THE SACRED HEART
MESSENGER APRIL 2017
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T HE S
DANIEL BERRIGAN SJ I Kevin O’Higgins SJ DIVORCE, REMARRIAGE AND COMMUNION I Gerry O’Hanlon SJ JESUS AND THE LAW I Carmel McCarthy RSM RE D H AC MESSENGER DAY OF JOY 2017 RE:LINK THE HISTORY OF EASTER E S M E SE N G
Donal Neary SJ
DAILY OFFERING Pope’s Intention
JESUS AND THE LAW
Carmel McCarthy RSM
14 A TIME FOR PRAYER
Donal Neary SJ
Kinley Tshering SJ
16 CHRISTIAN ART
A CHRISTIAN AND JESUIT IN BHUTAN
DANIEL BERRIGAN SJ: PRIEST, POET, PROPHET
19 ONE PAGE WISDOM
CELEBRATION Paul Andrews SJ
22 HISTORIC CHURCHES MARINERS’ CHURCH, DÚN LAOGHAIRE Christopher Moriarty
MIGRANT STORIES Alan Hilliard
Faith Quille AC
RE D H
Cover Photograph: Daniel Berrigan, well-known Jesuit and peace activist in USA. The first anniversary of his death is on April 30th.
Kevin O’Higgins SJ
THE LAST SUPPER
FROM THE EDITOR
11 PRAYING WITH
T HE S
SE N G
48 IN THE MASTER’S FOOTSTEPS
27 FULL STEAM INTO SPRING!
CROSSWORDS YOUNG READERS’ PAGES
DIVORCE, REMARRIAGE AND 44 COMMUNION A LIFE WELL Gerry O’Hanlon SJ LIVED: JIM MORAN SJ
EASTER COMFORT FOOD Marie McGuirk
46 IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
THE EXAMEN: AN EVERYDAY PRAYER Shane Daly SJ
THE SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD John Murray
SIGNS OF RESURRECTION Naomi Kloss
Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
FROM THE EDITOR
I always enjoy preparing the Easter Vigil. It communicates joy, faith, exuberance and community. We will hear the Easter hymn (the Exultet), the solemn Alleluias, and the history of our salvation recounted once more. There is so much to look forward to!
EASTER IS A JOURNEY I sometimes wonder what the first Easter morning was like to experience. It seemed a quiet time, and the gospels present a lot of doubt regarding it: no Alleluias were sung, no Easter cake was eaten, no Easter garden blessing! There was, however, a lot of sadness as the women wandered to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. Then, later in the morning, the story of the two disciples on the Emmaus journey played out. Easter is a journey, not a one-day event. Maybe this is why each of the eight days after Easter, the octave, is called Easter Day, and we have forty days to the Ascension of the Lord, and another ten to the coming of the Spirit. The faith of the followers developed gradually over time. In Jesus, who listened keenly to all those who shared their story with him, they found faith. Much deepening of our own faith comes from our experience of others, as was the case with Thomas finding faith, and the Emmaus disciples. The journey of discovery: from sadness to joy, from doubt to faith, from disillusionment to confidence, is a long one made amongst our peers. It brings challenges akin to those of Thomas: we wander away from the community and then return.
All leading ultimately to our own personal confession of faith. Various occasions in life serve to deepen our faith. Maybe a child’s first communion or a grandchild’s baptism can call one further into faith. Perhaps a bereavement could lead to the discovery of a ‘dark love of faith’, as discussed in March Messenger, resulting in some comfort. Illness and death can spur faith too; in fear, some sense the outstretched, wounded hand of the risen Lord! Maybe you have been badly hurt in life, and somehow you find the strength to pray for the person who harmed you, in turn allowing you to find some freedom to heal. Of course too, you may fall in love, make a long-term commitment, and find faith through a beautiful new relationship. The door to faith is opened wide on Easter morning. It is the Lord who knocks and asks to come into our lives to love us just as we are. That’s what Easter was for those first followers of Jesus. They took a while to learn the Easter hymns but then their Alleluias were full-throated and sung from the heart. Wishing a happy, grace-filled Easter to you, our faithful readers. Donal Neary SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER
Father, as the morning sun rises in the East, I ask for your assistance this day to meet others I see today with kindness and generosity. Grant me the grace to live the gospel each and every day with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind and my whole strength. I OFFER YOU THIS DAY FOR THE INTENTION OF POPE FRANCIS FOR THIS MONTH: That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
THE SACRED HEART MESSENGER incorporating the Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer (Apostleship of Prayer) ADDRESS: Messenger Publications 37 Lower Leeson Street Dublin 2 Ireland Phone: 01 676 7491 (or 00 353 1 676 7491) Fax: 01 6767493 (or 00 353 1 6767493) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.messenger.ie BUSINESS LETTERS TO: THE MANAGER CHEQUES PAYABLE TO: THE SECRETARY EDITOR: Donal Neary SJ LAYOUT: Messenger Publications Design Department NIHIL OBSTAT: Noel Barber SJ, Censor Deputatus IMPRIMI POTEST: † Diarmuid, Archbishop of Dublin PRICES FOR 2017: Price monthly: €1.50/£1.35 Annual subscription 2017 from promoter or newsagent: €18.00/£16.20 Annual subscription by post Rep of Ireland and NI: €25/£22.50 Annual subscription to Britain: £26 Annual subscription to EU and ROW: €30/$40 Online subscription: €15.00 © All rights reserved
The story of KINLEY TSHERING SJ, Provincial of the Darjeeling Jesuits, is unusual and highlights the Pope’s intention for April. Here he gives us an insight into his unique journey to becoming a Catholic priest and a Jesuit, which included a decisive encounter with St Mother Teresa.
A CHRISTIAN AND JESUIT IN BHUTAN
April Pope’s Intention: That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life. The first Europeans to venture into Bhutan were two Portuguese Jesuits in 1627 on their way to Tibet. In 1963 a Canadian Jesuit from the Darjeeling Province was invited to help with the nascent education system in Bhutan. The Jesuits founded two schools and the first college in Bhutan. In 1986 all missionaries were asked to leave the country; Fr William Mackay, who is considered the father of modern education in Bhutan, was granted citizenship and remained until his death in 1995. The Jesuits strictly adhered to the policy of not converting anyone, but rather developing education. Today there is not a single Church school in Bhutan, but the Bhutanese that were educated by the Jesuits have developed their own system. Mission well accomplished! I had no connection with the Jesuits in Bhutan, since I was studying in Darjeeling, in India. My first contact with anything Christian was through Christmas cards. As a little boy, I was fascinated with the little child in the manger. Later, when I went to Darjeeling to study, I saw my first crucifix in a convent.
The nuns helped me to connect this little boy with the man on the cross. I discovered that he rose from the dead and to this day I am still discovering more about him. I understood early that this discovery was not going to be a bed of roses. I am still realising what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus that one had to be born again. I have felt it, known it and lived it every day. To be a Christian in a closed Buddhist society is to tumble down the social ladder, it is to be an outcast! I learnt to say with St Paul: ‘I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things, I consider them to be rubbish, that I may gain Christ’ (Ph.3:8). I admired the many missionaries in India and wanted to be like them. However, my life in the university and future career distracted me. Bhutan was full of opportunities in those days for one who was the first MBA graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. When I begged for a sign for a confirmation from the Lord, I never realised that he would answer so
7 Bhutan, Taktsang monastery
quickly and clearly! On a flight to Kolkata, I sat next to St Mother Teresa. She told me exactly what I needed to hear. I cried all the way to Kolkata and that night, in my hotel room, I decided to join the Society of Jesus. A few months later, in 1986, I acted on that decision, leaving behind crying and confused parents, friends who thought I was mad, and Jesuits who were sceptical. Thirty years have passed since I entered the Jesuits. Today Bhutan has changed a lot and is known not only as the land of the peaceful thunder dragon, but also for ‘gross national happiness’ (a term coined by the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck), meaning ‘the only carbon negative country in the world’. A small country, with just a million people sandwiched between India and China, the Bhutanese
believe that it is due to the continued protection of the local guardian deity that we are not swallowed up by these two giants. The King’s father gave Bhutan democracy and a constitution, and we therefore have freedom of conscience, but officially the country is Buddhist. Bhutan likes, and does its best, to preserve its traditions and culture. Basic education and health care is free for all. As a Bhutanese, I am proud of my country and the people who were never subjugated by any colonial power. As a Bhutanese I desire to work towards an understanding that a good Christian can be a loyal Bhutanese. As a citizen I worry about my country which too has been touched by globalisation and wanton consumerism; youth are disoriented and slowly materialism is becoming
8 a new god. I would like my country to find a balance between narrow traditionalism and culture and uncritical modern development. As a Jesuit I can touch the heart of dialogue between Buddhists and Christians. I can be a better Buddhist practitioner because of Christianity and I can be a better Christian because of my Buddhist background. I don’t feel the need to be exclusive, but rather I enjoy the process, a word endeared by Pope Francis, of negotiating the boundaries of my Buddhist and Christian identities. There are several parallels that can be made between Buddhism and Ignatian spirituality. As a Catholic priest I can rely on the experience of the Universal Church for 2,000 years. I have come to love the Church as a mother. Just as my own mother, I love her for what she means to me and yet, as an adult, I realise that she is not perfect. Under Pope Francis, I understand that being a Catholic priest is to be
a servant of the joy of the gospel, to smell like the sheep, to go out where others don’t want to go, to love and to serve. It is also to keep alive the memory of the loving and living God expressed in Jesus and given to us in the Eucharist. Today, I am more at ease with the three identities within me. This triptych of being Bhutanese with a Buddhist background, a Catholic priest not formally raised as a Catholic, and a Jesuit. I consider all of these as God’s gift of being who I am. Today I feel that over my Bhutanese Buddhist garments I have put on the livery of Christ, I did not have to reject the first. Specifically, I am a Catholic priest called to the ministry of the sacraments and yet called to the service of the truth which will set all people free. I am a Jesuit and therefore challenged, in spite of my limitations, to be a man for the marginalised, a servant of the joy of the gospel – one who is audacious.
