The Sacred Heart
July 2020 €2.00/£1.85
A modern message in a much-loved tradition
Memories of Jerusalem I John Cullen. Catholics are Never Let Go I Vincent Sherlock The Legacy of Edmund Rice I Ann Marie Foley The ‘Yes’ of God’s Love I Ronan Barry A Faith Journey I Anne Marie Lee
contents 04 From the Editor
Listening to One Another
40 Crosswords 42 Young Readers’
Donal Neary SJ
05 Pope’s Intention
44 Anger Spotting
46 Young People
The ‘Yes’ of God’s Love Ronan Barry
07 Letters of St Paul
of Faith Blessed Pier Monkstown Church Giorgio Frassati
22 Places of Worship
Wilfrid Harrington OP
10 Sitting on the Edge 25 A Faith Journey
of the Bath
Kevin O’Rourke SJ
12 Memories of Jerusalem John Cullen
14 Women of the Resurrection Joanna Jim Deeds
16 Masterpieces of
Christian Art Maria Salus Populi Romani
20 The Legacy of
Ann Marie Foley
Anne Marie Lee
28 Shopping with Faith
July with Jan Helen Dillon
to Avoid Waste Tina McGrath
32 Catholics Are Never
34 Thirty Steps
36 Lessons from St Ignatius
Lamb Koftas & Tzatziki
Euthanasia Kevin Hargaden
54 Subscription 55 Calendar 56 Reflection Jerusalem at sunset. marcobrivio.photo © Shutterstock.com
THE SACRED HEART MESSENGER incorporating the Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer (Apostleship of Prayer).
ide Netw or ldw r o
ship of Pr
Pope’s intention (universal): We pray that families may be supported with love, respect and guidance. With Jesus in the morning Father of Goodness, I know you’re with me. Here I am on this new day. Place my heart once more next to the Heart of your Son Jesus, who is giving himself for me and who comes to me in the Eucharist. May your Holy Spirit make me your friend and apostle, available for your mission of compassion. I put in your hands my joys and hopes, my works and sufferings, everything that I am and have, in communion with my brothers and sisters of this worldwide prayer network. With Mary I offer you my journey for the mission of the Church and for the intentions of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network for this month. Amen. With Jesus in the night God, good night. Thank you for the day. The good bits were good. The tough bits are over for another day. Help me to sleep well tonight. Help me to face into another day tomorrow. Bless and protect all my loved ones this night. Bless and protect all those, too, with whom I disagree or with whom I don’t get on – they’re you’re children too, I know. May tomorrow bring about your will for the world – peace, love, joy and mercy. May I play my part. For now, good night God. I love you and know you love me, warts and all.
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From the Editor
Exchanges with a hard-of-hearing colleague can be humorous at times. One went like this: I told him, as he was looking over the garden, ‘You’re like the lord of the manor’. He replied, ‘I hope you enjoy the fruit’. What he had heard me say was, ‘I’m going to have a banana’. A row at work over a small thing can be the result of a row at home earlier in the day. Telling the teenager to come home ‘early’ can mean 10pm for the adult, and 1am for the younger one. On many levels we can misunderstand each other. We can often think we know what people mean. ‘I love you’, even that lovely message, can be heard on different levels. This happens also with faith. People say they have lost their faith when they sometimes they mean they don’t go to Mass anymore. When hearing that from a younger person, it’s good to pause and wonder what they mean, rather than having an argument. One person said to me, ‘I don’t pray anymore’. And then continued, ‘I just talk to God in my own words’. What she meant was she had 4
given up the rote prayers. Prayer can mean different sorts of activities for different people. Maybe we often hear the words and miss the meaning. It’s worth the effort. We are like ‘People hearing without listening’ from the words of the song, ‘The Sound of Silence’. A person said to me, ‘please don’t understand me too quickly’. To find the meaning of another person we need patience, a non-judgemental attitude and the realisation that all of us are different; mostly we need to reach out to each other from the centre of love in our lives. We need to listen for the joy or pain within the word, listening to body language, to laugher and sighs. In our days of quick social media, we hope to hold on to the joy and adventure of knowing what another person really means and getting to know the person. That and much else can be what Jesus means when he says, ‘love one another as I have loved you’. We remind ourselves that we are all children of the same Father and deserve an open-hearted listening to each other.
Dimitris Panas © Shutterstock.com
Listening to One Another
The ‘Yes’ of God’s Love
Janelle Lugge © Shutterstock.com
Ronan Barry, husband and father of three, reflects on the Pope’s intention for July. He calls on us to recognise the family as the ‘yes’ of God’s love.
Pope’s Intention: (Universal): we pray that families may be supported with love, respect and guidance.) Does family come first? For most people, young and old, it is certainly a core element of life. In recent times we have seen the need for social solidarity with each other in our families and as a network of families in our local and national community. In our global community the United Nations (UN) continues to acknowledge that an ever-changing social structure presents a challenge to both families and governments,
but still recognises the importance of the family as the basic unit of society and accepts that it plays a key role in social and community development. As an institution the UN calls on member states to support and strengthen the family unit. As we consider this papal intention, there are many questions that come to mind: do we spend enough time with our own family? What happens when normal family life is disrupted by a crisis, e.g. a pandemic, unemployment, bereavement, famine 5
As people of faith we believe in God’s grace and we hold out in the hope that things can always change for the better. or war? How good are we at looking after our older relatives? Pope Francis, writing in his letter Amoris laetitia, tells us to have hope. As people of faith we believe in God’s grace and we hold out in the hope that things can always change for the better. ‘It does involve realising that, though things may not always turn out as we wish, God may well make crooked lines straight and draw some good from the evil we endure in this world.’ (AL, 289) In a world where many search for hope and meaning, families offer hope. We can see them in our everyday lives and through the media. Today as you read these few words, we have families crossing seas and mountains seeking hope, people seeking hope as they live through times of hurt and grief, people living in desperate circumstances seeking new starts. Pope Francis, when in Dublin in 2017, reminded us that ‘The family … is the “yes” of God’s love. God’s love is the starting point for the family and allows the family to love one another and reach out in mercy to others who are wounded’. Our families come in all shapes and sizes; they are where we experience love and care, where we find belonging and where we learn to share and treat others with respect. 6
The essential part of being family is the love and care we give to one another. God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) gives us an experience of love through the people we call family. Family love is not selfish, and is not closed to the world outside. Christian family love goes beyond the front door and moves into our community. It is an inclusive love of all we meet. Families are invited to be missionary and to live in solidarity with other families (AL, 290). The adage ‘family comes first’ is not a call to live in isolation but to see all families as the first step in building community. We remember the African proverb, which says: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. In present times we have experienced a changed village. However, the one constant within our village that will not change now or into the future is family. We must support our families. A Prayer for Family Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Give us courage and strength to face the challenges we are dealing with now and protect us against any and all problems in the future. O Lord, please bring us together as we are meant to be. Help us to be of service in our community Bless us Lord, In your name I pray, Amen
Pope’s Intentions Letters of St Paul Feature
Galatians Fr Wilfrid Harrington OP renowned bible scholar, looks at the example Galatians provides of Paul asserting his authority. Jesus and his disciples were Jews. The Jesus movement was, initially, exclusively Jewish. But, at an early stage, there was an intuition that the Good News had a wider scope. Paul of Tarsus came to view his Damascus road experience not only as a revelation that the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah of Jewish expectation and hope, but that he, personally, was herald of the message of salvation to the Gentiles – in effect, to all of humankind. The Christian community of Antioch, to which he belonged, launched a successful mission to the Gentiles (see Acts 13–15), but there was a negative reaction from Jewish Christians who maintained that any who aspired to join the Christian movement must accept circumcision and observance of Torah. A vital meeting in Jerusalem (Gal 2:1–10; Acts 15) fully approved of the Antioch initiative. Opposition, however, persisted. The Galatian community was solidly Gentile. When Paul had moved on, he learned to his dismay that Jewish Christian ‘intruders’ were persuading
