__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

WONDROUS

life

A Grandfather and Grandson Journey Through Life Together, to Share and Discover What Lies Beyond... and How Best to Get There

by Pat Cash


WONDROUS

life

A Grandfather and Grandson Journey Through Life Together to Discover What Lies Beyond... and How Best to Get There

by Pat Cash


Copyright ©2016 Pat Cash All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, and recording or otherwise – without the prior written permission of the author, except for brief passages quoted by a reviewer in a newspaper or magazine. To perform any of the above is an infringement of copyright law. (Permission is granted by the author for full content distribution exclusively for schools and places of worship.) Print and Ebook available on Amazon Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Cash–1936 ISBN 978-0-9784807-3-8 Cover Design, Editing and Layout: Island Gals Media Group (www.islandgalsmg.com) Photos Courtesy of IStock

Also by Pat Cash Books How To Organise Successful Charity Golf Tournaments MINDS ... An Irishman’s Memoirs of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s ABC Why Stop at G ... Imaginative accounts of the origins of music illustrated with examples of the relationships between music and maths One-Act Plays 2015 Leabeg 2016 Rathrobin

Printed in Canada


AUTHOR’S NOTE Scientists and philosophers claim that challenges offer us opportunities to better our lives. This book describes interesting and sometimes amusing dialogues between a grandfather and his grandson as they identify challenges and opportunities in their pursuit of their faith-based heaven.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to my many helpers they all know who they are. And I especially thank Robb Lucy, author of the best seller, How Will You Be Remembered, for his critiques and suggestions, as well as my second life team of: Graham, George, Harold, Paddy, Bill, Cecilia and Edmond. Lastly, I thank my daughter Megan, for her help with the book prints, and my wife Ruth, for her suggestions and endless patience.


DEDICATED TO Teresa and Paul Yong and their Families, and Roisin Cash


CHAPTERS IN OUR LIFE

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 10


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHAPTER 1 HOW IT STARTED . . CHAPTER 2 COMMUNICATIONS . CHAPTER 3 GOD . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 4 DO NOTHING . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

HIGH SCHOOL CHAPTER 5 LAWS AND EVIL CHAPTER 6 REBEL . . . . . . . CHAPTER 7 AWARENESS . . . CHAPTER 8 LIFE PLANS . . . CHAPTER 9 BELIEF. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

UNIVERSITY CHAPTER 10 GOALS REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 CHAPTER 11 INCONGRUITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 CHAPTER 12 SCIENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

REAL WORLD CHAPTER 13 LIFE AIMS . . . CHAPTER 14 FRIEND . . . . . CHAPTER 15 WORK . . . . . CHAPTER 16 LIFE REFRESH .

WONDROUS life

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

LIFE one

PAGE 11


be courageous

life one starts now


ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


chapter 1 HOW IT STARTED Why Didn’t I Stay Quiet?

Hello Bill how did school go today? Okay, I suppose. My classmate Stan Murphy’s father died, so we went to Mass to pray for his family, and his father’s soul. Yes. I saw the notice in the papers. Granpa, I don’t really understand about souls. I asked mom and she told me to talk to you. She said you might explain in story form and I can ask questions as you go along. That’s very nice of her. Why don’t we do it together as a little project?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 17


You ask the questions and I’ll give you my thoughts, opinions and ideas about whatever you’re curious about. Okay. You won’t be able to ask all your questions in one go, so if you agree, why don’t you and I have a session every now and then. What do you say? Great! And I can ask anything I want to, right Granpa? Agreed. But remember, I know little compared to a priest who has spent many years studying these subjects. Okay. So let’s start with souls. Another word for soul is spirit, and here’s what I think happens. God assigns a spirit to every person. So is that why people say somebody passed away when somebody dies? Yes, and also why the priest at Mass sometimes responds ‘with your spirit’. How do you know all this? Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so it is a reasonable assumption. So do I have a spirit? Yes. You and your spirit are a team. I like that. When did all this happen? At the moment of your conception. Did Jesus have a spirit?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 18


Yes. Did Mary Mother of God have a spirit? Yes. Did Jesus have a dog? I don’t know, but I like to think he did. What about a cat? Probably. Let’s focus Bill. What’s your spirit’s name? It is private, but I’ll tell you if you keep it a secret. Alright I will. Please tell me Granpa! Okay. My sprit’s name is ‘Angel’. Like ‘Angel Guardian’? Yes. But you need to choose your own name and keep it private. So what happens when you die? My spirit returns to God. Granpa, what is a spirit? Okay let’s start from the beginning. Let me tell you how God may have organized His kingdom. First, there’s God, who is the boss and the chief. Kind of like your school principal. Ah! And then you have Jesus, God’s executive assistant, who is like your vice-principal. Then there are the spirits who are God’s assistants.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 19


