Please see the end of the message for the link to our online Mass at 10.30am on Sunday and for the link to Melchior's online meditation at 6pm on Sunday and to various notices. Glory be to God, our creator, and to his son, Jesus the Christ, and to his Spirit who dwells in our hearts. This Sunday would have been Confirmations in our community but that has had to be postponed until November. I would like to address the students directly during this Sunday's on line Mass and say an extended prayer of the Holy Spirit for each one. I have also asked Melchior to gear his Sunday evening meditation specifically to these young ones and show them how to find 'The Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts..." For those who can't join these on line events Live on Sunday, we'll send out the links to both and I ask that at some point, the students listen to what is said during the Mass and do the meditation at their leisure. ******************************************************** One of the most enjoyable parts of my life over the last two years has been to take an interest in other faiths. You might have heard me mention them once or twice in sermons!! What a learning it has been. (We covered them at seminary in theology under the title 'Comparative Religions' - for all of three days.) I remember none of it. But I do remember one paragraph by Karl Rahner which I found at some point out with those three days - "I envisage a new and courageous, worldwide theology. It would be a theology which would not be content with relentlessly thumbing through the pages of our familiar friend Denzinger (Canon Law.) My intention here is not to denigrate those who have gone before us, we are their grateful children. But it would be a theology which would break new ground and not just involve itself in the endless repetition of seemingly self-evident truths and such things. No, it would be a theology which would listen to the wisdom from the East. It would hear the cries for freedom in Latin America, and it would dance to the sound of African drums beating." Where so much of theology has spent its time narrowing the parameters of faith, Rahner's sought to broaden them. The Father is glorified in ALL creation, the incarnate Jesus is in every human being and the Holy Spirit blows where it will and will not be subject to our learned prejudices. We are all different and what 'reaches' us will be different from what 'reaches' others. All of it is going in the same direction, the secret is to find the language which touches you, which speaks to your heart. If the Rosary doesn't 'float your boat', find out what does. Don't live your life practising things which you don't 'get.' I once heard a priest talking about the Office of Hours which all priests are supposed to do each day. He described it as like, "Banging my head off a brick wall three times a day. It just leaves me with a head ache." He didn't express that opinion at seminary or he would have been 'up the drive!' I watched Springwatch on the BBC again this week and was astonished to hear them speaking about the biological effects on us when we walk in the forest or sit beside a running stream. The brain releases a chemical called serotonin. (To be more precise, the pineal gland releases it in the form of melatonin. It makes us calm and reduces stress.) The pineal gland is often referred to as the 'God gland'. René Descartes described it as giving us access to the spiritual, to an experience of the divine. The Vatican has a gigantic bronze sculpture of a pine cone, from which the pineal gland derives its name, within its walls. Why? (In the Old Testament, the village where Jacob saw the face of God, and survived, was called Peniel. What did he know??!) It's there in Egyptian hieroglyphics, in Nordic spirituality, in South American shamanism, in North American Indian spirituality. Perhaps that doesn't float your boat. Maybe you understand the language of vibrations, that everything - including us - is energy. Everything vibrates, and peace and tranquility can be found when you get your vibrations in alignment with creation around you. No? Ok, maybe you just stare in awe at the full moon and get a sense of wonder at the billions of galaxies out there. You feel drawn to the Cosmic Christ. You might discover that, that's your language. Maybe not. The Judaeo/Christian belief in the 'wisdom that comes down to us from on high' is no different from the Hindu Akachic records or the Buddhist enlightenment. Or from the world of Islam, have you ever heard Faisal Muqdam speaking about Jesus' Kingdom? Wow! It 'reached' me far more deeply than any amount of recitation of dogma. He speaks my language. He speaks what touches me and enriches and enhances what is already within me about Jesus. As I say, it's all heading in the same direction. I heard a mystic say recently, "I don't care how you get there, just get there!" So on this feast day where we celebrate the breadth and width and height and depth of God the Almighty, Father, Son and Spirit, in all things, through all things, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, let yourself be OPEN to the divine. Find YOUR way. You might even find that learning about Hindu mantras teaches you something about the Rosary or Buddhist meditation teaches you something about prayer. We really are ALL in this together, brothers and sisters and sons and daughters of God the Almighty. And our world, God's creation, needs us to realise this now more than at any other time in history. My gratitude to everyone for your kindness to me last week. Thirty years ago my ordination coincided with my village's Gala Day. There was bunting criss-crossing the streets. Loads of people commented that it was marvellous that the village decorated the town for me. I claimed the bunting for myself and didn't tell them it was actually for the Gala Day. When they found out they slaughtered me lol. Last Sunday after Mass when I left my apartment a man went past on a bike with bunting streaming from the back of it. I claimed it And thank you, too, to Sr Moira, a Little Sister of the Poor in Africa who sent me this: And to Stephanie who painted this: And to all of you for the very generous financial gift and this, not a bouquet, but a bucket of flowers: Steve Ancient Irish hymn for frontline workers hits youtube: https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0531/1143647-ancient-irish-hymn/ NOTICES Link to our Online Mass: 10.30am Sunday - https://zoom.us/j/828192758 Link to Melchior's Meditation: 6pm Sunday - Discovering the Inner Presence https://youtu.be/ahIphV0Euf0 Catechism Classes: are cancelled for the rest of the school year. They will start again in September and we hope to have the registration form and schedule online soon.
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