Posted by: Peadar Ban | November 14, 2014

Today: November 14, 2014

They lied again, the dogs of weather men..and women..permitting the weak of heart to believe they were to be frozen solid in their sleep over night and buried in a blanket of snow nine feet deep.  All this was predicted, and worse, as the result of some wayward storm thousands of miles away that occupied their attention and filled with fear the weak and  strong alike from Anchorage to the Athens of the West built on mud scoured from Massachusetts Bay.  Today is bright and sunny, but cold I’ll grant, and sparkling from the gentle rain that drifted down from the quiet clouds overnight.  April in November it is, and all the more welcome for the shame it brings to them who worry innocents with their “forecasts of danger”; all false and flummery; as far from truth as is the East from the West.

“Bad cess to them!” as my father’s mother, Catherine Anne Fanning-Gallaher of happy memory, would say, her tongue between her teeth to keep the deeper curses held back from causing more woe, and her fist raised to heaven as pledge of their  power and her determination.  Who once payed them any attention shouldn’t do so any longer.

It is a beautiful day today, predictions of our descent to the Ninth Circle aside.  The sky is clear from here to eternity, Our Lady’s mantle blue across its uncluttered dome so bright it’s nearly blinding; crimson and gold leaves floating, fluttering gently down alone or in pairs, no breeze to disturb their gentle descent to well deserved rest; the last few remainabove on naked branches before they too let go, sure of a place to spend the winter and pass into memory.

Today, it’s the Feast of St. Laurence O’Toole (Lorcan Ua Tuathaill, in the Irish), the Archbishop of Dublin, and before that the Abbot of one of the most beautiful places in the world, The Abbey of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains, not more than thirty or so miles from Dublin.  He was born in an age that saw quite a few saints, Anselm and Albert the Great, Thomas Becket and Hildegard; Aquinas and Francis and many more up and down Europe and through the alphabet A to Z, (St. Zita in 1252..if you really want to know.)  I like the fact that he had dealings with Henry II of England and lived to tell the tale.

There’s this I love about the Holy Mother Church, besides so many other things:  it is the Liturgical Year with its seasons and saints feast days.  Most of the time I’m not wandering through the Summer and the rest of them seasons; not counting the days to the next holiday or the next shopping season; not wondering how far away the weekend is and the next ball game.  Most of the time, I’m counting the Sundays, and the time from and too the next big feast, the next season of preparation or penance, or joyful celebration.  And along with that, I’m in the company of fellows like the good Archbishop from Dublin who lived for a while an a cave on the side of a mountain.

Anyway, an Archbishop Lorcan or two might be useful these days.  I’ll pray they come along.  I know one or two who might already be here.

As for the weather, it comes and it goes.  What matters is that it’s still here, don’t you think?

Reflections from the Saints

True charity means returning good for evil – always.

– St. Mary Mazzarello

One Minute Meditations

Positions. Who’s in, who’s out? What does it matter to you? You have come, you tell me, to be useful, to serve, with complete availability. Behave accordingly.

– St. Josemaria Escriva

Scripture Verse of the Day

Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Life in Christ: Catechism #2488

The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

Here is a song about St. Laurence filmed at Glendalough (The Valley of the Lake):

And here is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago after we had been to Glendalough a couple of times.  The place is as kind to cattle today as it was 1600 years ago, and in St. Laurence’s time, too.  St. Kevin’s cave is still there, the same cave St. Laurence used when he went to the monastery on retreats:


Between two lakes St. Kevin’s small church stands.
Nearby he lived, in a tree, in a cave,
And stood still so long birds lived in his hands;
He, lost in prayer, by the edge of the lake.

Cattle pastured in the meadows he walked.
Their milk sweet and thick with yellow cream.
“Was it only he was there?” They talked
Among themselves who lived near Kevin’s stream,

“Wisha, isn’t he always with bright Christ,
Patrick and the holy twelve and each one
A gift of grace on us all day and night?
What wonder milk is thick with sweetness then.

Isn’t it the way of heaven for us here
The soft open hand of generosity,
The kind word in the songs of birds and trees,
Above the hills the smiling Trinity.”

November 25, 2004


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