They are like your teachers who watch over you in class. Who do we have left? What about the rest of us? Right! The students represent all us humans. And now we have your bedtime. But it’s only seven o’clock! Never mind. Go and study your English lessons. Oh, one more question. Do you think I will ever get a brother? Lots of my friends have brothers. Some even have four or five! Why do you want a brother? I sometimes get lonely, and with a brother, I could tell him what to do and teach him how to play soccer. You haven’t been at our games lately Granpa, and I scored two goals last week. Sorry about that. I have been travelling on business. I’ll try harder to go to your next game. What about my brother? You should pray harder. I’ll get my spirit on to it! Good idea. Okay, bye. Bye son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 20


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 21


chapter 2 COMMUNICATIONS So Much to Do, So Much to Learn

Granpa tell me about how you pray. I never hear you say your prayers. All you need to do is say them in your mind. So you don’t have to pray out loud or kneel? No. I usually pray when out walking. Every morning I think of family and friends both living and dead. How do you know your prayers work? Difficult to tell for dead people, but I’ll give you my ideas about that in a future session.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 22


It is easier to prove for live people. Have you ever heard of the old saying “It’s the thought that counts?” Yes. Mom said it when Aunt Megan phoned but didn’t send me a present on my birthday. You got it two days later Bill. The mail was delayed. Oh, alright I suppose. Knowing that people are thinking of you when you’re sick makes you feel good, and speeds up the recovery process. Another example of prayers working is when a person has a serious illness that can’t be cured. The doctors have done all they can, but one day, the illness suddenly disappears. Wow! This example is called a miracle. Medical experts are not able to find how the cure happened, so the only conclusion by those who believe in God is that He cured the person. Okay Granpa, but how does a prayer actually work? Remember in our last session on how God organized His kingdom? Yes. God organized things so that He and Jesus and the Spirits could work closely together. In fact, so close that we can think of them as a single unit. What does that mean? It means that when you pray, all three parties receive your message at the same time – like a conference call on the phone. So when I pray for a friend, God hears it?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 23


Yes. The spirits you address ask God to intercede. I regularly ask the spirits of two doctor friends of mine who died awhile ago, Gordon and Tom, to help people. Do they help? Always. The same thing happens when we pray for groups of people, like migrants and refugees. Sorry Granpa, but I’m still confused about praying for the dead. Their spirits have returned to God, so why pray for them asking for mercy? I can see where you have confusion. You are not praying for their assigned spirits. Instead, you are praying for their souls, asking God to look kindly on how they lived their lives on earth. I don’t understand Granpa. Humans are made up of physical and mental components. So when you die, the physical parts are buried or cremated or whatever. Your physical parts stay on earth. Your memory, however, is a historical record of your thoughts, and it is this that represents your soul and governs your admission to Heaven. All your thoughts? All your conscious thoughts, such as intentions, pains and sufferings. We will discuss this subject again later What is Heaven Granpa? Tell you that later also. Right now I plan to watch a soccer match Thanks Granpa, bye Bye son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 24


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 25


chapter 3 GOD Thanks for the Opportunity

Hello son, how are you? Very well, thank you Granpa. But I am a bit confused. Well, tell me about it. My First Communion teacher told us today that God created the world, and also created us. Wow, time flies. When is your First Communion Ceremony? In May, when I’m eight years old. Alright, so let me tell you my thoughts on the confusion.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 26


Your mom and dad created you, but your teacher is partly right. Here’s my story on the subject. Okay please. God decided millions of years ago to share His kingdom of Heaven, but not with robots, no matter how technologically advanced, so He devised an extraordinary plan. He first created the world and selected planet earth to fulfill His Heaven project. How? He populated it with animals and waited until some animals evolved as humans. He next made it possible for the humans to exercise free will. The beauty of doing this was that it would automatically separate out those who elect to join His kingdom. How would they know? He would send Jesus down to explain. He did this to show His respect and love notwithstanding the problems that arose from the existence of free will. What were the problems? The humans evolved to such a degree that some became selfish and greedy. They wanted power over others, so they formed gangs and began to fight and steal. They even started to kill other humans. And if people didn’t obey? They were persecuted, put in prison, some were captured and sold as slaves, and some had to migrate to another land. But you said God knew that this would happen? Yes, but if He didn’t allow free will, what would have happened? The humans would be like robots and He would be all alone – worse than me having no brothers.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 27


Let’s not get sidetracked. He decided to go ahead and sent Jesus to describe the prize, which was everlasting joy after their death. However, it wasn’t a freebee. What do you mean? Humans must prove they deserve admission to His kingdom. First by declaring God as their only deity, and secondly, no matter what happens, always love their neighbours. Two laws. Yes. He foresaw that many would object and a few would even go as far as killing Jesus. Nevertheless, His love for humans was so high that any who obeyed the two laws reciprocated His love, and therefore, was truly worthy to join Him forever. Hold on Granpa. What about if people obey the second law but not the first? Then they are good people who are also atheists. What about if they obey only the first law? Then they are in real trouble. Two more questions please. Did God say what happens to our pets when they die? No, but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t consider it. And why do we say ‘Him’ when He is not a human? Well, you can decide on an address when saying a prayer. Referring to God as a male human is convenient. You could refer to Him as Jesus or Lord, and you could call God a female name or a common name. Okay, just curious. Alright, it’s bedtime for you, and I want to watch the news. Thanks Granpa. Good night. Good night son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 28


