19th May

In hindsight I felt that yesterday’s article was incomplete. It is true that God doesn’t promise us happiness in THIS life. Carrying the Cross is a part of our Christian discipleship. But Jesus does promise us the help that we need to carry our crosses. Specifically he says: Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light. (Matt 11:28-30)

This point comes across in a recent newspaper article.

This statue is at the start of the Lourdes Stations of the Cross.

This statue is at the start of the Lourdes Stations of the Cross.

All-Ireland winning Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte has spoken of how his faith has helped him cope with the devastating loss of his daughter, Michaela, who was murdered four years ago.

Asked by Pat Kenny on UTV Ireland’s In the Round this week about how he dealt with the ordeal, the GAA legend said “on my own I couldn’t, it was only with the grace of God”. “That’s the only explanation for it. With God on your side, as they say, who can be against you,” he said.

Acknowledging that his Catholic upbringing encouraged an “awareness of the presence of God”, Mr Harte said the Faith passed on to him by his parents was “anything but false”. “This was real, this was true, this was so tangible that you caught it rather than being taught it.”

Despite the tragedy, Mr Harte insisted that his faith has remained unshaken. “I believe that I had the greatest assistance I could have to deal with that. To be able to lift my mind to a higher plane, the plane where I feel Michaela is now on. I believe the grace of God helped me to look at it in this way and to be able to manage that situation with that kind of belief,” he said.

Admitting that he still misses his daughter “in human terms”, Mr Harte said “on a higher level, I just feel there is a connection – a special connection – and I can only just believe that that’s the work of God”.

Mr Harte added that he wants to instil in people who are grieving “the hope that you can come to terms with life again” but that you “can’t do it on your own. You do need to turn to prayer, you need to turn to God, and I believe that is the greatest resource we can have in dealing with such difficult situations.”