The Sacred Heart
June 2020 €2.00/£1.85
A modern message in a much-loved tradition
Sacred Heart Novena 2020 I David Stewart SJ Our Lady of Walsingham I Tom Layden SJ The Sacred Heart in Hosea I Bishop Martin Drennan Masterpieces of Christian Art I Eileen Kane RE:LINK: A-Z of Religious Terms I Faith Quille
04 From the Editor
Donal Neary SJ
05 Pope’s Intention
A Wisp of Hair
Brian Grogan SJ
07 Letters of St Paul
1 Corinthians, Love
Wilfrid Harrington OP
10 Our Lady of
12 No Exceptions
14 Women of the
Resurrection Meditative Joy Gavin T Murphy
16 Masterpieces of
Christian Art Fish and Eucharistic Bread Eileen Kane
20 Devotion to the
Sacred Heart in Hosea Bishop Martin Drennan
Thai Red & Cheesecake
22 Places of Worship 40 Crosswords Church of St Thérèse, Mount 42 Young Readers’ Pages Merrion Christopher Moriarty 44 Exams and Beyond Exams 25 RE:LINK 1 Catherine Clarke
A-Z of Religious Walsingham, Part 2 Terms Tom Layden SJ
Labels and Love
27 Sacred Heart
David Stewart SJ
31 RE:LINK 2
A-Z of Religious Terms
34 Honoured by
Irish Jesuit News
36 The Benefit of
46 Young People
of Faith Ragheed Ganni John Murray
Dr Jamain’s June Helen Dillon
52 The Sacred Heart
54 Subscription 55 Calendar 56 Reflection
37 Thanksgiving Letters
Arch of Walsingham Abbey. Image: Fela Sanu © Shutterstock.com
ide Netw or ldw r o
ship of P
Pope’s Intention (evangelisation): That all who suffer may find hope in life, allowing themselves to be consoled and comforted by the love of the Heart of Jesus. With Jesus in the morning Begin today with joy and strive to be your neighbour’s servant. ‘In the logic of the Gospel, the last are the first, and we have to put ourselves at the service of others’ (Pope Francis). When you look for the last place, God will give you the first; when you seek to serve, your Lord will serve you. Choose today to give a gesture of love to someone who needs it. Offer this day for the intention of Pope Francis: We pray that all those who suffer may find their way in life, allowing themselves to be consoled by the love of the Heart of Jesus. With Jesus in the night End your day in silence. Thank God for everything you experienced. Think about the day and all that you did. In what activities did you feel at peace? In which ones did you lose peace? Which activities bring the best out of you? Is there anything you need to apologise for? Resolve to stay close to Jesus tomorrow. Hail Mary… Clicktopray.org Pray online. Morning, Afternoon and Night Prayer each day. Sacredspace.ie Pray each day with the gospel of the day. Website of the Irish Jesuits.
THE SACRED HEART MESSENGER incorporating the Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer (Apostleship of Prayer).
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From the Editor
A young man in his late twenties – he enjoyed buying clothes. He was by no means wealthy, so he bought in bargain shops. Wanting to appear better, he would transfer the clothes to a designer shop bag, and go home with that. He even joked about it – a way of boasting or living up to appearances. Somehow the label gave him a lift about himself and how he might be seen by some others. A sort of living up to society’s or others’ expectations. He knew others who did the same. Maybe this is about feeling good about the self in some aspect, ways we may pretend so as to impress. It is part of the drive in us all to feel good about ourselves. We try many ways to do this, often looking in the wrong places. We can look to where we live or where we are educated to boast about ourselves, and we sometimes look down on others for the colour of their skin or for their religion. But these do not give a lasting self-love. A lasting good image of ourselves fits in with what Jesus says: ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. To grow in this self-love, there are many things that help: a grateful ac4
ceptance of our good personal qualities and gifts, the love of others who accept us as we are, a realistic view of our faults and failings, the grace of forgiving ourselves, some success in life – all these, among others, contribute to a strong love of self. There is also the self-love that comes from our faith: that God loves us unconditionally, that Jesus died and rose for us, and if that is so, why should I love myself less? We are precious in the eyes of God and carved in love on the palm of God’s hands. A prayer that enhances our self-esteem is to thank God regularly, daily or hourly, for something good in life or about ourselves. If we can be grateful, our self-esteem and love of self is enhanced, and one big thanks each day is to be grateful for being a loved child of God. Note: this issue was edited in early April, before the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland. With our candle lit in the oratory we prayed for all readers, promoters and all associated with Messenger, and will do so until the virus ends. Donal Neary SJ
Rawpixel.com © Shutterstock.com
Labels and Love
A Wisp of Hair
cinema99 © Shutterstock.com
Brian Grogan SJ author of To Grow in Love (Messenger Publications) sheds some light on the question of finding hope and meaning in life’s crosses.
Pope’s Intention (evangelisation): That all who suffer may find hope in life, allowing themselves to be consoled and comforted by the love of the Heart of Jesus. While suffering can often be brutal, it can also enter our lives silently and almost apologetically. It can also carry an unexpected message of grace, as we shall see. The author Douglas Christie tells the simple story that follows. ‘One evening early in his mother’s treatment for cancer he was sitting with her and his father at the dinner
table: she brushed her hand along her scalp, and a wisp of hair came loose. She sat there for a moment looking at it, as though not quite comprehending what she was seeing. Then she got up and left the room. He remained sitting there with his father, neither of them knowing what to do or say. He had been told this would happen, but suddenly, here it was before him: her hair, soft and wispy, resting in her hand. Now three people – his 5
I believe that God’s central task is to help each of us to grow in love: we are to become more like God as life goes by. mother, his father and himself – had to learn how best to accommodate this unwelcome guest that would change their lives forever.’ Where is the touch of grace in this event? How is grace woven into my own unremarkable history of suffering? I sometimes ask God, ‘Where are you in all of this? Is there a grace hidden here which you want me to discover?’ I believe that God’s central task is to help each of us to grow in love: we are to become more like God as life goes by. The former translation of a phrase in the short Eucharistic Prayer was startling in its directness: ‘Make us grow in love!’ God seems to employ suffering – which otherwise would be useless – to do just that; to make us grow in love. But how? The clue is the fact that a similar pattern of suffering is in everyone else’s life. This awareness can bond us to those we love, but also to people far and wide – to refugees and to the poor of the earth. In this way, so far as suffering breaks open our hearts to others, it has a positive value. Shortly before she took her own young life, a TV show presenter pleaded, ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind! You never know what is going on in someone else’s life: never!’ Her heartfelt message is a call to universal compassion. It echoes St Paul’s vision that ‘when one part of the body 6
suffers, the others do also’ (1 Cor 12:26). I can then ask, ‘Are my sufferings softening my heart to others?’ If I can say yes, this brings me hope and consolation, and helps me to endure patiently what I can’t avoid. Next, while suffering may be my quiet companion, another quiet companion keeps me going. God does not normally deal dramatically with suffering by cures and miracles. God comes closer than that: in the Psalms is the lovely line, ‘My tears are stored in your flask’ (Ps 56:8) – God notices my tears and promises to wipe them away. To wipe away another’s tears is an intimate gesture. But God comes closer yet: through the Incarnation God becomes one of us. Jesus dramatically reveals God’s preferred way for dealing with unavoidable suffering: by accepting his Passion patiently and lovingly his suffering becomes transformative. When we turn to him on the cross we discover the love we need to endure well. The love shown on Calvary is a beacon which enlightens the darkness of suffering. No suffering of mine – not even a fallen wisp of hair – is lost, because ‘the hairs of your head are all counted’ (Mt 10:30). Joined to the suffering of my unobtrusive divine companion my suffering becomes a great grace for the world.
