New Beginnings

At long last, after stopping posts on Blue Eyed Ennis, I've landed in a new place where I'll be posting at least for a while .... 

You're welcome to check it out. 

It's on Tumblr and technically it's called a microblog, whatever that means. I had a Tumblr account for a while but never used it much and so I've been playing with it to get the hang of it, and I'm finding it easier to use than Blogger. 

                                                            It's called Ennis Blue.

You can also link to Blue Eyed Ennis from it which people may find useful.

                                                 Hope people like it !!

Blessings Be With You And A Decision

I am deeply moved and so very grateful for all the comments people have left here and on FB and via e mails. My hearfelt thanks goes out to all of you.  

  I have decided to stop posting. It's been a very hard decision to reach and despite praying I am still unsure as to what will replace it. 

My faith tells me something will come, but as to what that is, I still have no idea. Leaving the blog open seems a sensible option and one that at least, honours the wishes of some people.

  So, this is it then.  
I'm finding words very hard, but I'll leave you with a poem, a prayer, a video blessing and a song of the snow goose.  

Goodbye and Blessings Be With You
 Gaelic - Slán Agus Beannacht Leacht

Primary Wonder

Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing
their coloured clothes; caps and bells
And then
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng's clamour
recedes:  the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, 0 Lord,
Creator, Hallowed one, You still,
hour by hour sustain it. 

Denise Levertov 

 Ever Deeper Roots in Love
by Brother David Steindl-Rast

You, from whom we come
      And to whom we go,
      Unchanging love,
  You give us time for change and growth
      In this time of great change in my life,
  please, give me courage to change and grow
      and cheerfulness amidst growing-pain.
  Let me take ever deeper roots in love
  Make me faithful without clinging
  And let me remain faithful in letting go.
  Into your hands I lay my life
  And the lives of all whom I love.

From Prayers for All People
collected by Mary Ford-Grabowsk from here

Anyone who knows Paul Gallico's beautiful story of the snow goose will understand the words of this song below :- "God Speed - The Snow Goose. "

Image source

Silver white
symphony of water,
 wind and light
where a saltmarsh meets the sea 
sanctuary, sanctuary

Grey and green
the painter's eye sees every hue between 
and every brushstroke's reeds or rain,
reeds or rain
ease his pain

Now it's my time,
my turn to hold you
my time,
my turn to set you free 

Black and white
the mighty wings that never tired in flight
that crossed an ocean 
in one bound
brought to ground

Pearl and gold
with violet eyes to fire a heart grown cold
brings her burden 
to be healed
to be revealed

My time,
my turn to hold you
my time,
my turn to set you free 
Black and red
the port aflame, 
so many good men dead
with peppered sail and angel's wings
 salvation brings

Crimson blue
 saltmarsh sunsets
 gulls fly through
the snow goose has no tale to tell
just farewell

Now it's my time,
my turn to hold you
my time,
my turn to set you free

The words of the above are found in this video below ;- the only version I could find.
The video quality is not the best but the audio is reasonably OK. 

The introduction to the song says it is a tragic story but I feel that is too narrow a description.  It is sad, but for me it represents the cycle of life, experience, love and letting go, and speaks also of salvation and hope. The snow goose is a Celtic symbol of the Holy Spirit and an especially important one for me.
 I don't know why this song speaks so much to me at this time, but it seemed an appropriate one to finish on.

Related post from my archives

From 2012 - Symbols Of The Holy Spirit

Third Sunday Ordinary Time 2014

Just to let people know that I shall be offline from now until 15th February but here's one last post for this coming Sunday. 

I am also coming closer to a conviction that doing this blog is no longer what is being asked of me. I have no idea what might replace it, and it may well be that my presence online will disappear altogether. I'll be praying and thinking about it when I'm away and holding everyone I have come to know here in my heart and prayers too. So I would ask you to keep me in your prayers too.  

Blessings !

Scripture readings for Sunday's Mass are here.

Reflections on the various readings from St Louis Centre for Liturgy here

What is the character of Christ's calling ?