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Thank you also to all of you who sent donations during the past month for the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart and for other good causes, especially the Jesuit Education Mission in Assam, NE India. You are all rememberedwww.messenger.ie in our prayers and Masses. – Donal Neary SJ
KEVIN O’HIGGINS SJ, who has worked in Latin America, remembers the internationally-known peace activist, Daniel Berrigan SJ. Fr Kevin runs the Jesuit University Support & Training centre in Ballymun, Dublin. 30 April marks the first anniversary of Daniel Berrigan’s death.
DANIEL BERRIGAN SJ: PRIEST, POET, PROPHET I first became aware of Daniel Berrigan in the late 1960s, in my final years of secondary school. At the time, ‘Dan’ and his brother Philip, together with a like-minded group of friends collectively known as the ‘Catonsville Nine’, were in the news for their non-violent opposition to the war in Vietnam. Their activities included burning US Army draft cards and invading military bases. The Berrigans were on the front cover of Time Magazine, which described them as ‘rebel priests’. When Dan was sentenced to prison following the Catonsville protest, he decided to symbolically defy the authorities by evading arrest and going ‘on the run’. Consequently, he became the first priest ever to appear on the FBI’s most wanted list. Back then, as a typical hard-toimpress teenager, what really struck me was the fact that I had never encountered Catholic priests like these before. I associated priests with altars, pulpits and confession boxes. It came as something of a shock, even a pleasant one, to see
Catholic priests engaged in anti-war protests and being pursued by the FBI! But Dan, especially, was emphatic that his anti-war activities were simply an inescapable expression of his Christian commitment and priestly ministry. For me, as for many others, his anti-war, pro-peace ministry was a powerful contemporary affirmation that Christian faith was not just concerned with subscribing to a certain set of beliefs. When he was asked, aged 88, what he was most grateful for in his long life, he replied without hesitation: ‘My Jesuit vocation’. His only regret was that it had taken him too long to grasp what his Jesuit vocation implied in terms of tirelessly working for peace, and defending victims of violence and injustice of all kinds. Shortly before Dan’s decision to engage in public acts of civil disobedience, Fr Pedro Arrupe had become General of the Jesuits. Arrupe actually visited Dan in prison following his arrest. Some months later, an Irish diocesan
10 priest happened to encounter Pedro Arrupe while strolling in Rome. In the course of their brief conversation, the priest mentioned that he admired Dan Berrigan. Father Arrupe responded: ‘Daniel Berrigan is the most faithful Jesuit of his generation!’ The seeds of faith and concern for justice, planted in the Berrigan home, were nourished by Dan’s Jesuit formation, especially through the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. We might imagine how his poetic soul would have been moved by the moment in the Spiritual Exercises when the person praying is asked to imagine the Three Divine Persons observing the state of the world: ... men and women being born and being laid to rest, some getting married and others getting divorced, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the happy and the sad ... so many undernourished, sick, and dying, so many struggling with life and blind to any meaning. Many decades before Pope Francis urged members of the clergy to move from the sacristy to the street in order to acquire ‘the smell of the sheep’, worker priests were pioneering a pastoral approach that saw them exchange elegant clerical garb for factory overalls. Shortly after his ordination in 1952, Dan Berrigan was sent to France for a year of Jesuit formation known as ‘tertianship’. While there, he made contact with French ‘worker priests’ and their influence on him was decisive. In the early 1960s, hunger for change was given new impetus by
the Second Vatican Council. It is not difficult to imagine how Dan Berrigan would have been impacted by the Council’s The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), which declared, ‘The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.’ What makes Dan’s long life as a Jesuit, a priest and a committed Christian so exemplary is the fact that his determination to always translate his faith into concrete action never wavered. Into advanced old age, until frailty and illness obliged him to take a step back from frontline activism, he participated in acts of civil disobedience in the name of peace. He was also involved with the Catholic Worker Movement, founded by his great friend and mentor, Dorothy Day. In his final years, particular concerns of his were people suffering from homelessness and the Aids virus. In all of his concerns and activities, Dan Berrigan was guided by the specific perspective of Christian faith. As Pope Francis has frequently pointed out, the Church is not simply a benevolent society of non-governmental organisations. Observing the world through the eyes of faith is a matter of trying to see it as God does, with all of its light and shadow. Then, it is a matter of striving to ensure that the light triumphs over the darkness. That, in a nutshell, is what is exemplified in the long, extraordinary life of Daniel Berrigan.
PRAYING WITH MATTHEW’S GOSPEL
CARMEL McCARTHY RSM offers us an analysis of the role of the Law of Moses in Jesus’ teaching and actions. We get an understanding of the tensions in society during Jesus’ time and how Jesus challenged the status quo in order to realise prophetic fulfillment.
JESUS AND THE LAW MATTHEW 5:17-20
As you begin to pray with this passage, spend some moments of quiet awareness in the presence of Jesus. Then invite the Holy Spirit to guide you as you reflect prayerfully on Jesus’ words and what they mean for you. Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one iota, not one small stroke of a letter will disappear from the Torah until all that must happen has happened. Therefore, anyone who disobeys even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but anyone who obeys them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Preliminary comments: The Sermon on the Mount is the first of the five discourses into which Matthew has distilled Jesus’ teaching. They are careful literary constructions in which Matthew, the most Jewish of the evangelists, is particularly concerned to help his Christian community to understand what role the Law of Moses can now have, in light of Jesus’ teaching and actions. Matthew wants to make sure that Jesus’ new teachings will illuminate every aspect of their daily lives. These four verses form an important transition point in the Sermon on the Mount, and help to clarify Jesus’ understanding of the Law of Moses for
Matthew’s community. Do not suppose: The four verses in this reflection (5:17–20) form part of the transition from the Beatitudes to what are called the Antitheses; ‘You have heard it said … but I say to you’ (Mt.5:21–48). In the Antitheses emphasis is placed not on external conformity to the Mosaic Law, but on inner integrity and motivation. Keeping in mind the stresses and uncertainties confronting Matthew’s audience vis-à-vis traditional Judaism, it is not surprising to find the evangelist emphatically clarifying from the outset that Jesus is not setting himself up against the Torah.
PRAYING WITH MATTHEW’S GOSPEL
12 To abolish the Torah and the Prophets: The opening verse warns the disciples that, despite the new teaching they are about to hear in the Antitheses, they must not conclude that the aim of Jesus’ mission is to abolish the Torah and the Prophets. The Prophets (i.e. the second part of the Jewish Bible) are explicitly included as part of their Jewish heritage, and are not to be lightly cast aside or undermined. But to fulfill: The focus of Jesus’ mission is not that of conserving the status quo, but rather that of prophetic fulfillment. For Matthew (and Jesus) to fulfill the Torah is not the same as simply doing or obeying it. Matthew does not use ‘fulfill’ in relation to the Law. Instead, he uses it to express the fulfillment of prophecy. Something very subtle is happening here: Matthew is showing how Jesus turned the Jewish sequence of Law and Prophets on its head. The touchstone now becomes prophecy, and the Law must be interpreted through the lens of prophecy, and not the other way round. In truth I tell you: For Matthew, it is no longer the Law, but Jesus, who stands at the centre of the religious universe. Like the Prophets, the Torah points ahead to Jesus the Messiah so that, when he comes, he will fulfill both Torah and Prophets. A key question for Matthew’s community, and indeed for each of us today is: what is the relationship between the Law and the person at the centre of our faith, namely, Jesus? Matthew is in no doubt. Twice he cites Jesus’ reference to the prophet Hosea
6:6: ‘I desire compassion not sacrifice’ (Mt.9:13;12:7). This prophetic statement sums up Jesus’ priorities, clearly placing the emphasis on compassion, and not on legalistic or literalist rubrics. Yet, Jesus did come not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it – but how? Not one iota, not one small stroke of a letter: The imagery captures the imagination as it seeks to evoke how even the tiniest portion imaginable of the Torah cannot be dropped – ‘a jot or a tittle’ (jot standing for the Greek letter iota, and tittle standing for a tiny stroke or part of a letter). Yet, Jesus displayed a wonderful sense of freedom on the many occasions when he was confronted with casuistic issues, whether ritualistic or ethical. Time and again Matthew presents Jesus as going straight to the heart of what is best for people, showing how God is always merciful, always on the side of justice and compassion for the downtrodden. This is particularly true of issues relating to healing on the Sabbath (Mt.12:10-12). For Jesus, compassion and justice are inseparable, and are threaded through his responses to the many questions he was asked regarding observance of the Law of Moses. All that must happen has happened: This refers to the universal mission that flows from Jesus’ death and resurrection, breaking through all barriers, whether legal, ethical, geographic or ethnic. The priority of compassion continues to remain the central challenge. Who infringes … and teaches: The focus now shifts from Jesus, who was a
PRAYING WITH MATTHEW’S GOSPEL
source of amazement, to the human teachers of the Law (Mt.12:23). Lax teachers will receive the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven (this is Matthew’s preferred way of referring to the kingdom of God). For I tell you: Jesus now addresses the disciples in general, beginning with the six Antitheses. What the Antitheses, and all of Jesus’ moral teachings demand, is justice, that is, integrity blended with compassion. In the life of the true disciple this integrity must overflow, with an abundance befitting the generous salvation that Jesus brings. This means that the Torah must be interpreted anew, over and over again, in light of Jesus’ teaching, and directed towards the compassionate will of God. Scribes and Pharisees: This justice/ integrity far surpasses the legalistic approach of ‘the scribes and Pharisees’. This phrase is unique to Matthew (iterated nine times), and is
his idiom for official Judaism as it had evolved by the time of his gospel composition. Concluding comments: During Jesus’ lifetime the Torah, with its legalistic details, took centre stage. For the scribes and Pharisees of Matthew’s time, it did not seem to be a heavy burden. However, for the ordinary downtrodden people, it was a huge burden. With the destruction of the Temple (70ad) on the one hand, and the rise of pharisaic Judaism on the other, it was inevitable that issues relating to Torah observance would cause conflict in the fledgling Jewish–Christian communities. Matthew’s Gospel is particularly focused on helping his readers to distinguish between those ritual elements of the Torah that were no longer essential, and the enduring moral values enshrined in Jesus’ teachings and actions during his life, for which he was willing to die.
