St. Batt’s Well.

A lovely autumnal feel to the day and I found myself at one of the Fifty two documented Holy Wells of North Kerry 


There is a great sense of connection with all the people that have gone there in the past.


The grounds of the Well are well cared for.


In the Celtic tradition all wells had their source in an other world well.


And we are moving towards “the last rose of summer ” as they have started to shed their petals.


But wherever water flows it pours redemption for us 


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The History of our Place 

Last night we had the first meeting of the Littor Road history group, chaired by Dr. Phil, at Littor House.


Out in the tranquil estuary the first feeding noises of the Brent Geese could be heard. We succeeded in going back to 1788 when Dr. Wren was awarded the silver medal for Latin at Trinity. He died at the young age of 42.


As the first of the leaves have started to fall this was the best joke of the night!  And the best advice of the night:


It’s moonlight in Mayo!

Margeret Stack captured this wonderful scene on Littor Strand last weekend and it was moonlight for Mayo as they go to Croker Saturday week again.

Am neglecting the blog as I’m on a writing binge and looking back over caringbridge to see are there any nuggets worth picking up on.


Every one of us is coming from our own perspective, even the caring Dad!!


So now that the swallows have left, the first of the barnacle geese have arrived in Kerry, the Races are over, the nights are drawing in, a change of gear!


The first of the Brent geese from Greenland spotted at Glenbeigh last week.

The boats are back in the estuary with Hallowe’en stuff from China!


There is no need to buy anymore stuff!


The Pope knows how to make a point!

img_1145“The world is tired of dishonest charmers….And I dare say, ‘fashionable ‘priests and bishops. People sense this,the people of God have this sense and they refuse and distance themselves when they recognise narcissists,manipulators, defenders of their own cause,leaders of pointless crusades.”

