In the commercial, a puppy escapes from an animal shelter and strikes up a friendship with a neighbouring Clydesdale. Though the horse’s owner keeps returning the dog to his shelter, the feisty puppy won’t be denied—he keeps venturing to the Clydesdale ranch. The ad reaches its climax when a team of Clydesdales block a car on the road to keep the driver from taking the puppy away again. “Let Her Go” by Passenger serves as the poignant music for the ad.
Some friends sent me this link last night. It was a moment from pre-Christmas Washington DC – in one of the many museums there. (The photo above was taken by those same friends on the balcony of this museum – “The National Air and Space Museum)
Though the moment may have passed, and the season being celebrated too, it strikes me that it’s always in season to do the right thing and to bring a bit of joy to people while acknowledging “Jesu” the joy of man’s desiring …
Jesus, joy of man’s desiring
Holy wisdom, love most bright
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned
With the fire of life impassioned
Striving still to truth unknown
Soaring, dying round Thy throne
Through the way where hope is guiding
Hark, what peaceful music rings
Where the flock, in Thee confiding
Drink of joy from deathless springs
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown
Earlier today I went to the home of a friend in Monasteraden for lunch. Before that I called to the garage at home for a while and, since I had a bit of time between that and the time set for lunch, I decided to visit a few people. I called to see Maureen O’Neill, our neighbour, and was happy to see her and Anne McKeon who was visiting at the time. We had a chat for a while and I was reminded again how good it is to have that freedom to be able to call to one another’s homes. There’s no doubt, we don’t do it often enough …. Sorry, I don’t do it often enough.
When I left there I thought that I’d go and say a quick prayer for my parents at their grave in Templeronan. I was there just before noon and, remembering that the Angelus was one of my mother’s favourite prayers, I said it there with and for them.
I was about to leave the cemetery when I decided that I was in no rush and that I’d take a bit of time there near my parents’ grave. I think I know almost everyone who is buried in that part of the cemetery – my uncle Joe, being one of the first – if not the first – God rest them all. My Godmother, May Callaghan and her husband Mattie are in the next plot to my parents. My classmate, Fr Oliver McDonagh, just down the path, Tony Scanlon, Joe McDermott, Pat Doherty, James McGrath, Christy McLoughlin, Mike Joe Mulligan, Hugh Breslin and so, so many more – all people I knew and was reminded of again today as I walked around and said a quiet prayer for them all.
Having spent a bit of time there, I decided to wander into the older part of the cemetery where my mother’s people are buried – her grandparents, parents, brother John and her aunt Jane. John was the only one of them I knew. The others I knew through their being named by my mother.
I wandered around the older part of the cemetery and saw names there that I’d never heard of, Callery being one, and I wondered has that family totally disappeared now. Other names brought back many memories, Matthew Giblin (my aunt’s father) and his wife Elizabeth. I was amazed how long it is since they’ve died. I saw Tom Quinn’s headstone and remembered him and, I think, his funeral back in the mid 70s. I saw the graves of Leo and Marcy McDermott and remembered those “ghost stories” Marcy told us in Mullaghroe and how afraid I’d be after them! My uncle John took them in his stride but they never sat easily with me! Happy memories of Leo and Marcy though. I saw Celia Hunt’s headstone and remember, as a child, visiting her home. I asked her for a drink and she told me she could get me a glass of water. Not impressed, I told her “I could get that at home”!! Peter, her husband, buried there too. I never knew him but remember my father talking about him. I saw Mick McLoughlin’s grave and remember him and Cuppanagh so well. I saw McDonaghs’ grave and, in particular, the photo of the man we all knew as “Little Bert”, whose funeral Mass I celebrated. I was surprised that he was just 60 – he always seemed so young but I hadn’t realised how really young he was. I was happy to celebrate his son’s Wedding Ceremony in the recent past. I saw the headstone of Mrs Wynne who died a month or so before I was ordained – I have a card her family sent to me at the time – I noted her son Joseph’s name at the bottom of the headstone, a reminder that he had remembered his parents and marked the place they’re buried so that someone like me might stop and say a prayer for them. There were so many names, so many headstones, so many memories.