A TIME FOR PRAYER: EASTER PRAYER
Compiled by DONAL NEARY SJ, this series is intended to aid a time of prayer – maybe at adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or at home; with pauses for silence and adoration, take it at your own pace and timing. The central focus is the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. BEGIN WITH A PRAYER OF FAITH:
Lord, I believe in your presence here and now; strengthen my belief. or Lord, I believe in your great love for me in the heart of Jesus our Lord. Amen
Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed. – John 20:8 Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. – John 20:20 Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. – John 20:29 Pause and notice what word or words reach you just now.
The Easter message of the Risen Christ, a message of life for all humanity, echoes down the ages and invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice. To those in our society who have lost all hope and joy in life, to the elderly who struggle alone and feel their strength waning, to young people who seem to have no future, to all I once more address the words of the Risen One: ‘See, I am making
all things new … to the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life’ (Rev.21:5-6). May this comforting message of Jesus help each of us to set out anew with greater courage to blaze trails of reconciliation with God and with all our brothers and sisters. — Pope Francis, Easter 2016
A LITANY – RESPONSE: A LITANY FOR EASTER*1
Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us a little child, one of us, flesh and blood to share in our humanity. RESPONSE: For God so loved the world That all might have eternal life. Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as carpenter and yet in whose creative hands a world was fashioned. /R Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as fisherman and yet pointed to a harvest that was yet to come. /R Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as teacher and opened eyes to truths that only the poor could understand. /R Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as healer and opened hearts to the reality of wholeness. /R Blest are you, Lord Jesus who came to us as servant and revealed to us
A TIME FOR PRAYER: EASTER PRAYER the extent of his Father’s love for us all. /R Blest are you, Lord Jesus, who rose from the ignominy of a sinner’s death to the triumph of a saviour’s resurrection. You might finish this litany by praying your favourite names of Jesus
May your name be held holy among us all; may we pray always in your name; may we be grateful for your saving work, for your name means Saviour. May Mary help us in our life of service. Amen
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART
15 You welcome everyone who comes to visit you. I thank you, Jesus my Divine Redeemer, for coming upon the earth for our sake and for giving us the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist to remain with us until the end of time. I thank you for offering yourself in thanksgiving to God for all His benefits, spiritual and temporal, which He has bestowed on me. Grant me grace and perseverance in your faithful service. Amen
A PRAYER FOR THE EASTER SEASON*2
Lord Jesus, you have said, ‘Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.’ I come to you in faith and trust, in love and hope. Let me know your closeness to me and your care of me and of all who are dear to me. Hear my prayer (mention your intention); grant what I ask, and may I always trust that in all that happens in life, you will be close to me as my friend, guide and saviour. And so, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. Pause for silence, or adoration (If at the Blessed Sacrament): My Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are really here in this Sacrament. Night and day you remain here compassionate and loving. You call, you wait for,
Risen Lord, help us to remember, That you are with us in every time of perplexity to guide and to direct; That you are with us in every time of sorrow to comfort and console; That you are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire; That you are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend; That you are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of your side. Make us to be certain that there is nothing in time or in eternity which can separate us from you, so that in your presence we may meet life with gallantry and death without fear. You turn our darkness into light, in your light we shall see light. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia
A Litany For Easter sourced from: faithandworship.com A Prayer for the Easter Season adapted from: thisischurch.com
MASTERPIECES OF CHRISTIAN ART
One of the most famous religious paintings in the world comes under the expert eye of EILEEN KANE for this Easter issue of The Messenger. We are given a fuller appreciation of the architectural setting of the painting, which is as much a part of the artwork as the painting itself.
THE LAST SUPPER (Leonardo Da Vinci, 1452-1519)
The painting by Leonardo da Vinci, in the former refectory of the Dominican priory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan, is one of the greatest masterpieces ever created on the theme of the Last Supper. It is so famous, however, that perhaps we have stopped looking at it carefully. Also, much that has been written about it in recent times has been so misleading that perhaps we no longer regard it reverently. So, we might look at it afresh, this Easter time. The point during the Last Supper that Leonardo chose to depict is just after the twelve at the table with Jesus heard him say those heart-stopping words, ‘one of you is about to betray me’. For eleven of them, betrayal was unthinkable. Shock was followed by soul-searching: ‘Is it I, Lord?’, each one asked. Leonardo shows them in the ‘distress’ of which both Matthew and Mark write in the gospels. Jesus, at the centre of the table, sits with downcast eyes. His left hand lies, palm upwards, on the table. To his left – our right – the emotions of the three disciples nearest him are manifest in their gestures: outrage in the out-flung arms of the disciple in green; protest in the pointing finger of the disciple behind him;
and innocence in the disciple who has stood up, pointing to himself as he moves towards Jesus. At the end of the table, three more disciples ask one another which of them could do such a thing. As they gesture back towards Jesus, we notice that he, too, is ‘troubled in spirit’, as John writes, in his gospel. At the other end of the table, three disciples have sprung to their feet, one of them raising both his hands, in a gesture of denial. Behind his shoulder, the hand of the disciple beside him is reaching out to touch Peter on the back, trying to catch his attention, but Peter is already leaning over towards John, who is sitting next to Jesus, just as we read in the fourth gospel. John listens, his head almost touching Peter’s. ‘Ask who it is he means’, Peter is saying. Jesus will identify his betrayer, Judas, not by name, but by a gesture. ‘Here with me, on the table, is the hand of the man who betrays me’, he will say, according to Luke. In Leonardo’s painting, Judas is the disciple whose left hand rests on the table, ready to grasp the piece of bread that Jesus will give to him. He is the only disciple who has remained quite still, resting his right elbow on the table, and clutching a purse in his fist as he
MASTERPIECES OF CHRISTIAN ART
leans back, looking across at Jesus. Leonardo’s depiction of the Last Supper was epoch-making, for two reasons especially. Firstly, he placed Judas among the other disciples, at the same side of the table, breaking with the tradition of isolating the betrayer by placing him on the opposite side from the others. It is clear from the preparatory drawings, that Leonardo wrestled with that tradition before abandoning it in favour of grouping Judas with Peter and John, as the three most important disciples in the gospel narrative. Secondly, Leonardo gave animation and movement to the scene, by representing the emotional responses of the disciples to the words of Jesus, giving each a different pose. As to the subject matter, Leonardo strictly followed the gospel narratives: there are twelve disciples, including Peter, who holds a knife – he would cut off the ear of Malchus, during Christ’s arrest in the garden – and John, traditionally represented as a young
man, beardless, wearing a red mantle and seated next to Jesus at table. There are no secret messages, no alternative agendas; the Dominicans would not have tolerated them. Attention is concentrated on Jesus. Leonardo not only placed him in the centre of the composition, but also created strongly marked lines of recession – perspective – in the architectural setting within the picture, converging on him. The painting occupies one of the end walls of the rectangular refectory. When it was in use by the Dominicans, the friars would have been seated at tables arranged along the side walls. Their view of the painting would have been from the side, as it is in our photograph. Leonardo carried the real space of the refectory into the painted space of his picture. He made the tops of the refectory walls, where the ceiling arches rise, appear to continue on, into the painted room of the Last Supper. The illusion is perfect from either side. The light, too, in the
MASTERPIECES OF CHRISTIAN ART
Santa Maria delle Grazie refectory, Milan. painting comes from the left, as if coming from the actual windows of the refectory. He also raised the whole of the Last Supper scene well above the level of the refectory floor, so that it appears to the viewer to be taking place in an upper room. The Last Supper was completed in 1498. It was commissioned from Leonardo by Ludovico Sforza, called ‘Il Moro’, Duke of Milan, whose coats of arms are painted in the lunettes above it. The painting is in poor condition. Instead of using the fresco technique, in which the colours bond to lime plaster, Leonardo spread on the wall a coating of ‘gesso’ – ‘Plaster of Paris’ – normally used for painting
on wood. On the wall, the gesso absorbed moisture, and was already deteriorating shortly after the work was finished. Various attempts were made to ‘restore’ it, by applying new paint, only making things worse. Damage was done when a door was opened in the wall, and, in August 1943, Allied bombs destroyed the roof and two walls of the refectory. Mercifully, sandbags had been stacked against the wall of the Last Supper, and it remained standing. The refectory was rebuilt and is now a museum. Leonardo’s Last Supper underwent a scientifically rigorous cleaning and conservation process. To see it in situ is an experience to be cherished.
ONE PAGE WISDOM
PAUL ANDREWS SJ guides us through some thoughts on Palm Sunday. Is it a grim day, or one of triumphal celebration? This article offers an interesting historical take on the first day of Holy Week.
CELEBRATION We pilgrims reached Jerusalem on the morning of Palm Sunday, and found our way to the Mount of Olives. We joined hordes of pilgrims, happy to be there, from all over the world, white, black and many shades between, and they took their time. There were some soutaned clerics and acolytes, but they were lost in the throngs of exotic pilgrims, wonderfully-robed groups from Africa, slim beauties from South-East Asia and big crowds from South, Central and North America. Tens of thousands of women, men and children were moving over the Mount of Olives and down into the Kedron Valley facing the Old City. When they started to sing, each group with its own musicians, the result was not so much competition as variety. The Poles sounded military. The Italians, with an African drummer, set up a beat that you had to dance to. The robed clerics sang Gregorian chant. The Arab scouts, boys and girls, were lovely to watch, with a touch of romance about the way they competed and harmonised.