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 29


chapter 4 DO NOTHING It’s not Me It’s You

Hi Granpa! At religious knowledge class this morning, I said that everybody has a spirit. How did that go down? The teacher didn’t say anything, but at the school break a couple of fellows said they didn’t believe we have a spirit. That’s up to them. One fellow said native people have their own spirits and asked what about artificial whatever people.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 30


Everybody is assigned a spirit but maybe I didn’t explain it very well. Okay. When a human cell is created, God assigns a spirit to the cell. The spirit remains with the person forever. What about a transgender person? Is a new spirit assigned? Of course not, but remind me what the word ‘everybody’ means and also the name of your grade seven English teacher? Sorry Granpa but I guess I mean that it doesn’t depend on the colour or sex or form of the person? Correct. So keep it simple if you are explaining it to anyone. Your friends can believe it or not, that’s their choice. It can’t be proved either way. One fellow said that it was all a load of rubbish and the only way to Heaven, if there is one, is never get involved with people you don’t know. He’ll be out of luck. Your school friend suggests that we can spurn the homeless and ignore somebody in need. God requires us to learn and maintain standards and keep up to date with our personal expectations. What does all that mean? God challenges us to prove that our relationship with Him on earth is worthy of continuing it with Him after our death.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 31


How do we do that? That’s what standards and expectations are all about. Standards apply in everyday life: safety, legal and medical standards are examples. Catholic standards include: the Ten Commandments and the precepts of the Church. What about the other one? I don’t know what it means. It’s like you when you set targets and then expect to make them, like playing in the premier soccer league. But that expectation might be a bit high. What’s it got to do with God’s laws? Expectations relate mainly to His second law; love your neighbour. They are well expressed by the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. You might want to Google them. What do I have to do? You define your own expectations – what do I expect from myself, what do others expect from me? You then identify the challenges you need to meet your expectations. Sounds like work. Do you have an example? My friend Liam visits his local hospital once a week as a volunteer. He reads the newspaper or writes letters for patients. But he is now investigating whether he can also do

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 32


the same at another hospital. Trying to see if he can raise his expectations? Right. Any other questions? What about the first law? Okay, here’s one for you. Have you ever talked to somebody about being a Christian? No. I don’t want to look like a nerd. What about you? Not as much as I should. Maybe just general chats if the subject comes up naturally. The problem I feel is that I may be intruding into their personal lives. Basically I’m too shy to introduce it. I agree. There’s nothing wrong with telling somebody that is sick that you will say a prayer for him or her. God requests that we let people know about Him and of course the reason we should tell them is to let them know about? What happens after they die? Exactly. So it seems both of us should be more forward talking about God. Sounds like more work. Not really. Defining your expectations is very personal. Do it when you can, but I suggest you don’t leave it till you’re on your death bed. So what can I do? I haven’t started high school yet.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 33


You could talk to a friend about being a Christian, or you could spend an hour whenever you can helping to shelve and pack food at the food bank. Or better still, the next time you see a homeless person, go over and say hello. But what about hermits and monks? What do they do? Monks continuously pray for people, particularly the sick and poor, and those in tragic circumstances like migrants. There will always be gray areas. I don’t know about hermits. Oh. Look, and I’ve said this before - I am not a theologian, so go and see Father McGoldrick if you have questions. Okay Granpa, thanks. Bye son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 34


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 35


HIGH SCHOOL


chapter 5 LAWS AND EVIL Evil People are Earth Bound

Hi Granpa. Why does God have only two laws and we humans have hundreds? Thousands more likely. We need an army of lawyers and judges to interpret them. Because they are often changed? Exactly. So become a lawyer and have full employment. Why is God’s second law so hard to follow?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 38


Because it challenges us to love our neighbours. We don’t have to like them, but not helping them in times of need or doing them harm breaks the second law. How do I know if I’m doing harm when I gossip about somebody? You don’t. But you might want to follow-up to see if the person was hurt by what you said. You may have cast a slur, or passed on something that wasn’t true. Is God angry when we do something bad? I believe that God, in human terms, is not offended. If anything, He probably sympathizes with the person’s assigned spirit. What’s the worst level of evil? There are so many. Bombing and shelling people in their homes are top. Nobody deserves that. It forces people to migrate, leaving relatives and friends behind. Any others? Terrorizing people and animals. I’m sure you can think of more. What about abortion? We are a Catholic school and hold pro-life demonstrations every year. What do you want to know about that? You say that evil people deliberately hurt and even kill people. So abortion is an evil action. What happens to the abortionists? They live with their decisions. Killing an unborn baby deprives the baby from adulthood and is an evil act, especially when done repeatedly.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 39


