Time stops still as we remember:
Beethoven was born 250 years ago. Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians 75 years ago. Eric Cantona did a Kung fu kick at a fan 25 years ago. And now we come up to date. Seamus Mallon has died. What a statesman? A man of integrity. A big man.
Rabbie Burns has had his Supper on the 25th. He was quite a character. Brazen and outstanding. But he caught the wonder of life.
We are in Election mode at present in Ireland. We have the waffling politicians promising everything. But only a few days ago, they were warning us of the consequences for our economy of Brexit. Urging restraint. Where is this huge pot of gold? The minor Parties are full of guff. They don’t have to do anything. Realism, Honesty, is rather essential. The Electorate too want money for everything. Get sense. We deserve the politicians we have, (get), if we ask for the impossible and then are disappointed. We are like bold children. Give me. Give me.
Ask the Chinese to build our hospitals
Should Simon Harris contact the Chinese? A hospital for a 1000 in ten days. A further hospital in a few weeks! The Communist way is the only way! It gets things done. How can we persist with Democracy if it produces a Trump even with the Solemnity of an Impeachment or a Show-Trial which borders on the ridiculous? How could Democracy produce a Johnson and a Corbyn, who managed to screw up the Brexit process with such insular thinking?
The ‘Word of God’ weekend
I am/and was, slightly dubious of a weekend for the ‘Word of God.’ Isn’t every weekend such a time? It was, nonetheless, a good weekend to focus on the Readers/Listeners. And then to Recommission those Readers. It was a good time to point out the Study necessary to Read and to emphasise the prayerfulness of the Reader and of the Receivers. Unless we expect something; to hear the voice of God speaking; it is only lumpy and irrelevant verbiage. Until we bend the ears of our hearts towards the Burning Bush of the Word; we will only meet words. And too many of them. We have to do stretching exercises – to broaden our understanding and to hear, with ears of faith. God speaks. To me. To us. Now.
We are the ‘Living Bible.’
There was almost indignation last evening at Mass. This was one exasperated gentleman, ‘We have the living Bible, every day in this Community. We are the living Bible. We listen. We talk. The Voice speaks. The Word is soaked in our daily lives.’ Our folk here now believe in themselves. They know that the Voice speaks into their own experiences. That God speaks. That the Light is shone into the hidden crevices of their lives. They share. They do not now believe, it is possible to listen passively to three Readings without preparation; without prayer; without dredging their own days and lives. They think/I think that the huge dollop of Readings is psychologically an overdose. But the Sacred moment; the Light; the Living Christ is whispering and teasing and taunting and tormenting, goes on. ‘The Word of God’. weekend is everyday.
Why I wake early
The Bible of nature is also sacred. I know that the present airways are riddled with climate change and bio-diversity and veganism and the lot. The poor cows are even accused of damaging the atmosphere. They look upset and forlorn. But the more we know; the more we realise how little we know. To look around is essential. To see. The birds. The buds. The wind. The hills. The air. The underground. The people. Gratitude. Appreciation. God-moments and Good-moments. Our attention has to be on what we have and what we have been given.
If Brendan Kennelly (poem of a 3 year old); if Mary Oliver – could throw their eyes everywhere and see so much; why can’t we? The whole of education; the whole aspect of Religious learning, has to be for opening minds and hearts and imaginations. I wonder. If the Light is seen. If Christ is the Light. How do we shine that Light? Christ is that light. In the shambles of present day living – is there a whisper (anywhere/somewhere) that the Religious element might be/could be a great loss in our present day culture? Has something died? Have we died? Better educated. Better fed. More confident. And yet too often so stupid. There is something missing. And I think it is someone. Life is very dull without God. The Word made flesh.
Beethoven, Auschwitz, Cantona, Seamus Mallon
These days Auschwitz and the camps are remembered. The sheer awfulness of what went on is beyond our minds. How can human beings do such things to others? And they did. It still is going on in our world. In our country. We need the music of a Beethoven. Or the music of God, to stir the mystery of our humanity. He was deaf. He was dishevelled. He was awkward. But he was wonderful. The music continued in his head and he shared it with the world; something beautiful.
Cantona may have kicked the spectator (at the Crystal Palace match) and possibly he was right. Cantona spoke of seagulls and more. But there was poetry in his playing. There was music in his skills. That inspired so many. I suspect even Shrewsbury must have caught the note.
Seamus Mallon was true to his principles and has left us a legacy of fearlessness and commitment and the poetry of altruism. The Word of God still speaks in the gift of such people. The Word is made flesh and it continues. I suppose Liturgy now has to be more expansive and explosive to wake us up to the wonder of God with us and among us. As the media sometimes says: Life/world, has to be a ‘broad church’! Our own Church; our own ministry; our own ‘Word’ has to be too. Seamus Ahearne osa