Pope’s Intentions Letters of St Paul Feature
1 Corinthians, Love Fr Wilfrid Harrington OP elucidates one of the best known passages of St Paul, on love as the Christian gift par excellence. The three chapters 12–14 of 1 Corinthians are devoted to the relative merits of spiritual gifts – charisms. The significant point of Paul’s analysis is that not only are there a variety of gifts, but there is a variety of service and that the gifts are, essentially, gifts of service. It is not likely that the Corinthians had regarded them in this light. Their predilection for tongues (a form of ecstatic prayer) and prophecy (eloquent and insightful preaching) had caused dissension and Paul is determined to stress unity. He points out that the manifold gifts all have one and the same source – the Spirit. He indicates three categories: gifts, service, works (1 Cor 12:8–10). He will insist that the purpose of these charisms is to ‘build up the community’ (1 Cor 12:7; 14:4). It is evident that Paul is replying to a query of the Corinthians and it is not difficult to guess what they had wanted his answer to be. They valued the gift of tongues above all others. Paul does not think it enough to declare that they are mistaken; he wants them to understand why they are mistaken. Tongues is but one in the variety of gifts. Just as the
human body is an organic structure with many members having different functions, so the Body of Christ – the Christian community – is complex and has many Spirit-inspired ministries. No one person or no one group can function for the whole Body. The Corinthians’ question to Paul had been: which is the highest gift? Or, more precisely, it seems to have been whether prophecy or tongue-speaking was higher. Paul is not content to settle the matter on this level. There is ‘the more excellent way’ (1 Cor 12:31) of love in the light of which the other gifts may be evaluated. At first sight the immediately following chapter 13 seems an intrusion, interrupting the natural flow of chapter 12 into chapter 14. These two chapters are concerned with gifts of the Spirit, charisms; it might seem that chapter 13, on agape (love) is a digression. On the contrary, the treatment of agape is vital to Paul’s argument and is meant to help us to view all the charisms in proper perspective. This chapter, then, enables us to evaluate correctly the Pauline assessment of the charisms. It carries, besides, its unique message. 7
Pope’s Letters Intentions of St Paul
Love has no place for jealousy or boasting, arrogance or rudeness. Love does not insist on having its own way, is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrong. The chapter falls naturally into three parts. Love is the Christian way par excellence (1 Cor 13:1–3). Paul’s worry over a preoccupation with tongues is manifest: ‘If I speak in tongues of men and of angels’. But, here, the concern (as it will be in chapter 14) is not that tongues should be, in some sense, articulate, it is, rather, that they might be meaningless. Gong and cymbal by themselves are without melody and simply make noise. So, too, speaking in tongues without love, is devoid of meaning. The sacrifice of one’s goods, sacrifice even of life, may be motivated by other factors than love. They could be a gauntlet flung down, a fierce gesture of independence. Paul makes the uncompromising and frightening statement that, without love, even the supreme sacrifice is worthless. The chapter has positive and negative aspects. It has, especially vv. 4–7, a lyrical quality. Where was its inspiration? One may try a simple experiment and see what happens! For ‘love’ substitute ‘Jesus’. ‘Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind’ and so on. When all is put in terms of him then it cannot be doubted that the life and example of Jesus Christ have inspired the positive features. When all is put 8
in terms of him then it is indeed true that love is patient and kind, rejoices in the right, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. In Jesus the love of God has revealed itself in human form. Agape is not possessive love and is much more than affection. It finds expression in action; it is a love that is all-embracing and never exclusive. The negative features reflect the behaviour of the Corinthian community. Love has no place for jealousy or boasting, arrogance or rudeness. Love does not insist on having its own way, is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrong. Christians have been called, through love, to be servants of one another (Gal 5:13). A series of declarations stresses the transience of charisms (1 Cor 13:8–13). Prophecy and tongues will pass away, inevitably so, because they are imperfect. They are realities of this present age; they will have no place in the age to come. Of all the gifts of God the three that abide are faith, hope and love. The greatest of them is love. This chapter is no digression. Paul has made his point. He has raised prominently the standard of love. This is the yardstick against which all must be measured. More accurately, it is the supreme gift that is the measure
Illustration: Brendan McCarthy
of all the others. By chapter 13 Paul has paved the way for an answer, in chapter 14, to the question of the Corinthians: which spiritual gift ought one prefer? And his answer is, firmly, that gift which contributes to what is fruitful and which builds up the life of the community.
Chapters 12 and 14 of 1 Corinthians offer a critique of charisms. It is important that this critique comes from a charismatic, one who is knowledgeable and sympathetic. Paul is such. He himself declares: â€˜I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of youâ€™ (1 Cor 14:18). 9
Our Lady of Walsingham Part 2 Tom Layden SJ, a Jesuit priest whose work focuses on promoting ecumenism, continues his account of life and spirituality at the ecumenical shrine of Mary in Walsingham, UK. Walsingham is a holy place because of prayer sites like the Holy House and the Slipper Chapel (so called because medieval pilgrims left their slippers there as they walked the final mile to the Holy House). But it is also the pilgrims who make it a holy place as they tell their story, listen to one another and encourage each other. It is the Holy Spirit at work in the life of each pilgrim that makes this place holy. Enabling people to be real as they speak about their lives and not to pretend that things are other than they are. The Spirit that overshadowed Mary continues to overshadow those who are the disciples of her Son who came to bring healing and reconciliation to humanity. Along with Mary, we can say ‘My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour’. There is a sense of joy among the pilgrims. What we have in common is that we are all on pilgrimage while there. Most come by coach, involving a long journey for many. We are all on foot for the days we spend there. As I go for a cup of coffee after the Stations of the Cross, I can find myself falling into conversation with the person beside me in the queue. The 10
first words will normally be about the village or town we come from but the talk soon turns to deeper and more serious matters. Walsingham gives us the space to give voice to what is really and ultimately important in our lives. The person you end up talking with may well be someone who has been coming there for twenty years or it might be a first timer there on the recommendation of a granny or parish priest. We are all at one while we are there whether we are laity or clergy and irrespective of where we live or how we earn our living. We are all children of the same Heavenly Father and siblings of the same Lord Jesus Christ who was born as the Son of Mary. When I go to Walsingham, I normally arrive on a Thursday and leave on a Tuesday. The departure is always tinged with a certain sadness. It is good to be in Walsingham. But we have to return to daily responsibilities at the end of the visit there. We come away with many memories: joining in the singing of ‘Ave, Ave Maria’ on the candlelight procession on the Saturday evening, attending the Sunday Eucharist at the National Shrine, a chat in one of the village hostelries, the rosary in the
B © Shutterstock.com
The surviving arch at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, England.
There is a sense of joy among the pilgrims. What we have in common is that we are all on pilgrimage while there. Holy House, meeting up with sisters and brothers from other towns and cities whom we meet each year and so on. We must go back to our normal activities at home, but we are always changed by the experience of time spent in a holy place like Walsingham. We return home strengthened in faith, encouraged in hope and deepened in our awareness of God’s love and God’s call to us to love our neighbour. Along with Our Lady, we can rejoice
saying ‘He looks on his servant in her lowliness, henceforth all ages will call me blessed’. We too have been touched by God’s goodness and grace. Along with the pilgrims of the past we call Mary blessed because of the great things God has done for her. The Lord calls us to continue to cooperate with the divine plan for our world as we return home. And we can look forward to coming back next year! 11
No Exceptions Fr Padraig McCarthy of the Dublin archdiocese argues that no killing is less or more reprehensible than any other. For him, we need a ‘no exceptions’ ethic of respect for human life. The murder earlier this year of Keane Mulready-Woods, the seventeen-year-old from Drogheda, has understandably drawn many comments. Some speak of the manner of his killing as an ‘unacceptable level of violence’. Some point to his age as making it particularly horrifying. To say that it is an unacceptable level of violence could leave the impression that there is an acceptable level of violence. The tragedy of his death at the age of seventeen points to the unfulfilled life taken away, but the killing of a person of twentyseven, or seventy-seven is no less terrible. ‘While there may be a hierarchy of emotional revulsion at different crimes, and a hierarchy of sentences imposed by the justice system, there is no killing which is less reprehensible than another. The manner in which his killing was carried out indicates a level of twistedness and cruelty in the perpetrators which is difficult to comprehend. There is, however, no destruction of a human life which is less reprehensible than another. In deploring one such death, we 12
must never suggest that any other taking of human life is less deplorable. There were 57 male victims (77%) and 17 female victims (23%) of homicide recorded in 2018 in Ireland, according to data from An Garda Síochána. A man is three times as likely to be a victim of homicide as a woman. In a 2013 study by the United Nations, it was found that 96% of homocides perpetrators are male. The killing of anyone, man or woman, is to be deplored. We need a seamless ethic of respect for all human life with no exceptions. The housing crisis, and the poverty which leads hundreds of people to queue for food parcels every week or for a hot meal each day – these
Image by Prath © Shutterstock.com
are just as much symptoms of the failure to ensure respect for every one of our people in this country. The introduction of legal abortion last year, the ‘medical procedure which is intended to end the life of a foetus’ as termination of pregnancy is defined in law, is a tragic symptom of a loss of respect for all human life, instead of legislating to honour and respect the life of both mother and child. To me it seems a logical consequence of respect for all human lives without exception to say that ‘sports’ in which the means of victory is the infliction of pain or injury on another must also be questioned. Injury and death can occur in any sport, but in most it is accidental and
Illustration: Brendan McCarthy
To say that it is an unacceptable level of violence could leave the impression that there is an acceptable level of violence.
unintended. However accomplished a participant may be in a sport where victory is attained specifically through damage to another person, I cannot see such activities as sport, nor as an acceptable way of providing an outlet for aggression. Whether in political wars or drug wars, this pledge of parent to every other parent puts it clearly: I will not raise my precious child to kill your precious child. And if it is within my power I will not hand over my beloved child to others to kill your beloved child or to learn how to kill the one you cherish. 13
Women Feature of the Resurrection
Meditative Joy Gavin T Murphy, author of Bursting Out in Praise (Messenger Publications, 2019), contemplates the two Marys who witness the risen Jesus, and explores their experience of a deeper level of consolation.
In this last of a series of Easter reflections, I engage in an imaginative contemplation on the third apparition of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola (SE, 301). Here, Ignatius relies on a slightly different version of events to that found in the previous contemplation. Nevertheless, he invites us to look to the women who show us once again that they are in tune with the relationships – with themselves, others and God – central to the Spiritual Exercises. In my imagination, I see Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James going forth to the disciples after the angel appears to them at the tomb, telling them of the Good News of the risen Jesus. They experience a mixture of joy and fear. One companion is younger with a pink complexion on her face, the older one has a heart that is beating very fast. They support each other and go at a pace that is between walking and running. They look ahead knowing that they are to tell the disciples what they have seen and heard. Suddenly, the resurrected Christ 14
meets them and seems to say, ‘Hail to you’. You can imagine if they were overwhelmed before, that now they are even more so. They get down on their knees and greet Jesus, bending before his feet. He affirms what that angel has said, not to be afraid and to tell the disciples to go into Galilee where he will see them. I imagine that the women are humbled by such a request. Perhaps they doubt themselves, thinking that they are not worthy. In my imagination Jesus asks them to stand up, gives them his peace and walks with them for a little while. He encourages their inner capacity to be strong, and most importantly to enter into a deeper level, a level of meditative joy. They smile and he does likewise, and they depart with renewed vigour. They meet the disciples who respond in different ways – positively, neutrally and negatively. But they are not shaken by the disciples’ behaviour because the women are already living out of this deeper level. They encourage the disciples to enter into this meditative joy. Jesus – in his heartfulness, in his resurrection –
Illustration: Brendan McCarthy
moved them to do so. Today, there is a lesson here for us too. We can encourage each other to be anchored, to sustain the joy and endure the messiness of our lives. No doubt we come in contact with people who are quick to react, who disagree out of a default mode, who want us to experience an inner confusion through their harsh questioning. Perhaps the next time this happens we can repeat the word â€˜Jesusâ€™ to ourselves, slowly, steadily and deeply. We might simply remember this gospel scene. Perhaps such images and thoughts will lead us to see the more humorous side of things with our brother or sister, and to encourage them to enter into a universal meditative joy.
