Charity at a time of chaos

A Parent’s Perspective The line from the poem Easter 1916 by William Butler Yeats “all changed, changed utterly: a terrible beauty is born” has been in my head a lot recently. Queen Elizabeth famously referred to 1992 as her annus horribilis, a Latin phrase meaning horrible year. Like many other families all over Ireland and…

Why are some people so annoying?

A Parent’s Perspective I watched a short, gripping video recently presented by the priest and author, Fr Mike Schmitz. Well known for his internet presence, especially his YouTube videos, this one really grabbed my attention, with the title: ‘Why Are Some People So Annoying?’ His basic premise is that being annoyed is a choice we…

Saying a name many ‘dare not speak’

A Parent’s Perspective Reading about the death of John Hume, Nobel Peace Prize winner and prominent Northern Irish politician, what stood out was his persistence and unshakeable commitment. Many commentators have mentioned his courage, charisma and kindness and how he spoke out for what he knew to be right. He was a firm believer in…

Suffering in union with Christ

A Parent’s Perspective Some years ago, I invited a woman to get involved in some pro-life activities. She’d been very involved in campaigning in the past but was adamant that her days of active involvement were over. I think she felt that as the aches and pains of advancing age took their toll, she didn’t…

Without Mass we cannot live

A Parent’s Perspective At the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in 2008 in Quebec, Canada, Pope Benedict XVI spoke passionately via satellite about the Eucharist as “our most beautiful treasure” and “the sacrament per excellence”, introducing us early into eternal life. The theme of the congress that year was ‘The Eucharist, gift of God for the…

Saying goodbye during Covid-19 crisis

A parent’s perspective   My husband’s uncle died yesterday. He had Down’s syndrome and spent his life surrounded by love, a valuable and cherished member of his family. He enjoyed his simple pleasures like his soft toys, his Star War figures and his cartoons. When my husband and I visited him some weeks ago in…

Bad circumstances can bring out the best in us

A parent’s perspective   Driving through Dublin on St Patrick’s Day was a surreal experience. Normally, the city would have been thronged with people bedecked in green, white and gold; practically every town in Ireland would have had some version of a St Patrick’s Day parade and the pubs, restaurants and hotels would have been…

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Use Lent to reject the crass and superficial

A parent’s perspective I attended a really fascinating talk recently in St Saviour’s Priory in Dublin, part of the  Symposium lecture series which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. A large, enthusiastic crowd was attracted by the title ‘Edith Stein’s Understanding of Human Flourishing’. Otherwise known as St Teresa Benedicta of the…

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Jason Evert  and the Christian vision of love

A parent’s perspective An article on The Catholic World Report website discussing Pope John Paul II’s vision of marriage and the family describes love in marriage as the union of one man and one woman to form “a communion of persons, through a sincere gift of self”. It talks of love forming the inner dynamism…