Sunday, August 20, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
It's always noticeable how the tiniest gesture of friendliness, a smile, a gentle word, a kind remark can be reciprocated. And it does good too.
This day last week early in the morning while cycling to Heuston Station I spotted a man out walking his dog at the junction of Marrowbone Lane and Robert Street. Both were stopped on the footpath waiting to cross the road. The little black terrier, without a lead, was sitting and as soon as the man said 'go', the dog crossed the road with him.
Seeing this I was intrigued at how obedient and well trained the dog was. I looked over at the man and complimented him on his training and went on to tell him that my dog would not do that in a million years. He began to smile and assured me that his dog was a 'fits and starts' merchant when it came to obedience. I told him that if my Tess saw a cat she'd be gone if I had not got her on a lead. The man smiled: "Ah, this thing plays with cats".
Off I cycled over to Heuston Station. And that happened sometime close to 06.30. All completely unannounced, two strangers, one on a bicycle, the other walking, a two-minute conversation and you should have seen the smile on the man's face as I cycled off. And I too felt the better for it and was even thinking how Tess would manage at home the day without me. Of course, Tess is my elderly untrained Labrador.
And so it is with our lives. Most times we are kind and friendly with people they will respond accordingly. It's the exception where a grunt is the reply to a friendly smile.
Rules and regulations, orthodoxy and observance no doubt have their roles to lay in the affairs of mankind, but the more I see of the world and its workings I'm far more inclined to come down on the side of kindness, gentleness, friendship too.
Anyone who looks at tomorrow's Gospel surely is bound to see the kindness of Jesus. The Gospel account (Matthew 15: 21 - 28) may have deep scriptural significance but to the casual reader or the person listening to it in church one can't but be struck with the fabulous and simple humanity of Jesus.
The woman pleaded with Jesus to cure her daughter. He at first explains that he "was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel". She was a Canaanite. But when he sees how she behaves he replies: "Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted." Jesus is a man of mercy and kindness.
Anywhere there are human beings there are those who will become obsessed and over-rigid about rules and regulations. For many they can become the norm. But rules, regulations, codes, and the observance of all the rules and regulations are most unlikely to be the driving force that will make us kind, gentle and good people. And surely that should be our ambition, our aim to be kind people. Can there be a possible better epitaph about a person, a better phrase to write on someone's headstone than 'She/he was a kind person'?
Wednesday, August 9 was the anniversary of the death of Edith Stein, who was gassed on that day in 1942 at Auschwitz. She said: "It has always been far from me to think that God’s mercy allows itself to be circumscribed by the visible Church’s boundaries. God is truth. All who seek truth seek God, whether this is clear to them or not.”
And so too it is with kindness and indeed, all those characteristics, attributes and yes, gestures that bring out the goodness and love of other people. During these last 12 months, I have been privileged and fortunate to see first-hand the love and kindness of people when faced with pain and suffering.
Everything else seems to fade into insignificance.
And it certainly speaks much louder than any words or orders that come from rule books or quoting clauses from doctrinaire manifestos. I'm still thinking of my friendly encounter with the man and his dog at the Marrowbone Lane-Robert Street junction.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Shush, not a word about the difference in price. Always vulgar to talk about money.
But not for the seagull, of course and that's probably what she/he is doing right now but closer to Dublin no doubt.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
She was born in Breslau, then part of the German Reich, today in Poland, in 1892 into a family of the Jewish faith.
She was a philosopher, rubbed shoulders with Martin Heidegger.
Became an atheist, then a Catholic. Joined the Carmelites.
She was gassed on this day, August 9, 1942 at Auschwitz.
"God is truth. All who seek truth seek God, whether this is clear to them or not,” Edith Stein.
Just a thought on the anniversary of the day she was gassed by the Germans at Auschwitz, and on the day after United States President Trump has spoken of unleashing a “fire and fury this world has never seen”.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Thirty-three million people travelled through Ireland last year.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
Michael Commane OP
Some months back Mary was a patient in St Luke's Hospital. Her husband visited her every day.
We'll call them Mary and John Murphy, which are not their real names.
John is a bus driver with Dublin Bus and embarrassingly, I have to admit that I have a passing interest in buses. Sad to say, I can spot the difference between an SG and a GT Volvo, which are the newest designed buses in the fleet.
So over the weeks that Mary was a patient I had plenty of time to discuss the world of buses with John. Probably greatly annoyed and bored the man. But we had many laughs. He's good-natured and I think we enjoyed each other's company.
The 14 bus is now a cross-city route and works out of two depots, Donnybrook and Summerhill. John is based at Summerhill, which means he occasionally drives the 14.
I have been looking out for him for months, indeed, I have almost fallen off the bicycle while checking drivers on the 14.
Then three weeks ago when getting off a 14 I noticed I was on a Summerhill bus. I asked the driver did she know a John Murphy. She said she did, so I told her I knew him, gave her my name and asked her to say hello to him from me.
Within a week I received an SMS from John. The bus driver had passed on my greeting to him and he in turn sent me a text to say hello.
A tiny little episode in the scheme of things but how delightful. It put a smile on my face. And to add to the story, Mary, his wife, is in good health.
See, the little things. And all right in front of our eyes. Not in some far off exotic land but here in my own place.
Isn't it the poet William Wordsworth who sees the extraordinary in the ordinary things right in front of us? At times so easy to miss, what a shame. But the magic when we see it.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
UK air traffic controllers are expecting to handle more than 8,800 flights on Friday – the busiest day on record for UK airspace – while millions take to the roads as the summer school holidays begin for many pupils.
A record 2.4 million UK holidaymakers will be heading overseas, according to the travel association Abta.
Airports in the south-east are expecting a very busy weekend with more than 500,000 passengers expected to depart from Heathrow, 335,000 from Gatwick, 136,000 from Stansted and 85,000 from Luton.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
In 1998 Delpini published a humorous book critical of clericalism.