These people are our past and maybe in my wandering for a while today, I am part of their present. Those names will float around a while with me …. take me to other days and other times – Mass in Cloonloo, marquees in the field, sports days near Lough Gara, Tug-of-Wars, people driving up home to get their cars fixed … people that made a difference to me.
Those headstones tell so many stories – my grandparents’ one, in particular, remind me that my mother lost her father when she was about seven years old and that she was the oldest of three. Her mother lived for another thirty-five years and that Jane Healy helped her to bring up her children. My grandmother died when I was just under two years of age so I’ve no lived memory of her but my mother kept her real for us and knew how hard she had worked to provide for her family.
Despite the way it may seem, this was not a sad experience but rather one that put me feet first into my place and people.
I went from there to spend a short while with Madge Taheny in Mullaghroe. I hadn’t seen her in a while and knew that earlier this month she re-lived those days around Seán’s death as they marked his first anniversary. It was good to see her. It was mighty to see she has an iPad and well done to the family for getting it for her. I’ve no doubt she’ll make use of it. She told me she has visited my blog and I was glad to hear that.
It was time for lunch! I was hungry … I was happy to have remembered friends from other days and to be able to share a bit of time with the friends of now ….
A good day all round!
Last night I was going to a funeral in Killaraght. That should not be a problem since it’s part of my own home parish. It turned out to be a bit of a problem though for two reasons ….
I was in Ballaghaderreen and decided to go through Frenchpark and head on to Killaraght Church that way. It was a cold and damp night and I hadn’t travelled that road before other than knowing the sign on the left of the Boyle road that says “Killaraght Church”. I followed the sign.
Last minute as ever I came to a fork in the road and took the road to the left. I drove for quite a distance down a narrowish enough road and wondered all the while if I’d made the right decision. The closed gate in front of me – a gate into an open field, let me know the answer, I hadn’t! Panic ensued! I wondered if I’d be able to turn and knew that it was too long to reverse. I got out of the car, tested the ground and it was soft enough. Panic took a firm grip …. a short prayer, remembering that my car is front wheel drive I was anxious to keep those two wheels at least on firm ground. A few twists and turns later, thanks be to God, I was on the road again.
There’s no doubt about it, we should make time to notice “the signs”!!
I arrived at Killaraght Church on the stroke of 8pm. Relieved that I made it on time but my sense of stupidity remained – I was exactly twenty-four hours early!!
Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of The Lord’s Baptism. The day before I baptized a young boy in Kilmovee and shared a few words around that at yesterday’s Mass. The sharing continues!!
I mentioned at the baptism when I was anointing Liam David with Chrism that it could be used three times in his life – at the moment of baptism, on his Confirmation Day and possibly the day he’ll be ordained!! These three sacraments, once celebrated, remain with us always and can only be celebrated once. We are told they leave an indelible mark on the Soul. In other words, they become part of us.
The Lord’s baptism, as he pointed out to his cousin John, was for those gathered around as much as for himself. He made “holy” the waters in which he was baptized. Likewise, our baptism is for those around us too – that the world be a better place, a holier place, a safer place …
I mentioned yesterday that I have a smartphone (Pope Francis not too big on them!! ….) and that I enjoy technology. So I do. The smartphone is an amazing piece of technology that can literally take us to the ends of the world in a “google” search, a tweet, an email or shock of shocks, a phonecall! It’s ability is amazing and its potential almost immeasurable. There is however one catch ….
The phone needs to be charged and re-charged. It’s one of the complaints sometimes levelled against these phones, that they have to be charged almost every night. This begs the question, “why?” and surely the answer lies somewhere in the fact that they are used so much. It’s understandable and unavoidable that they run flat. That’s the role of the charger supplied with the phone. Connect and re-charge.
Even the phone that lies unused will eventually run flat. So the charger is essential.
I’m hoping to make a link here …. the “Font” is our connection point and we need to plug our Faith into it to allow for re-charging. It’s only then we are and can be fully alive in faith …
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
I found this version of the Little Drummer Boy the other day … thought it was lively and enthusiastic so worth a share!