the Galatians that Paul strict observance of Torah was necessary for salvation. Paul’s response is in his letter, and he is an angry man. The fact is evident from the very style. He departs from his custom of a ‘thanksgiving’ after the initial address and, instead, breaks into a pained: ‘I am astonished … ’ (Gal 1:6). He stresses his authority: ‘Paul, an apostle – sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father (Gal 1:1). In short, the purpose of Galatians is clearly defined: to refute the errors of those who had come to disturb the faith of the Galatians and to vindicate Paul’s gospel. When, in Gal 1:11, Paul states that his ‘gospel’ had come to him by direct revelation he has in mind not all of his knowledge of Christianity but the particular doctrine of justification (having a right relationship with God) by faith in Jesus Christ without works of the Law. His own attitude to Torah was radical. Nowhere is this more evident than in Galatians 3:23–26. There he names Torah a paidagogos – ‘the law was our disciplinarian 7
Pope’s Letters Intentions of St Paul
He insists on his authority not to browbeat the Galatians, but in an almost desperate attempt to get them to embrace the burden of responsibility and to take the risk of making decisions for themselves. until Christ came … but now that Christ has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian’. In GraecoRoman society, the paidagogos (here rendered ‘disciplinarian’) was the slave-tutor of his master’s son. He had great, but temporary, authority. As Paul puts it, that child, is under ‘guardians and trustees until the date set by the father’ (Gal 4:2). That date marks the end of the role and authority of the paidagogos. The analogy is clear: with the coming of Christ and the inauguration of his new age, the Law has had its day. ‘For freedom Christ has set us free’ (Gal 5:1). The tautology is deliberate. Paul really believed in freedom. This freedom is not licence to do whatever one pleases. In 1 Corinthians he argues that only what is ‘beneficial’ or ‘builds up’ (1 Cor 6:12; 10:23) is consistent with true freedom, a freedom designed to reinforce the bonds that bind humans together in Christ. In Christ one is freed for love and love is real in service. As always, Paul echoes his inspirer: ‘The Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve’ (Mk 10:45). When Paul ‘pulls rank’ and spells out his apostolic authority, he does so in the interest of freedom. He insists on his authority not to browbeat the Galatians, but 8
in an almost desperate attempt to get them to embrace the burden of responsibility and to take the risk of making decisions for themselves. They were welcoming the ‘intruders’ who offered them the security that came from clinging to Law. Henceforth, their life would be mapped out; they had only to do or to avoid as the Law prescribed. Paul would have none of it: ‘For freedom Christ has set us free’. The terms pneuma (spirit) and sarx (flesh) occur throughout Paul’s letters. They are often confused with ‘soul’ and ‘body’. In Paul’s theology, Spirit and flesh are two realms standing in total opposition to each other (see Romans 7:4-8–8:8). ‘Flesh’ is humanness wholly on its own, with connotation of sinfulness. Under the influence of ‘Spirit’, humans seek to please God. This leads to two contrasting lifestyles. The ‘works of the flesh’ (Gal 5: 19-21) and the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ (Gal 5:22–23) illustrate effectively the two lifestyles. Significant is the plural ‘works’, suggesting disorder and the singular ‘fruit’ indicating tranquillity. Indeed, this passage (Gal 5:19–23) greatly helps a proper understanding of the Pauline sense of sarx and pneuma. After his list of the fruit of the Spirit Paul observes: ‘There is no law
Illustration: Brendan McCarthy
against such things’ (Gal 5:24). And in Galatians 5:18 he declares: ‘if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law’. Though he offers practical directives, Paul will not issue binding prescriptions in the moral sphere. Christians must take responsibility for their conduct. In Gal 4:12–6:10, Paul turns to his children with words of affection,
with remonstrance and with practical advice. An illness of the apostle was the occasion of the conversion of the Galatians – a striking example of God’s way of doing things (Gal 4:12–20). This passage gives a precious insight into Paul’s character. The stern words of Galatians 1:6–10; 3:1–5 should be read in the light of these verses.
Sitting on the Edge of the Bath There are people who, like Christ, do things that go beyond their own self-interest. Kevin O’Rourke SJ, assistant director of novices at the Jesuit novitiate in Birmingham, reflects on those people, from janitors to senators, who follow in Christ’s footsteps. Up early every morning, breakfast left ready for James and the children. An early bus into town, and Marie would check in at the hospital at six thirty. Bucket, brush, mop and rubber gloves, she had two floors to clean, including bathrooms and toilets. Not the most pleasant of work, you might say. Week in week out. A warm heart, a listening ear, a kind word, a genuine person. The day came when her supervisor called her to the office. I wonder what that’s about, she thought. It was a pleasant encounter. ‘You’re one of my best. I have to make some changes, and I thought you should get first choice.’ Her supervisor was well aware that Marie’s work was neither pleasant nor easy, with early starts and places to clean where many would not choose to go. ‘I need a new staff member for the canteen. The hours are more sociable, and the work is more pleasant. I think you deserve a break. 10
Would you like to take it on?’ Marie took a few deep breaths and thought it over for a while. ‘No, I think I’ll stay where I am, but thanks for thinking of me.’ The supervisor was taken aback. Marie explained. In the course of her day’s work, she would meet many women patients. Lonely, away from home, missing their families, anxious about their health, they had a lot on their minds. A kind word or a friendly greeting, and it would all come out. ‘I just put down my mop and bucket, sit on the edge of the bath, and listen. I have little enough to say, but I know they feel a little better when we part. If I move to the canteen, the person who replaces me mightn’t want to do that.’ We don’t hear much about people like Marie. Never in the headlines,
Gumpanat © Shutterstock.com
certainly not considered celebrities. People like her make big institutions human. We meet them all the time. The bus driver, the person at the checkout, the hospital porter. They brighten our day, lift our spirits. They keep us grounded, reminding us of what is really important. John McCain was an American politician who had been imprisoned in Vietnam and subjected to severe torture. He was offered release when his captors learned that he was well connected at home. He refused the offer, not wanting privilege, and decided to remain with the men in his army company. In later years, he was invited to give a graduation address at a university. Among other things, he said ‘When you are making decisions about your future, think
about doing something that goes beyond your own self-interest’. I am sure that, being a man of such integrity, he was taken seriously by at least some of his young listeners. People like Marie do things beyond their own self-interest. They are generous, go the extra mile, make the sacrifices, think of others, expect nothing in return. What makes them like that? Is it nature or nurture, grace or good fortune? Through Baptism Christ is present in each person. His Spirit is given to us to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Lk 4:18–19). Sitting on the edge of the bath, Marie was doing just that. 11
Memories of Jerusalem Fr John Cullen, priest of the diocese of Elphin, recalls the sounds and images of Jerusalem, and remarks on the visit of St Francis to Egypt over eight hundred years ago.
‘The Holy City’ is a timeless piece of music. It was composed in 1892 by two English men. Frederick Weatherly composed the lyrics and Michael Maybrick, alias Stephen Adams, set it to music. It is a great choral piece. Some memorable soloists have performed it: Josef Locke, Count John McCormack, Frank Patterson, Charlotte Church and Michael Crawford. The song resurfaced like a soundtrack from the recesses of my mind on a visit to Jerusalem. The Psalms mention Jerusalem: ‘And now our feet are standing within your gates O Jerusalem’ (Ps 122:2). I like to wander and saunter aimlessly through a new city! High on my agenda was to walk around the walls of the Old City. Do a circuit. ‘Walk all around it and count the number of towers’ (Ps 48:12). Then record the number of steps that are easily registered on a fitbit watch or an app on your phone. It is only two and a half miles around the walls. 12
It was St Francis of Assisi who encouraged his followers to live among Muslims, following his visit in 1219 to the sultan of Egypt, 801 years ago! Both discovered a respect for each other and a way to relate amicably with storytelling and prayer. If only this could become the template for resolving religious conflict and power struggles in the world today. The Franciscans in Jerusalem and in the Middle East combine presence, prayer and protection in the Holy Places. Now, I appreciate the Good Friday collection that goes to help in the work of supporting the Holy Places as centres of pilgrimage, prayer and service. Sounds and Images of Jerusalem You can run but you cannot hide from being called to prayer in Jerusalem!
