It has been a while since I’ve given a personal update. I have been in Fethard, Co Tipperary since May 18th where I have been warmly received. It is a great blessing to be back again in active ministry and to feel that I have the cancer experience behind me – at least for the time being. I will leave on September 19th and travel to Hythe, Kent for a 2 week locum in our SOLT mother house. On Oct 2nd I will return to Kerry for a wedding and then return to Fethard for the weekend of Oct 4/5th. On Oct 7th I will begin my next and more medium term appointment in Co Donegal, in the town of Lettermacaward which I will serve with my SOLT confrere Fr Mark Byrne. It is a town midway on the Donegal coastline (see the red marker on the map below) and it can be looked up by doing a google search on ‘Lettermacaward parish’. Everything has been going well as regards my thalidomide maintenance program. There is another routine check-up this Thursday.
This morning I was struck by the depth of meaning in one of the Morning Prayer petitions: Deepen in us our love for you today – so that in all things we may find our good and the good of others. Living in the love of Jesus is the one guarantee that all will work out well for us and others. To live in this love, we need God’s grace rather than think we can achieve it on our own. St Paul says in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Today’s Office of Readings excerpt from The Imitation of Christ expands on this theme:
There is no holiness where you have withdrawn your hand, O Lord; no profitable wisdom if you cease to rule over it; no helpful strength if you cease to preserve it. If you forsake us, we sink and perish; but if you visit us, we rise up and live again. We are unstable, but you make us firm; we grow cool, but you inflame us.
All superficial glory has been swallowed up in the depths of your judgement upon me. What is all flesh in your sight? Can the clay be glorified in opposition to its Maker?
How can anyone be stirred by empty talk if his heart is subject to the truth to God?
If a man is subject to Truth, possession of the whole world cannot swell him with pride; nor will he be swayed by the flattery of his admirers, if he has established all his trust in God.
Unfortunately, Garfield is almost always swayed by flattery, even self-flattery!