A small army of Romanian workers thundered Lauda Jerusalem Dominum with passion. The Arabs who live on the Mount crowded their windows and balconies, and children beside the road gave us green to wave – bits of olive branches and long palm leaves. This was where the disciples commandeered a donkey for Jesus. This is how it must have been; it was less international, perhaps, but just as joyous. Families danced together in the sunshine, grandchildren, parents and grannies were whooping it up. There was no alcohol to dull their senses, and no guilt or inhibitions to tone down the hugging, kissing and physical affection that marked the families, sisters with brothers and parents with children. Coming from Jesus’ own race, it was a lesson in what Jesus offered: that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Lord, give me the grace to celebrate on occasion. Palm Sunday did not last – what does? But while we dance together it is a foretaste of heaven.
Saints for the Journey Inspiring Lives from Every Age
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SEAMUS DEVITT CSsR Based on scripture passages, these reflections are complemented by more personal pieces which challenge readers to consider their own ideas of Jesus and his role in our lives.
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This month CHRISTOPHER MORIARTY travels to the Mariners’ Church in the seaside town of Dún Laoghaire, Dublin. Built to serve the town’s seafaring population, it now rather appropriately serves as a museum commemorating Ireland’s maritime communities.
MARINERS’ CHURCH, DÚN LAOGHAIRE Two slender gothic church spires stand out above the buildings, old and new, of Dún Laoghaire and add a sense of the sacred to the busy seaside town. One is the sole remnant of the nineteenth-century fabric of the Church of St Michael, gutted by fire in 1966 and now replaced by a fine modern building. Its companion belongs to the Mariners’ Church whose building survives intact but whose spiritual nature has been transformed from Episcopalian worship to a celebration of Ireland’s maritime history. The fact that Dublin Bay was once a far-from-safe haven is scarcely remembered nowadays. But, until the early years of the nineteenth century, the rocky shores of Seapoint, Sandycove and other delightful seaside places saw uncounted shipwrecks and death. This led, in the 1820s, to the construction of a ‘harbour of refuge’ based on the banks of the old fishing village of Dunleary. Its completion coincided with the development of the Dublin to Kingstown Railway and a great increase in population and prosperity was seen in the region. That in turn led to the building of churches. The Protestant residents were already well catered for nearby at Monkstown but increasing traffic
through the harbour led to a great influx of sailors in men-of-war, merchant ships, fishing boats and yachts and a decision was taken by the ecclesiastic authorities to build a church dedicated to their needs. The project began in 1836, with a grant of £1,000 towards a Protestant Episcopal Mariners’ Church at Kingstown Harbour. Subscriptions provided the balance required and the architect, Joseph Welland, was engaged. He had established a reputation as the designer of many Protestant churches in Ireland during the first half of the nineteenth century. Consecrated in 1843, the building seems to have attracted rather more scorn than admiration. It consisted only of nave and transepts and its chaplain, Richard Brooke, described his church as ‘large and gaunt, lofty and ugly, a satire on taste, a libel of all ecclesiastical rule, mocking at proportion and symmetry, but spacious and convenient’. There was no doubt about the building being spacious. Its great height was conceived so that there would be room for two galleries. Such a feature would have been a rarity in ecclesiastical architecture if it had ever been implemented. Reverend Brooke settled for the single gallery
that survives to this day. However, the high ceiling was said to be unacceptable acoustically and a false ceiling was inserted. Happily, the situation improved before very long. Brooke was succeeded in 1862 by an English clergyman, Samuel Allen Windle, and in his time the church was transformed to its present state. The architect commissioned was Raffles Browne. Evidently a man of notable ability, as the beauty of the church shows. Details of his career are very well hidden and nothing but his name – if even that – appears in books on Irish architectural history. Between 1862 and 1867, the spire was added, a slender and elegant structure, rising to nearly twice the height of the roof line of the main building. It has a relatively small belfry, containing a bell from 1866,
and an essentially simple outline. A less conspicuous, but very attractive feature added at the same time was a triple lancet west window, inspired by a design used in the medieval English cathedral of York Minster. The church as originally designed had an unusual ground plan in the form of a capital T – with a nave running south-west to north-east and the pair of transepts at right angles to it. In 1884 it was brought into line with traditional churches by the addition of a chancel at the north-east end, extending beyond the transepts. This addition required the relocation of the great triple lancet window to its present position. The architect for these final improvements was Thomas Drew. In the nineteenth century, fishing boats were smaller and Sunday worship very much more regularly
observed than today. The crews of fishing boats, naval vessels and other craft moored in the harbour of Kingstown – as it was then called – thronged the numerous churches in the town and the congregation in the Mariners’ could number more than a thousand. Many factors in the twentieth century led to a gradual decrease in the numbers attending and, on Easter Sunday 1972, the Mariners’ Church ended its days as a place of Episcopalian worship. Around this time the Maritime Institute was seeking a building to use as a museum for the care and display of its growing collection of artefacts associated with Ireland’s seafaring history. In 1974 the Institute rented the church and in 1978 President Patrick Hillery re-opened it in its new role as the National Maritime Museum of Ireland. In 2007 the Institute bought the building. The wooden pews of the past have been replaced by a marvellous
collection of paintings, posters and models presenting a vivid impression of ships and seafarers, the selfless courage of lifeboat crews and the intellectual brilliance of marine engineers. There is something deeply symbolic in the placing of the gigantic mirror system from the Bailey Lighthouse in the chancel of the church, just in front of the great west window which stood above the altar. Many traces of the past of the church as a place of Christian ritual remain, including the sanctuary rails and the ornate marble pulpit and baptismal font. The idea of the light of the world complements the lighthouse, conceived from the start as a means of preserving the earthly lives of sailors and passengers alike. Except for a few days around Christmas, the Museum is open daily and welcomes its visitors to a shop and café. Details can be found on their excellent website.
FR ALAN HILLIARD is a priest of the Dublin diocese and Chaplain at Dublin Institute of Technology. Here he links historic Irish migration with welcoming migrants to Ireland. As heard on RTÉ’s Living Word, aired on 16 and 18 January 2017.
Fr Sosa, Jesuit General, with JRS Rome on Migrant Sunday 2017.
She spoke with the best Queen’s English when she described her work with elderly Irish emigrants in the Euston Station area of London. Years spent in religious life and service to the community had given this sister an instinct that saw in these elderly Irish gents the need for understanding, care and practical aid. She gave out bed clothing, warm clothes, radios and whatever else brought a modicum of ease to their lives. She also knew of their
need to tell stories about home and their journey. ‘You came from the west of Ireland?’, she recalled asking one elderly gentleman, ‘I did sister and I came with the cittle’. ‘Oh … so you like making your own tea!’ ‘Ah sister … no … you took me up wrong … the cittle was in the bottom of the boat and we were on the top!’ In the midst of their confusion, he was absolutely right. It wasn’t an emigrant ship that travelled from Dublin to Holyhead … it was a cattle
© Centro Astalli
26 ship. Emigrants were a secondary consideration. The ‘live’ cattle were loaded and the people followed. The Week for Migrants and Refugees is an initiative of the Catholic Church and it is a worldwide program of awareness on behalf of those who journey in hope. This year, Pope Francis asked us to pay attention to the plight of all migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and, in particular, the plight of ‘unaccompanied minors’. I don’t know who comes to your mind when you think of young people who travel alone to new locations. My mind and heart go to my uncle, who despaired at the lack of opportunity in Ireland in the mid1950s. Five years before emigrating he witnessed the death of his mother on a hospital bed. Like many others, he followed the cattle to Dublin Port and walked up the gangway towards a new future. He had just turned fifteen years of age.
‘TYING THE KNOT’
‘Ah sure they’ve tied the knot’. This is a phrase often associated with marriage in Ireland. However it has other meanings too. In parts of rural Ireland in the midst of a conversation someone might say, ’I haven’t seen Micheál or Nora for a while’. The reply might be, ‘ah sure, they’ve tied the knot’. The expression referred to the silent emigration of the poorer members of the community from their hometown. To ‘tie the knot’ referred to the last act a person carried out before they left their dwelling. A person in the wealthier part of town might have had a
suitcase into which they packed their belongings. In a poorer home, a few pieces of clothing and a few small items of memorabilia were wound round one another and tied together with a piece of string. The knot was then tied on all that the migrant owned. The photographs and film clips of those arriving on the shores of the Southern Mediterranean today show that even if they had a piece of string there’d be little to wrap up. I know one man who was returned from the UK to Rome under the Dublin Convention (ironically enough) with nothing but the pyjamas that he was wearing. I’ve been fortunate to meet many migrants whose wealth cannot be tied into tidy parcels because their wealth lies within them. Having lost everything, they see their world differently and live with a profound sense of God’s providence. Like Abraham, Moses and many, many others in scripture, their uncluttered lives reveal a passion for life that occupies every limb of their body and sinew of their soul.
Alan Hilliard’s booklet, Open Heart, Open Arms, about welcoming migrants to Ireland, was recently published by Messenger Publications. €3.99 www.messenger.ie
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relink.messenger.ie k at In this month’s Re:link we loo ea min exa and ter Eas of the history and us crucial point in the life of Jes ian of the development of Christ gious reli at wh er faith. We will discov e tim the at t sen groups were pre the on n stio que r ula reg a of Jesus, er. pap RE e cat rtifi Ce Junior eline Also included is an Easter tim s. and curriculum link Don’t forget to enter our competition!
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At the time when Jesus lived, Palestine was ruled by the Roman Empire (ruled by an emperor, based in the city of Rome, Italy). The people of Palestine were generally unhappy about being occupied by the Romans and in particular about paying taxes to them and following their laws. Most people in Palestine, including Jesus, belonged to the religion of Judaism (they were Jewish). When the Romans arrived in Palestine, the Jewish people split into different groups, depending on their feelings about the Roman occupation. The four main religious groups at the time of Jesus were as follows: The Saducees: They accepted Roman rule, they adapted to the Romans in Palestine and tried to make the most of it. The Pharisees: They rejected Roman rule, they ignored the Romans and focused on practising their religion. The Zealots: They also rejected Roman rule and were angry with the Romans. They showed this through fighting against them. The Essenes: They too rejected Roman rule, they were so appalled by the Romans, and the Jewish leaders’ co-operation with them, that they left Jerusalem and went to live in the desert. All of these groups were Jewish and, despite their varying opinions on Roman rule, they all followed the beliefs and practices of Judaism.