What about the parents? Are they evil? Only God can judge. We don’t know the circumstances which led them to abort their babies. God`s mercy revolves around forgiveness. Those parents can always pray to the spirits of their babies. Another thing Granpa. At our religious knowledge test yesterday, we talked about evil being the opposite of love. But what do we do? It is not easy. We pray for the victims, but we should also consider praying for the evil people, even those committing atrocities. Why? Miracles can happen. Our prayers can turn people around like what happened to Paul. Who knows who might commit to the four R’s. What are those? You should know them from your religious knowledge classes: Repent, Reimburse, Restore, Resolve. And if one of them does turn around, what happens? Google ‘Paul the apostle’ and see what happened to him. I’m going to bed. Good night. No Granpa please, one more question. What about soldiers following orders? Are they evil too? Ask a theologian son – it is too difficult for me to try to answer. See you tomorrow. Night Granpa.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 40


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 41


chapter 6 REBEL Sometimes a Fight is the Only Way

Hello Bill. Why are you home so early? I’m in trouble Granpa. Tell me what happened. Our social studies teacher told us this morning that we must always be good citizens and obey the laws of the country. I held up my hand and said that I disagreed.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 42


What did the teacher say? He asked why, and I said that the laws of God must always come first. He said not always, that our government knows what’s best for us and we must obey its laws. Everybody began to look at me, so I said that we should not obey the government in the case of abortion. He got very annoyed and told me to do what I’m told and I interrupted and he said no and I said yes. One of the lads shouted,‘justice must be first and killing unborn babies is not right’ and another said that I was a rebel, and then Sean in the back shouted, ‘let’s rise’ and then everybody started to shout RISE! RISE! RISE!. The noise got louder and louder and the next thing that happened was the door burst open and the principal came in. We all immediately shut up and he started to talk to the teacher. After a minute or so, the principal turned and pointed at me and said ‘out’. I followed him out the door and down the corridor to the entrance hall where he told me to go home and that he would let me know when I could come back. Wow! What a morning you had! But don’t worry, I’ll phone the principal and we’ll drive over and sort everything out. Granpa, please don’t tell mom, and definitely don’t tell dad. He will go bananas! I won’t tell your parents, and I’ll tell the principal not to say anything either.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 43


What will I say? Just say that you are sorry the class was interrupted, nothing else, and say ‘Sir’ whenever you can. Thanks Granpa. But first, would you like a soda and some biscuits? Yes please. And while you are having them, would you like to hear about the four bones? Yes please. In any community like ours, people can be represented by four bones. First, we have the wishbone; people who are always wanting more. Then the knuckle bone; people who are always complaining about something. Then the jawbone; people always talking and rarely listening. And lastly, the backbone; people who are the moral fibre of the community, who always stand up for what is right, and you son, belong in the backbone group. Thanks Granpa. So let’s go, but first let me tell you something else . I am extraordinarily proud of you for standing up against the teacher in this instance. God’s laws always override man-made laws. Thanks Granpa.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 44


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 45


chapter 7 AWARENESS Human, Know Thy Self

Granpa, I’m finding it difficult to be conscious of my spirit’s presence. Most of the time I never even think of it. Most times I don’t either. So what do you do? I found a very easy way to do it. What is it?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 46


Whenever I invoke God’s personal blessing, I change the wording at the end from “... and the Holy Spirit” to “... and my Holy Spirit”. I could say my special name instead. Definitely. It would make your greeting more personal. Publicly we frequently acknowledge our assigned spirits during communal meetings. You mean at Mass? That’s one example, yes. I also try to remember that the people I meet have a spirit. Anything else? Confession is great too. I should do it more often. Why? It is similar to regular medical checkups, but instead are spiritual checks where you can ask questions and get advice from a priest. I have time to reflect on: Who am I? What I am doing? Where I am going? You mean, are you meeting your expectations and do you need new challenges. Well said indeed, but not just with reference to God’s laws. I can also reflect on my relationships with my family and community. Doing all these reflections make me conscious of my spirit. But you can do it without going to confession, can’t you? Yes, of course. My problem is that I get tied up with work and other things, and I don’t seem to have the time to devote to them. What do you suggest?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 47


Take some quiet times away from everybody. Going out for a walk is a good method for me. How does that help you? It helps me to focus on my personal life aims. I think of it as a do-it-yourself project. I am the architect, the engineer, and the owner. It is a work-in progress, a project that changes according to my successes and failures. A new question please. Can my spirit warn me if I’m going to do something wrong? No. You are master of your own destiny. It is up to you to know what’s right and wrong. However, the process of asking your spirit helps to guide your conscience. Do priests confess? Of course. Even Pope Francis goes to confession. Priests are like any of us, subject to the usual frailties and need for advice. Okay. Let me think about it. But one last question please. Okay. I sometimes feel that being aware of my spirit stops me from having a good time. If you’re not doing something evil, live it up. I know you do every Friday night in Barney’s pub. It is hard to love your neighbours, but you have to try. I know it’s not wrong, but you have a headache the next day and mom doesn’t like it. Alright: It’s time for me to go to bed. Good night Bill. Night Granpa.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 48


