Opting for the good in a world full of lesser choices

Opting for the good in a world full of lesser choices
The Notebook


A cousin was speaking with me recently and she told me she was in London for a weekend, with her two young sons, to visit her sister and family. They went for a day trip to London and travelled on a number of trains and by underground.

Later in the evening, her younger son told her he’d lost his phone. He was upset as was she. Not life or death, of course, but she’d prefer if it had not been lost and felt upset for her son. They reported the missing phone via an online app but she held out little hope.

The next morning she noticed a missed call on her phone and a text. It read something like: “I found a phone and I think it may belong to a member of your family.”


She called and the person on the other end of the call told her that he’d found the phone the night before. Its battery had run flat so he plugged it in to charge it. When power came back, he noticed it was locked but on the screen there were some words “MISSED CALL MAM” and her number. Hence the contact.

She thanked him and said “red or white?” He was confused and asked what she meant. She said she wanted to thank him and wondered did he like red or white wine. “Neither,” he replied “I’m 17.” Seventeen!

I think of the gospel moment when St Thomas was doubtful about Christ’s resurrection and insisted on what was needed for proof. Later, when offered that proof, he no longer required it: “My Lord and my God”, he said. His faith in ‘Divinity’ was restored.

My storyteller told me that her experience from last weekend had restored her faith in ‘humanity’. It’s good to have faith restored.

I thought about that lad after speaking with my cousin and what it was that made him contact my cousin? There were other options. Though the phone was locked, he could have had it unlocked and sold it or kept it for himself.

Could he imagine his own mother calling him or worrying for him if he lost something?”

He could have sold it to a friend and made a quick profit for himself. He could have dumped it. He opted for none of these but called the number of a person he felt would be able to restore it to its rightful owner. He did the decent and right thing.

I wondered was it the word ‘MAM’ that struck a chord with him? Could he imagine his own mother calling him or worrying for him if he lost something? Whatever the reason, he did the right thing.

That’s where we’re at, I think – a place and world full of choices, choices we meet on a daily basis and the choice can quite often be between right and wrong?

There’s something in this story, as I hear it and tell it, about opting for the right – opting for the good. Something about restoring faith in humanity and Divinity.



Speaking of choices….

Our diocese recently received news of a choice made. Our new bishop was announced. Fr Paul Dempsey,  parish priest of Newbridge will soon become the shepherd of the people of Achonry Diocese.

He moves from one of Ireland’s largest parishes to one of its smallest dioceses and we look forward to welcoming him and journeying with him. The place may be small but the Gospel is alive, the needs are real and the welcome is certain.