Study Note A regular question which comes up on the Junior Certificate RE paper is to name a religious group at the time of Jesus. This question is asking you to identify one of the four groups named to the left and not, as many students incorrectly answer, to name the religion as Judaism (as all of these groups are Jewish).
One thing that all of these groups also had in common was their belief that a messiah would come to save them from Roman occupation, just as Moses had freed the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. This belief is still held by Jewish people today and is known as ‘messianic expectation’ (awaiting the Messiah/Anointed One). When Jesus started his ministry (publicly teaching and performing miracles) many people in Palestine believed that he was the Messiah. The leaders of the Jewish groups (known as the Sanhedrin) were very angry that a peasant carpenter could be followed by so many people. Though Jesus never proclaimed himself to be the messiah, the large following that he gained whenever he arrived into a town caused much anger amongst the Jewish groups and leaders. This anger eventually led to Jesus being sentenced to death by crucufixion (death on a cross) by Pontius Pilate (the Roman leader based in Palestine).
Easter/Passion Week Timeline Before Holy Week Tuesday 41 days before Easter – This day has become known as ‘Pancake Tuesday’ as traditionally people used up the last of their sugar, butter and other treats in their home, to prepare for the beginning of Lent the following day, when they would give up these items. Wednesday 40 days before Easter – Ash Wednesday
Holy Week Sunday – Palm Sunday. Jesus travelled to Jerusalem; crowds gathered to greet him and waved branches from the palm trees. Monday – Jesus cleared the Temple after seeing money exchanges happening there. Tuesday – Jesus taught his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Wednesday – Different cultures give different traditions for what we call ‘Spy Wednesday’. A common tradition is that it commemorates the day that Judas betrayed or spied on Jesus to the chief priests, selling his whereabouts for thirty pieces of silver.
Thursday – Holy Thursday: The Last Supper/Passover Meal. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and they shared a Passover meal in the upper room. Jesus broke bread with his disciples and shared wine. This was the first occurrence of Holy Communion. Jesus then prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was there that Jesus was betrayed by a kiss from Judas and arrested by the Sanhedrin. Friday – Good Friday. Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, death on the cross and burial. Jesus’ body was laid down in a tomb and guarded by Roman soldiers. Saturday – Holy Saturday. Saturday is the Sabbath day for Jewish people, so when the Sabbath ended that evening, Jesus’ body was cleaned and treated with ceremonial spices, oils and perfumes. Sunday – Easter Sunday. Jesus’ friends went to his tomb and discovered that the stone door was open and Jesus’ body was gone. Jesus appeared on this day to many of his disciples in his risen body.
After Holy Week 40 days after Easter Sunday – Ascension. Jesus ascended into heaven to the Father. 50 days after Easter Sunday – Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came down to the disciples, after Jesus’ ascension. This was the first ‘Confirmation’.
In the Roman Catholic Mass we say the ‘Apostles’ Creed’. A creed is a statement of beliefs for a religion. In this creed you sometimes will hear many of the main events of Jesus Christ’s life, including the details of his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. The next time you go to Mass, listen carefully to, or read along with, this prayer and see if you understand what each line means.
The Apostles Creed
Curriculum Link Exodus: When Moses led the Jewish people to their freedom and away from slavery in Egypt. Messianic Expectation: The hope of the Jewish people that a new leader, sent by God (Yahweh), a Messiah, would lead them to their freedom. Passover: A Jewish festival which celebrates the Exodus. Resurrection: The belief that Jesus rose from the dead, three days after he was crucified. Pentecost: The day when the apostles received the Holy Spirit and began to spread the message of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Ascension: Jesus ascended (rose up) into heaven on the fortieth day after his resurrection.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again, He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
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HELEN DILLON looks forward to springtime gardening, which really gets going in the month of April. With some fabulous new flower suggestions, which can be successfully grown by new and seasoned gardener alike, this article will have you itching to get outdoors!
FULL STEAM INTO SPRING!
Rose ‘Blush Noisette’ was originally named around 1815 by Philippe Noisette in Charlestown, South Rosmarinus ‘Sissinghurst Blue’ Carolina. It has very good repeat flowering, a rich clove scent, and is hardy and reliable. I took a small, rooted cutting with me to our new garden in Monkstown. If you cannot find a rose that you particularly want, try ordering from Peter Beales Roses in the UK – plants arrive quickly and beautifully packed.
I can never seem to remember from spring to spring quite how lovely is the month of April. Especially the sky. The blue seems more intense, little puffs of fluffy white cloud change their shape and position from second to second, the soil warms, the sun shines, and flowers that were only buds when you woke up are in full bloom by tea time. No sooner does the word ‘spring’ enter one’s head than it is automatically followed by ‘bulbs’. Of course
I love bulbs, but there are a lot of good small early herbaceous flowers which deserve to be better known. One of my favourites is Omphalodes Cappadocica. On first sight you’d think it was a forget-me-not, so intense is the blue of the little flowers, but this is a long-lived spring perennial, happy in sunlight or light shade, which I wouldn’t be without. Incidentally, this is a much better plant than Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’, which at first sight is pretty, with a
32 mauve edge to each petal, but it always appears slightly virused to me, with suspiciously twisted leaves and petals. You may already know the mauve perennial wallflower, Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’, which flowers for months and months – all winter if it’s mild. What you need to know is that it flowers itself to death if you don’t prune it by cutting it back by at least half every few months and, most importantly, taking cuttings and rooting them in a small pot in a sandy mix. You always need young plants coming along as replacements. They don’t need heat to root. A group of about five together makes a great, long-lasting show. The Viola Riviniana Purpurea group, sometimes called Viola Labradorica is considered by most people to be a pretty little weed, but if it was all dressed up in a pot at a flower show, surrounded by small stone chippings, with its dark purple leaves and innocent violet flowers, and we’d never seen it before, there’d be fighting in the corridors over it! You just have to grow it where you want it and not where it wants to grow. I must remind you how good the many different wood anemones are (Anemone Nemorosa) – they may be blue, white, yellow double or single. Mostly found in old, long-established gardens, they are easily divided into small handfuls and quickly replanted and watered. The only important thing to remember is where you planted them so as not to dig them up by mistake when dormant. I should mention a February
flowering plant which never goes unnoticed, namely Pachyphragma Macrophyllum, which has shining bright green leaves and pure white flowers. I cannot understand why it isn’t more popular. Although, its long Latin name – which sounds to me like a dinosaur with big leaves – is probably no help. If it was called something like ‘Little White Tot’ you’d find it everywhere! Good in shady, damp places and tolerant of heavy clay, this is a good, easy, early perennial. A brief mention now of a plant you certainly don’t want. There’s one particular weed, namely the Shepherd’s Purse, that will certainly get the better of you because it knows how to secrete itself. On a warm spring day, when you are looking the other way, it will suddenly shoot its seeds in every direction. It’s then too late to do anything about them!
Next month will be the optimum time for potting up your tender summer plants. Ready-made peatbased potting mixes are all very well for growing plants for a couple of months but if you are growing small shrubs, Hydrangeas, roses and suchlike you need a stronger, longer-lasting, richer potting mix. I use: one part my own garden soil, nearly dry; one part shop-bought peat-based potting mix, and half a part sharp grit (very important for drainage). Add to that rose food (which comes by the bucket, very effective) or powdered seaweed if you are of the organic persuasion.
Pope Francis, in The Joy of Love (2016), opens the possibility for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion in certain cases. GERRY O’HANLON SJ, wellknown theologian and frequent contributor to our pages, explains some of the rationale behind this development.
DIVORCE, REMARRIAGE AND COMMUNION
Chloe is a practising Catholic, a good mother and wife whose husband left her and her two children for another woman whom he has married. Chloe met Tadhg, they fell in love, she remarried and they now have two children. She wants to receive Communion, especially given that her third child is due to make her first Communion shortly, but under current Church law she cannot. This situation – and questions arising from many other complex cases – formed the basis of deliberations in the two-part Synod of Bishops in 2015 and 2016. The Synods were preceded by worldwide consultation, out of which Pope Francis wrote his nine-chapter letter, The Joy of Love. He wanted to respect Church teach-
ing on the indissolubility of marriage, and the consequent position on Communion, and he also wanted to listen to the ‘sense of the faithful’ coming from this global consultation. Could the Spirit lead the Church to a more creative, imaginative response to the issue, while respecting the gospel values enshrined in the current framework? Values which are so important in a culture where commitment in many areas is weaker than in other times. The Pope’s approach honours the tradition of the Church, and draws on forgotten aspects of it, placing them in a new light. Up to now, the principle approach has been legalistic: this is the rule, the law, present for good gospel and theological reasons, and
34 all we have to do is apply it literally and strictly. Francis suggests the practise of discernment, the principle of gradualness and the virtue of mercy. By discernment, the Pope means the skill of prayerfully finding the action of the Holy Spirit in human experience, a skill which is not limited to experts, but can be employed by all Christians in their development and following of a conscientious approach to their behaviour. He notes that ‘we have been called to form consciences, not to replace them’. Gradualness refers to the fact that moral development is a step-by-step process that may not happen all at once – ‘a small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which outwardly appears in order but moves through the day without contemplating great difficulties.’ Gradualness is an attitude that sees both the shades of darkness and the light in morally intricate situations, and therefore coheres well with the ability of those who practise discernment to effectively tackle complexity. Mercy comes from its primacy in the gospels. Francis wants us to put difficult questions within a ‘logic of mercy’, all the time seeking, like Jesus, to bring hope to those in difficulty. While he knows that cheap mercy can lead to laxism, he also notes that we can ‘put so many conditions on mercy that we empty it of any concrete meaning and real significance. A lack of mercy is the worst way of watering down the gospel’. Francis can draw on Thomas Aquinas to support his approach. Aquinas
understood that moral judgement mediated between general principles and the astute perception of particular circumstances. In the case above, Chloe knows full well that her situation is not ideal and regrets this, but she also knows that her second relationship is good and long tested, that it would be wrong to abandon it and that, practically speaking, sexual abstinence presents no real possibility. If she so discerns – and it would be wise to do so with a priest and/ or other experienced and committed Christians – then Francis puts no limits on her participation in Church life. Many good people in Ireland, in similar situations, have followed this route, often informally. There has been some unease, including at senior clerical and other levels in the Church, about this new approach. If the unease springs from a legalistic, Pharasaical mindset that uses doctrines as ‘stones to throw at peoples’ lives’, then it needs to be challenged. If, however, it is a genuinely conscientious disagreement, then it needs to be treated respectfully and serenely as part of the normal process of confirmation which follows any serious discernment. This process of dialogue will be helped the more the Church develops open conversation between laity, theologians and bishops. What Francis is showing is that we do not need to abandon the tradition and rules of the Church by acknowledging that the first and living rule is Jesus Christ and the primacy of his mercy and love. This interpretative key is surely good news, especially for anyone in distress of any kind.