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 49


chapter 8 LIFE PLANS My Life, my Plan, My Bullet to Bite

Granpa, I have a question. Do I have to go to Mass every Sunday? Not if you don’t want to live in this house anymore! I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that sometimes I get bored during Mass. Weekly Mass instills discipline. It makes us think outside ourselves. I don’t mind listening to the gospel. It’s usually interesting and with little stories.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 50


So what’s your main complaint? It’s the priests. They talk too long and I forget everything they said before they finish. Priests help us to interpret the readings, but here’s a suggestion for you that I sometimes do. What? Now don’t tell your mother that I said this. Once I stop listening to the homily, I reflect on answering the big question of ‘what am I going to do with the rest of my life?’ Great! I’ll start doing that. One question for me is what I want to study when I go to university. Yes, but your plan doesn’t have to be confined to university choices. You should try to also think about what you and others expect of you after university. You mean work abroad and volunteer projects? Yes indeed. Lots to think about! And to answer your question on why go to Mass, one reason is that we can celebrate God together as a team. It is a public recognition activity as a community. Like when crowds celebrate a performer at a concert? Yes. Mr. Brady said in class last week that it is unbelievable how one poor person, born thousands of years ago, became a star and is still celebrated by millions of people.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 51


It is awesome, especially when you compare it to present day stars and government leaders who are largely unheard of after they die. So we go to Mass to honour God? Yes. It identifies us with God’s first law, and for Catholics, the most important reason is the consecration. Other reasons include; we show respect for one another, we greet each other, sing and pray together, remember those not present, send messages of support to our sick and dying and to groups like migrants and refugees and their poor relatives and friends they had to leave behind. What about going to Communion? That is the ultimate sign of our acceptance that God is infinitely powerful. One last question. Are people forced to go to Mass? No, but Catholics are expected to honour God at least once a week. Incidentally, attending Mass demonstrates our loyalty to the beliefs of our ancestors. Thanks Granpa. Good night. Good night son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 52


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 53


chapter 9 BELIEF Am I Wrong or Am I Right

Hello Gramps, I have a question for you. I never really remember God’s first law, so how can I practice it? Couldn’t be easier. You do it every time you pray or think nicely of somebody. Well, that pretty easy. Any other suggestions? Recognition works well too. This happens when you satisfy a work challenge or an everyday life challenge mindful of God’s laws. I have heard of important people setting God’s laws as their standard before making a major investment or business decision. For example; an industrialist deciding on closing a factory or planning a new one.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 54


What about recognizing God in public? Professional soccer players on TV blessing themselves before the start of a match and people bowing their heads before eating in a restaurant are good examples I do have a big problem though. Okay. Let`s hear it. How do I really know that God exists? There have been many signs, but you don’t get one hundred percent proof until you die. So it boils down to believing He exists? Not entirely. You go with what you learnt so far, what’s written in the gospels, apparitions, miracles and responses to prayers that are unexplainable, and your own sense of believing that God exists. So what do we do? We pray. I am not a theologian. First and foremost, you can’t force anybody to believe in God. You also can’t be a believer without having doubts. Saint Mother Theresa talked a lot about her doubts. Doubts make us think about our beliefs and enable us to become closer to God. You mean like agnostics, but what about atheists? Atheists are firm in their beliefs. They accept without proof that God doesn’t exist. Some adopt God-like properties, and in their endeavours to be recognised, they influence people to take wrong or evil actions. So someone could be evil themselves without being aware of it?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 55


Yes. We should also note that many of us believers, from time to time, are not far away from being a non-believer. What do you mean? We like the idea of being in control of our destiny. We don’t like governments, and in fact, anybody telling us what to do. And we certainly don’t like constant reminders to follow or obey a particular law. It’s in our nature, and since God is not visible, it is a lot easier to disregard Him. You mean it is easier not to question our beliefs. Yes. Raising questions can lead to challenges, so we tend to think, ‘if it works - why fix it?’ Answering could make us uncomfortable. So what do you do Granpa? I pray for guidance. There come times when we must recommit. Faith is a judgement call which demands follow-up. What about people who have never heard of God, or people who are mentally disabled? Depending on their circumstances, they are not at risk of offending God. I’m sure that God will look very kindly on the innocent especially babies and mentally disabled people. What does risk mean? People who don’t bother to learn about God or trouble their consciences with awkward questions, risk not going to Heaven. Tell me again about Heaven.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 56


Everybody is equal in Heaven. You mean saints are the same as the rest of us? You still have a problem with that word ‘everybody’, don’t you? Sorry Granpa. Heaven excludes all human characteristics. I think of it as a joyous state of mind, complete from fear or worry. However, before you go, I must tell you a little story about a dream I had a few weeks ago. I dreamt that I saw a procession of people gliding towards me. They were all dressed in white gowns or robes, and enveloped in an orbit of shining light. I was looking for a second or two, when I spotted my mother – your great grandmother - who died twenty years ago. She appeared untroubled, happy and serene, and was slowly gazing around. However, her gaze passed over me with no sign of recognition. Anything else? She appeared to be in her mid-thirties. I would have been a baby when she was that age, and since cameras were generally not available for years later, I must have carried her image in my memory for over seventy years. I have never seen a photo of Mom as a young person, not even a wedding photo. The dream lasted a second or so and then I woke up. What else do you remember? I was glad that she looked beautiful but I was sad, even a little hurt and shocked that she didn’t recognise me.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 57


