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!


The title of this post is a text message I received from a friend whose daughter and grandchildren survived Typhoon Sendong that hit northern Mindanao a week before Christmas. I use it inPulong ng Editor, 'Editor's Word', in the January-February issue ofMisyon, which I edit for the Columbans here in the Philippines.
My friend is no stranger to suffering. When he was a small child his father was murdered. Yet he powerfully expresses his faith in a simple text message, an expression of the resilience of the faith of so many Filipinos.

A Martyr for Our Faith

Today is the Feast Day of Blessed William Carter...

A Courageous Individual who wrote for and to Catholic Christians to be firm in their Faith during a time when it was not just Un-Popular, but Life-Threatening to do so...

I am a huge fan of American and normally I agree with most of what they share, but today, this is not the case.

In their Saint of the Day Comment it says the following:

These days, our brothers and sisters also need encouragement—not because their lives are at risk, but because many other factors besiege their faith. They look to us. I beg to differ...

Many of our Catholic Christian Brothers and Sisters DO lose their lives for their Faith these days...these days as in Only the last few years, for if you count in the last decade or last few decades, the numbers grow exponentially.





And many more that are not as publicized...

The figures are startling, a Christian is killed every 5 minutes because of their Faith (Christian Post).


Reaching Out to a Love-Starved World

Update on aftermath of Sendong/Washi on Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City

A Report by Fr Pat O'Donoghue
Fr Pat O'Donoghue is the Regional Director of the Columbans in the Philippines. He visited Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan Ciy last week. He wrote this report on 8 January, the Solemnity of the Epiphany here in the Philippines.

 I arrived in Cagayan de Oro in the early afternoon of Monday, 2 January. The signs of the calamity were visible from the air as we approached the airport, but the full extent of the damage hits you when you stand on the river bank or visit those places where whole neighborhoods were simply washed away.

The damage to the water system was such that most of Cagayan still did not have running water when I arrived. On the way from the airport we saw groups of people surrounding trucks or fire hydrants where water was being dispensed while others were coming and going with all kinds of water containers – the innovative spirit of people once more shining through the difficulties. Drinking water was also being dispensed at points set…

Thank You...

"If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it."
~  Tennessee Williams

This Great Group of Blogger's has taken a huge risk and allowed me to contribute my Rants and Raves.

I Pray that I do not disappoint...

My Most Sincere, Thank You...

Oh, and I ask that you bear with me as I get the hang of Blogger...

The Catholic Briefcase

It is an error, or rather a heresy, to try to banish the devout life from the regiment of soldiers, the shop of the mechanic, the court of princes, or the home of married folk. ~St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout LifeBut he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God. ~Luke 12:9

Holiness in the workplace is the theme of Randy Hain's new book The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work. A convert to Catholicism since 2005, Mr. Hain, co-founder of the site The Integrated Catholic Life, shares the methods which have helped him to combine faith and work in the business world. He demonstrates how our Christian beliefs must be just as alive at the office as they are at home or at church. We do not know when we may have been chosen to be the sole instrument of grace to persons in a certain venue, therefore with prudence and charity we must always be ready to speak of our love of Christ and His Church. As the author explains:

A Picture says a Thousand Words


Pope Benedict: Parents Educators of the Faith

How do we hand down faith? Do members of our families get together for dinner, quickly eat their food, and scamper off to watch something on television or hop on the computer, never to be seen again until bedtime? Or do we sit down to eat, and have leisurely conversations about important subjects and share what we did today? Maybe even sitting and talking long after the plates are empty. Around our house, nights like this are relished, but not always our reality.

Today, the Holy Father, had a message for  parents and godparents of 16 babies he baptized, and that message was the importance of education.

"To educate is a very challenging mission, said the Pope, and it is sometimes difficult for our limited human capacities."

"But he added, “education becomes a wonderful mission if it is done in partnership with God, who is the first true educator of every man."

"With prayer and the Sacraments, said Pope Benedict, parents will be able to discern the most appropri…

The Long List of Lies

My spiritual director encouraged me to spend some time praying
about Mark 1:11 in which God our Father says to Jesus, "You are my
beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." I've never had trouble with
the fact that our Father was 'well pleased' with Jesus but I stumbled
on the thought that He might be well pleased with me. How could that
be? I had a long list, in my heart, of all the reasons that God
couldn't possibly be well pleased with me but, as I began to dissect
the list, I could see that it was a Long List of Lies because God's
Word said otherwise and God's Word is Truth. Here are a few entries
from the List of Lies. Maybe you have others."I'm not good enough." That seems to be the Accuser's number one, all-purpose, one size fits all lie. He doesn't usually have to go much farther than this. He has variations on this theme, of course: "I'll never amount to anything." "If others only knew how stupid/poor/weir…

How Reading the Psalms and Seed Catalogs Sustains Me in the Dark of Winter

By Allison Salerno

On winter workdays, I rise at the time Shakespeare says when night is "almost at odds with morning," and you can't tell "which is which." I leave home before the rest of my family has risen, driving north in darkness to my job and arriving just as the sun begins to rise. Sometimes, I don't return home until after sunset. And so I find myself in these days struggling with a kind of sadness, a desire to retreat from a world which feels fully of darkness.