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Every month we publish a selection of thanksgiving letters from our readers. Please be assured that receipt of a letter is fulfilment of a promise to publish.
A BIG PROJECT
Dear Father I wish to express my heartfelt thanks for a recent award I received at work. It is for a project about bereavement care and I invested a lot of time, work and effort into it. I did not know if I could continue with it, so I asked the Sacred Heart to direct me and I got my sign. I continue to pray for his intercession to help me to make a difference in the world. Grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart, who never lets me down. A Very Grateful Midwife
Dear Father I wish to publish my grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart for the favours granted to me recently, and also for many favours granted to me down through the years. May the Sacred Heart be ever praised and adored. Most Unworthy
NEVER LETS ME DOWN
I am writing to express my thanks to the Sacred Heart for favours and blessings granted. I wish to thank the Sacred Heart and express my devotion to him for granting me the request that I had recently asked for. I place my trust in him and he never lets me down. Rosetta and Family
MY BROTHER IMPROVED
Some time ago my brother was attacked by an animal. For months he was in and out of the hospital, but thanks to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady he has now made a remarkable recovery! Anon
Dear Father I promised a letter of thanks to Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, St Benedict, St Theresa of Calcutta, and St John Paul II for a great result from a medical test I underwent. A Grateful Sinner
ALWAYS HEAR MY PRAYERS
Dear Father I wish to thank the Sacred Heart and his Holy Mother, and Our Lady of Lourdes for healing me through an illness Iâ€™ve struggled with over the past few years. My mother had great faith in the Sacred Heart, and he always heard her prayers. I promised Iâ€™d have this letter published. Anon
UNITING A FAMILY
I wish to thank the Sacred Heart for many favours received over the years. I trust the Sacred Heart will unite my family in love and harmony after a serious falling out. A Grateful Mother
Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus Thank you for all your help and kindness over many years. Please pray for the repose of my dear husband and our darling son. Please grant me safe travel to America. Sacred heart of Jesus, I place all of my trust and hope in you. Maureen
Dear Father I wish to publish my thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for a favour – my grandaughter got the job she wanted! Thanks to God for our good health. I continue to pray to Our Lord for help with an alcohol problem in the family. Anon
FREE TV LICENCE!
I am writing to thank the Sacred Heart for all my requests being answered, including my last petition for a free TV licence and reduced payments on my ESB bill. Also, for Seamus getting well again. I always trust in the Sacred Heart and all prayers are answered. ED
EMPLOYMENT FOR MY SON
Please publish my grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I prayed that my son would find a good apprenticeship and a job. He did his apprenticeship and has been kept on, on a full-time basis. I promised that I would publish, so please Father, publish my grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. Grateful Reader
Please publish my grateful thanks to the Sacread Heart of Jesus, his Blessed Mother and all my special saints for a lifetime of blessings for my family. Grateful wife, mother and grandmother
KEEPING A PROMISE
Dear Father Please publish this letter of thanksgiving in The Sacred Heart Messenger and help me to keep my promises. I asked for, and received, a special favour from the most Sacred Heart, so now please help me keep my promise and publish this letter. Anon
‘Like’ The Sacred Heart Messenger facebook.com/sacredheartmessenger www.messenger.ie : JANUARY 2016
Easter is the most important feast in our religious calendar and is always synonymous with lamb in one fashion or another. It falls half way through April this year and MARIE McGUIRK has some suitable seasonal recipes to mark the occasion.
EASTER COMFORT FOOD BRAISED LEG OF LAMB
1 leg of lamb 2 onions 3 carrots 1 celery stick 1–2 cloves of garlic, sliced 12 small sprigs rosemary Salt and pepper ½ pt/5fl oz vegetable stock 2oz/50g butter 1 bunch spring onions chopped 1 tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme 12oz/350g cherry tomatoes
n Preheat oven to 200°C/Number 6 gas. Weigh the leg and calculate the cooking time; allow fifteen minutes per lb (450g) for medium, and twenty minutes per lb (450g) for well done. n Make some incisions into the surface of the lamb and insert the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Place the lamb in a roasting tin. n Chop the vegetables and surround the lamb with them. Season and place in the oven for fifteen minutes. n After five minutes, add the stock and continue to cook for the allocated time, basting frequently. You may add more stock as required. n Add the cherry tomatoes ten
minutes before the end of the cooking time. n Remove the lamb from the oven – place on a serving dish with the tomatoes and cover. n Add more stock to roasting dish and heat on top heat to gather all sediment. Strain off these juices and thicken as desired with cornflour or gravy granules. n The vegetables can be puréed and served or, if overcooked, discarded. All the flavour will be in the gravy.
PARSNIP AND POTATO GRATIN
3 large parsnips 4 large potatoes 2 large onions, finely sliced 6 oz (175g) cheddar or gruyère, grated 1 pt (600ml) double cream Salt and pepper
n Peel and very finely slice the parsnips and potatoes. n Layer the parsnips and potatoes in a shallow gratin or casserole dish, sprinkling some cheese and onion and a little drizzle of cream as you go. n Season each layer with salt and black pepper. n The top layer should be potato
with a final sprinkle of cheese and a drizzle of cream. n Cover with foil and place in a pre-heated oven (180°C/375°F/ Gas 4–5). Bake for ninety minutes, removing the foil for the last fifteen minutes to brown the cheese. Make sure the potatoes and parsnip are cooked and, if not, leave for a further ten to fifteen minutes.
LIME AND APRICOT MADELEINES
4oz/125g plain flour 1tsp baking powder 4oz/125g caster sugar Finely grated rind of 1 lime 4oz/125g of melted butter, cooled 2oz/60g no-soak dried apricots, chopped
n Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Number 6 gas. n Whisk the eggs, sugar and lime rind together until thick and fluffy. Pour in half of the melted butter and fold it into the egg gently. n Fold in the flour and then the remaining butter. Fold in the chopped apricots. n Leave the mixture in the fridge for approximately forty minutes to thicken. n Grease the madeleine tins and dust them with flour. Fill the madeleine mould ¾ full of mixture and bake for five minutes, then reduce the oven temperature slightly for a further five minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack and cool.
The prize is €100 for the first correct solution opened. Judge’s decision is final.
ENTRIES MUST REACH US BEFORE THE 24th OF THE MONTH.
Send to: Adult Crossword 704, Messenger Publications, 37 Lr Leeson St, Dublin 2, Ireland
WIN €100! ADULT CROSSWORD
ACROSS: 1. One resisting heavy personal blow (5) 4. Tending to overbalance because bottom is light? (3-5) 8. Win that’s out of control (7,7) 10. Where honest individual might have started (6,3) 11. Reliable but not to start with being out of practice (5) 12. For a few days lacking vitality, so to speak (4) 13. Embrace amorously coming from old canoe (8) 17. Travel, goes round open space without stopping (2,6) 18. Bug troubled half the gremlins (4) 22. Opera in Costa resort (5) 24. Remarkable deuterons go to waste (3,2,4) 25. How accelerating motorist acted decisively (3,3,4,4) 26. Many a bird I left with the French yarn (8) 27. Inside citadel taking Greek character (5)
DOWN: 1. Look out, spotted as envisaged (7) 2. Bring to mind what magician will do at university (7,2) 3. Prize from till brought up (6) 4. Present lad is lover much younger than his partner (3,3) 5. It shows cost of nameless decorative carpeting (5-3) 6. Old man finished early, about ten, outside (8) 7. Corrupting influence of six right above us (5) 9. Timothy denied going round park (4) 14. One or two fuels (6,3) 15. Running battle? (8) 16. Act of retaliation could be rare slip (8) 17. Go with unfinished article for member of an East Germanic people (4) 19. Mary, mother’s girl (7) 20. Nap soon disturbed with zeal and energy initially (6) 21. Received guests, those others before December 1st (6) 23. Sloppily sentimental thawing snow? (5)
Send to: APRIL Children’s Crossword, Messenger Publications, 37 Lr Leeson St, Dublin 2, Ireland, by 24th of the month.
ACROSS: 1. The place where planes land and take-off from (7) 7. A hat with a peak (3) 8. An _____ a day keeps the doctor away (5) 9. Runner up in All-Ireland football final 2016 (4) 10. To be obedient (4) 13. At a party, people ______ (5) 15. (in games) used after a number to indicate an equal score (3) 16. When you put air in tyres you _____ them (7)
CHILDREN’S CROSSWORD: WIN €30!
