Welcome to the Pastor's Pen, where I hope to occasionally share reflections or thoughts or ramblings that I feel might be of interest to parishioners.
There is no particular order to these contributions. I share them simply as they occur to me in the hope that they provoke thought and reflection, just as they have for me. I offer them for what they are: one pilgrim sharing with other pilgrims where he has found nourishment along the way.
Best of Luck to Leaving Cert students
The beginning of June signals the beginning of the Leaving Certificate Exams for many young people in our community. As we all know, it can be a stressful and anxious time. Rest assured that all of you will be very much in our thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.
During the week, I wondered what would I say now to my 17 year old self as I faced into my Leaving Cert? It would probably go something like this: Believe in yourself! Trust the work you have put in over the past years! Stay calm! Read the question carefully before you answer it ………. a lesson I learnt the hard way in one of my first exams!
Most importantly I would say that your Leaving Cert won’t define you or determine your future. It may have a bearing on the next step you take but there is always more than one way to get where you want in life if you are determined enough to keep following your dream. Support one another over the coming weeks and encourage one other. Give of your best. No one can ask more of you. Best of luck to everyone.
You are more …….. A reflection for exam time
You are more.
You are more than a number.
You are more than a grade on a paper or a score on a text.
You are a special person.
A person with unique skills, gifts and talents.
A person with feelings – you get excited, happy, angry, sad.
You get frustrated when you don’t get it and sometimes you worry too.
You are a person with hopes and dreams and plans.
You are more than your results in an exam.
Please remember that! © Based on a poem by Sandy Donoghue
The true measure of a day.
If you sit down at the set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of them who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went –
Then you may count that day well spent.
But, if all through that livelong day,
You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay-
If, through it all
You’ve nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face –
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost –
Than count that day as worst than lost. George Eliot, 1819-1880
A Prayer from the Heart!
Dear God, so far today I’ve done okay.
I haven’t gossiped or lost my temper.
I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish.
But, in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And that’s when I’ll really need your help. Amen. Anonymous
A Cathedral Welcome.
A parishioner very kindly sent us a welcome message that is often used in the Church of England’s Coventry Cathedral. Whilst the Cathedral acknowledges that the welcome isn’t original to them, they regularly print it on their service booklets and it has become synonymous with the Cathedral. We may not be a Cathedral. Nevertheless we extend this welcome to all who wish to be part of our community.
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, questioning, well-heeled or down at heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers.
We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been to church since Christmas ten years ago.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps or don’t like ‘organised religion.’ (We’re not that keen on it either!)
We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to the Cathedral.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids or got lost on the ring road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters… and most of all, we welcome you!