Creating love-filled living spaces this Lent

A Parent’s Perspective I was chatting with my family about what we are all doing for Lent this year. My 10-year old son was adding more and more tough penances onto his list including daily cold showers, giving up all sweets and treats, saying more prayers and a schedule that even the most saintly would find challenging.…

Fanning the flame of faith in children

A Parent’s Perspective I was speaking to a young Catholic father recently about the difficulties and challenges he faces in trying to pass on the Faith to his four young children. He was feeling a bit overwhelmed and ill-equipped for the job, wondering how he could be more proactive and involved. He’s feeling the increasing pressure…

Be the face of Christ for 2021

A Parent’s Perspective A quote I saw on Pinterest says: “Dear God, I’m placing 2020 in your hands.” I’m not sure if it was written at the start of 2020 or as the year progressed but, it’s a very good prayer for what was a strange, strange year. As we head into 2021, we have high…

Treasuring Confession as vital to peace

A Parent’s Perspective One of my favourite hymns is ‘Where Your Treasure Is’, with its lines based on the words of St Luke’s Gospel “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be”. When everything else is stripped away and we’re forced to re-examine our priorities, what is most important to us? For…

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…