Posts by Fr. Joe

FUNERALS IN ST. MATTHEWS

A funeral in our church is a very important and special occasion. Yes of course it is also a sad occasion, sometimes painfully so. It is an opportunity for us, as a faith community, to step in beside those who are in grief, sometimes plunged suddenly into this awful experience, and attempt to walk beside…

DESERT DAYS

The notion of prayer and fasting is far from new. In fact, even though I am very interested in the role of both, prayer and fasting, in the life of Jesus, the reality is that both were being practised by others for many years before that. My initial idea of the ‘desert day’ was for…

A LITANY OF THANKS AND FORGIVENESS

(Perhaps in praying this litany, you might feel moved to compose your own). Lord I pray forgiveness on the brother who believed lies about me Lord I pray thanksgiving on the sister who modelled for me unconditional love Lord I pray forgiveness on that sad sick young priest that hurt us so badly Lord I…

PRAYER OF THE MODERN IRISH CATHOLIC

Heavenly Father, help me lament the loss of the aborted little baby but continue to love it’s mother… Lord Jesus, help me to proclaim the beauty of your gift of sexuality and not shun my transgender fellow pilgrim… Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful to my life of faith without judging my sisters and…

MY UN-LIVED LIVES!

Did you ever consider your un-lived life, or lives? If things had been different what might you be doing? Where might you be living? With whom? It’s an interesting question. Once you start to reflect on your unrealised potential it brings us in touch with all those who formed us for good or for ill.…

IS PRAYING FOR VOCATIONS OLD HAT?

There was a time when we all prayed for vocations. It was often billed just like that. ‘Let us pray for vocations’…. sometimes it went further and said ‘Let us pray for vocations to the priesthood’. Indeed now and again we said, ‘Let us pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life’. We live…

MARY- THE SECRET WEAPON!

Bring flow’rs of the rarest,From garden and woodlandAnd hillside and vale…………How truly we love thee,How dark without MaryLife’s journey would be. (Bring Flowers of the Rarest, Mary E. Walsh) Even on some of the more secular of radio stations the first day of May saw the playing of this beautiful old song, ‘Queen of the…

THE DEEP WINTER OF DISBELIEF

Recently on a long flight I watched Dr Zhivago. It’s a long film but my goodness how rewarding. Julie Christie, Omar Sharif and all that snow….and what about the music? Not just Lara’s Theme, though his blows me away, but the entire score. I was grateful that my fellow passengers seemed engrossed in their own…

MERCY

Mercy is another name for GodIn the same way that Love is another name for God.When we combine them we get the loving mercy of our God.What does God’s mercy mean?Does it mean he is there for us in the dark days?Well it does, but it’s even better than that.It means he is looking for…