Faith in the Family

Do you know that our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones? That is what a psychologist explained to us recently at training for people working with families. The subject was ‘Supporting parents of an anxious child’ and we were being urged to understand that really, our brains are…

Faith in the Family

Well so far the feet look fine and the hips are still working! Danny and I are four days and about seventy kilometres into the Camino de Santiago. We are also celebrating our twenty sixth wedding anniversary today. So what profound reflections have come to me as we walk through woodlands and vineyards, up boulder-strewn…

Faith in the Family

I remember when I was small, I asked my Daddy why I had a belly button. He replied that it happened when God was checking if the babies were ready for delivery to families. “God went along the line of babies” said my Daddy, “poking each one gently in the tummy and saying, ‘You’re done…

Faith in the Family

It used to be the playroom, the place where our four played school all through the summer holidays, where they rehearsed and performed their own nativity plays each year. Now, it is more like the old-style grocery store in rural Ireland where you could buy a heavy iron skillet, a tin of beans and a…

Faith in the Family

This time one year ago I was busily working on my input for the World Meeting of Families Pastoral Congress in the RDS. I had to be ready in good time because my input had to be sent off to Rome in advance of the Congress just to make sure that I wasn’t saying anything…

Faith in the Family

Is it bizarre to find a connection between the Harry Potter books and the Eucharist? It is something that has been going around in my head for a while. In the books it gradually becomes clear that the evil character Voldemort cannot easily be killed. He has placed a horcrux – a piece of his…

Faith in the family

“No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) I was reading at Mass a couple of weeks ago and that line stayed with me. It was that sense that God’s Word is not something distant or illusive that attracted me. As…

Faith in the Family

We – all six of us – have just come back from a holiday in the beautiful city of Brugge in Belgium. We had met in the airport in Dublin, delighted at the prospect of going away together. That evening, having settled into our AirBnB, we went out for a walk. Along by the canals,…

Faith in the Family

I feel a yearning for the wild. I don’t mean I plan to run off and behave badly, I just mean I have a deep desire to go and sit and be in a wild place, listening, noticing and not ‘doing’ anything else. Life has been rather hectic recently. We have just completed our fourth and…

Faith in the Family

I’ve had a few ‘Feeding the 5,000’ experiences lately. The first was a Guest Tea at our GAA club – afternoon tea and a variety of entertainment from Traditional music and recitations to the short play or ‘Leiriú’ which our club got through to the All-Ireland Scór final this year. People hosted tables, providing everything…