John Quinlan and Fr Danny O’Connor tried to open the scriptures to us. A chance missed and another grace resisted. There are many sites of ancient piety, including the Golden Gate – also known as the Gate of Mercy or the Gate of Eternal Life. I saw a neon sign for Zedekiah’s Cave. The interior was a quarry, carved and chiselled out by poor slaves and enforced labourers over thousands of years. Places like the Cenacle, the Holy Sepulchre, the Noble Sanctuary, the Wailing Wall and Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Remembrance Centre – mark the memory forever. Pilgrimage, prayer, pain, passions, promises, processions, protest, placards, prejudice, power, passports, perceptions, politics and people, all weave their way through Jerusalem. 13
Rostislav Ageev © Shutterstock.com
Bells ring and voices soar. A mosaic of images tell the story of the sheer sanity of ordinary people: Jews and Arabs, coffee shops, young people taking selfies, joggers, a man with a donkey cart, a devotee kneeling on a prayer mat, a nun in full habit battling with the heat of the day, children walking to school, women shopping in the market, armed soldiers girded up for military readiness, old men sipping coffee as they read the paper, people mutter, cajole, laugh and remain silent ... At St Stephen’s Gate I wondered: could this be where Stephen was stoned to death? Wandering through a twisting road across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane, then back to the old city wall bring regrets that I did not listen enough in class at Maynooth College, when Fr
Women Feature of the Resurrection
Jesus’ style of life would have been a simple one. Jesus was strong on his message of solidarity with the poor, so it is unlikely he and his followers would have been living the high life. We read time and again of Jesus accepting hospitality at people’s houses for him and his followers. While these occasions were often moments of wonderful teaching and revelation they were also practically a way for he and his friends to eat that day. Some scholars suggest that begging would have been another way for the band of travellers to find the means to exist. However, there is another part of the story that has largely gone unmentioned for many of us. It concerns a very important woman in the life of Jesus. She is mentioned as a person to whom Jesus brought healing. She is mentioned as being a person who provided for Jesus and his companions. She is mentioned as being one of the people who first came upon the empty tomb on what became known as Easter Day (and was one of the women who told the hiding male disciples of what they had seen there – and were disbelieved!). 14
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Jim Deeds, co-author of Finding God in the Mess and Deeper into the Mess (Messenger Publications), reminds us of a forgotten figure in the story of Jesus.
Scholars would say that she is likely to have been in the upper room with the apostles after the resurrection, with them when they chose Matthias to replace Judas, and with them on the day of Pentecost. So who was this mystery woman? Her name was Joanna. She is first mentioned in the Gospel of Luke: ‘Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene,
Given her access to Herod’s household she may well have witnessed the torture of Jesus before his crucifixion. Therefore, she is an essential part of our story as Christians.
from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources’ (Lk 8:1–3). She is also mentioned in Luke 24:9–11. Joanna came from a well-to-do family. Her husband, being a steward in Herod’s household, would have had money and influence. Joanna essentially bank-rolled the ministry of Jesus. Let’s be clear about what that meant: she (and Mary of Magdala and Susanna as mentioned above) was an essential part of the ministry. She was part of the core team of Jesus’ friends, followers and apostles. Given her
access to Herod’s household she may well have witnessed the torture of Jesus before his crucifixion. Therefore, she is an essential part of our story as Christians. Yet, when was the last time we heard her mentioned? When was the last time we ourselves spoke of her? Is she a little written out of the story? If so, why is that? She was a powerful, generous and brave woman. Imagine being part of Herod’s household as the situation regarding Jesus and the authorities played out. Not only that, imagine being brave enough to stay loyal to Jesus after he was found guilty, beaten and killed. She was an amazing woman. So I want to remember and give thanks for Joanna and the role of leadership she played in our Church. In doing so I want to honour all of the Joannas in the present – the strong, brave, generous women who provide the leadership we so need. 15
Masterpieces of Christian Art
Maria Salus Populi Romani Reflecting on the distress caused by the Covid-19 crisis, Eileen Kane turns to Mary, Mother of God. She explores Maria Salus Populi Romani, an icon that can be found in the Basilica of St Mary Major, in Rome. On Sunday, 15 March this year, Pope Francis went as a pilgrim to the Basilica of St Mary Major, in Rome, to kneel before the painting of Our Lady, called Maria Salus Populi Romani, to pray for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic. In doing so, he was following in the footsteps of several of his predecessors as pope, and of innumerable Christians over the centuries, who, in times of great distress, have begged the assistance of Mary, Mother of God, in front of this image, in this basilica. The painting – more correctly, the icon – of Maria Salus Populi Romani is displayed in a chapel opening off the left-hand aisle of the basilica, close to the high altar. The chapel is sometimes called the ‘Borghese’, or, sometimes, the ‘Pauline’ chapel, after the pope, Paul V (1605–1621), Camillo Borghese, who built it. It is sumptuously decorated, with frescoes, sculpture, gilding and coloured marble, but the most beautiful part of it is the wall above and behind the altar, into which is inserted the shrine containing the precious icon. The image in The Messenger enables us to see not only the icon itself, and its shrine, but also part of 16
its setting, the rare, intensely blue marble that covers the wall behind the altar. Against that blue background, as in a cloudless sky, a golden star shimmers, and a throng of gilded angels appear to carry the image of Mary, in its shrine, bringing it forward, as if arriving from heaven. Around the shrine is a frame of another precious marble, mottled purple in colour, and the inside edges of this frame, immediately next to the shrine, are set with gemstones, both large and small, of various colours and kinds. In the icon, the figures of Mary and the child Jesus appear against a gold background. Mary is dressed in a dark red tunic with a gold-edged, blue mantle drawn up over her head, covering her hair, and framing her face. In the centre of her head is a golden cross, and, around it, a halo of light. Her posture is relaxed, not formal, her facial expression serious, and she looks out, not at the spectator, but away to her right. The child is no longer an infant. He wears a tunic of golden yellow, with, over it, a mantle of the same colour. The tunic is decorated in typically Roman style with two broad clavi, or bands of colour reaching
Bill Perry © Shutterstock.com
from the shoulders to the hem. He sits comfortably on his mother’s arm, holding against his breast a book with a jewelled cover, denoting the Word of God. With his right hand, he makes a gesture of blessing. That gesture is obviously important. The hand is clearly visible, isolated against the folds of his mother’s mantle. The particular arrangement of his fingers is emphasised, with the thumb crossing his palm to join with the fourth finger, forming the Chi initial of the name of Christ. With the arm stretched out rather than raised upwards, the gesture is also one that denotes a
teacher. From the floor of the chapel, whether we stand, sit or kneel, we cannot see the lowest few inches of the icon, the part in which the sandalled feet of the Christ child are painted. This is because the shrine is quite deeply set into the wall. At the top of the icon, on either side, are the Greek letters that begin and end the words ‘Mother’ and ‘of God’. They are an essential factor in any representation of Mary. So, however, are the initials of the name ‘Jesus Christ’, when he is present, but his name is not written on this icon. 17
Masterpieces of Christian Art We notice, too, that Jesus is looking up at Mary, his face inclined towards hers, and that Mary is not pointing to her son, as she does so often, when they are represented together. Her hands are crossed at the wrists, and she holds in her left a blue mappa, an element of Byzantine court dress that denotes her exalted status. This icon, therefore, is meant to celebrate Mary, the Mother of God. Further, this basilica, St Mary Major’s, was built by Pope Sixtus III (432–40) to emphasise the declaration of the Council at Ephesus that Mary was mother, not just of Jesus as man, but of God – the ‘Theotokos’. In 2017, when this much-venerated icon underwent some urgent conservation work and cleaning, it
was also thoroughly examined as to its physical make-up and materials, but it is still not possible to assign a date to it with any certainty. There is, however, a view that it is not as ancient as has been thought, and may date from between the end of the tenth century and the beginning of the twelfth. The Latin word salus in the name Maria Salus Populi Romani by which this icon is generally known may be translated as ‘health’, ‘safety’, ‘protection’, ‘welfare’ – ideas that comfort and encourage, and that call us to ‘fly to the protection’ of Mary to ‘implore her assistance’ and to ‘seek her intercession’, just as Pope Francis has done, not once but repeatedly, in these most disquieting times.
