12 Jan 2012

Homilies of a Hermit

Fr David Jones is a Welsh hermit who lives in Duleek, (or should that be a hermit from Wales?) which is not far from where I live in Drogheda, Ireland. He was on Spirit Radio on Monday, and gave an interesting interview. If you missed it, you can listen to the interview on his website. Yes, the hermit has a website! He uploads various homilies etc. His sermon on the Feast of the Epiphany is really very good. He addresses the Irish habits of blasphemy, foul language and smoking! It is not your standard irish sermon. Watch it, and share it with your friends on facebook, if you are brave enough!



1 comment:

  1. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about health. No 2290 refers to the excessive use of tobacco and other things.

    Respect for health
    2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
    Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

    2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.
    2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

    2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

    +++

    I don’t think that the excessive use of tobacco is one of Ireland’s most pressing concerns at present, nor one of its most pressing moral concerns. In my experience there is far less smoking now and places where one may smoke have become limited. Many private homes now have a ‘no smoking’ policy.

    The abuse of alcohol has always been a problem in Ireland, now, it would seem, more than ever. Perhaps many don’t see it as such because alcohol, like nicotine, is a drug that may legally be used. The legal use of these two drugs has not spawned violent crime, as has the use of illegal drugs. Alcohol often is an indirect cause of violence, and of violent accidents on the road. Smoking doesn’t alter the mind nor lead to violence, though it can harm the health of the smoker and of people nearby.

    There have been martyrs who smoked, eg, Blessed Titus Brandsa OCarm, who preached in the Carmelite church in Whitefriar St, Dublin, before World War II.

    I would like to see the use of tobacco disappear. I don’t have much sympathy with those who smoke excessively, unless they are recovering alcoholics. I have on occasion asked people not to smoke in ‘no smoking’ areas. Indeed, I got into a row about that on a bus in Dublin around 1990 after smoking upstairs had been banned. But I think that Father Jones gives too much importance to tobacco.

    I agree with Father Jones about the misuse of the Holy Name in Ireland and the gratuitous use of foul language. He uses the word ‘violent’ or ‘violence’ in connection with this. I have suggested that to friends at home and when they thought about it they agreed. In a book called With a Machine Gun to Cambrai, one of few books written by an ordinary British ‘Tommy’ after the Great War, the author, George Coppard, analysed the language of the men. When they were engaged in battle they used a very limited ‘Anglo-Saxon’. The further they moved from the Front the less violent and ‘basic’ their language became.

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