What to take home from this contemplation: 1. The women experience a mixture of joy and fear in their mission to spread the Good News. 2. Like the previous contemplation, they support each other with love. 3. They are overwhelmed with joy on seeing the resurrected Jesus. 4. Jesus greets them and gives them his peace. 5. Jesus encourages them to enter a deeper level of meditative joy. 6. They experience this consolation and encourage it in the disciples. 7. We too can be anchored in Jesus in the midst of people who are difficult. 8. We can have a sense of humour and encourage meditative joy in others. 15
Masterpieces of Christian Art
Fish and Eucharistic Bread C. AD 220, Catacomb of Callixtus.
Eileen Kane disappears underneath Rome, exploring the catacomb of Callixtus in order to find an early masterpiece of Christian art. Fish and Eucharistic Bread reminds us of the miracle of loaves and fishes. A fish, exactly five loaves of bread, carefully placed on top of a vessel on the back of the fish, and, inside the vessel, something that looks like a glass of red wine ... In a Christian context, this amounts to more than a ‘still-life’. It carries memories of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and it suggests the bread and wine of the Eucharist. In the Gospels, we read about the time when crowds of people came to hear Jesus preaching in a ‘lonely place’, out in the countryside. At the end of the day, his disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowds away to buy food for themselves. Jesus, however, thought otherwise. His disciples, he said, should themselves give the people something to eat. They replied that ‘all they had with them’ were five loaves and two fish. ‘What is that’, they asked, ‘between so many?’ After Jesus had blessed this and had broken the bread, it was, as we know, enough to feed more than five thousand people, with twelve basketfuls of scraps left over. That miracle was a foretaste of the Eucharist, in which, having heard the word of God, the multitudes of people are given the food and drink 16
of eternal life. The drink of eternal life, in the Eucharist, is the wine, the blood of Christ poured out by our Saviour, for our redemption. At the Last Supper, it was bread and wine that Jesus blessed and gave to his disciples, with the command that they should ‘do this in memory of me’. This painting, therefore, is neither an illustration of the miracle of the loaves nor simply a reference to the Eucharist. It is more. It is a symbol of salvation, of eternal life, won for us by Christ. The emphasis is on salvation. There is just one fish in the painting, and, in Early Christian art, a fish was used as a symbol of the Saviour. People knew that the letters of the Greek word for ‘fish’ – I Ch Th Y S – are also the initial letters of the words that make up, in Greek, the phrase, ‘Jesus Christ God’s Son, Saviour’. Therefore this painting is a symbol of Jesus, the Saviour, who in the Eucharist gives us the food of life eternal. The Christian context in which this painting is to be seen is the Roman catacomb of Callixtus, known as ‘San Callisto’, outside the city walls, on the Via Appia. The Roman catacombs are
Image reproduction © Alamy
underground cemeteries, networks of tunnels and passage-ways, two or more storeys deep, burrowed into the soft ‘volcanic tuff’ stone that is the bed-rock of areas to the north, east and south of the city. Almost all the catacombs are Christian. They were created because, believing in the resurrection of the body, Christians chose to bury their dead, rather than follow the contemporary practice of cremation. From the beginning of the third century onwards, the ceilings and walls of the larger burialchambers, called ‘crypts or ‘chapels’, opening off the passage-ways, began to be decorated with paintings that reflected belief in Christ as Saviour and Redeemer. In the catacomb of
Callixtus, Fish and Eucharistic Bread is one of the images to be seen in the ‘Crypt of Lucina’, on the ceiling of which is a painting of Christ as the Good Shepherd. Fish and Eucharistic Bread is amazingly alive, and is clearly the work of a skilled painter. As a ‘still-life’, it could take its place comfortably beside the best work that survives from its own time – late Antiquity – as seen in the mural decoration surviving elsewhere in Rome. Its sketchy style is also to be found in contemporary painting. A point to remember, however, is that, in a catacomb, a painter was working in a very difficult environment, deep underground, a cold and almost 17
Masterpieces of Christian Art airless place, where the flame of a torch fixed to a wall was all the painter had to light this work. In that place, fresh lime plaster had to be spread on the rock walls, and the colours applied directly to it, without any errors or changes of mind. A crisp, detailed finish, even if it were desired, would have been scarcely achievable in those conditions. Impact and legibility were what mattered, in a catacomb painting, not a detailed finish. In the mid-nineteeth century, the ‘Father of Christian Archaeology’, Giovanni Battista dei Rossi (1822– 1894) devoted his life to the rediscovery and study of the Roman catacombs, with their inscriptions and their paintings. In 1849, he
re-discovered the catacomb of Callixtus and devoted a long essay to the paintings in the ‘Crypt of Lucina’. In 1903, Monsignor Joseph Wilpert (1854–1944), who had been encouraged and assisted by dei Rossi in studying the paintings, and was himself an accurate draughtsman, published two volumes of illustrations, of which Fish and Eucharistic Bread was one. The photograph reproduced here is from Wilpert’s work. While it is accurate in colour and in the drawing, it is not a direct photograph of the wall painting itself, and lacks the immediacy that a direct photograph can convey. Even so, it is perfectly sufficient to convey the meaning and the spirit of this important masterpiece of early Christian art.
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Inspirational Jesuits Irish Jesuits in Penal Times 1695-1811: Thomas Betagh and his Companions Thomas J Morrissey SJ This account of the Irish Jesuits from 1695 to 1811 is concerned with those who lived and worked in Dublin and, in particular, with a central figure, the quite remarkable educationalist and pastor, Thomas Betagh. 160pp â‚Ź19.95
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Feature Pope’s FeatureIntentions
Devotion to the Sacred Heart in Hosea For the month of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Martin Drennan, retired bishop of Galway, reflects on God’s greatest quality, compassion, as it appears in the Book of Hosea. The quality of our lives is best judged by the quality of our compassion. To grow in Christian compassion is to learn to see as Jesus sees and do as he does. He sees setbacks and victories on our journey of faith, but in his eyes it is always the beauty that prevails. We are images of God – his work of art. It is compassion that makes us most like our God; our compassion reminds people of him. Down the centuries the people of God have continued to value his compassion above all God’s other great qualities. That compassion was patient with them, forgave their mistakes, renewed their enthusiasm for him, enabled them to learn from bad decisions and look to the future with hope. They came to know God as someone with a heart for them and a vision of what they could be, if they allowed God’s compassion to transform their hearts and minds. Jesus tells us that our call is to ‘Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate’ (Lk 6:36). Those who are compassionate pass on a precious gift, they give God to others. There are many wells in the Scriptures that we could draw from to hear God tell us what compassion is 20
like. One such source is the prophet Hosea, especially chapter 2, chapter 11 and chapter 14 of his book. The God that Hosea came to know is someone who cares passionately for his people. Love inspires all that he does. The decisions he takes, the response he makes when his love is ignored or rejected, are all motivated by love and only by love, and never by any other motive. Hosea 2 relates the story of love not returned, a suffering love. God watched his people rejoice in his gifts but forget the One who is the giver. They forgot, but his love does not allow him to forget. His blessings were meant to inspire thanksgiving and trust but his restless people decided that God and his gifts were not capable of delivering the peace and happiness they wanted. They turned to pagan gods to guarantee prosperity and protection. Disaster followed those choices. In due time God decided to intervene with a compassion that understands all and forgives all. Without any signs of conversion among his people, God intervenes. His people had lost their way; now, with God’s help, they rediscover it.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Paris, France
God’s compassion is an active presence that heals, reconciles and renews. In the dire situation where his people no longer see clearly or hear clearly, only the power of God’s love can put things right. God decides to heal their disloyalty (Hos 14:4). He will deprive his forgetful people of their prosperity so that they may learn again the joy of gratitude. When God rescued them from slavery in Egypt they joyfully pledged fidelity to him. Now, God declares, they will go back to Egypt and recover the joy of commitment to him. His love educates; it teaches them how to remember their journey (Hos 11:1–11). His compassion sets their hearts
free with the freedom that leads to making good choices. They make a clear decision to put their trust in God to save and protect them. God is enough. He will lead, guide and protect. His compassion transforms hearts and minds. Devotion to the Sacred Heart urges us to ask the Lord to make our hearts like his, hearts filled with compassion that seeks to understand all and forgive all. Filled with a compassion that brings freedom and healing to others, a compassion that knows the present and future are in good hands, in God’s hands. God is enough, and will always be enough. He who has a heart for us wants us to have a heart for him. 21
Places of Worship