Can you explain why? Mom was in Heaven and I was on Earth. Are you okay now? Yes, thank you. However, the dream somewhat validated my reasons for continuing to pray to the spirits of the dead when in need of help. Any more questions? One more Granpa. What about suicide and euthanasia? Only God knows the state of mind of a person who commits suicide. I often remember two friends of mine who became victims of suicide. And euthanasia? People have free will so they can choose what they want to do on every issue. The executioners deny the existence of God, but only He knows the state of mind of the person being killed. I do feel very sorry though for the people left behind. Oh, why? Everything is so final with euthanasia and the grief can be overwhelming. I got a small sample of the grief years ago when putting down my two doggy friends, Ceilidhe and Ruby. There was nothing natural about it, only the finality and the guilt. I feel the grief to this day. Sorry to hear that Granpa. Thanks. I’m going to bed. See you in the morning. Good night son. Good night.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 58


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 59


UNIVERSITY


chapter 10 GOALS REVIEW No Plan is Driving with a Flat Tire

Gramps, when did you stop working? About two years ago. What did you do? I worked for an engineering company who designed plants and buildings. Other companies then manufactured the plants and constructed the buildings. What was your job?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 62


I helped to install computers and design systems for clients. What did you like best? Meeting people and solving problems. Did you meet a lot of people? Yes, and sometimes I visited the clients’ offices. Where? Mainly in North America, but some in Africa and Australia. Was it exciting? Only once when I went out for a morning walk in a local park and met a snake. Wow! What did you do? I just stood there. The snake, with its slit eyes, just stared at me so I stared back. Its skinny little head moved back and forth. Eventually it slithered off into the bush. Were you scared? Very much so. I found out afterwards that it probably was a rattlesnake, and if it had bit me and I didn’t get to a hospital within an hour or two, I would probably have died. Somebody must have been praying for me that day. Tell me Gramps, now that you are retired, what are your life plans? I’m still in the planning stage, but here are a few of my ideas. First I plan to adopt a dog. What about a cat?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 63


Maybe later, but my first intention is to become a dog visitor at our local hospital and old folks homes. I also plan to join one of our local community charity organisations. Have you figured out what your legacy might be? Other than you, I haven’t figured that out yet. I would like to organise a community project, such as what a good friend of mine, together with some of his neighbours, including young people recently completed in the middle of Ireland as a legacy for their community. They built an amenity and heritage park called Dunnasi. It encompasses features on ecology, arts, education, play and history. The park brings cheer into the lives of visitors and will undoubtedly inspire some of them to consider planning their own legacies. There are books that will help you form some ideas. Yes, thanks. I also want to spend more time being aware of my spirit. I must tell you that I am getting better at it. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind when I finish university to get a job like you did and work in various countries. Also consider volunteering in an undeveloped country for a year or two. Some are extremely poor and need help in infrastructure planning and education and the like. Well study hard. I’m off to bed. Good night son. Night Gramps.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 64


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 65


chapter 11 INCONGRUITY Celebrating is Good for your Spirit

Hello Bill. Welcome home. Thanks Gramps. Third-year physics is going fairly well, but very confusing at times. Well that is to be expected. It reminds me a little about something that I wanted to ask you for some time. Why does our church have so many rules and regulations? Remember when I said that God’s two laws are simple to understand but only the second is difficult to follow?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 66


Yes. It is kind of like the rules of golf. There are hundreds of rules and interpretations for such a simple game. Every so often something happens or is about to happen, and you need to know the correct way to respond. Alright. And now here’s a religious problem for you. Let’s have it. I and four others meet every Saturday afternoon to review past exam questions. One of the fellows has invited us next Saturday to a Baptism party, so we agreed to have a morning study session beforehand. Anything for a party, eh? Sure! Probably reminds you of the old days, right? There are only two events in life that command a celebration, birth and ... Death. Right. So join your friend in celebrating the child’s first event, and now, let’s have your problem Bill. I can’t understand Baptism - forgiving a baby for committing a sin which was obviously impossible for them. The language used is figurative. The act is a declaration that the recipient is sinless – namely is in a state of grace – and therefore worthy of receiving God’s spirit and becoming a Christian. And in the case of babies, the declaration is witnessed by the people present.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 67