Pope Francis addressed a long speech to newly appointed bishops attending a training course in Rome,touching on a number of aspects relating to their ministry. He started with the importance of making mercy pastoral, in other words “accessible, tangible and possible to find,” “mercy” being “the essence of what God offers the world”. Bishops, Francis said, must be capable of seducing and attracting men and women of our time to God, without “complaints”, “leav[ing] no stone unturned in order to reach them, and spare no effort in recovering them”. Bishops must also be capable of initiating their Churches (“Today we ask for too much fruit from trees that have not been sufficiently cultivated”). Francis then asked them to take special care of “the structures of initiation of your Churches, especially the seminaries”, focusing on the “quality of the discipleship” rather than on the “quantity” of seminarians. The Pope beseeched bishops “to act with great prudence and responsibility in welcoming candidates or incardinating priests in your local Churches”. Francis also invited bishops to be close to their clergy, who were placed along their path “by chance” as well as families with their “fragility”.
“Ask God, who is full of mercy, what the secret is for making his mercy pastoral in your dioceses,” Francis said in his speech to the 154 new bishops (16 from missionary territories) who took part in the annual training course jointly organised by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. “Mercy must form and inform the pastoral structures of your Churches. … Do not be afraid of proposing mercy as the essence of what God offers the world because there is no greater thing the heart can aspire to. As my venerable and wise predecessor taught, ‘it is mercy that puts an end to evil,” Francis said quoting Benedict XVI, adding two rhetorical questions: “Can our insecurities and mistrust perchance inspire tenderness and consolation in the midst of solitude and abandonment?”
To make mercy “accessible, tangible and possible to find,” the Pope recalled first and foremost that “a remote and indifferent god can even be ignored, but one does not so easily resist a God Who is so close, and wounded out of love. Goodness, beauty, truth, love – this is what we can offer to this begging world, even if it is in half-broken bowls. However, it is not about attracting to oneself. The world is tired of dishonest charmers. And, I dare say, ‘fashionable’ priests and bishops. People sense this, the people of God have this sense and they refuse and distance themselves when they recognise narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, leaders of pointless crusades. Rather, seek to follow God, Who already introduces Himself before your arrival. … God never gives up! Instead we, accustomed to surrender, who often give in, preferring to allow ourselves to be convinced that truly they were able to eliminate him and invent bitter discourses to justify the idleness that blocks us in the immobile sound of vain complaints. It is horrible when a bishop complains.”
Secondly, the Pope said it is essential to “initiate” those who are entrusted to pastors: “Please, I ask you to have no other perspective from which to look upon your faithful other than that of their uniqueness; leave no stone unturned in order to reach them, and spare no effort in recovering them. Be bishops capable of initiating your Churches in this abyss of love. Today,” Francis underlined, “we ask for too much fruit from trees that have not been sufficiently cultivated. The sense of initiation has been lost, and yet the truly essential things in life may be reached solely through initiation. Think of the educational crisis, the transmission of both content and values, emotional illiteracy, vocational paths, discernment in families, the search for peace: all these require initiation and journeys guided with perseverance, patience and constancy, the signs that distinguish the good shepherd from the hireling”.
Francis focused his attention especially on the formation of future priests: “I urge you to take special care of the structures of initiation of your Churches, especially the seminaries. Do not allow yourselves to be tempted by numbers, by the quantity of vocations. Seek instead the quality of the discipleship. Do not deprive seminarians of your firm and loving fatherly touch. Let them grow until they are free to be with God “as calm and peaceful as a child weaning in its mother’s arm”, not prisoners of their own whims, overcome by fragility but free to embrace all that God asks of them, even when this is not as pleasant as the maternal womb was at the start. Beware also of seminarians who retreat into a rigid way of thinking – there is always something ugly beneath the surface”. “I also beg you to act with great prudence and responsibility in welcoming candidates or incardinating priests in your local Churches. Remember that from the very beginning the relationship between a local Church and her priests is inseparable, and a vagrant clergy in transit from one place to another is never accepted”.
Finally, quoting the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Pope said bishops should be “capable of accompanying”: “Be bishops with a heart wounded by a mercy like this, tireless in the humble task of accompanying the man that God, ‘by chance’, has placed in your way.” Francis had another request for bishops: “Accompany first, and with patient care, your clergy” and “reserve special accompaniment for all families, rejoicing with their generous love and encouraging the immense good they bestow in this world. Be watchful, above all, of those that are most wounded. Do not pass over their fragility.”
“I am pleased to welcome you and to share with you some thoughts that spring to the Successor of Peter’s mind when he has before him those who have been “fished” from God’s heart, to lead his Holy People,” the Pope had started by saying. “May God save you from rendering this thrill fruitless, from taming it and emptying it of its ‘destabilising” power”. Let yourselves be destabilised, it’s good for bishops,” Francis said. “Many people these days mask and conceal themselves. They like to construct personalities and invent profiles. … They are unable to bear the thrill of knowing that they are known by Someone Who is greater and Who does not despise our littleness, Who is more Holy and does not reproach our weakness, Who is truly good and is not scandalised by our wounds. May it not be so for you,” he concluded, “let that thrill run through you, do not remove it or silence it”.

Listowel Races

The Races are on and all sorts of excuses are used by North Kerry natives to be there. Here’s the latest to be exposed!

The final episode of “Smalltown ” is tonight at 9.30.

“Things aren’t good, but I’m dealing with it.”

Final Episode.

Tonight, 9.30PM TV3.

Daily Newness 

The bright day shows us the ships getting ready to head for a country far away.

There is new life on our road as Mollie Bosco has five puppies in the wild!


The berries are out:


The rainbow has occasionally shown itself:


The sunsets are harvest golden:

And later still:


Time for bed and the sent of the harvested lavander:

The fort is scented with eucyliptus:

Dreamtime!

“Things being various.”

Took a week break from the blog, “things being various,” as T.S. Eliot said. 

Doing a bit of other writing, trying to make “sense out of the nonsense,” but in good form as we all adjust to the Autumnal feel. The health is improving slowly.