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Insights & Inspiration in challenging times Find God in the Mess: Meditations for Mindful Living Brendan McManus SJ & Jim Deeds A selection of meditations to help us through the everyday challenges of life. Based on the authors’ unique combination of practical prayer and Ignatian spirituality. 96pp €9.95
Deeper into the Mess: Praying through Tough Times Brendan McManus SJ & Jim Deeds The follow up book where the authors, responding to readers’ feedback, address tough issues such as fear, anxiety, suicide and anger. Both books are illustrated with their beautiful photographs. 120pp €9.95
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Feature Pope’s FeatureIntentions
The Legacy of Edmund Rice Ann Marie Foley reflects on the first ten years of Edmund Rice Development, which continues the work of Bl. Edmund Rice and intervened during the Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016. €8.9 million has been invested in 90 projects in Africa, Latin America, India and Oceania in the areas of education, community engagement, advocacy and capacity building. Edmund Rice Development has helped over 2 million people across the globe in over 90 education, health and community projects since 2008. Its latest impact report looks back at Edmund Rice Development (ERD) and partner projects over the last ten years. €8.9 million has been invested in 90 projects in Africa, Latin America, India and Oceania in the areas of education, community engagement, advocacy and capacity building. ‘The impact of the work outlined in this report would not have been possible without the deep commitment of our valued partners in mission – the many Brothers, educators, development workers and staff whose dedication is humbling to witness’, stated the ERD board, which also thanked its donors, funders and supporters. The mission of Bl. Edmund Rice began in Waterford in 1802. The many CBS schools and those under the Edmund Rice Schools Trust in Ireland and the UK are testament to this. More than 75 schools and 20
communities across Ireland and the UK have raised just under €1 million for ERD since its founding in 2008. Pupils of St Aidan’s CBS have supported the Sinon secondary school in Arusha, Tanzania since 2009, and Irish pupils have visited a school in Africa. Middleton CBS students climbed Croagh Patrick to raise funds. At Omagh CBS, pupils do an annual 10k run and walk as a fundraiser. ERD has as its vision to liberate people and communities from poverty and injustice. It was involved in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The epidemic started in Guinea in 2014 and spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia, resulting in 27,550 reported cases, 11,235 of which were fatal. Funds raised by ERD supported Edmund Rice Mission in West Africa and Edmund Rice Schools and Brothers who worked with communities affected by the crisis in Sierra Leone and Liberia, offering families and orphaned children food and hygiene materials and counselling support. They ensured that as many children as possible returned to education. They also pioneered an education programme via radio to combat Ebola.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and the District Ebola Response Committee in Sierra Leone awarded the Christian Brothers two certificates of recognition for their contribution, support, commitment and relentless service in the fight against Ebola. Another project operating in one of the largest slums in Nairobi, the Ruben Centre (pictured), provides education, health, vocational training, livelihood opportunities and social services to children and families in the Mukuru community. In 2013, the Ruben Centre Maternal and Child Health Support Programme was set up to improve access to services, reduce infant and maternal
mortality and morbidity, boost health and nutrition of families, and provide health education. ‘This is the heart of our work, the daily effort to give children and parents the opportunity to grow, to dream, to speak, to make decisions together’, stated the ERD board in the introduction to the report. ‘Dotted across the globe, a range of projects work to have an impact, to transform lives through education, advocacy and community engagement.’ The board celebrated all that has been achieved during the first ten years, but stated it was aware that there is much yet to be done. Reproduced from www. catholicireland.net with permission. 21
Places of Worship
Monkstown Church June finds Christopher Moriarty in Monkstown, where he visits Monkstown Church. Belonging to the Church of Ireland, and dating back to 1785, it is architecturally unique in all of Ireland. Monkstown Church, in the south suburbs of Dublin, occupies one of the finest settings for a place of worship in Ireland. Architecturally unique in the country, local tradition tells that it was originally designed to serve as a mission church in the Far East and that the Church of Ireland parish seized on it to avoid the cost of engaging an architect when they needed to enlarge their existing building. With its minarets and turrets it certainly gives an impression of the East and, indeed, the architectural style is described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Moorish-Gothicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. But the fact is that the Dublin architect John Semple conceived and planned it for nowhere more distant than Monkstown. In 1785 a Protestant church was built on the site. A classical building, whose main decorative feature was a square tower with a pinnacle at each corner, it had seats for 340 worshippers. That was when a majority of affluent Dubliners lived in or near their places of work in the city. About this time, a move to 22
the suburbs began and the seaside became a favourite place. Housing development at Monkstown was already well established when it received an additional boost with the creation of the Dublin to Kingstown railway line in the 1830s. By the 1820s, however, the existing church had become far too small and the parish reckoned that a building to seat 1,200 people was required. The architect was John Semple, who, in his twenties, achieved fame as a designer of highly original churches. Semple was employed by the Board of First Fruits, a government institution established early in the
eighteenth century in the reign of Queen Anne. Its purpose was to provide substantial funding for the building of Church of Ireland churches together with houses and land for their clergy. The money was derived from tithes, the payments demanded by law from landowners and merchants of all religions. The board was abolished in 1833, by which time it had funded the building or repair of some hundreds of churches â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all of them for the minority religion. Completed in 1835, Monkstown Church was one of the last to benefit from this extraordinary source of wealth.
Semple decided to enlarge the church by adding a pair of enormous transepts, which dwarf the original building. Its dimensions can be judged from what is now the entrance porch, whose ground plan he retained, while blocking in its side windows and completely re-designing the entrance and bell-tower. His plan was for a T-shaped church, with its entrance and transepts. The chancel, which transformed the building to the more traditional cross-shape, was added in the 1860s by John McCurdy whose work included the splendid three-light east window. The exuberant architectural decoration included a square tower at each of the four corners of the transepts and a tall and stately tower above the porch, reaching to more than twice the height of the roof of the main building. Each of the four corner towers supports five minarets: one at each corner, the fifth in the centre. In addition, there are minarets at intervals along the battlemented walls and at the top of the bell-tower. The entrance on the west wall of the porch is a wide, pointed arch, embellished with five stone courses which extend along the front of the porch. The east window, which fills the greater part of the sanctuary wall, in common with some of the smaller windows, has strictly geometrical or floral patterns of glass mostly of pale shades of blue, green, yellow and red. Described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;carpet windowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; their presence is explained, at least in part, by a Protestant view at the time that 23
Places of Worship
the representation of saints, other human beings and angels in churches was idolatrous. This view was not universally held, but in 1856 windows at Monkstown representing Ss Patrick, Columba and Brigid were broken – twice. They were removed, placed in safe storage and restored forty years later by which time churches were happily accepting such imagery. Meanwhile, carpet windows were installed in many churches, avoiding the destructive attentions of the zealots. While human figures were not much used at Monkstown, the chancel was decorated in the 1890s with a series of six very remarkable illustrations of flowers, painted on ceramic tiles and glazed. All six were chosen for their symbolic meanings: wheat representing the bread of the Eucharist and grapes as the source of the wine, the lily for purity, the passion flower whose parts were supposed to mirror crown of thorns and other instruments of the Passion, the pomegranate for the Resurrection and 24
the olive for peace. Some truly splendid architectural details provide, in the absence of frescoes or statues, a feast for the eye. The choir gallery is lined with rectangular stones of pale shades of grey and ochre. The same colours are repeated in the ceilings which are supported by beautifully sculpted corbels. While the ceilings remain sublime, the fate of the vaults under the floor of the church was less inspiring. In 1831, at an early stage of the building work, the sale of personal family ‘sepulchral vaults perfectly secured and of a very superior description’ was advertised. A number of families responded and the remains of about two hundred individuals were deposited before the vaults were closed, almost permanently, at the end of the nineteenth-century. They were made accessible just once more – in 1940 – when the individual vaults were bricked up but the entire crypt was equipped, though never used, as an air-raid shelter.
Pope’s Feature FeatureIntentions
A Faith Journey In dark moments of faith we often find a person who can point us toward the light. Anne Marie Lee recounts her journey of faith.
By the time I was twenty-one I had qualified as a general nurse and went to Scotland to study midwifery. Here my faith was severely challenged. The abortion bill had been passed in England in 1968. Abortions were being carried out in the hospital, and we were expected to assist. I took a stand against it. The principal tutor danced with rage at my impertinence in standing up to her. I was like a rabbit frozen in headlights. She expressed her hatred because I was Irish, Catholic and I stood my ground with her – much to my own surprise. That was pure grace from
God, because I was rather a mousey individual back then. First, I went to the Catholic chaplain for help, he was more interested in the fact that I had been going to services in the Presbyterian Church. I went to the Methodist minister and found him very helpful, but with this and other issues of a religious nature my belief system was crumbling like dry sand under my feet. I was lost and I was alone humanly speaking. I needed a belief system and now I couldn’t trust the one I had. I packed my bags and came home half way through the course. The stance I 25
Pope’s Feature FeatureIntentions
In those years there was no question of me abandoning the faith. I firmly believed and trusted in God. In fact, I have never had the experience of the darkness. took had to have been by the grace of God, I hadn’t sufficient personal strength to do it alone. In those years there was no question of me abandoning the faith. I firmly believed and trusted in God. In fact, I have never had the experience of the darkness John of the Cross talks about. I still had no language to communicate with God. I was very much caught up in the fear of hellfire and brimstone. I have no idea what kept me going other than God’s gift of faith in me. For two years after coming home I backed off religion except for weekly Mass. I did various types of charitable work, but avoided anything to do with religion. Yet there was a hunger in me and when a friend suggested I might like to experience an encounter group I decided to go to one over a weekend. It was held in a country house led by Jesuits and Dominicans. I was assigned to a group led by a Jesuit. This was a turning point; I connected with the Jesuits, learned from them, worked with them and had, and still have friends among them. It was with them I discovered a language with which to communicate, and permission to speak directly with God. The Jesuits are great for pushing the edges and it was this 26
that helped me to find solid ground again. I began to read Scripture and study theology. I also began to look at Church and religion in a more critical way. The position of women in the Church began to become painfully clear to me. While I felt no vocation to priesthood myself, I met others who did. There were many painful questions popping up regarding the position of women in the Church. Out of this period of searching I came to see myself as an associate member of the Roman Catholic Church. When I came back from England with my husband and two small children I linked up with the local parish and started a children’s liturgy, which is still in place. I did my best to nourish the faith of my children, but there was no faith nourishment at parish level. A new parish priest was appointed three years after the setting up of the children’s liturgy and I quickly realised he wasn’t a pastoral man. I couldn’t work with him so I left the parish system and for years I have worshipped daily in a local convent chapel. One thing I’m most grateful to God for is that each time I was about to drop out someone came to my rescue. I never lost faith in the Trinitarian God; my problems were always with the institutional Church.