 He carried within himself an unparalleled ability to make each of us feel connected not only to Him but to one another. High levels of consciousness in the ordinary encounters of daily life were made sacred through God's abiding presence.

Christ's call was a profound and authentic signal of the expansive life he was inviting us to enter.

Sometimes we shirk from the call of our faith as if it were an impossible standard of human perfectibility, way beyond our hopes. But faith is always a gentle call to an indeterminate space held in a future that is always inchoate, always evolving, however slow.

This article is one of a series and spells out four aspects of vision.

and this one outlines some wise steps for the future.

Today's Psalm

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?

R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.

R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. 

R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Image by Sergey Galchenkov from here

Reading 2 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree in what you say,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,
by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.

I mean that each of you is saying,
“I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”
or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”

Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

Gospel Mt 4:12-23

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.

He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.


Alternative Gospel reading Mt 4:12-17


2013 reflection from here ( different Gospel and readings)

Related 2013 reflection here 

2012 reflection from here

The Mystery and The Miracle of Being Here

This is a fine post from Jim Gordon at Living Wittily on "Denise Levertov and Why Questions are as Much a Means of Grace as Answers," from which this extract below is taken, and one that helps me in trying to visualise what unity might mean in this week of praying for it ! There are other images I'm exploring too and maybe, or maybe not (!) I will post on them later in the week.

I was struck by the phrase "songbird eggs" and an image of thousands of eggs from around the world in a collection from here, also helped me realise how precious each song of faith is.

In his post, Jim Gordon says this Levertov poem "is pointing to a via negativa, not of theology, but of how we cherish, hold and pay gentle attention to the mystery and miracle of being here.

 The title uses the indefinite article - this is not once for all gift, it is gift in the present continuous. 

The "Yes, perhaps is neither question nor answer, but an affirmation of that wonderful place in between, in which as human beings we live, and move, and have our being."
                                                                               A Gift
Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.

Update - Week of Prayer For Christian Unity 2014 - Has Christ Been Divided ?

The annual "Week or Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity" began on Saturday and continues for the next seven days. Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox throughout the world will hold various events centred on praying for the unity of the Christian faith.

The Prayer Octave is traditionally celebrated between the feasts of St. Peter (Jan 18) and St. Paul (Jan 25). 

The theme for this year is “Has Christ Been Divided?” – 1 Cor:1-17

Both the Roman Catholic and the Revised Common lectionaries designate portions of this text (although not quite the same portions) as the second reading this weekend and next weekend.

The prayer resources this year were prepared by Christians in Canada, and include a reflection on how the particular circumstances of the church in Canada affect their experience of the theme. 

The materials are available both on the Vatican website and the World Council of Churches website, which has a link to the material as a PDF. 

Click here for music that has been composed and made available for use during this week of prayer.

The intention is for this week to be celebrated and prayed as widely as possible, so the material includes an order of worship for ecumenical services, as well as resources that can be used or adapted as part of a church’s usual services.

There are also scripture readings, reflections, and a theme for each of the eight days . The Daily Themes are listed below.....

Together, We are called to be saints
Together, We give thanks for God’s grace in one another
Together, We are not lacking in any spiritual gifts
Together, We affirm that God is faithful
Together, We are called into fellowship
Together,We seek to be in agreement
Together, We belong to Christ
Together, We proclaim the Gospel

Here is the prayer for Monday...

Faithful, open-handed God, we bless you that you have given us all the spiritual gifts we need to come to the measure of the full stature of Christ : for wisdom, for gifts of service and for bread. Help us to be signs of your abundance, gathered in unity to bring the gifts of your everlasting kingdom to every place of pain and lack.
Filled with the Spirit, we pray in the name of the One whose gift was the bread of his life broken for us, now and forever.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

               To mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King Day on January 20th.

 “The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men and women often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.” 

The quote above is from Howard Thurman, an African American who played a critical role in laying the theological foundation for the civil right movement, who published them in 1959 in his book, Footprints of a Dream: The Story of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.

Today I am thankful for the vision of Martin Luther King and all others who were inspired by him and grateful too that the Spirit of God is still alive in the hearts of women and men today to challenge discrimination and injustice.

                                                              An excellent film

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