Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Radcliffe on Christian hope in the Middle East

English Dominican and former Master of the Dominican Order Fr Timothy Radcliffe gave a talk under the auspices of the Priory Institute in Tallaght last evening.

The title of the talk was 'How can we hope today? The lessons of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East"

Timothy is a well-known speaker on the world stage and he did not disappoint an overflowing lecture hall last evening.

He spoke about his experience travelling in war-torn Iraq, Syria and other countries of the Middle East.

On many occasions he referred to the deep hope he had come to in the Eucharist.

"Our church in Ireland and Britain is going through a dark time - we have a chance to find hope in the Eucharist," he said.

Timothy always laces his talks with humour. He told the story of the mother who calls her son so that he can go to Mass.

"Ten minutes later she goes up again to call him. She shakes him and he tells her it is so boring.

"Eventually, she shouts at him that he better go to Mass, besides, 'you are the bishop of the diocese'."

He used the humour to explain how he at times finds Mass boring but we are now at a time and place to find hope in the Eucharist.

Radcliffe has been inspired how Dominican sisters and brothers have stayed in their place and quoted Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury who said that one of the great things to hear is: "I'm not going away".

Irish Dominicans have moved out of priories in Limerick and Athy and have planned to leave Drogheda.

He said that even in the church we hang on when things seem crazy. But we don't stay there as "a physical lump but to be there to see the face of the Lord in the wilderness - so as to read the human face.

We have to learn the art of reading one another's faces."

He alluded to how songs break down barriers that separate us and gave the example of German soldiers singing Stille Nacht in WWl.

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