And the adults? They are responsible for their own declarations. The supreme example of an adult’s declaration was of course that of Jesus. People can always renounce their declarations but it is rarely done publicly. They would probably classify themselves as atheists? Right. But for people who don’t renounce, can they belong to any religious establishment to be a Christian? Yes, and to my mind, you can be a follower of Christ and obey God’s two laws without belonging to an organised religion. So why belong in that case? A religious body helps us to follow God’s laws. Being a member can make us more Christian and enable us to influence others to consider becoming a Christian. A good description of what any religious body offers is given in our Catholic RCIA program. Okay, that’s enough. I want to watch the soccer match. Great to have you home Bill. Let’s talk later. Oh by the way Gramps, do you remember my Baptism? Of course I do! We went to Mickey Kelly’s pub after the ceremony and dunked you again. Ha Ha. Thanks Gramps. Have a good time at the Baptism party and don’t drink too much. Good to be home Gramps, bye. Bye son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 68


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 69


chapter 12 SCIENCE We can Meet any Challenge

Hello son, how is your master’s programme going? Very interesting Gramps. The Dean of physics spoke this morning about the growth of science, and somebody asked her where she sees it going in the future. What did she say? She said it was limitless.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 70


New computers are continuously being developed and used to discover more and more advanced tools, leading in turn to new discoveries. What do you think? She is right. New computer software and hardware and their applications inspire fresh approaches, resulting in even more discoveries. It feeds on itself so one thing leads to another and so on. Most of us, however, have little idea of what’s going on. At best we read about them in the papers or see them on TV. It’s all pretty exciting really. Yes, and it is happening faster and faster. Forty years ago I worked on a computer a million times larger and thousands of times less powerful than a cellular phone. Today’s discoveries, like 3-Dimension imagery in medicine, were unthinkable at the time. So for you, do they confirm the power of God? To me they do. Imaging alone could explain the apparitions in Jesus’ time and around the world today. It challenges us to explain how Jesus showed Himself after resurrecting from the dead. Tell me a bit more. When Jesus appeared before the disciples after the crucifixion, Thomas didn’t believe it was Jesus, so He asked Thomas to stick his fingers into the side wound made by a soldier with a spear. Thomas obeyed and quickly took his fingers out and apologised.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 71


So today’s phenomenons have been around for a long time. There is no other explanation when you really think about it. Gramps, I have another question. What discoveries would you personally like to see being made in the future? A new concept of speaking and listening, a new form of communication that enables mediators to end wars. Wow, anything personal? I’d love to arrive at an airport and walk to my seat on the airplane without queuing for immigration, security, or anything else, and again no customs after I arrive. I can see that you don’t like to travel. Enough, it is my bedtime. But what about your luggage? Too much detail and robots can look after that. Night Gramps. Night son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 72


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 73


REAL WORLD


chapter 13 LIFE AIMS Times are Changing – So are my Dreams

Hello Gramps. How are you? Very good, thanks Bill. Congratulations on your Masters degree. What are your plans at present? I seem to always be reviewing them, particularly during the homily at Mass. So my latest idea is to do an MBA program. What do you think? The combination of your Masters in physics and a Masters in business administration will make you extremely valuable to any company. Where do you plan to do your MBA?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 76


I will apply to a few schools, including Harvard Business School and the London Business School, but first I have another plan. You mean take a GAP year? Yes, I intend to spend a year as a volunteer with CUSO International or the Peace Corps. Very interesting. Did you know that four of your uncles were volunteers; one in Kenya, one in Malaysia and two in northern Canada? I do, and in fact I’m thinking of following Uncle Robert and go to Kenya. Very good. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, so you could as well. I’ll definitely try. I’m hoping that my experience as a volunteer will enhance my CV when applying for the MBA. Of course it is an expensive programme. Hey, don’t worry about that. I’ll cut you a deal when the time comes. Thanks Gramps. I intend to contact a few companies about my plans. What companies should I approach? Mining and oil exploration would be my choice as they will offer plenty of challenges. I look forward to your future son. It is all very exciting. You mentioned challenges a few times before. Must they primarily focus on God’s laws? I can’t visualise myself doing this at work.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 77


And you shouldn’t. Just keep looking for challenges to make your life more interesting. However, when you do pursue and meet a challenge, be it at work or in sport or some other field, try for a few minutes to identify a spinoff that harmonizes with God’s second law. Do you have a few examples? Well, the spinoff could lead to something that might make a difference to people’s lives. A financial idea or a new approach to applying existing skills. Anything that might help a poor community. Or it could even be a farfetched idea that might relieve boredom and instil hope for the poor unfortunate young people existing in refugee camps. It could be a legacy of mine. Any suggestions? A Pickle Ball facility for the camps. Thanks Gramp, got to go now. See you next week. Bye son and thanks for coming.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 78


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 79


chapter 14 FRIEND Relax – Laugh Enjoy Life

Hi Gramps. I recently met a very nice person. She is a physiotherapist and works in the hospital. She treats people who were injured in car accidents, particularly amputees. It is very challenging work. She has to be extra patient and kind to them. She sounds like a wonderful, caring person and a very professional person as well. Incidentally, she is a Pagan. WHAT! BEE JAPERS! ARE YOU JOKING ME?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 80