DOWN: 2. To indicate something by suggestion (5) 3. The top of a mountain (4) 4. To tear or pull quickly (3) 5. The Irish rugby coach’s surname (7) 6. To use again (7) 11. Excessive pride or self-satisfaction (5) 12. To make healthy again (4) 14. Another word for ‘granny’ (3)
JANUARY CROSSWORD SOLUTIONS AND WINNERS
ADULT CROSSWORD: Across: 1.Wrestler; 6.Munich; 9.Mosaic; 10.Gendarme; 11.Questionable; 13.Choir; 14.Battleaxe; 17.Just a tick; 19.Chute; 21.Victoria plum; 24.Linoleum; 25.Garlic; 26.Stolen; 27.Date line. Down: 2.Roof; 3.Sea-squirt; 4.Locker; 5.Regatta; 6.Monmouth; 7.Nuala; 8.Complexity; 12.Chauvinist; 15.Ephemeral; 16.Sturgeon; 18.Claimed; 20.Blight; 22.Troll; 23.Zion. ADULT CROSSWORD WINNER: M. Herbert, Co. Galway. CHILDREN’S CROSSWORD: Across: 1.Cabinet; 7.Dye; 8.Lyric; 9.Iota; 10.Ragu; 13.Abode; 15.Air; 16.Agility. Down: 2.Agent; 3.Isle; 4.Ear; 5.Admiral; 6.Acquire; 11.Apart; 12.Cell; 14.OMG. CHILDREN’S CROSSWORD WINNERS: David Hoey, Co. Laois, Age: 12. ART COMPETITION WINNERS: Michelle Gately, Co. Galway, Age: 10.
Sarah’s Wordsearch D S T J A D A C P S N A J P B F P T C X E E O N G G O P P T O P N V I A N N O I R T N S M P T M I I K L O I V U M W O R T T M G P P I M E M M E N I A R R P N M L E M B I R R I I E C A X S O O R W K M A R I R A S C D P L Q A T A N Y Y I P Q A X U G E R G C P A F X Q P L E L Y Y Z I H Q L
Try to find the following words in the grid: Messiah Convincing Tipperary Commotion Printing Appropriate Summary Writing Doberman Pilgrimage Bookmark Axle
Can you come up with an INTERNET-THEMED word for each letter of the alphabet? A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S
T U V W X Y Z
Sarah Numb ’s ers
Comp l each ete the gri and e row, each d so that ach 3 colum x numb 2 box has n the ers 16
6 5 3
4 6 3
1 5 4 6 6 2 3 1
Poetry Competition Are you a burgeoning Beckett? Test your talents and submit your OWN POEM for a chance to win
THIS MONTH’S TOPIC IS: FRIENDSHIP
Please include your name, age and address with your entry and send to: April Competition, Young Readers’ Pages, The Sacred Heart Messenger, 37 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland OR by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 24th of the month.
JOHN SCALLY remembers the well-loved coach, teacher, mentor and Jesuit priest, Jim Moran SJ. Fr Jim was known for instilling a great sense of confidence and self-belief in his pupils and players, and was a man who left an enduring impression on all those whom he met.
A LIFE WELL LIVED: JIM MORAN SJ What is the connection between one of the greatest legends in Irish rugby, and a Jesuit priest? Ollie Campbell is described by George Hook as ‘Irish rugby’s greatest number ten in the modern era’. Ollie was educated in the Jesuit Belvedere College and there came under the coaching stewardship of Fr Jim Moran SJ, who died in November 2016. Ollie Campbell outlines Fr Jim’s impact on him: ‘I owe him a lot. He was a friend and a mentor to me, and a massive presence in my life right through to the very end. He instilled in me the ability to focus on goals, gave me plenty of confidence – but never too much – and enough backbone to last forever. I took from him a determination and desire to win, even though he rightly believed that it wasn’t about the winning. He was a phenomenal influence on me as a rugby player, and most of what I know about the game can be traced back to Jim.’ When Jim went to Chicago to study, he offered his rugby training services to a Jesuit school there, telling them of his multiple sporting accomplishments back in Ireland. However, as they had plenty of coaches already, his offer was politely declined. So Jim took himself off to a neighbouring Jewish school
where the same offer was gratefully accepted. Sometime later, his rugby team took on the Jesuit school and won! This was a story he enjoyed telling. One of the buzzwords of modern life is having ‘a holistic perspective’. Ollie Campbell believes that this was key to Fr Jim’s ability to have a huge impact on the most divergent of personalities: ‘At his funeral, five mementoes were brought up to the altar to represent his life – a Bible (he did not have an easy life because of illness but had great faith, even by Jesuit standards), a rugby ball, a bunch of flowers (to represent his love of gardening), a photo of two dogs awaiting his arrival in John Hughes’ house (to represent his love of dogs – they loved him too, even strays), and his thesis to show his love for learning.’ Another memory: ‘His way of training rugby – apart from winning trophies – was to develop not just the player, but the person. I was brought up in a very different time where people were not as fine-tuned to the culture of affirming young people as we are today. Jim was so much ahead of his time in that respect. I can still see the shock on some of my teammates’ faces when he had words of praise for them. It
might seem small, but knowing that they had his respect changed their lives. They felt empowered as people to become the best versions of themselves. He had the same effect wherever he went.’ Fr Jim’s abilities as a philosopher left an enduring impression on Ollie Campbell: ‘On life, he said it has no meaning – other than the meaning we ourselves give to it. On rugby, he said rugby was not an end in itself, it was just a means to an end, the end being the people that we meet and the friends that we make. How right he was! This applies to any sport.’ After the final whistle of a big cup triumph, Jim as coach met his star player at the halfway line and they embraced. The player said, ‘Fr Jim, this makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.’ Jim replied, ‘They would
have been worth it if we never won anything.’ Jim took his life as a Jesuit and a rugby coach very seriously and so, with his well-known lack of tact, might sometimes offend those whose input he did not invite! But Ollie Campbell provides the definitive epitaph for Fr Jim: ‘I thank God for this man who used his God-given genius to bring the best out of so many as rugby players and as people, and for a man with such a unique capacity to enrich the human spirit.’ May the Editor comment? Jim Moran guided me well as a teacher before my ordination. He encouraged good teaching, but also the conviction that we had more to give to our pupils than academic learning. Friendship, faith and good humour were important too. This was a good support to a younger Jesuit who functioned better as an all-round school person than a teacher in the classroom!
This month, as part of the Ignatian Spirituality series, SHANE DALY SJ, headmaster of Coláiste Iognáid, Galway, introduces us to The Examen, a prayer technique that aids reflection and discernment, and is an invitation for God’s direction to work in our daily life.
THE EXAMEN: AN EVERYDAY PRAYER What does God want of me? Here and now today? God’s desire for us is tailor-made to our capabilities; God does not call the sick to work in a homeless shelter, but he might call on them to pray for the homeless. God might want somebody to spend more time gardening because this gives them great peace and contentment at a time when they especially need it due to a life-changing event, such as a bereavement. We should welcome that we will not necessarily know why God asks us to do one thing instead of another and simply accept that the divine perspective is not the human perspective. So how do we discover the divine perspective in our lives and respond to this? The answer is to be found in the regular practice of the Examen, a structured Jesuit prayer that helps us to reflect upon our daily activities to identify what needs to be either embraced more fully or given up for good. The following steps outline a possible structure to follow: 1. Get physically comfortable by kneeling, sitting, or even lying down. Once physically comfortable let your mind settle and focus on God. This is prayer and all prayer should begin with reverence and the petition that God give you the grace needed to conduct a good review of your day.
2. Begin the review by naming all the gifts received throughout the day; the gift of the day itself, the beautiful spring morning, the blue sky, the neighbour’s smile, the morning welcome from the dog, the phone call from the grandchildren, the fresh-baked bread, the relaxing day at the office, a good sports fixture on the television, a good novel, the list is endless. Giving thanks helps us to realise all the diverse ways we are gifted and blessed by God through the people and world around us. Fostering a deep sense of gratitude is vital, ‘if the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough’ (Meister Eckhart). 3. Now look back over the day and recall all those encounters and moments that gave you life, gave you energy, made you feel at peace, content, joyful, happy, or fulfilled. Ask yourself what it was about these encounters or events that gave rise to such positive feelings; who did you meet? What was said? What were you doing? What was going on around you? 4. After looking at the positive, we also need to look at the more negative aspects of the day. What encounters and events of the day took life, took energy, left you feeling drained, tired, annoyed, angry or
frustrated? As with the positive, ask yourself what gave rise to such negative feelings; who did you meet? What was said? What was going on around you? What were you saying or doing? 5. So far, you have been doing all the thinking and speaking but at this point it is time to listen. Invite God to point out something he would like you to reflect upon from your day. God may point out a gift, an energising moment, or a draining moment. We are then invited to sit with this and reflect upon this particular moment; a gift from the day to recall it and enjoy it anew, a life-giving moment might be an invitation to spend more time engaging with this activity; prayer, gardening, walking, being with friends, helping somebody out, or whatever it might be. The highlighting of a draining moment might be an invitation to change an activity or behaviour; as we age we may notice that our work leaves us feeling
drained where once it filled us with energy. The Lord could be signalling that it is time for a change. As this example shows, negative experiences and draining moments cannot always be equated with sin. I might be drained from a particular experience because of what others do, donâ€™t do, or simply because the Lord is telling me it is time for a change. These moments should become the content of our prayer time, asking the Lord for further clarity and guidance especially when we notice energising, healing or draining patterns regularly emerging through the Examen. 6. Our last step is to thank God for being present with us, asking him to be with us in all the activities of the day ahead, before concluding with the Lordâ€™s Prayer. By responding to Godâ€™s purpose for each of us at every given moment of our lives we are, in those same moments, praising, reverencing, and serving God.
IN THE MASTER’S FOOTSTEPS
FR JOHN MURRAY, Parish Priest of Downpatrick in County Down, takes a look at the history of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and their founder, St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, who was made Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Tours at the age of only twenty-nine!