Church of St Thérèse, Mount Merrion June finds Christopher Moriarty visiting the secluded Church of St Thérèse, at Mount Merrion, Dublin. Formerly in the possession, like much of the area, of the Fitzwilliam family, the church was built on the site of their former home, which had been acquired by the diocese of Dublin in the early twentieth century. Set in the south Dublin suburb of Mount Merrion, the Church of St Thérèse of the Infant Jesus is well hidden by houses and gardens. So, in spite of its hilltop position, it appears only suddenly to motorists passing close by. Carmelite nun, St Thérèse of Lisieux, was canonised in 1925, twenty-eight years after her death at the age of twenty-four. The site has an intriguing little piece of family, property and church history. From the fourteenth century it was part of the huge area of land owned by the Anglo-Norman Fitzwilliam family, including the area which they would come to develop as up-market Dublin city squares and streets (most of these bear both the family name and the name of their home ‘Mount Merrion’). Early in the eighteenth century the 22
head of the family Lord Fitzwilliam, the 5th Viscount, had a new house built on the hilltop. The demesne around the house had a large deerpark. His grandson, the 7th Viscount, lived abroad and the management of his Irish estate was in the hands of his Catholic agent, Barbara Verschoyle. She lived in the big house and it was she who induced the viscount to provide the land and funds for the building of the nearby Booterstown Church. In the 1920s the owners began to sell large areas of their property to speculative builders. The Dublin diocese, under Archbishop Byrne, acquired the big house. The big house served as a church until the
present building was commissioned twenty years later. It was dedicated by Archbishop McQuaid in 1956. The big house was mostly demolished, but one of its three blocks survived and now serves as a community centre. The architect was John Joseph Robinson, who was commissioned for the work in 1953. In his sixties, he was nearing the end of his life but would survive to see St Thérèse’s completed and begin work on the great cathedral of Galway. Both exterior and interior are almost austere in conception, with minimal decoration but inspiring in their size and simplicity. There is a large nave with a pitched roof, a pair of shallow transepts and a short apse. The
exception to this austerity is the tall, square bell tower surmounted at each corner by a slender pinnacle, with a bell-shaped roof. These surround a central tower with a copper dome, itself surmounted with two smaller pinnacles and a large cross. The bell was cast in 1954 at Matthew O’Byrne’s foundry in James’s Street and is inscribed with the names of Archbishop McQuaid and the parish priest Fr James Deery. The nave is two storeys high and has an unusual feature in being flanked by single-storey confessionals which extend outside the walls beneath the windows, rather than the usual pattern of being within the building. This allows for uninterrupted interior walls on either side of the nave. The walls are made from reinforced concrete, cladded with granite from Dublin quarries. The window and door surrounds and the portico are of Ballinasloe limestone. The entrance front contains a magnificent rose window above a portico supported by four pillars and giving access to three arched doorways. Entering the church through one of these doors presents a splendid open space, beautifully proportioned, which brings the eye immediately to the sanctuary, backed by a plain wall, painted deep purple, with a crucifixion sculpture beneath a canopy as its centrepiece. The walls of the nave on the lower storey are marked by the six wooden doorways of the confessionals. Above them are the Stations of the Cross in the form of framed paintings. These are the work 23
Places of Worship
of the artist and teacher George Colley. Simplicity is strictly observed in the windows which open above them. They are filled by mostly rectangular panes of clear glass, with a cross in shades of green as the sole feature. The baptistry, rather than seating pews, fills the space to the right immediately inside the main entrance and is a major feature of the church. The font is a great octagonal basin of polished granite and supplied by a little sculptured waterfall. The basin is supported on a cylindrical plinth, surrounded by a simple tiled pattern. This pattern is repeated close by and encloses a candle on a tall black stand. Another feature on the floor of this part of the church is the coat of arms officially granted to the church in 2003. It is a shield bearing a pattern of red roses, with the motto ‘In corde ecclesiae amor’ (at the heart of the Church is love). Other artistic work in the church includes a fresco of St Thérèse by 24
Sean Keating, combining a stylised figure of the saint, adored by people with the powerful features for which the artist was famed. The date of dedication, 1956, was just six years before the Second Vatican Council and the call for radical changes in the layout of church sanctuaries. Response came in 1981 with the insertion of a new altar, positioned well forward of its predecessor. This altar, the associated ambo and sedilia and a stand for the brass tabernacle all keep to a pattern of extreme simplicity, with carved rectangular parts supported, in common with the baptismal font, on cylindrical stands. The sole pictorial image is a gilded outline fish symbol on the altar. The church shows signs of being a vibrant community, with the names of recently baptised children in large letters at the entrance. A junior and a senior choir perform at Sunday Masses.
re:link June 2020
Resource for Religion Studies
A-Z of Religious Terms Junior Certificate 2020
Introduction: On 3 June, third year Religious Education students will sit their Junior Certificate state exam from 1.30pm–3.30pm in school rooms and halls all over the country. The exam takes place on the same time and date for both ordinary level and higher-level students. The RE: Link team are always looking for ways to assist students and teachers of RE, so this month we are focusing on key words from the Junior Cert RE course. Many of our RE: Link supplements have contained a ‘Curriculum Link’ section, explaining the key terms used in that month’s supplement. We have decided to compile those terms, with a brief explanation for you to research and revise. Each of these terms are based on the Junior Cert course and can or have appeared on examination papers. Key terms apply to all sections of the exam. Welcome to our ‘A to Z of Religious Terms’, based on the Junior Certificate curriculum*. Best of luck to all students of Junior Cert RE in this and all the other exams also. *Please note that this list is not every key word from the RE course but instead every keyword from past RE: Link supplements, based on the RE course.
All Past Curriculum Link Terms – for RE:vision Agnosticism: The view that people cannot know for certain whether or not God exists. Almsgiving: The practice of giving money or food to those less fortunate. Anti-Semitism: Hostility or prejudice against Jews. Ascension: Jesus rising into heaven after his death and resurrection. Atheism: A view that denies the existence of God.
Authority: Power given to an individual/group to make important decisions. Awe and Wonder: Feelings inspired by mysterious aspects of life. Baptism: A Christian religious rite where a person is purified and admitted into the Church. Bar/Bat Mitzvah: An initiation ceremony in the Jewish tradition where a teenage boy/girl is regarded as
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re : link ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship. Catholicism: The faith and practice of the Roman Catholic Chuch, whose leader is the pope. Chrism: A special oil used for anointing during baptism, and other rites in the Christian churches. Communal worship: Praying to God with others as a community. Congregation: A group of people assembled for religious worship. Contemplation: A form of deep silent prayer. Denomination: An autonomous group within a religeon eg: Christianity that has its own leaders, beliefs and practices. Ecumenism: A movement to unite Christian Churches. Encyclical: A papal letter sent to all bishops in the Roman Catholic Church. Enlightenment/Enlightened: To be spiritually aware or awoken. Essenes: A religious group at the time of Jesus. These were a community of monks, who rejected Roman rule. Eucharist: A Christian service of thanksgiving. In the Catholic Church the Eucharist is a sacrament. Evangelist: A gospel writer (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) who spread the Good News about Jesus Christ. Exodus: The departure of the Israelites from Egypt, led by Moses. Fundamentalism: The view that a sacred text is a factual account to be taken literally. Gospel: The ‘Good News’ of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, written in the New Testament. Humanism: A belief system that rejects religion and seeks to make sense of life through human reason alone. Icon: A sacred image used to aid prayer, mainly in the Orthodox churches. Imam: A teacher and leader of prayer in Islam. Judaism: The monotheistic religion of 26
the Jews. Justice: To treat all people fairly and respect their rights. Kingdom of God: Jesus’ vision of a world where God is loved, and people do only good for others. Lay people: Members of a Church who are not clergy or are not ordained. Leadership: A leader guides a group or organisation. Libertarianism: The view that people should be free to behave as they choose, without undue interference from the state. Liturgical Calendar: Also known as the church year or Christian year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years. Materialism: The view that only material things are real (things you can see and/or touch). Meaning: To find or have a sense of purpose in life. Mecca: The most sacred pilgrimage site of Islam. Meditation: A form of silent prayer based on the use of an icon, a repeated word or passage from scripture. Messiah: Anointed one/saviour. Messianic Expectation: The hope of Jewish people that a new leader, a Messiah, will bring them to freedom. Minister of the Eucharist: A dedicated lay person who gives out the Holy Communion at Catholic mass. Minister of the Word: A dedicated lay person who reads from the Bible at Catholic Mass. Ministry: Special duties performed by priests, ministers and lay people to serve God in the Church. Miracle: An amazing cure or deed, many miracles were performed by Jesus. Mission: The specific work carried out
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Sacred Heart Novena 2020 By David Stewart SJ Thursday 11th June to Friday 19th June 2020
How to Pray This Novena
Set aside about ten minutes each day. Take your time over the words you read. Linger over a word or a phrase. Think about its meaning. Share your feelings with Jesus, and wait quietly to see what comes into your mind and heart. Blessed John Sullivan tells us that God is delighted to see us, even if we don’t know what to say. God has our best interests at heart.