Gramps, we are just friends. It’s too early to think of how our relationship will go, if anywhere. A relationship is it? Did you tell your mother yet? Gramps, let’s talk about something else, but first, I have a question for you. Okay, but I’m a little dizzy. I think I need a drop of something. You have to be very careful you know. You have major plans and you must not be sidetracked. You will be a big catch eventually and lots of girls will have their eyes on you. How do you know they don’t have their eyes on me now? Just be careful son. Don’t worry Gramps. Look, my question is this. Some Pagans believe in reincarnation, so is that similar in concept to our resurrection that Jesus promised? Let me tell you something. Why on earth would I want to return here if I am in Heaven with God? What about those in hell? Why on earth would we want to reincarnate those blaggards? Let them stay where they belong. They would only cause worse trouble if they came back. Okay Gramps, I have to go. See you later. I’m off to have a drop of something and talk to my spirit. You should talk to your spirit too. I do, Gramps, I do. Goodbye. Bye son.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 81


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 82


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 83


chapter 15 WORK Mystery Time

Hello Gramps. I understand you are not feeling very well. I could be better, thank you. So I hear you have been travelling. Where were you? Sierra Leone How long did it take you to get there? The best part of 12 hours. Did you land in Freetown?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 84


Yes. There were four of us; a metallurgist, two mining engineers and myself. We had to carry out a due diligence check on a gold mine. We flew each day by helicopter to the mine site, and later back to our hotel for reports to the client. I know it can be exhausting. One night after dinner we were chatting and the question about religion came up. The guys are not religious and did not believe in God, so it was three against one, but everything was very cordial. I told them that I was a Catholic going on Christian. Well said. I haven’t heard that one before. Yes. Well anyway, I thought about you and about our talks. Something suddenly hit me when they said that they did not believe that Jesus existed, nor did they believe in miracles. I thought to myself that there is a conundrum here. Alright, I’m interested. Here were three well-educated engineers, accepting without question, all the latest advances in science, and their only proof that the discoveries occurred was what they read or heard. They never witnessed in person the results of these discoveries and they admit they don’t understand most of them, but they still believe they exist. So there is your conundrum. Yes. They discredit the people who lived 2000 years ago in the time of the Gospels who believed in things they heard and did not understand. They discredit them despite similar happenings being repeated and reported on down the centuries, even to the present day.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 85


You mean the miracles and apparitions in Lourdes and other places? Yes. And these were witnessed and authenticated by objective professional experts. I see what you mean. Furthermore, if perchance somebody 2000 years ago had predicted today’s discoveries, nobody at that time would’ve believed them. So we have a reverse situation. People in the past could not believe in our future and we cannot believe in our past. Good point. You know something else that’s a bit startling when you think about it, Gramps? What son? It is like a revelation. Things like DNA, gold, 3D imaging, have always existed. They are not new in God’s terms, we just learnt of their existence by applying computers and other tools. And there’s lots more discoveries yet to come. You better believe it. It is all very deep Gramps. I have to go now. Thanks for coming, son. Good bye.

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 86


WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 87


chapter 16 LIFE REFRESH Going on a Trip Hi Gramps, Sorry to hear that you are in a bad way. Thanks son. Are you afraid? No. Why not? I am looking forward to my next life, so no, I’m not afraid. I feel very comfortable and safe, especially since I know what lies ahead, and knowing that I will be escorted by my spirit. You mean Angel. Well done Bill, you remembered after all this time. Gramps, I asked you before, but tell me again, what happens after we die?

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 88


Our spirits return to God and take our souls with them. But our physical bodies remain on earth? Yes. God retains our souls in a special place I call ‘Peace’. How long do we stay there? Saints don’t stay very long because of the huge volumes of prayers of support and requests and thanks for help, but the rest of us have to rely on the number of people who remember us. That’s why we pray for the dead. Yes, and when we pray for dead friends or relatives, our messages shorten their times in Peace. What happens when we do leave the ‘Peace’ place? We are transformed into what I call a ‘Sacred Image’ of God and introduced to Jesus and Mary, and then to the sacred images of the saints, and those of our relatives and friends. What about evil people? They chose not to go, so all their parts remain on earth. Thanks for everything Gramps. I will remember all of our sessions. Thank you son for sticking with them. Rebecca and the boys have already said goodbye. Now it’s my turn. Goodbye Gramps. Goodbye son. Stay talking to me. Definitely, Gramps, Definitely

WONDROUS life

LIFE one

PAGE 89


be excited life two is next


WONDROUS life

A Grandfather and Grandson Journey Through Life Together to Discover What Lies Beyond... and How Best to Get There Author Pat Cash comes from Tullamore and Moate in Ireland. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in mathematics and physics from Birkbeck College, London University, England. He is a retired IT systems specialist who spent his working life in the mining, engineering and construction industries. Pat and his family live in Vancouver, Canada

Profile for Island Gals Media Group

Wondrous Life by Pat Cash  

Wondrous Life by Pat Cash  

Advertisement