THE SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD They were ‘giants’ of women – not tall of stature but mighty in act and deed. When I met the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for the first time, three of those in the house of five had over 120 years of service combined and most of this was in Sri Lanka. When they arrived there they found a poor people. Women were definitely second-class citizens, without work, education or social standing. Soon after arriving, the Sisters had built a school and taught the younger women skills and crafts from which they could earn money and a certain degree of independence. As a result, they were less frequently exploited or forced to turn to the streets to earn a crust. Rose Virginia Pelletier was the foundress of the Sisters. She was born on an island off the coast of France; her parents had been exiled there by the revolutionaries, who had taken control in her native land since the fall of the Bastille in 1789. She was born in 1796. The draw of a vocation came to her at an early age and she joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Tours when she was 18. It was then that she received the name Mary Euphrasia. The order had a specific charism to reach out to girls and women
who had been abandoned by their families or orphaned. Many that they helped had lived in great poverty, and some had turned to prostitution in order to survive. The Sisters provided shelter and food as well as the some vocational training so that the girls and women could start making their own way in life. Mary Euphrasia was appointed Superior at Tours when she was only twenty-nine! Mary saw the need to provide an oasis for women who wished to turn away from the life of the streets and begin to live a cloistered life with direction and structure. The Sisters Magdalene, now known as the Contemplatives of the Good Shepherd, earned their own way by making altar breads and vestments for the celebration of the liturgy. The blessings that God gave to the new foundation did not go unnoticed. The Bishop of Angers invited Mary to set up a house in his own diocese and soon bishops from other cities in France asked her to do the same for them. Mary agreed to all of these requests, but in her mind was the need for a governing structure that would allow the Good Shepherds to carry out a global ministry. However, controversy lay ahead! Indeed which founder of a religious order has not encountered difficul-
IN THE MASTER’S FOOTSTEPS
ties and opposition? It seems to go with the territory! Mary knew that she would have to found a new religious order that would have a central organisational body, an order which would benefit from having a common novitiate and a superior with an authority that would transcend local situations. Naturally she sometimes experienced opposition from a local bishop or clergy, and sometimes from her own sisters who did not fully
understand what she was doing. Frequently she was accused of rash innovation and even personal ambition, but Mary Euphrasia always conducted herself with charity. She would write to her sisters: ‘how happy are the souls who live by love. Nothing is hard to one who loves … it is not in the spirit of fear that the Good Shepherd wishes us to serve Him. He who fears is not perfect in love. Love inspires
IN THE MASTER’S FOOTSTEPS
50 confidence, joy and peace.’ Above all, the spirituality of the Good Shepherds is based on knowing the Shepherd and, more importantly, allowing him to know them. Indeed the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus in the garden reflects beautifully this charism. ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him and I will go and remove him’ (Jn.20:16). While Mary did not recognise the Lord – she thought he was the gardener – she knew him when he called out her name. For decades now, the Sisters have been reaching out also to the women and girls of our own native land. When I was in a parish in West Belfast, I could only but admire their work and was frequently humbled by their quality of service. Quietly they went about visiting homes, providing
‘Many believed in Jesus’ First Friday: 7th April 2017 ................................................................ ................................................................ ................................................................ ................................................................ ................................................................
nursery schools and, without seeking attention, giving people the means to feed their family that week. All of this was always given without judgement. In recent years the Sisters have been able to bring the heritage of their craft from Sri Lanka and India to parishes in Ireland. The beautiful dolls, Advent calendars, bags and purses produced by parishioners are testament to a native people who are proud of their handiwork and grateful to the Sisters that gave them such skills. By the time of her death in 1868, Sr Mary had established 110 convents throughout the world. Every year – on April 24 – the Sisters, at home and abroad, remember this humble ‘giant’ and the Lord who continues to recognise the poor crying woman in the garden.
Petitions may be sent to us on this form, or on any piece of paper. All petitions received are placed on our Sacred Heart altar, and Mass is offered for them once each week. SEND TO:
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Naomi Kloss, an English, History and Classical Studies teacher from Wexford town, presents a prayerful reflection for the Easter season. She invites us to share in the joy of Christ’s love and the splendour of God’s creation.
SIGNS OF RESURRECTION
In Gerard Manley Hopkins’ classic poem ‘The Windhover’, we find the nineteenth-century Jesuit priestpoet energised by the splendour of a falcon. Uniquely, the language conveys the falcon’s energy and mastery of the air to propel its flight.
The poem captures the exceptional skill of the bird to become the prince of flight. The words run off the page: I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin, dappledawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
52 The uniqueness of every living thing is a hallmark of Manley Hopkins’ poetry. He is inspired by the sheer power of this falcon. The bird in flight described in this poem conveys for me the joyful story of The Resurrection; for Hopkins, Christ was his ‘chevalier’. In a different sense, light powers our world. We are timed by the sun rising and sun setting. Our world is powered by the wonder of God’s energy and vibrancy; the flowers are dependent on the sun to bring life. The world is full of vibrancy and hope. For us too, Jesus’ resurrection story is an eternal one. However, it is not just a story for Easter; it is one for the everyday. It is a story that has the capacity to inspire everyone. There is wonder everywhere, we see the wonder in the rainbow. We can marvel at the beauty in the uniqueness of each blossoming flower. Spring offers new hope as the birds duck and dive, swoop and swirl in the cloudless sky. Each new day is unique with new expectation. Of course, as weary worries and strife weigh us down, it is easy for us to think of every day as the same. Yet each day holds, I feel, for all of us, a little resurrection of its own. The light of God’s love is all around us as we travel on our day. Like the windhover in Hopkins’ definitive poem, we, too,
are powered by God; the miraculous can be found in the ordinary, the everyday. Yet, in a world that is teeming with life, each flower that grows is like no other. It cannot be quantified or analysed. The creativity of God speaks for itself. We see the wonder of God’s presence from the rising of the sun to the setting. The resurrection story is in the now; the meaning is as deep now as it was then. Every Easter, I find it enlightening to read the story of the two downcast disciples on the road to Emmaus. In some ways, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus are like us now. An apparent stranger joined the two disciples. They were bewildered and lost in fear. They felt that they had nowhere to turn. They believed that Jesus had died on the cross. Life seemed on the brink of disaster. They were lost and crushed. Gripped by fear, they failed to recognise Jesus alongside them. It was as if their troubles blinded them. They were surprised when Jesus asked ‘what is this you are talking about?’ (Lk.24-17). An astonished Cleopas told him about Jesus of Nazareth who ‘was a prophet, you know, mighty in word and deed before God and the people’ and how he had been unfairly crucified (Lk.24: 19-20). They wondered about the story the women told of the
resurrection of Jesus. At this, Jesus rebuked them for their disbelief, saying that it was ‘written that Christ should suffer all this and then enter his glory’ (Lk.24-26). As the sun set, they pressed him to stay and while he was at table, suddenly, they recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Their perception of everything had changed from doom and gloom to one of utter joy and triumph. Moments can be like that. As one weary day draws to a close, it is easy to think of life as sheer monotony. Yet, in a moment, our perception of the day can change. A kind word from a friend or a smile from a
stranger can brighten our day. Yet, in Easter we are reminded that such a joy can last a lifetime. We renew our belief that there is a love which surpasses our wildest imaginings. It is a beautiful story, forever offering us hope even now in the twenty-first century. Triumphantly, God will never give up on us. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, so it is for us. It is easy for us to drown in a sea of troubles and to feel downcast and alone. Yet, each day is a new one where each of us is given a unique invitation; we are invited to share in the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection in every moment of our lives.
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Do not be afraid. Mt 28:8-15
‘Today this scripture is fulfilled.’ Lk.4:16-21
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Jn 8:1-11
‘Stop doubting and believe.’ ‘You must be born again.’ Jn 20:19-31 Jn 3:1-8
Second Sunday of Easter
The Lord has risen. Lk.24:13-35
Judas watched for an opportunity. Mt 26:14–27:66
‘Your brother will rise again.’ Jn 11:1-45
5th Sunday of Lent
‘The prophets have spoken!’ Lk.24:13-35
Third Sunday of Easter
Jesus hid himself. Jn 8:51-59
‘Preach the Gospel to all creation.’ Mk 16:15-20
St Mark Evangelist
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. Jn 20:11-18
Light has come into the world. Jn 3:16-21
He took bread and gave thanks. Lk.24:13-35
God is truthful. Jn 3:31-36
Peace be with you. Lk.24:35-48
Jesus was troubled in spirit. ‘One of you will betray me.’ ‘Do as I have done for you.’ Jn 13:21-33. 36-38 Mt 26:14-25 Jn 13:1-15
As he spoke, many believed. ‘The truth will set you free.’ Jn 8:21-30 Jn 8:31-42
St Isidore of Seville St Vincent Ferrer P B Dr
Jesus feeds the five thousand. Jn 6:1-15
St Louis Mary de Montfort P
Jesus appeared again. Jn 21:1-14
‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ Jn 18:1. 19:42
Many believed in Jesus. Jn 10:31-42
St John Baptist de la Salle P u
‘Don’t be afraid.’ Jn 6:16-21
St Catherine of Siena DV
‘Jesus appeared to the eleven.’ Mk 16:9-15
‘He is risen.’ Mt 28:1-10
Jesus would die for the Jewish nation. Jn 11:45-56
‘This man is the prophet.’ Jn 7:40-53
u First Friday
than his master.’
by Michael Paul Gallagher SJ
A ‘Gleam of Joy’
That is what Tolkien once said was the purpose of his fantasy narratives. We are led through all sorts of struggles and dangers until we realise that we are not alone and that a deep healing is possible. Gleams of joy happen in many ways. The horizon clears and opens up. Something bigger is glimpsed. My freedom is invited to enter a larger space and call. Faith can often be like that, blessed with times of grace when the fog lifts and a light shines that does not come from me.
all creation’. Mk.16:15-20