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Spiritual Reflection

Why should anyone care about Thomas Merton today?

Why should anyone care about Thomas Merton today? Merton, the famous Trappist monk and best-selling author, has now been dead for almost as long as he had lived. When he died unexpectedly on Dec. 10, 1968, at the age of 53 while in Asia on a speaking tour about the renewal of monastic life, he left behind dozens of books, ...

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The Advent of Merton

Thomas Merton, the famed spiritual writer, died on 10 December 1968. His writings are still as relevant as his life story is fascinating, particularly his treatment of ‘difference’, a word that ‘now commands an attention that would never have been possible fifty years ago,’ writes Michael Barnes SJ. The fiftieth anniversary of Merton’s death, particularly as it falls in Advent, ...

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Presentation Day 2018

When looking for an image that might speak about what Presentation is, and has been for  Presentation People in the past year, I was immediately struck by all the ancient imagery associated with this feast.  I felt somehow I needed to find a visual representation for ‘this’ particular year. In 2018 we have prepared for, lived and celebrated the 300th ...

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Learning from the leaves

There is a deeper spiritual significance that underlies the mainstream fascination with Hallow E’en, largely revolving around trick-or-treating, haunted houses, Hallow E’en costumes, and spooky fun. When we look at the origin of Samhain (Summer’s end) it can be traced back to the ancient Celts who celebrated Samhain.  Samhain was the final harvest festival of the season, celebrated at the ...

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Feast day of St. Francis

Today October 4th, is the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, patron of animals, birds, conservationists and naturalists.  He was born in 1281, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant.  As a young man he fought in the war between Perugia and Assisi. He was taken prisoner and became very ill. He returned home ...

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The sacredness of being seen

On today, the Feast day of St. Vincent De Paul (renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity), we pray for all of those who dedicate their lives to working and living alongside those made poor.   See http://www.svp.ie/feastday For a someone to feel that they ‘have been seen’ and are ‘made visible’ through the love and care they receive, makes love ...

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Light in today’s wilderness..

Nano Nagle carried the light of her lantern, and the light of the Gospel into the darkness, desolation and discrimination endured by the people of God in Ireland under the Penal Laws. ‘Because the world still needs the Gospel and Nano’s lantern light, it is timely to remember Pope Francis’ challenge to go beyond the comfortable spaces, places and territories ...

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Summer time

Summertime this year has been marked by the light and heat of the sun.  The days are longer and warmer than we could ever imagine for an Irish summer. In ancient cultures, people were closely connected to the seasonal cycles and rhythms.  Noticing and responding to the different ‘beat’ of each season can enable us not only to  flow with ...

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Political connectedness

We are constantly exposed to a political agenda.  Indeed, there is an ongoing debacle in the media worldwide in recent days on the fall-out from the post Brexit vote discussions and resignations in the UK parliament, and the post Trump Press conference analysis on Russian-American  relations.  This reflects a seemingly growing preoccupation with ‘power and personality’ and the ‘power of ...

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Taking time off

It is that time of year when all of a sudden, almost in the space of a breath a discernible gap of space and stillness descends, and we have stepped over what seemed like a forever extending line of activity, to another place.   It is summer, with the novelty and pleasure of balmy light filled days and warm evenings. This ...

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