Beginning of each day
Prayer Moment Let the Spirit of God lead you to a place of interior stillness and then allow yourself to become aware of God’s gaze on you, full of love and hope for you. That gaze is sustaining and life-giving. Ask, in your heart, for a deepening, interior awareness of how you depend on God for your existence. Novena prayer
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 for me and all who are dear to me. My intention for this Novena is dear to me, and I know that what is important to me is important to you. 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. 27
Sacred Heart Novena
Day 1: Thursday 11 June
God sustains my life SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? (Psalm 8) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Stay with the idea of your dignity as a child of God for as much time as you can manage today. Thank God for this. Notice what moves in your heart and your soul as you ponder these things. THE DESIRE: That I may know my utter dependency on God for my being and that I may wonder at the miracle of my own personal existence. End with the Novena prayer
Day 2: Friday 12 June
God’s faithfulness to me SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Note any new awareness, or repetition of an awareness you already have, of God’s care for you. What was happening in your own personal life when this inner knowledge became real for you? If, at this moment, you feel a deepening of 28
that awareness, however little, stay with it. THE DESIRE: That I may know a deep confidence in God’s caring for me, as I continue to wonder at my own personal existence. End with the Novena prayer
Day 3: Saturday 13 June
God gives Godself to me, to us … SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ (John 1:35–39) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Gently think about ways in which you’ve sensed God’s call and indeed God’s challenge to you. Ask to know that more deeply, more authentically; ask, too for the grace to respond generously, that you may not be deaf to his call. Stay with whatever emerges in your reflection as long as you can; offer your desires to the Heart of Christ and, if a conversation with Christ grows out of your prayer, let it. THE DESIRE: That I may be more aware of how God calls me and of my freedom to respond. End with the Novena prayer
Day 4: Sunday 14 June
Resistance to God’s call SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I
condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’ (John 8:1–11) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Become as honest as you can be about your selfishness, too much self-regard, selfrighteousness and not enough humility, not enough openness to other people and their goodness. In your prayer, speak to Jesus about these things; let him respond to you with mercy and compassion. THE DESIRE: Asking for a profound, peaceful, personal sorrow for any infidelity to God’s call. End with the Novena prayer
Day 5: Monday 15 June
God’s attitude towards us SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: He began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ (Mark 10:46–52) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever thought of yourself as a ‘loved sinner’? Or have you felt more a condemned sinner, wedged irretrievably in the consequences of sins, hopelessly caught up in your own sinfulness and that of the world? Our honesty & humility in prayer can help us to realise that we are not trapped and that it’s God’s desire to forgive, not to condemn. Speak, in your heart, to God about how much you want to know that fact interiorly. St Ignatius suggests, in a wonderful passage of the Spiritual Exercises, that I might ask for the grace to express a ‘heartfelt cry of wonder’ at the forgiveness and
mercy that has been given to me. THE DESIRE: A joyful awareness that I am a loved sinner, a heartfelt knowledge of God’s compassion. End with the Novena prayer
Day 6: Tuesday 16 June
Knowing the person of Jesus SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4:14–32) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Take a few moments to think about how Jesus described his mission. He has something more than just an impressive display to offer. His care was for those in need and this led to the rejection he experienced, not least in his own hometown, but everywhere. THE DESIRE: That I may know Jesus, become human for me, more intimately, love him more intensely and follow him more closely. End with the Novena prayer
Day 7: Wednesday 17 June
Jesus moves towards his cross SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26–26) 29
Sacred Heart Novena MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: Later in the passion account, Jesus was clearly seen and heard to forgive, from the very cross, moments before his death by execution. His physical agony would have been intense. Yet he could, at that moment, still speak of mercy. We can ask for an interior knowledge of what he was going through. We can ponder, also, the ways in which his heart will continue to go through agonies today. Reflect, then, on where he is crucified in our times, in the innocent, poor and weak for whom he came into our history. THE DESIRE: That I may feel sorrow with Christ sorrowful, anguish with Christ in anguish, and that the reality of the mercy of God might reveal itself to me in the Passion of Jesus. End with the Novena prayer
Day 8: Thursday 18 June
Jesus as he continues to his cross SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’ (John 19:34) MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: One of the soldiers, we hear, pierced the side of Jesus with his lance, penetrating to his heart, and out of his pierced side flowed blood and water. There is a tradition in the Church of thinking of this outpouring, from the Heart of Christ, as a fountain of sacramental life. We can ask, also, his mother Mary, one of the very few who remained close to the cross when most of the others fled, to share with us what was in her heart at this moment, the sword
that pierced her heart. THE DESIRE: That I may know Jesus, become human for me, more intimately, love him more intensely and follow him more closely. To feel sorrow and anguish with him. End with the Novena prayer
Day 9: Friday 19 June
Risen Christ, risen christian! SCRIPTURAL MOMENT: We can ponder any of the appearances of the risen Christ in this time, perhaps particularly the Emmaus Road encounter (Luke 24:13–35) and how, for the two former disciples trudging wearily homewards, their great adventure apparently having failed, something unmistakably marvellous happened in their hearts. This sudden moment of consolation, not of their own doing, changed everything for them. Look also at the next passage, Luke 24:36–43, when he offers peace to his frightened friends. MOMENT FOR REFLECTION: We can’t imagine what the actual resurrection was like because it’s too much for us, but what we can imagine is how it must have been for those dejected followers who, after the events of Calvary, had thought everything was over. Think of the way Jesus appeared to the disciples many times. Imagine the Risen Christ offering his peace to the world and to you. Talk to him; tell him what you feel you need. THE DESIRE: To experience, interiorly and deeply, joy with Christ risen, the joy he wants to share with his friends as he comes back to them, having overcome all darkness, all sin. End with the Novena prayer
re : link by members of a community of faith. Monotheism: The belief in one God. Mystery: Something that is difficult or impossible to understand. Nomad: A person who travels from place to place with no permanent home. Orthodox: A traditional form of religion which strictly follows rules, beliefs and practices. Parable: A short story taught by Jesus to teach people about the Kingdom of God. Passover: A Jewish festival which celebrates the Exodus. Patriarch(y): A group led by men. Patron Saint: The protecting or guiding saint of a person or place. Peace: Harmony between people. Penance: A Catholic sacrament in which a member of the church confesses their sins to a priest and is given absolution. Pentecost: The day that the apostles received the Holy Spirit and began spreading the message of Jesus. Petition: A type of prayer asking God’s help with one’s own needs or the needs of others. Pharisees: A religious group at the time of Jesus, they rejected Roman rule and were educated laymen who taught Jewish scripture. Pilgrim: A person who goes on a journey to a sacred shrine or place. Pilgrimage: A journey made by a pilgrim to a shrine or place. Pluralism: The view that all groups in society must have equal representation. Polytheism: The belief in more than one/many gods. Practices: Application of beliefs through actions. Prayer: The act of communicating with God. Protestantism: The faith, practice and Church order of the Protestant Churches eg: Church of Ireland. Public Ministry: Jesus’ years of travelling and spreading his message
about the Kingdom of God through parables, miracles, table fellowship and baptism. Quran: The sacred text of Islam. Reconciliation: Making the effort to heal or restore a broken relationship. Reflection: Thinking deeply about certain aspects of life. Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul, in another form. Religious Commitment: A decision to devote time and energy to practice one’s religion. Respect: To have high regard for someone or something and to treat with great care. Resurrection: The central Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was crucified. Rite of Passage: A ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone’s life. Ritual: An occasion when people use symbolic objects, words and actions to express what is deeply important to them. Romans: The Romans were members of a militarily expansive civilisation that occupied Palestine during Jesus’ lifetime. They originated from Rome in Italy, hence their name. Sacrament: A sacred ritual that is a visible sign of God’s presence with people at key moments in their lives. Sacred: A thing or place that is holy and set apart from ordinary life. Sacrifice: Something of value, offered for the sake of others. Sadducees: A religious group at the time of Jesus, they were mainly wealthy priests and religious leaders and they accepted Roman rule. Saint: A person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and regarded in Christian faith as being in heaven after death. Sanhedrin: The Jewish court of law, located in the temple and controlled by the Sadducees at the time of Jesus. Schism: A division or split within a community of faith. 31
re : link
Scripture: The sacred writings of a religion. Sectarianism: Hatred of people because they belong to a different religious group. Secularism: The view that organised religion should have no direct influence on society. Shahada: The Muslim profession of faith (â€˜there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allahâ€™), one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Sign: Something that communicates a brief message or piece of information. Stewardship: The way that people care for the earth on behalf of God. Symbol: Something visible ie. an object or action, representing something invisible, that is difficult to communicate. Synagogue: The place of worship in Judaism. Synoptic: To be alike or similar, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are known as the synoptic gospels due to their similarities. Table Fellowship: The way that Jesus shared meals with everyone to show that the Kingdom of God is open to all. Temple: The sacred building of
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Hinduism, Buddism, where daily and weekly prayer takes place. Theism: Belief in God/gods. Times of significance: Times of the year that have a special meaning for people. Tolerance: Allowing everyone to have their own religious beliefs and practices. Tradition: The wisdom and faith of a community, handed down from generation to generation. Venerate/Veneration: Great respect or reverence. Vocation: A feeling of being called by God to serve others. Wonder: A feeling inspired by a mysterious aspect of life. Worship: The way people of faith praise and honour God in prayer and at religious services. Yom Kippur: The holiest day of the Jewish year, the last of the ten days of penitence that begin with Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year). Zealot: A religious group at the time of Jesus, they rejected Roman rule also, they were a revolutionary group who used violence against the Romans.
Write a short essay of around 300 words on the three most important terms you have learned in RE!
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Insights into ‘the divine painter’
Raphael’s World Michael Collins Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael on 6 April 2020, Raphael’s World portrays the complex era of major political change in which one of the of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance lived. Raphael was sought out by popes, kings and aristocrats to decorate their residences and this book introduces the reader to a fascinating panoply of patrons. 128pp €19.95
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Honoured by An Post Many Jesuits have featured worldwide on postage stamps. Ireland has honoured James A Cullen SJ, founder of The Messenger and the Pioneer Association. The latest is Michael J Kelly SJ, who has spent all of his priestly life in the development of education in Zambia.