The big news here was the sudden and unexpected death of AnneMarie McGibney. She lit up so many lives for she was one of the most helpful and popular women in North Kerry.  She is so missed by so many and her aneurysm that struck at home with Rory and the family lead to days in Tralee hospital on life support. The family showed the depth of their love and her influence by the way AnneMarie was honoured at today’s Liturgy. Lead by our Parish Priest, the family elevated the ceremony by the sincerity, quality and honestly of the liturgy. Rory’s brother-in-law, Bruce, spoke so emotionally eloquent as did Fionn and the practical love and support of Cian, Rory and Fionn made AnneMarie live again for us. May they feel held in these arid days. 

Mother Teresa; Saint Teresa 

“You can agree or disagree with her, but you can’t argue with the good she did,”

“She showed us that the primary obligation is not to build memorials to the dead, but to give food to the living.”

             John McGahern


Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis

Holy Mass and Rite of Canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Saint Peter’s Square, 4 September 2016

“Who can learn the counsel of God?” (Wis 9:13). This question from the Book of Wisdom that we have just heard in the first reading suggests that our life is a mystery and that we do not possess the key to understanding it. There are always two protagonists in history: God and man. Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will. But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?”

We find the answer in the same passage of the Book of Wisdom: “People were taught what pleases you” (Wis 9:18). In order to ascertain the call of God, we must ask ourselves and understand what pleases God. On many occasions the prophets proclaimed what was pleasing to God. Their message found a wonderful synthesis in the words “I want mercy, not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6; Mt 9:13). God is pleased by every act of mercy, because in the brother or sister that we assist, we recognize the face of God which no one can see (cf. Jn 1:18). Each time we bend down to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we give Jesus something to eat and drink; we clothe, we help, and we visit the Son of God (cf. Mt 25:40).

We are thus called to translate into concrete acts that which we invoke in prayer and profess in faith. There is no alternative to charity: those who put themselves at the service of others, even when they don’t know it, are those who love God (cf. 1 Jn 3:16-18; Jas 2:14-18). The Christian life, however, is not merely extending a hand in times of need. If it is just this, it can be, certainly, a lovely expression of human solidarity which offers immediate benefits, but it is sterile because it lacks roots. The task which the Lord gives us, on the contrary, is the vocation to charity in which each of Christ’s disciples puts his or her entire life at his service, so to grow each day in love.

We heard in the Gospel, “Large crowds were travelling with Jesus” (Lk 14:25). Today, this “large crowd” is seen in the great number of volunteers who have come together for the Jubilee of Mercy. You are that crowd who follows the Master and who makes visible his concrete love for each person. I repeat to you the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have indeed received much joy and comfort from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philem 1:7). How many hearts have been comforted by volunteers! How many hands they have held; how many tears they have wiped away; how much love has been poured out in hidden, humble and selfless service! This praiseworthy service gives voice to the faith and expresses the mercy of the Father, who draws near to those in need.

Following Jesus is a serious task, and, at the same time, one filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and to give oneself in their service. In order to do so, volunteers, who out of love of Jesus serve the poor and the needy, do not expect any thanks or recompense; rather they renounce all this because they have discovered true love. Just as the Lord has come to meet me and has stooped down to my level in my hour of need, so too do I go to meet him, bending low before those who have lost faith or who live as though God did not exist, before young people without values or ideals, before families in crisis, before the ill and the imprisoned, before refugees and immigrants, before the weak and defenceless in body and spirit, before abandoned children, before the elderly who are on their own. Wherever someone is reaching out, asking for a helping hand in order to get up, this is where our presence – and the presence of the Church which sustains and offers hope – must be.

Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavour to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.

Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor. Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness! May this tireless worker of mercy help us to increasingly understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.