Caring for our Common Home
Theology & Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’ Dermot A Lane As we mark the fifth anniversary of the ground-breaking encyclical Laudato Si’, well-known Irish theologian Dermot Lane seeks to open a conversation between religion and science in the context of climate change, to develop a theology of the natural world, and to recover the lost link between creation and liturgy. 160pp €19.95
Order from our website www.messenger.ie from your local bookshop or phone us on 01-7758522 27
Shopping with Faith to Avoid Waste
‘Gather up the fragments left over’ (Jn 6:12–13) In recent times, we are seeing more and more focus on the environment and waste. It is both a global and a local problem, and can feel overwhelming at the level of daily life. News stories about catastrophic environmental disasters, the collapse or threatened extinction of whole species, massive crop failures and food shortages can seem very distant from our everyday lives, and it can feel like there is not much we can do as individuals. Our individual choices and actions can have a large impact, however, when they become part of a collective response that is sustained over time. Positive change can start in small but important ways when we commit to examining and improving one part of our everyday lives, such as how we 28
Corepics VOF © Shutterstock.com
Tina McGrath, wife and mother, works in the field of mental health, and has a special interest in wellbeing. Here, she invites us to consider how faith can be reflected in our attitude to food consumption and waste.
manage the consumption of food. Food gives us the nutrition that our bodies need for growth, healing and action, and is a precious resource that allows us to survive and thrive. Yet, the World Food Programme reports that around one-third of the food produced for human consumption in the world is wasted. Pope Francis warns us of a ‘culture of waste’ that is not only devastating the environment but is also causing untold suffering to the millions of poor and hungry people in the world. This is because
Pope Francis warns us of a ‘culture of waste’ that is not only devastating the environment but is also causing untold suffering to the millions of poor and hungry people in the world
of ‘a paradox of abundance’, where there is enough food produced on the planet to feed everyone, but some have so much that it goes to waste and others have so little that they are hungry and malnourished. It is hard to avoid a culture of waste in modern society. We are continually bombarded with clever advertisements encouraging us to shop, and when we do shop, we are encouraged to buy more than we need. Multi-packs, threefor-two, buy-one-get-one-free and combination offers on food all appear
to be good value. However, availing of these offers does not make sense if we do not consume all our purchases, particularly if they have short ‘use by’ dates, or will perish relatively soon. For many, grocery shopping has become a stressful exercise that results in buying too much. When this extra food is unused and ends up in the bin, there is usually a sense of regret and guilt that it has gone to waste. A negative pattern can build up that is harmful for our wellbeing, and we can begin to feel that any efforts to change our 29
We can take our inspiration from the Gospel miracle where Jesus blessed five loaves and two fishes and fed five thousand followers. habits will be futile. Such experiences can remind us to draw on our faith as a source of strength and inspiration to increase our awareness of the value of food. We can take our inspiration from the Gospel miracle where Jesus blessed five loaves and two fishes and fed five thousand followers. When everyone had eaten, Jesus asked that the leftovers be collected so that nothing would be wasted. Twelve baskets of food were collected, giving us an important message that there is plenty of food for everyone if we are careful. By consciously examining our attitudes to food and bringing that attention to our actions, we can consume food in ways that fit with our beliefs about the earth and our shared humanity. We must renew our respect for food, how it is produced and transported to the shop shelves. When we reconnect with these values, we are motivated to change. Such adjustments can begin with checking how much food we need and making lists before we head out shopping, only buying what is required. If we are tempted by an offer, it can be useful to consider how all that food will be consumed. We can consider if the food will last long enough to be used up. At home, we can revise our portion sizes when cooking to avoid making too much. 30
Food can be preserved for longer by methods such as freezing, stewing, baking and making broths, so we can use food leftovers as an opportunity to try out new recipes and learn new cooking skills. These activities can also be enjoyable ways to reconnect with our faith and make our relationship with food more meaningful. Importantly, developing such habits can also support our wellbeing because they bring with them a sense of empowerment and a feeling of taking control of our lifestyles in a way that helps us to feel better about our behaviours and their impact on the environment. When we make conscious choices to act responsibly about food waste, our faith becomes part of an awareness of our small but important role in making a just world where nothing is lost, and everyone has enough to eat. We recall Pope Francis’s strong words of 18 November 2019 about waste of food: ‘in many places, our brothers and sisters do not have access to sufficient and healthy food, while in others, food is discarded and squandered. Together, without losing time, by pooling resources and ideas, we can introduce a lifestyle that gives food the importance it deserves. This new lifestyle consists in properly valuing what mother Earth gives us, and will have an impact on humanity as a whole.’
Messenger Pilgrimage To Knock Join readers, promoters and friends of The Messenger magazine at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo on Sunday, 21 June 2020, 11.00 am Meeting & Greeting in St John’s Rest and Care Centre. Fr Donal Neary SJ will speak on ‘Messenger and the Message For Today’. 11.45 am Pilgrims can perform Pilgrimage Exercises in their own time and throughout the day meet with Messenger Staff in Café le Chéile 2.30pm Anointing of the Sick 3.00pm Mass Booking: No need to book, just arrive to Knock Shrine
Catholics Are Never Let Go
I watched ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ on Netflix during the week. It’s a recording of a sold-out stage show on Broadway where Bruce Springsteen comes on stage with guitar and piano and just talks to and sings for his audience. In a very powerful show Bruce speaks from the heart about his background, his home town and his family and faith. His love for music is palpable and the sincerity of the story told, unquestionable. Bruce speaks of his relationship with his father, saying that he was his greatest hero and greatest foe. He said that when he looked for a voice he found his father’s because ‘there was something sacred in it’. He said he had a dream after his father’s death of him performing on stage, but leaving the stage and going to his father in the audience, kneeling beside him and looking at himself on stage – the ‘man on fire’. He then told his father, ‘Look dad, that man on stage, that’s how I see you’. 32
He spoke near the end of the show about his father arriving to visit him, unannounced, a few days before the birth of Springsteen’s first child. It was as if his father was encouraging him to be a good father – maybe in a way that his father hadn’t been. It was an apology of sorts without apology ever being mentioned. Through it all he sang – singing well-known hits in a way that I had not heard them sung before, and for which they were no less spellbinding. He was honest that many of the things he sings about are not things he knows first-hand. He spoke about being drafted for Vietnam but being lucky enough not to be sent. A
Brian Patterson Photos © Shutterstock.com
Fr Vincent Sherlock, parish priest in Kilmovee, County Mayo, reflects on a Bruce Springsteen concert on Netflix that touched him. During the crisis around Covid-19, many people in Ireland have been forced to socially isolate and to connect online.
