Last Sunday we had the Gospel of the Transfiguration, and so with the sun shining, I too headed for the hills.
With the present restriction on attendance at liturgy, the following Stations of the Cross will hopefully help your prayer during Lent.
I thank Nora for her beautiful thoughts shared below... I know they are especially for her friend , but I’m sure she won’t mind if we broaden its embrace and offer comforting hugs to all in our parish who are ill.
May Altar … Nora O Connor
A few weeks ago I was heading to work on a beautiful may morning. I wasn't taking much notice of the beautiful day or my surroundings as my thoughts were mostly on Covid! Letter ready to show at the checkpoint.... Take your temperature when you arrive..... Anxiously wait like everyone else for results of the covid test taken a few days earlier!.... I was travelling via Kilcummin when all of a sudden two little baby rabbits darted out from the side of the ditch..... I had to stop to give them a chance..... and my eye was immediately drawn to a wonderful display of yellow primroses on a low ditch...... Patrick Kavanagh would probably have referred to them as "mostly anonymous performers".....
I was immediately transported back to childhood when we embarked on that joyful task of picking flowers for the May altar..... Usually the same varieties.... Cuckoo flowers, buttercups etc...... But if u were old enough or brave enough to venture further afield you would be rewarded with some bluebells or primroses!! Once a friend of mine and myself walked to Blackwater bridge(almost three miles each way!) because they had the best primroses growing on the ditch..... and they still have!..... The memories made me smile.....
Then I thought of one of my companions from those carefree times..... He is ill at the moment and on treatment....... Wouldn't it be great if we could have bottled some of that joy and delight from our childhood... I would open it up and sprinkle the contents in his direction and see him smile!..... But for now it's a heartful prayer, a virtual hug and a looking forward to happier brighter days which I know will come again.........
The sound of an oncoming car brought me back to the present.... .. By now the 'anonymous performers' were launching into an encore..... The rabbits had scurried off about the business of the day and so must I....... But this time I went with a smile on my face....the memories had renewed me.... I thanked God for the gift of memory, the gift of friendship, the beauty of nature and for all the "anonymous performers" in our lives and as I looked ahead at the mountains, majestic in the morning light... The blue sky.... The beauty of nature all around me......
I knew that we would be alrite because despite all the uncertainty and talk of covid and droplets and infection........ I knew on that quiet country road on a beautiful may morning that God was certainly in his Heaven or as Patrick Kavanagh so eloquently put it :"beautiful, beautiful, beautiful God was breathing his love by a cut away bog" .....
One night recently, I visited our family farm. A calf had just been born.
At midnight, I went out to look at the cow again; by this time she had licked her new calf dry. Everything was mild and gentle, illuminated by the moon's mint light. What a beautiful night it was to arrive on earth.
Even if this newborn were a genius, it could never possibly imagine the surprise of the world that was waiting when the dawn would break in a miracle of colour illuminating the personality of mountains, river and sky
The liturgy of dawn Signals the wonder of the arriving day.
No day is ever the same, and no day stands still; each one moves through a different territory, awakening new beginnings.
it vanishes and is replaced by the next.
Far Away From Home
by Conny Kaufmann (2003)
Have you been away from home?
I mean really far away.
Not just to your friend next door,
And not just for a day!
— Jalaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks (The Essential Rumi)