Michael J Kelly SJ, an Irish Jesuit missionary who has worked to combat HIV/AIDS in Zambia and Sub-Saharan Africa, featured on a postage stamp, issued on 27 February 2020, as part of An Post’s ‘The Irish Abroad’ series. The stamp is in recognition of Fr Michael’s sixty-five years of Jesuit ministry in Zambia, where he reached in to the hearts of people through education and HIV/AIDS-advocacy. In a letter detailing his personal reaction to the news, Fr Kelly says that he is completely overwhelmed and humbled at this ‘magnificent and totally unexpected honour’. According to the Irish postal service, ‘The Irish abroad and those who have Irish roots move centre stage globally each year when Ireland’s national day is widely celebrated in centres all over the world. Irish emigrants have made a huge impression on their adopted societies and on world affairs. Two of our five stamp-series on the theme of ‘The Irish Abroad’ for issue on 27 February acknowledge six such people’. An Post notes that Fr Kelly, originally from Tullamore, County Offaly, is widely acclaimed for his work as a priest and aid worker. He features on 34
the stamp alongside two other Irish emigrants: the accomplished author and Tuamgraney, County Clare-born Edna O’Brien and Mary Elmes (1908– 2002) from Cork, the humanitarian worker particularly renowned for saving the lives of 200 Jewish children in France during the Holocaust. An Post added, ‘Irish emigrants have made an indelible mark in many walks of life around the world over the centuries and we are delighted to mark their contribution by issuing two stamps that feature six notable examples’. The remaining figures are actor Richard Harris, scientist Dame Kathleen Lonsdale and musiciancomposer Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore. Fr Kelly writes: ‘I am absolutely delighted that those who left Ireland are being commemorated through this stamp issue, but I’m deeply humbled at the thought that they are being represented, remembered and honoured through me. I think also of the thousands who opened to me the doors of their personal lives and sufferings as they shared with me their HIV-infected situation and their anxieties. They retained hope and dignity through the ministries of HIV/ AIDS-workers who came from Ireland,
and today, many of them are happily alive and praising God for the people of Ireland. ‘A significant feature for me in this stamp issue is that I will be appearing in the company of two women – Mary Elmes, who during the Second World War enabled hundreds of Jewish children to escape from Nazi-occupied Paris, and Edna O’Brien, the renowned novelist.’ Promoting the situation and role of women has always been cardinal in Fr Kelly’s life, and he is very happy to appear in the company of ‘these two great women’. He is pleased also to see Dame Kathleen Lonsdale on one of the other stamps, a dynamic scientist who through her discoveries and accomplishments highlighted the
original and creative capability of women. He adds, ‘Really wonderful also to know that the new stamps make a further Jesuit connection by featuring Richard Harris who went to school in the Jesuit school, the Crescent, in Limerick’. He ends with: ‘It is my hope that my appearance on one of these stamps will bring recognition to the Church and the Society, and also, let me add, to my home town, Tullamore, and my adopted country, Zambia. The Church, the Society, Tullamore and Zambia have made me what I am and I can never be grateful enough to them. I don’t see myself as a worthy son of any of them, but apparently others think differently’. Courtesy of Irish Jesuit News
The Benefit of the Doubt?
Fr Tom Cox, of Shannonbridge, reflects on what the faith journey of ‘doubting Thomas’ can teach us today. In my earlier days as a priest, doubt was confessed as a sin. That might seem strange as we have moved from the ‘Age of Faith’ to the ‘Age of Doubt’. Back then I was even a little thin-skinned about the title ‘doubting Thomas’! Yet, while Thomas may have been the doubter, he was also open to the possibility of belief. Today some seem to deny that any proof is possible. We seem to live in an age when communication is much easier, and yet, paradoxically, people are more closed off from one another. Our viewpoints narrowing, our perspective limited by online ‘echochambers’. By an online echo-chamber, I mean groups of people gathered on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform who only interact with people who share their views, and may not even be aware that there are people with different viewpoints. Sometimes the outsider view is needed! Faith and doubt are sisters. In a sense you can’t have one without the other. Doubt can lead us to faith, 36
and the believing community can help restore us to it when faith is lost. Thomas seems to have found faith again when he returned to the community, as when Jesus first came to them, ‘Thomas was not with them’. But what if faith is consumed by doubt and the doubter cuts themselves off from others? Thomas had a greatness to express doubt and yet a magnanimity to turn to faith with ‘My Lord and my God’. He didn’t begrudgingly admit Jesus was alive – he professed the faith. Marking the anniversary of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire and reflecting on the outbreak of Covid-19, it struck me that new life can grow from disasters. Maybe in the Church we need to focus on the house of faith, not the building of the past. We have had the wounds and vulnerability of the Church exposed. Some people remain, others have moved a little aside, but we need to invite those who doubt and those who have ‘left’ to touch the Christ wounds and find in them a source of light and healing.
Thanksgiving Letters 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. Family Gathering I want to give my grateful thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the many favours and blessings that have been granted to me and my family over many, many years. The Sacred Heart has always been there helping me throughout my life. My thanks has been promised and is long overdue. Anon New Home In my letter of thanksgiving to the Sacred Heart, I wanted to return my thanks for the many favours Iâ€™ve been granted: for the gift of beautiful grandchildren, and a happy marriage. Mother of four, Coleraine Reunited Please publish my heartfelt thanks to the Sacred Heart for a big favour I received over the last four weeks. I got a great consolation form a letter to The Messenger this month. A lady had been praying for fifteen years that her son and daughter would be reconciled, and at last her prayer was answered. I am 82 years of age and for almost nine years I have been praying for my child and my childâ€™s partner to reunite. They still talk and co-parent the children but it is very hard on my husband and
myself to watch the family of lovely children, almost adults now, coping with the separation. I will continue to pray for them and the rest of my family. A very worried grandmother and mother. PS. I love The Messenger and look forward to it every month. Always There I have promised to publish my many, many thanks to the Sacred heart for all the favours he has granted me over sixty years. I could write a book about all the many petitions he answered over the years: a wonderful family, all got great jobs, worked hard. Whenever I feel down, I turn to the Holy Spirit and he always seems to be there and to help me. A great believer in the Sacred Heart Australia Please publish my thanks to the Sacred Heart for many favours received over the years. In particular, I am grateful for the return of my grandson from Australia. It has been very difficult to be apart from him, and I always worried that, if something were to happen, he would be far from the support of his family. Anon 37
Thai Red Curry with Pork and Potato (serves 4) Some may be intimidated by the thought of preparing a Thai curry, but trained chef Seamus Buckley shows us how easy it can be! The thoughts of cooking a Thai Red Curry may frighten some people, but in truth, the dish can be very easily prepared and cooked, and is guaranteed to go down a treat with everyone. All ingredients are easy to source in most supermarkets, including the Thai Red Curry paste, pre-prepared for convenience. If you wish you may substitute sweet potatoes for potatoes. Ingredients
600 gm/1lb 4oz of pork tenderloin 2–3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into centimetre cubes 200 gm/6 oz of green beans, topped and tailed, then cut into 3. 1 sliced red onion, 1 tin of light coconut milk 2–3 tbsp of Thai red curry paste 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
n Prepare the vegetables as per the ingredient list. n Trim all excess sinew and fat from the tenderloin. n Cut the fillet lengthways and then cut into thin even slices. n Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the pork. n Fry the pork 4–5 minutes and add the red onions. n When the onions soften stir in the Thai red curry paste (as per 1st paragraph instruction) n Finally add the coconut milk, potatoes and green beans and simmer gently for about 10–12 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and tender. n Serve with boiled rice.
Strawberry and Cream Cheesecake For June, the month of the ‘strawberry moon’, Seamus also offers a recipe for a delicious strawberry and cream cheesecake. The full moon in June is also known as the ‘Strawberry Moon’, a sign to start harvesting the fruit, so I think it is only proper to include a recipe for strawberry and cream cheesecake.
Images © Shutterstock.com
400 gm/14 oz digestive biscuits 120 gm/ 4 oz of melted butter 350 gm/12 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters 250 gm/9 oz mascarpone or Philadelphia cream cheese 250 ml/1/2 pint of whipped cream 100 grams/3 oz castor sugar 1 packet of strawberry jelly, dissolved in 3 tbsp of boiling water and allowed to cool a little. 1 23cm/9 inch springform baking tin
n Crush the digestive in a plastic bag or food processor until fine crumb and mix in the melted butter. n Place the biscuits in the baking tin and press down firmly and allow to cool. n Place the strawberries, sugar and cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat well. n The mixture will turn to a vibrant pink and may still have small nuggets of strawberries. n Mix in the dissolved jelly. n Fold in the whipped cream till mixture comes together. n Pour over the biscuit base n Refrigerate for 3–4 hour to set. n Remove from tin and decorate with sliced strawberries, and more whipped cream if desired.