Insights into ‘the divine painter’ The most remarkable
moment of the show comes near the end when he speaks about the local church.
sadness came over him, and he said he often wonders who went in his place. He then sings ‘Born in the USA’. He talked about reacting against his hometown and rallying to get away from it and leave it all behind. Now he says he lives ‘ten minutes’ from that hometown and would want to be nowhere else! The most remarkable moment of the show comes near the end when he speaks about the local church. He grew up beside it, the convent, priests’ house and local school – St Rose’s of Lima. As a child the sense of church and family was everything to him, and he was surrounded by God. Towards the end he comes back to
this. He says that ‘Catholics are never let go’, and that what was given to us in childhood stays with us forever. He remembers prayers and hymns that meant nothing to him, but when standing near the church in later life, remembering his father, came back to him – the words ingrained. ‘Our father who art in Heaven hallowed be thy name thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’ And then the words then become his – “Just give us this day … forgive us our sins … our trespasses as we forgive those who might trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – all of us, for ever and ever. Amen.” The camera holds, the face is solid, the heart is touched and he blesses his audience: ‘May God bless you, your families and all those you love; and thanks for coming out tonight’. Even though I’m not his biggest fan, I’m so glad I watched it! 33
Thirty Steps Brian Grogan, author of Finding God in a Leaf, has a new book out! Creation Walk is an exploration of the thirty steps of the creation of the world as we know it, and can be used as part of the Knock’s Creation Walk. Included below are the first two steps in the journey of Creation!
Step 1: 13, 800,000,000 Years Ago, The Birth of the Cosmos In 1650 Archbishop Ussher of Armagh pronounced that God began the week-long work of Creation at 6 pm on the evening of Saturday 22 October, 4004 BC. With the scientific data now to hand we know that our universe in fact flared into existence some 13.8 billion years ago: we call that moment the Big Bang. Time, space and energy began to exist. All that would ever come to be has developed from the processes of hydrogen and helium formation that began then and still continue. The universe expanded and cooled rapidly. Energy condensed into matter. As the author of Once Upon a Universe puts it: ‘We now know that the sacred community of the universe is a single interconnected web of life emanating from the creative energy of God. Before the beginning there was silence. No time, no space … nothing … only Spirit. Suddenly everything burst forth from a single point . . . All the matter that exists now was present then in embryonic form. Every particle in the universe is at source connected to all others.’ 34
Nancy Sylvester continues: ‘We humans have emerged from stardust. We were nourished in the oceans but risked coming onto land. There we stood tall, breathed in air, and learnt to till the soil for food . . . Now as an Earth community we explore Creation from its tiniest to its cosmic manifestations to learn how to live with the reverence our ancestors had for our Common Home.’ ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’. (Gen 1:1) ‘Wow! What happened next?’ Step 2: 12,800,000,000 Years Ago, Galaxies Across the Universe, stars just like our sun and made of hydrogen and helium, began to cluster together in their billions, forming what we call galaxies. As larger stars in their death throes exploded – supernovas – they created in their wombs the heavier elements such as carbon, calcium, iron. These provided the fundamental suite of constituents for life as we know it to emerge. The universe is permeated with an extraordinary power of creativity. On one end of the spectrum is the whale, on the other the fairy-fly, the smallest
insect ever observed. This little being has an average body length of just 0.139mm, almost as thin as a strand of hair. Yet its body consists of 1,690,000,000,000 atoms. Galaxies Although we used to think that our Earth had a privileged place at the centre of the Universe, we now know that our solar system is only one among a vast number of others. Planet Earth is an infinitesimal speck in the corner of our galaxy, which is a vast cloud of one hundred billion stars. And there are more shocks: the nebulae (nebula = cloud), which we can see between the stars are in fact clouds of galaxies, each one containing a hundred billion suns similar to ours. The majority of these suns are orbited by planets. So there
are in the universe thousands of billions of billions of billions of planets such as Earth. We are invited to pay amazed attention both to the size of the universe and to God who looks after our Common Home so carefully. We are being drawn forward by the Author of all Cosmic Mystery who is manifested in created things and who leaves a divine signature on all that exists. ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament shows forth the work of God’s hands’. (Ps 19:1) ‘Wow! What happened next?’ Creation Walk: The Amazing Story of A Small Blue Planet, by Brian Grogan SJ, Messenger Publications 2020, €9.95. from www.messenger.ie/ bookshop and all booksellers. 35
Lessons from St Ignatius Patrick Corkery, a Jesuit scholastic from Cork working toward the priesthood, reflects on three lessons from the life of St Ignatius, whose feast day is 31 July. Talking to a millennial about a sixteenthcentury saint may seem somewhat counterproductive. However, I am convinced there is much that each of us can learn from the life of St Ignatius. With that in mind, here are three life lessons from St Ignatius, which will hopefully make sense to millennials and readers of all generations. Lesson One: Community Is Vital After his religious conversion, St Ignatius came to realise that the insights God was giving him had to be shared, and he sought out likeminded people with whom to do so. Much of his early ministry was focused on the sharing of his Spiritual Exercises with various women, who would form the financial and prayerful backbone of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Ignatiusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voluminous correspondence contain many letters to these women, showing how their friendship and prayers motivated him into greater service of God. His apostolic zeal was strong, but he also saw that he needed help in bringing his Spiritual Exercises to a broader audience. This motivated him to join with his roommates at the University of Paris, St Peter Faber and St Francis Xavier, to found the Jesuits, and they encouraged others to join 36
them. Ignatius learned he could not go it alone and that relationships with others are meaningful. Lesson Two: Change Is OK St Ignatius had his life mapped out for him. He was going to be a soldier. God had other plans, though, and the impact of a cannonball not only shattered his leg but left his plans in tatters, too. In a world where we are expected to have everything in order and certainty is so important, we leave little room for life-changing events. While all change is not necessarily good, we have to make room for change and to explore where it can lead us. St Ignatius did not embrace the change productively at first. His early endeavors were often met with failure and disappointment. Things got so bad that he even considered taking his own life. At this moment he caught a glimpse of hope, which helped him to carry on. While his unfortunate encounter with the cannonball caused his existing plans to be destroyed, St Ignatius opened himself to exploring change. Over time he came to see that the change turned out to be beneficial and brought him infinitely more satisfaction than the certainty of his previous life.
Lesson Three: Make Time for Contemplation While recuperating from his wounds, St Ignatius spent a good deal of time in bed. He had a lot of free time and was looking for entertainment. Initially, he wanted to read popular works of fiction to satisfy his active imagination. He was disappointed to find out that the books he wanted were not available, and he had to make do with holy books instead. Reading these books left him time to think about Jesus and the lives of the saints. At first, he preferred to imagine more worldly things, but progressively he found greater pleasure in daydreaming about
Jesus and the lives of the saints. By making space for something new, Ignatius began to contemplate things beyond his standard frame of reference. He began to consider the possibility that God loved him and wanted to be in a relationship with him. By opening his mind to this, Ignatius was able to make sense of things and see that he was called to a greater form of service than he had previously envisioned. The more Ignatius moved into contemplation, the less relevant his previous enjoyments came to be. In their place he discovered real fulfilment and contentment. 37
Lamb Koftas Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memories. Certain smells evoke childhood memories. One smell that calls to mind happy summer days for me in my grandma’s garden is mint.
For July I have a simple recipe for Lamb koftas with a tzatziki dressing which embraces this beautiful herb. Don’t be intimidated by the name, a kofta is basically a meat ball, and tzatziki is a yogurt dressing with mint and cucumber from the Middle East. Ingredients
• 500 gms/1 lb minced lamb • 1 tsp of cumin • 1 tsp of ground coriander • 3 cloves of crushed garlic • 1 to 2 tbsp of freshly chopped mint • Pinch of salt and pepper • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
n Place all the ingredients into a bowl a mix well with a wooden spoon. n Form into round patties, 1.5 inches in diameter. n Heat a pan and add the oil, brown the koftas and place in a preheated oven for about 8 minutes, and serve.
Tzatziki Tzatziki, can be used as a sauce, a dip or a dressing. Great on lamb burgers or as a salad dressing. Best to use fresh but will last for up to 4 days if refrigerated.
• 300 gms/ 10 oz of Greek yogurt • 1 cucumber • 3 cloves of crushed garlic • 1.5 tbsp of freshly chopped mint • 2 tsp of lemon juice • 1 tsp of Salt • A pinch of pepper for seasoning
Images © Shutterstock.com
n Top and tail the cucumber, slice length ways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. n Grate the cucumber, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. n Place the cucumber in a strainer, for at least 1 hour, I recommend 4. The salt helps to dehydrate the cucumber, which removes excess water.
n When the cucumber is ready place in a bowl and add the yogurt, garlic, mint, lemon juice and a pinch of pepper and mix. Leave rest for 5 minutes for the flavours to come together.
n Heat your pitta or wrap. n Stuff with the lettuce, tomato, onion, red cabbage. n Top with the koftas and drizzle over with tzatiziki.