O God, come to my aid. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

'You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.' The Baptism of the Lord

The Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Nicolas Poussin, painted 1641-42
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is observed in Ireland on Sunday 8 January and in other countries that use English widely on Monday 9 January. The Feast brings an end to the liturgical Season of Christmas. Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel Mark 1:7-11 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

 In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said, 'Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'
It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You…

Strengthening Your Family

 Through our baptism, we're called to be royal, priestly parents to our children, exercising our God-given authority with kindness and benevolence. When we truly understand the essence of our authority, we can be leaders and nurturers of our children and help them to become the nurturers and leaders of the future.~ from Strengthening Your Family by Marge Fenelon, p.176  I did a lot of babysitting when I was young and became quite proficient at handling other people's children. I wondered at some parents' inability to control their children in church and other public places, since I rarely had any problem getting my little charges to listen to me. There was no doubt in my mind that I would someday be a  model parent with model children, all sitting quietly in the pew with rapt attention. However, when I finally married, God in His wisdom saw fit to send me the most rambunctious little girl ever created, the kind of child who loves to perform in public with comp…

Archbishop Dolan: Cardinal Designate

The Vatican has just announced Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who has led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York for nearly three years, will be named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.
“As a kid, I just wanted to be a parish priest,” the cardinal-designate said in an early morning news conference at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. “And to think that now the pope has named me a cardinal— that’s awesome.”
Archbishop Dolan called his mother after receiving the news from the Vatican’s representative in Washington on Thursday morning.

“She said it’s about time,” the archbishop said, laughing. “Only moms can say that. ”
The full list of cardinals-designate can be viewed here.
Source: New York Times

Peace and good will

Are you happy?

That's a big question, isn't it? And it's tempting to brush it off with a "Yes, of course; I'm very happy." Maybe we feel guilty for saying no because we know there are people in the world who are living with extreme hardship, and here we are with food on the table and a roof overhead.

Being happy is not the same as being content, is it? Happiness is fleeting, and depends on circumstances, while contentment has more to do with a deeper state of being, a decision. Perhaps the question should rather have been: Are you content?

Have you made good choices for your life? Are you in the right place? Do you have regrets?

These thoughts are tumbling through my mind lately because of a person - a woman - I spent time with this Christmas. She could not answer yes to either question. She is neither happy nor content, and both to such an extent that everyone in her life knows it, and feels it. They have to live with her discontented unhappiness every day.…

It's a New Year and let's roll up our Catholic sleeves!

Call it what you will, but I believe in do-overs, a second chance, or a "mulligan" which is what most think of at the turn of the new year.  With this in mind, I wanted to share with you some things that I feel very strongly about in the Christian life as a Catholic.

1.  Prayer:
Communing with our God more and more will increase your faith, hope, and love for Him.  A peaceful existence is hard enough without an active prayer life.  This is not a hard thing to accomplish, really!  Prayer is simply reaching out and acknowledging God, and communicating with Him on a personal level.  You know you talk with those around you on a daily basis, well why not have a discussion with God?  Who do you relate to more, Father/God, Our Savior/ Jesus, the Holy Spirit/spiritual director in your ear?  Do you relate to our loving Holy Mother?  Talk with them daily, develop a new appreciation for your many blessings that are revealed to you through prayer!   One way to start is to find your own f…

'They prostrated themselves and did him homage.' Sunday Reflections. The Epiphany.

Adoration of the Magi, Francesco Bassano, painted 1567-69
The Epiphany
Where the Solemnity of the Epiphany is not to be observed as a Holyday of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January as its proper day. (The Roman Missal). As far as I know, Ireland is the only country where English is widely used that observes this feast as a Holyday of Obligation. Elsewhere it is observed this year on Sunday 8 January. Thew new English version of The Roman Missal also has a special Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany, though I think the readings are the same as in the Mass During the Day.


Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jer…

I Thirst For You – The Amazing Prayer of Mother Teresa

Do you have a basic faith in God, but struggle to believe that Jesus really loves you on a personal basis? Do you believe that He knows you intimately, and wants to have a close relationship with you? Sometimes we know all these things in our head, but the truth of the matter has not made it to our hearts. I heard an audio version of this prayer on a podcast today, and I was so moved by the words that I just had to share this with you. The text comes from a prayer developed by Mother Teresa. I encourage you to read the words below carefully. Imagine that Jesus is speaking to you and to you alone. Open your heart to these encouraging words. Let God love you, with all your weaknesses and defects. Let Him meet you where you are and lift you higher. Print these words out and keep them close to you. Turn to them when you are feeling abandoned, defeated, or lonely. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat wi…

Health and Wellness, Catholic Style for 2012!

The path to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I don’t get that.

It seems to me that good intentions ought to be worth more than a ticket to Hell.

Having said that, I definitely get that the good intentions I have for any number of things can always be a hellish path.

Exercise comes immediately to mind. As does dieting and just keeping fit and well at 53 years old. I am filled with good intentions, but turning those passive good intentions into successful achievements is another story.

I suppose this also falls under the Scriptural category of the-spirit-is-willing-but-the-flesh-is-weak.

So maybe the whole path-to-Hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions does make more sense than I am willing to admit.

Either way, I have come to realize that while the initial good intention is a necessary first step to health and wellness, a viable course of action must accompany it—preferably something not too painful, boring, or time-consuming.

My goal this year has been to find the right-for-me, reali…

ACWB January 2012

I have sent out an email to blog authors. It may be I have missed you off the list. I think we have 46 blog authors now! Many thanks for all your contributions & support Patricia Perkowskihas kindly volunteered to oversee things as I'm away a lot this year. The essential aim of the ACWB has been to bring together all sorts of Catholic women & their priests & other men who can give an important contribution. We have famous Catholic women & unknowns supporting & inspiring each other from around the globe. Please contact Patty on with any suggestions or offers of help. Many thanks.
God bless & Happy New Year!