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ACROSS 8 A songbird fluttering on inn nameplate (9) 9 He leaves Heather travelling round centre (5) 10 None idle? Could be about 100 suffering from idleness (9) 11 Apprentice owns a capital place (5) 12 Computer having more than one at the critical time (6-8) 15 Employed by someone else first (4) 17 One who takes things the wrong way (5) 19 One can’t go straight to centre of this complicated network (4) 21 Putting something in collection-box (7,1,6) 23 Follow the path (5) 24 A long hump baffled farm worker (9) 26 Some more ignoramuses in command (5) 27 Catch something hackneyed first, straw figure (4,5)
DOWN 1 Small and dainty jetplane has no name (6) 2 Told although one already knew? (8) 3 Group’ s change of position (8) 4 Heather loses a man (4) 5 Harry in the side hunting at sea (7) 6 Advocates putting three articles on fabric (8) 7 Good man hurried with parent up in town in Scotland (9) 13 Country most likely to crack (5) 14 Jerky way to get engine going? (4-5) 16 City still jumping for joy (8) 18 Visit happening regularly at short intervals (8) 19 Arsonist’s case? (8) 20 Like this shutting eye briefly very rapidly (7) 22 Actually it’s about everybody before end of day (6) 25 Ladies quietly make complete circuit (4)
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ACROSS 1 Popular attraction for children in summer months (7) 7 Can be eaten with chips (3) 8 Foolishness (5) 9 Nobleman (4) 10 One who is greatly admired (4) 13 Palindromic Irish town (5) 15 Short for Leonard (3) 16 Making an impression, often on metal (7)
DOWN 2 ____ the weather (5) 3 Soccer’s ruling body (4) 4 An ___ wind (3) 5 European country (7) 6 Peddling exercise for young and old (7) 11 ____ Thomas, Welsh poet (5) 12 Twelve ____es in a foot.(4) 14 Bring your pet to the ___ (3)
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ADULT CROSSWORD: ACROSS: 1 Photogenic 7 Doom 9 Knitwear 10 Anthem 11 Equestrian 14 Do battle 15 Shifty 16 Broker 18 Cheyenne 20 Fast asleep 23 Lizard 24 Tussling 25 Emil 26 Ear-trumpet. DOWN: 2 Hank 3 Tutu 4 Greyest 5 Nurture 6 Chassis 7 Determined 8 Overacting 12 Journalism 13 Basketball 17 Residue 18 Creator 19 Exposer 21 Slum 22 Once. CHILDREN’S CROSSWORD: ACROSS: 1 Huge 3 Bart 7 Raspberry 8 Connect 12 Roscommon 14 Note DOWN: 1 Hare 2 Gusto 4 Air 5 Toys 6 Abandon 9 Camel 10 Iran 11 Know 13 Set. CHILDREN’S CROSSWORD WINNER: PATRICK LEE, WATERFORD. DIARMUID HAYES, GALWAY. ADULT’S CROSSWORD WINNER: MYRA CLANCY, WATERFORD; PHIL MASSEY, DUBLIN YOUNG READER’S PAGES WINNER: ALEX BARNES, GALWAY
The Tomb: Mark 16-1-8 Mary Magdalene and Mary decided to go visit the tomb where Jesus had been buried. As they approached, they began to wonder as to how they would get in! The tomb was closed over with a great stone, and neither of them had the strength to move it. When they arrived, however, the stone was gone! They decided to go into the tomb to investigate, and found what looked like a man, in bright white clothing, sitting down, sipping his morning tea. Naturally, they were a little upset.
‘Relax’, said the man. ‘You’re probably looking for Jesus, right? He’s not actually here at the moment, and I don’t think he is coming back. Could you do me a favour, actually, and tell the rest of his friends this message? He has gone on ahead to Galilee and will meet you there.’ They looked for Jesus’ body, but it wasn’t there. Shocked, and not knowing what to say to the man in white, they fled from the tomb.
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Find the right path
Exams and Beyond Exams Catherine Clarke, chaplain at Portmarnock Community School, Dublin, reflects on the role of the Leaving Certificate in the lives of young people, and on the role it played in her life. On going to press there was still doubt about whether the 2020 Leaving Certificate would go ahead, our prayers for students are relevant whenever the exams happen. In June every year, I work for the State Exams Commission, supervising students sitting their Leaving Certificate exams. Whilst I am often located in a different school each year I feel very united with my own students in Portmarnock Community School where I work as a school chaplain. In the silence of the exam hall, I cannot read or use my mobile phone and I watch these young people for two to three hours at a time. I have a lot of time to ponder and reflect. Last year whilst I was supervising I began to reflect a little deeper on this theme of state examinations and on the theme of God and prayer. It is often in the silence that God speaks to us. It struck me that I believe God is in each and every one of these young people who are currently sitting their exams. God is in their past, present and even their future. God has a plan for their lives even though many of them may not realise it yet! Looking at each of these young people, I remembered that at one point in my life I was in exactly the same position. I sat my Leaving Certificateificate in 1999 with dreams and hopes of going to college without being one hundred per cent sure of 44
my career path. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world, but the world that I lived in was a very different place to the world of these young people. The pace of life was slower, there was less pressure and family pressure in particular seemed less, technology and social media wasn’t something that had a strong influence over my life, in fact most of it hadn’t been invented. Perhaps in my generation young people were more connected with themselves, and with each other. Yet, like them I was simply a teenager trying to make my way on my journey through life, and like me these young people have similar dreams and hopes. So was I really all that different from those whom I was supervising in 2019? The answer is ‘no, not really’, because like them I was unique, and in fact still am, and God has a plan for my life. Recently, someone asked me if I were to go back, would I be keen to sit my Leaving Certificate again? I had to pause and reflect on this question. My initial answer was no! In the end, however, the answer I gave was that exams are a necessary part of life, and got me to college. I may not
La Pieta (‘The Pity’) 1499 Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, inside St. Peter’s Basilica. ImagebyLincolBd©Shutrsk.
Looking at each of these young people I remembered that at one point in my life I was in exactly the same position. have enjoyed them, but they were a part of my journey. I was also asked, whether the exams I sat in 1999 matter to me now, twenty years on? My answer was that today they are irrelevant . . . The Leaving Certificate was merely a rite of passage and important as it was at the time, the results of my exams mean very little to me now. In Matthew’s Gospel we read, ‘do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself, today has enough trouble of its own’ (6:34). This can help the young people who will sit their exams this month, to find
their way in life. They have faced and will continue to face stresses and challenges in life, some bigger than any leaving or Junior certificate exam, so while we have prayed for them and lit candles for them to do well in their exams, we must never stop praying for them, for their lives, their futures, their hopes and dreams, remembering always that they like us are infinitely loved by God. ‘God has an amazing plan for each and every one of them. They simply need to trust in that plan, and draw on the guidance, wisdom, prayer, and love of those around them.’ 45
Young people of Faith
Ragheed Ganni Fr Ragheed Ganni is well remembered in Ireland for his work at Lough Derg. Shortly after his return to Iraq he was cruelly murdered after Mass. Fr John Murray, parish priest of Downpatrick, relates some of his life story. ‘Ragheed’s been shot! Ragheed’s been shot’, my colleague in the parish yelled as he burst into the room. Distressed, I hoped that his news was not true. Soon we knew more. Fr Ragheed Ganni and his three deacons had finished Mass and were getting into their car when gunmen suddenly appeared and ambushed them. All four were left dead. A group of Islamist fighters shot the four men near the Chaldean Holy Spirit Church where Fr Ganni was parish priest. He had just celebrated Mass there on Trinity Sunday 3 June 2007. As the group walked away from the church, the armed men stopped them, warning Fr Ganni to close the church. Fr Ganni replied, ‘How can I close the house of God?’ The gunmen ordered Deacon Isho’s wife to flee, demanded that the four men convert to Islam and, when they refused, took their lives. The car was then rigged with explosives to prevent the bodies being recovered, but a bomb disposal team managed to defuse the devices, allowing the corpses to be buried. Thousands of people attended the funeral of the four men the following day. ‘The example and witness of Fr Ragheed inspired me from the moment I heard of his martyrdom, one of so many noble martyrs of the great 46
new persecution in the Middle East,’ said Fr Benedict Kiely, founder of a charity for persecuted Christians. ISIS had ransacked Karemlash, Fr Ganni’s hometown, during their occupation from 2014–2016. They vandalised Fr Ganni’s tombstone but left his resting place untouched. Fr Kiely recalled that to walk into the desecrated church last year and discover his tomb ‘was a beautiful blessing and sign from Heaven to continue to remind the world of the suffering Christians in the cradle of Christianity.’ The Iraqi priest martyred by Islamist fighters in Mosul in 2007 remains an inspiration for many Christian victims of persecution. The Vatican has formally opened the canonisation cause of Iraqi Chaldean Fr Ragheed Aziz Ganni and three deacons Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho and Gassan Isam Bidawid. Fr Ragheed Ganni was well known in Rome and lived at the Irish College between 1996 and 2003. Having completed his formation he was ordained a priest of the Chaldean Catholic Archeparchy of Mosul in 2001. After ordination Fr Ganni continued his studies at the Pontifical Irish College, and he gained a Licentiate in Ecumenical Theology from the Pontifical University of St Thomas, the Angelicum. In 2003 he elected to return to
his home country of Iraq. Fr Ganni made strong friends with Irish seminarians and also spent summers in Lough Derg since he could not go home. The Irish seminarians arranged for the Irish hierarchy to offer him a parish after he was ordained in 2001. He had the opportunity but refused. He was needed at home. ‘That is where I belong, that is my place’, he said. Fr Ganni had first come to international notice two years before his death, in 2005, when he spoke in Bari, Italy, at a Eucharistic congress. ‘On 20 June of last year, a group of young women were cleaning the church to get it ready for Sunday service. My sister Raghad, who is
nineteen, was among them’, he said. ‘As she was carrying water to wash the floor, two men drove up and threw a grenade that blew up near her.’ It was a miracle that she survived. ‘For me and my community, my sister’s wounds were a source of strength so that we, too, may bear our cross’, Fr Ganni said. ‘Mosul Christians are not theologians; some are even illiterate. And yet inside of us for many generations one truth has become embedded: without the Sunday Eucharist we cannot live.’ After the 2003 US-led invasion ousted Sunni leader Saddam Hussein, Iraq became hostile territory for Christians. The Islamist violence was pervasive, targeting stores at first, then churches, 47
Young people of Faith then Christians everywhere. In his 2005 remarks, Fr Ganni said, ‘Last August in St Paul’s Church, a car bomb exploded after the 6 pm Mass. The blast killed two Christians and wounded many others’. The event was a ‘miracle’ because only one bomb of many planted in a car went off. ‘Had they all gone off together the dead would have been in the hundreds since 400 faithful had come on that day.’ ‘The terrorists might think they can kill our bodies or our spirit by frightening us, but, on Sundays, churches are always full’, he said. ‘They may try to take our life, but the Eucharist gives it back.’ ‘There are days when I feel frail and full of fear. But when, holding the
Eucharist, I say “Behold the Lamb of God, Behold him who takes away the sin of the world,” I feel his strength in me’, he said. ‘When I hold the host in my hands, it is really he who is holding me and all of us, challenging the terrorists and keeping us united in his boundless love.’ At that same Eucharistic congress in 2005 Pope Benedict spoke of another occasion – in the year AD 304 – when soldiers broke into a barn in Abitene (Tunisia) where Christians were celebrating the Eucharist. When ordered to stop the priest spoke those same incredible words, ‘without Sunday we cannot live’. Fr Ganni knew those words and paid the price for making them true.
