t go to the flower shop. She went to Curraghmore Estate. Part of our shared past. She found some Bluebells. Herself and Shane, came to the Church in Clonea. Her bouquet was those Bluebells. A Graced Moment. That Heron who ignores me every morning at the Tolka. It stands prayerfully. Still. Total contemplation. Aloof. Focused. (I know it doesn’t – it is waiting for its porridge!) But that is the message. A Graced Moment.
FURTHER GRACED MOMENTS:
Carlos Alcaraz lost the first set at Wimbledon. But the young fellow came back and beat the old fellow. Novak Djokovic lost. But he was so gracious. A Graced Moment. Limerick won four in a row. John Kiely speaks of the Collective. The Honesty. The Family. No egos. The marvellous skill of these amateurs. The beauty of the non- professional. No one is taking off for some Saudi team with the promise of as much money as Ryan Tubridy earned in a year, they would earn in a few days. Our un-moneyed class is a work of art. A Graced Moment. The enduring work of the ‘faith’FULL in every parish. In every community. The giving. The fun. The stamina. The wonder of faith. The sheer goodness of so many. Graced we are. Every day. We have no right to be dull or weary or formal or rigid. We are laughing. We are dancing. We are shouting. We are happy. The Word becomes flesh every day. We are ‘Surprised by Joy as CS Lewis said or as Gerry Hughes said: ‘The God of Surprises.’ Or Peter Berger – ‘Rumours of angels.’ It is true. Let’s make it more and more obvious.
Seamus Ahearne osa
23rd July 2023.