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The Prodigal Son There once was a young man who wanted to travel the world. He asked his father for his inheritance, and his father gave it to him. With that money he could go off into the world and do all sorts of things! And he did! Leaving his older brother and father, meanwhile, to care for their family home and business. Out in the world, this young man was not careful with his money. Soon, he had nothing at all and was quite desperate. He decided to return home, to ask his father to take
care of him again. On his way home he couldn’t help but think of how his father would react, wouldn’t his father be mad at him, and disappointed in him? But when his father saw him coming down the road to their home, his father ran out to him. They both fell into one another’s arms. The older brother was shocked! Hadn’t his younger brother behaved badly? Maybe he had, the father said, but he was lost and now he is found.
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Find the right path
Anger Spotting Fr Alan Hilliard, a priest of the Dublin archdiocese, reflects on the role of anger, righteous and self-righteous, in our lives. He also discusses his new-found hobby ‘anger spotting’. Magnolia and ‘Mangolia’ There is the story of a lady in Dublin who was having incessant problems with damp stains on a wall in one her bedrooms. The black marks got worse and worse no matter how much she cleaned them. Eventually she called on the services of a local painter who came in to assess the situation. He wanted the job but didn’t want to appear too enthusiastic. He knocked on the wall a few times, took out a measuring tape, scrapped off some of the stained plaster, sniffed it and studied it while his glasses remained perched at the end of his nose. He stood back, hands on hips, and eventually he said, ‘Well Missus, you’ll be glad to know that it’s nothing that a few litres of Mangolia won’t sort out’. I learned the hard way not to focus on my anger. I learned to look deeper to see what was causing it. Sometimes you’d love the equivalent of a few litres of ‘Mangolia’ to put a coating on the anger, but the anger always comes back through. We can be angry because we are hurt, ignored or let down. If we don’t dig deep to find the underlying problem we get stuck in anger and go around in destructive circles. When God got angry with the 44
people he rescued from Egypt, referring to them as a stiff-necked people, he was angry with them because they had lost gratitude and substituted it with greed. If God can’t avoid anger ... there’s not much chance for me to avoid it either. We can speculate why Jesus got angry in the temple with the traders. I think it was less about what they were doing and more about what they were neglecting. There is a sacred space in each of us that we allow to get cluttered or distracted. It’s hard for one who loves us not to get angry when they believe that there are better things for us. Lent gives us an opportunity to declutter … let’s start with any anger that is taking up valuable space and using up unnecessary energy. Forward with Anger Something happened a few months back that started me on ‘anger spotting’. There’s a lot of it about and when you’ve tuned into anger you notice it more – just like the trained plane-spotter, train-spotter or bird watcher. The trained eye and ear see and hear more than the ordinary passer-by. You notice anger when you are tuned to it. Like when the door of the LUAS or train opens and
Christ driving the Traders from the Temple, fresco in the basilica of Saint Andrew in Mantua, Italy
We can speculate why Jesus got angry in the temple with the traders. I think it was less about what they were doing and more about what they were neglecting. someone is staring you in the face as you are trying to get off and you are in the way of them getting on: there’s an anger in their eyes and it’s directed at you. I was conducting a penance service in a parish. Rather than talk about forgiveness, I talked about the gift of healing and gave a reflection on how much anger there is in the world today. I asked people to reflect on the anger in their lives. I can’t break the seal of confession but the flood gates opened. It was as if people were given a chance to name something
that they kept hidden and that hidden thing was destroying them. Not all anger is bad. Sometimes anger is justified – in the face of wrongdoing, righteous anger can have a place. It is given to us to alert us to something that has to be faced up to and acted upon. However, righteous anger has some very nasty first cousins. They are plain old anger, jealous anger, vindictive anger or self-righteous anger. The Book of Proverbs tells us that ‘A mild answer turns back wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ 45
Young people of Faith
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Continuing his series inspired by Christus vivit, Pope Francis’s exhortation to young people, John Murray turns to the life of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was beloved of the poor of Turin. ‘Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who died in 1925 was a young man filled with a joy that swept everything along with it … he wanted to return the love of Jesus that he received in Holy Communion by visiting and helping the poor.’ Christus vivit ‘Why do you climb mountains?’ the adventurer Chris Bonington was asked. ‘Because it’s there’, was the simple reply. Pier Giorgio Frassati likewise was an avid climber and skier, he was born in the north of Italy close to the Alps. Yet, the real peak Bl. Pier ascended was something different. ‘On top of the mountains I feel closer to God.’ ‘ I leave my heart on the mountains and if my studies permitted I would spend whole days there, admiring the magnificence of God.’ Bl. Pier was born in April 1901, the son of Alfredo and Adelaide Frassati. His father was a senator in the country and also an ambassador to Germany, as well as being the founder of La Stampa magazine, which to this day remains one of the leading publications in Italy. Socially Bl. Pier had it all. His parents raised Bl. Pier and his sister in the faith, but they were not particularly devout themselves.Bl. Pier’s sister would later write: ‘our mother and her sister would not have missed Sunday Mass or days 46
of obligation for anything but were never seen by us to visit the Blessed Sacrament or go to Benediction. They never went to communion or were seen to kneel and say a prayer’. Despite this Bl. Pier is a testimony to the miraculous way in which God, in every generation, raises up men and women who help to redeem their age. This athletic and outgoing young man was a daily communicant at a time in the Church when this was not the usual practice. When asked once why he performed so many acts of charity Bl. Pier replied, ‘Jesus comes to visit me each morning in Holy Communion. I return his visit to him in the poor’. Indeed it was his practice often on returning from the mountains to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. This concern for the poor began at an early age. When he was four a poor woman appeared at the family door with a barefoot child in her arms. Quickly the young boy stripped off his own socks and shoes and handed them to her without a word before anyone could question his actions. Bl. Pier planned for a career in mining and engineering, for he felt that miners were among the most unfortunate of men in their conditions of work. He could well have chosen a life of ease but instead pursued a goal
that reflected his concern for others and his lack of interest in comfort and wealth. In the same year he joined the St Vincent de Paul Society which brought him face to face with all manner of suffering and pain. Yet it was not from a distance that Bl. Pier sought to help those less fortunate than himself. ‘As we grow closer to the poor we gain their confidence and can advise them in the most terrible moments of this earthly pilgrimage. Remember what the Lord said “the good you do to the poor is good done to me.” Around the sick, the poor, the unfortunate I see a particular light that we do not have.’ It was this insight that gave Bl. Pier
a way of seeing differently. Once on a night out with some friends he noticed that the doorman of the club was sad. The man’s granddaughter had just died and Bl. Pier offered him some words of consolation and a prayer. A year later while back at the club he remembered and renewed his words of sympathy. Such kindness did not go unnoticed. In June 1925 Bl. Pier contracted polio – prevalent then – while visiting a sick person. His own grandmother was dying at the time and so no one noticed the deteriorating condition of the young man. His mother did not understand why Bl. Pier was not present at his 47
Young people of Faith
When asked once why he performed so many acts of charity Bl. Pier replied, ‘Jesus comes to visit me each morning in Holy Communion’. grandmother’s final moments. ‘Pier Giorgio could have chosen a better moment to be ill’ was the casual remark. Soon he would die at the young age of twenty-four. It was then that his parents began to discover more about their son. Once news got round of his death the door at the family home began to be knocked repeatedly as a silent throng of people came to visit their friend. With faces wet with tears they went in to his coffin in order to touch him almost like a relic. It was the poor
of Turin who knew their quiet visitor only as ‘Fra Girolamo’ and it was they who soon petitioned the archbishop to begin the process which would eventually lead to beatification. In 1990 Pope John Paul II declared Pier blessed – ‘He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone. He left this world rather young, but he made a mark upon this century. In the Easter power of his baptism he can say to everyone especially to the young “you will see me because I live and you will live” (John 14:9)’.
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July with Jan For July Helen Dillon visits Offaly to see Jan Ravensberg, in pursuit of the perfect variety of Wisteria. She also recommends a beautiful and overlooked native plant of California.
‘Californian Tree Poppy Photo: Helen Dillon
You wouldn’t believe how agonizingly slow I have been in understanding how to grow Wisteria. For a start, I have been trying to grow these very beautiful plants for over seventy years, from when I first saw them in my great grandmother’s garden long ago. Even in our new garden in Monkstown, I have already attempted to grow no less than nine different varieties of Wisteria, always in the hope of finding a really good one. In desperation the other day I looked up one of Christopher Lloyd’s
excellent books, hoping to find a solution. Sure enough, in ‘A Year in the Garden with Christopher Lloyd’ he recommends Wisteria sinesis, which is best for scent, but must not be bought as a seedling. He suggests that you should get a grafted plant of the clone that was originally introduced from China early in the last century. This last instruction might be easier said than done. And as for ‘many years to start flowering’ – you can say that again and again. 49
Camellias have wonderfully satisfactory shiny, dark green leaves throughout the year and a great selection of lovely flowers, especially the pink ones.
Then, better still, I was lucky Rhododendrons. It is easy to get limeenough to visit what is one of the free soil these days, and provided you absolute best plant nurseries in water them very regularly they should Ireland, that of Jan Ravensberg, be happy for years in a large pot, (Ballyboughlin, County Offaly). It is preferably in light shade. Camellias a bit of a drive, but what an exciting have wonderfully satisfactory shiny, collection of beautifully grown dark green leaves throughout the year plants available when you get there, and a great selection of lovely flowers, including what, in Jan’s opinion, is his especially the pink ones. Just the best Wisteria – namely Wisteria four large pots we have make sinensis ‘Amethyst Caroline’. a big difference to our front This has rich violet flowers garden. and a wonderful scent. I don’t know if it It flowers slightly later is imagination, but but often produces late one doesn’t seem to flowers as well. Even hear much about the when I got it this spring Californian tree poppy it boasted no less than at the moment. It is a nineteen flowers, and that wonderful plant with huge, Camelia for year one. I have had sparkling white flowers some varieties of Wisteria that with yellow centres, a long have made no effort to flower for five flowering period, and very easy once years or more established. It is the ‘established’ bit I know we are in July now, but I’d that gardeners are wary of, because it like to mention a great improvement can be very obstinate and slow to get for more colour in your spring garden, settled in. Then, once it gets going when the garden is awash with it can suddenly appear all over the delightful small plants – Erythroniums, place, and is heading fast for next Anemones, primroses and daffodils door’s garden. – but there are few large important This beautiful Californian native must looking plants. I have always been have absolutely full sun, with its back a bit wary of Camellias, because to a sunny wall. It is not fussy about they don’t like lime, but they never soil, but enjoys light soil and good seem quite so uncomfortable as drainage, and shelter from cold winds. more dedicated lime-haters such as Chop to ground level in winter.
Exploring Euthanasia Kevin Hargaden of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice believes the next big question to be pushed on us in Ireland is euthanasia. He deals here with psychological, moral and spiritual realities of this debate-tocome.
In the last few years, Ireland has had serious public conversations about moral matters. In landslide victories, Irish society agreed to a redefinition of marriage and of the protections due to the unborn. I am not alone in believing the next big question to be pushed on us is euthanasia. As with the previous debates, what will happen is that singular cases will be covered in the press and the narrative will develop that the compassionate and empathic thing
to do is to allow for regulated and state-administered death. We will be promised strict guidelines and we will be constantly reminded that other nations have gone ahead of us on this path. The implication will be clear: ‘You don’t want to lack compassion, do you?’ ‘You don’t want Ireland to be left behind, do you?’ Christians have a problem with abortion and a similar problem with euthanasia. Some of the earliest records of Christians involve 51
pagan Romans marvelling at these communities that went and rescued abandoned children. Early Church documents clearly oppose all forms of killing, which includes abortion and euthanasia. Today, we must be clear that compassion is not expressed in violence and empathy is not communicated through harm. Just as we want a society where every pregnant woman can trust that she will get the material support she needs to raise that child well, we want a society where those in pain and anguish are comforted by companions, not told that they can just end it all. Euthanasia can be defined as the deliberate, intended putting to death of someone in pain in order to secure their release from pain. There is a longstanding distinction in Christian thought between ‘putting to death’ and ‘letting die’. Removing the medical technology that supports life is not the same thing as killing. It is allowing natural processes to run their course. What euthanasia involves is direct intervention to bring about death faster than nature. There are many cases where we can imagine that this course of action could be attractive. There are movies like Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby which compellingly display such situations. Such stories pull at our sentiment, but when it comes to serious questions about the sort of society in which we want to live, it is important to allow our reason to have the first say. When euthanasia 52
Our worth is not dependent on what we can contribute. Christians believe that all human life is intrinsically good.
laws are passed, they are not phrased in terms of mercy and sympathy. They are, like all laws, cold and strict documents. The argument in favour of euthanasia will pull at your emotions, but the law, if it is passed, will be a policy document in black and white, that takes little account of individual human particularities. I commonly hear the idea: ‘Oh I never want to be a burden!’ This appears to be a generous sentiment, but I think it is hiding a selfishness. I was a ‘burden’ when I was born. It took me the better part of two decades to stop being a big demand on my parents. If, as they age, they become dependent on me, it will be
my joy to meet their needs. I would not be relieved if they said, ‘Oh, I do not want to be a burden’. I would be furious! I would tell them that they changed my nappies and prepared my food and consoled me in my distress for years and years, and it is the mark of love that I would do the same for them. It can be humbling, even humiliating, to receive such care. But as Mother Theresa never tired of saying, there is a connection between being humbled and being humble! We are not just valuable when we are self-sufficient. Our worth is not dependent on what we can contribute. Christians believe that all human life is intrinsically good.
It doesn’t need to justify itself. God gives us a time to be born and a time to die. None of us get out of this life alive. And that means our Christian communities should be geared to communicate clearly and unambiguously that we exist to share the hard and painful journeys that people face. No baptised Christian should feel like they are alone. We must resist the idea that we are the sole owners of our bodies. And we must work to make our parishes places where the care of others is our second nature. We must also consider the social implications of euthanasia. When a society permits euthanasia, it does more than change the law. It changes the culture. Doctors, who exist to protect health, now have roles where their job is to inflict death. And patients, who have previously been told to fight and strive for health, are now quietly told that they can give up the fight. It costs much more money to keep someone who is sick alive than to just end their life. Do we seriously think that our severely sick people will not feel pressured by this? You can individually cultivate the right belief that God deems you valuable, but it is much harder to sustain that if your society whispers the opposite. Euthanasia promises a death with ‘decorum’ but it will create a society of indecency, where we believe that the only lives worth supporting are the ‘thriving’ ones. If every life is not protected, ultimately no life is safe. 53
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The kingdom is a hidden treasure Mt 13:44-52
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Listen, anyone who has ears Mt 13:24-43
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The mysteries are revealed to you Mt 13:1-23
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The kingdom appears small Mt 13:31-35
The virtuous will shine like the sun Mt 13:36-43
Mary wanted to speak to Jesus Mt 12:46-50
The sign of Jonah Mt 12:38-42
St Lawrence of Brindisi
Despite miracles yet no repentance Mt 11:20-24
It is not peace I have come to bring Mt 10:34-11:1
St Camillus de Lellis
Jesus felt sorry for the crowds. Mt 9:32-38 St Maelruain
Courage my daughter Mt 9:18-26 St Monnine of Killeavy
I will give you rest Mt 11:25-30
Augustine Zhao Rong & Co.
St Peter Chrysologus
The nation has grown coarse Mt 13:10-17
St Bridget of Sweden
Learn from me Mt 11:28-30
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Cure the sick, raise the dead Mt 10:7-15
Martha welcomed Jesus Discerning the good from Jn 11:19-27 the bad Mt 13:47-53
I have seen the Lord Jn 20:1-2. 11-18
St Mary Magdalene
No one knows the Father except the Son Mt 11:25-27
Proclaim the kingdom of heaven. Mt 10:1-7 St Killian
Your sins are forgiven Mt 9:1-8
St Maria Goretti
What do you want with us? Mt 8:28-34 St Oliver Plunkett
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Listening to Jesus astonished them Mt 13:54-58
St Ignatius of Loyola
Hearing and understanding the word Mt 13:18-23 St Declan
St Sharbel Makhluf
I want mercy not sacrifice Mt 12:1-8
The Spirit will be speaking in you Mt 10:16-23
Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mother wanted his success Mt 20:20-28
St James, Apostle
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Everything hidden will be made clear Mt 10:24-33
Why do your disciples not fast? Mt 9:14-17
St Elizabeth of Portugal
Do not be unbelieving but believe Jn 20:24-29
The bark or whimper of a dog brings joy to the heart of God: He delights in all his creatures. May we also delight and care for all creation. Text: Donal Neary SJ. Photograph by Liam Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell SJ ISSN 1649-4450