D on ation s gratef ully r ecei v ed
For the spread of devotion to the love of God in the Sacred Heart and other Messenger charities. ... For the work of the Jesuit Mission in Assam, North India, for the payment of teachers’ salaries in the new Jesuit third-level college at Tezpur. ... St Joseph’s Penny Dinners, c/o Fr Paul Farquharson SJ, St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, funding food for the hungry in Ireland and abroad. ... For the promotion of The Sacred Heart Messenger. ...
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Messenger Pilgrimage To Knock Join readers, promoters and friends of The Messenger magazine at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo on Sunday, 21 June 2020, 11.00am Meeting & Greeting in St John’s Rest and Care Centre. Fr Donal Neary SJ will speak on ‘Messenger and the Message For Today’. 11.45am 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
Dr Jamain’s June For June Helen Dillon insists on cow manure not horse manure, and recommends difficult but irresistible beauties like Rose ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’, as well as the more dependable Astilbe filipendula.
There is nothing more exciting than making a new flower bed. We had a great heap of old manure that had recently became small enough to move, along with several million lovely plump worms. The manure heap (not the most romantic of sights, but essential for good gardening) has a new position tucked away in a remote corner. The new bed is now surrounded with granite slabs – handy for sitting on in summer – and is against a tall shady wall. By the way, in case I haven’t mentioned before, with regard to manure, always insist on cow rather than horse manure – for the fact is that bedding for horses is nearly always made with bark which takes forever to rot, and looks a right mess for months when you spread it out in your beds, and furthermore uses up most of the goodness that you have just put into the garden. One of the focal points of the new bed will be the repeat planting of a lovely old fashioned but beautiful mid to late summer plant, Astilbe 50
Astilbe filipendula, Photo: Helen Dillon
filipendula, which has soft fluffy pink flowers and is comfortable in full shade. My problem is the same as that of all keen gardeners, we cannot resist buying yet another plant, so most beds end up with a rather spotty look. I try and plant one or two examples of repetitive planting – of some nice, easy plant that I like, such as the Astilbe, then it looks like I have actually thought about it. This garden is at its peak for colour when the Delphiniums are in bloom in a long bed, planted in a repetitive line, about seven feet apart. Here I have a light blue strain that are not so dangerously tall that they fall over,
There are plenty of problems attached to growing Delphiniums, especially since they are instantly attacked by any sort of bug or snail
but they still must always have careful staking. (There are plenty of problems attached to growing Delphiniums , especially since they are instantly attacked by any sort of bug or snail.) But when they are happy they are quite lovely. The moment this first flowering goes over (around early July) all these Delphiniums are cut right to the ground, given a huge feed and are pampered regularly with watering, and carefully staked again as they grow. Then there is the great treat of the important second flowering, around early August. Meanwhile the collection of Agapanthus comes into its own: these
are situated nearer the front of the same long bed, intermingled with the Delphiniums, plus of course a mass of permanent plants. I have been through every type of Agapanthus you could think of – very dark blue ones, white ones, tall ones, very short ones. You could argue that they are all lovely, but to my eye it is the good mid-blue ones which make the very best effect from a distance, especially if you have chosen a cultivar with good, big flowers. If you live in a cool part of Ireland, try and get some of the hardiest cultivars – some Agapanthuses are hardier than others. Years ago I would always recommend the ravishing Rose ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’. (Would you believe, I have just bought it for the third time – I always forget – how difficult it can be! Exquisite deep red velvety flowers, but very few of them, and very fleeting to put it mildly.) In case there are any beginners reading this I must recommend some wonderful plants: Rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, Romneya coulteri and Clematis x durandii. 51
The Sacred Heart Fr Vincent Sherlock, parish priest of Kilmovee, Co Mayo, remembers a caller to a local radio programme whose idea of the perfect housewarming gift was a picture of the Sacred Heart. It was a straightforward enough question. Someone phoned the local radio station looking for listeners’ help with a question. Friends had moved into a new house and the question was ‘What should I get them as a house-warming gift?’ The response was swift. One caller recommended a One4All voucher. Another recommended a voucher for a wellknown home goods store. Still others recommended a nice bottle of wine or to offer to help with painting the house. Someone else recommended the idea of just ordering dinner for the people involved as they may well not have enough time to cook for themselves in the early days of setting up their home. Some more callers recommended just giving the friends some cash so that they could buy what they might need for their new home. There was no shortage of replies. A few songs were played, more requests and a few more callers. The show moved on, there were other topics for discussion, requests to be played and songs to be heard. Then 52
a caller brought us back to the earlier question and suggested that the ideal gift to give people in their new home would be a picture of the Sacred Heart. In fairness the show’s presenter offered this suggestion with the same enthusiasm he had offered all the rest. I wondered though, how the audience received this suggestion. Wine, vouchers, offers to help paint and decorate, delivered dinners and then, the Sacred Heart. It seemed such a natural suggestion and I wonder who made it? ‘
Friends had moved into a new house and the question was ‘What should I get them as a house-warming gift?’
many sing it and sing it so well. Not many include these lines though, and I think they’re powerful: I’d love to sit and talk with you and while away the night; the picture on the wall up there, our Saviour with a light. The hope of wandering sheep like me the Lord of rise and fall, there’s a touch of Heavenly Love around the homes of Donegal.
A caller’ was as much as we got by way of identification. I thought the caller had courage to suggest this. I wondered was it a man or a woman, young or old, urban or rural? Then I felt that was the wrong place to begin reflecting on this because all too easily we could pigeonhole the person who still sees the Sacred Heart picture as a central fitting in any family home. My mind wandered to a lovely version I once heard of ‘The Homes of Donegal’. It’s a beautiful song and so
The picture has a place in that setting and a story to tell. Its red lamp flickering against the open and loving heart of Jesus brings a warmth matched only by the fire and the welcome offered. It is a picture that speaks of presence, protection, love and connection. It is a gift worth offering, maybe it might or might not be immediately put in a place of honour but, if need be, he will wait! When the moment is right, the unwrapping will be done, the space will be found and the story will be told. O, Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in thee. 53
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I am your deepest preference Mt 10:37-42
Peter spoke up Mt 16:13-19
Ss Peter and Paul
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Save us Lord Mt 8:23-27
The First Martyrs of Rome
The child became strong in the Spirit Lk 1:57-66. 80
Judge not Mt 7:1-5
Treat others as you wish to be treated Mt 7:6. 12-14
No need to be afraid Mt 10:26-33
Nativity of St John the Baptist
St Paulinus of Nola
Do you make a show of your goodness? Mt 6:1-6. 16-18
Those who keep Godâ€™s law are great Mt 5:17-19
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Extend your love beyond your friends Mt 5:43-48
You are the light of the world. Mt 5:13-16 St Columba
Offer the wicked no resistance Mt 5:38-42
Bl essed are the poor, the merciful Mt 5:1-12
Ephrem of Syria
The meaning of the resurrection Mk 12:18-27 St Kevin
Give to God what belongs to God Mk 12:13-17
The stone rejected became the keystone Mk 12:1-12
St Charles Lwanga & Co
Ss Marcellinus & Peter
Mary, Mother of the Church
The bread I give is my flesh Jn 6:51-58
The Body and Blood of Christ
God sent his Son Jn 3:16-18
The Holy Trinity
His teaching made a deep impression Mt 7:21-29
Make simple prayers Mt 6:7-15
Be reconciled rather than angry Mt 5:20-26
The first of all commandments Mk 12:28-34
You can cure me Mt 8:1-4
I am humble of heart Mt 11:25-30
I am not worthy Mt 8:5-17
St Cyril of Alexandria
Mary felt great anxiety. Lk 2:41-51 The Irish Martyrs
Immaculate Heart of the BVM
SACRED HEART OF JESUS St Romuald
Say what you mean Mt 5:33-37
St Anthony of Padua
Beware of the rich and powerful. Mk 12:38-44 St Jarlath
Avoid lust Mt 5:27-32
Christ is the Lord Mk 12:35-37
For the fruits of the summer we give thanks. For nourishment and energy, we give thanks For our daily food, we give thanks. He fills the starving with good things, being mindful of his mercy. Luke 1:25-27. Text: Donal Neary SJ. Photograph by Liam Oâ€™Connell SJ ISSN 1649-4450
The Pope’s prayer for June is for those suffering to find consolation and comfort. Although our individual experiences over the past several...
Published on May 6, 2020
The Pope’s prayer for June is for those suffering to find consolation and comfort. Although our individual experiences over the past several...