Richard Rohr

One of the the most inspiring writers in the Christian Tradition is Franciscan , Richard Rohr. Here is one of his daily meditations:

“God is not found in the soul by any kind of addition, but by a process of subtraction.” —Meister Eckhart (Sunday)

Healthy religion names what’s real, what’s true, what really works, and what works in the long run—here and later. This ultimate reality, the way things work, is quite simply described as love. (Monday)

We let go of illusions and pretenses so we can be more and more present to what actually is. That’s why the Buddha and Jesus both say with one voice, “Be awake.” (Tuesday)

The world is good in its wholeness, but our little portion of separated parts is never the whole, so we must leave our addiction to the system to discover the Empire of God. (Wednesday)

All great spirituality is about letting go. (Thursday)

Contemplation trains you to let go of what you think is success, so you can find the ultimate success of simple happiness. (Friday)

 

Practice: Forgiveness

Let me clarify that by encouraging you to let go I am not suggesting you do away with all personal boundaries, that you condone injustice or cruelty. Contemplatives are not Pollyannas or blind optimists. Our positivity comes from struggle and prayer, not from denial or repression. Through daily contemplative practice, we exercise the relinquishment of our egoic attachments. From our place of inner authority and freedom, we can speak truth to power with compassion and love.

Forgiveness is an act of letting go. When we forgive we do not forget the harm someone caused or say that it does not matter. But we release bitterness and hatred, freeing ourselves to move on and make choices grounded in our strength rather than victimization. Forgiveness opens our closed hearts to give and receive love fully.

Jack Kornfield offers a wonderful meditative practice of forgiveness:

[Sit] comfortably. Allow your eyes to close and your breath to be natural and easy. Let your body and mind relax. Breathing gently into the area of your heart, let yourself feel all the barriers you have erected and the emotions that you have carried because you have not forgiven—not forgiven yourself, not forgiven others. . . . Let yourself feel the pain of keeping your heart closed. Then, breathing softly, begin asking and extending forgiveness, reciting the following words, letting the images and feelings that come up grow deeper as you repeat them.

Asking Forgiveness of Others

Recite: “There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others, have betrayed or abandoned them, caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion.” Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. See and feel the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness. Picture each memory that still burdens your heart. And then to each person in your mind repeat: “I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.”

Offering Forgiveness to Yourself

Recite: “There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed myself. I have betrayed or abandoned myself many times through thought, word, or deed, knowingly and unknowingly.” Feel your own precious body and life. Let yourself see the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself. Picture them, remember them. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this and sense that you can release these burdens. Extend forgiveness for each of them, one by one. Repeat to yourself: “For the ways I have hurt myself through action or inaction, out of fear, pain, and confusion, I now extend a full and heartfelt forgiveness. I forgive myself, I forgive myself.”

Offering Forgiveness to Those Who Have Hurt or Harmed You

Recite: “There are many ways that I have been harmed by others, abused or abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word, or deed.” Let yourself picture and remember these many ways. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this past and sense that you can release this burden of pain by extending forgiveness whenever your heart is ready. Now say to yourself: “I now remember the many ways others have hurt or harmed me, wounded me, out of fear, pain, confusion, and anger. I have carried this pain in my heart too long. To the extent that I am ready, I offer them forgiveness. To those who have caused me harm, I offer my forgiveness, I forgive you.”

Let yourself gently repeat these three directions for forgiveness until you feel a release in your heart. For some great pains you may not feel a release but only the burden and the anguish or anger you have held. Touch this softly. Be forgiving of yourself for not being ready to let go and move on. Forgiveness cannot be forced; it cannot be artificial. Simply continue the practice and let the words and images work gradually in their own way. In time you can make the forgiveness meditation a regular part of your life, letting go of the past and opening your heart to each new moment with a wise loving-kindness. [1]

Overheard in downtown Asdee!

I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don’t know what to feed it

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I had amnesia once—or twice

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I went to San Francisco . I found someone’s heart. Now what?

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Protons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.

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All I ask is a chance to prove that money can’t make me happy

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If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

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What is a “free” gift? Aren’t all gifts free?

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They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

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Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he’ll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway.

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Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

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One nice thing about egotists: they don’t talk about other people.

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My weight is perfect for my height–which varies.

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I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.

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How can there be self-help “groups”?

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If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

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Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t get his pants off.

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Is it me –or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?

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TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN,
YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE,
SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS