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17th Mar, 2018



Happy St. Patrick's Day to my readers.

From the 'Lorica' (Breastplate) of St. Patrick:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

13th Mar, 2018


New Film: ‘Pope Francis – A Man of His Word’

A new documentary film featuring face-to-face conversations with Pope Francis was released today, March 13, 2018, the 5th anniversary of the Holy Father’s election.

'Pope Francis – A Man of His Word', written and directed by Wim Wenders, is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. A rare co-production with the Vatican, the pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions from death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, and the role of the family, according to Focus Features, distributors of the film, which will be in theatres May 18, 2018.

“Not in my wildest dreams would I have expected to make a film about Pope Francis,” Wenders told Vatican News in an interview today. “It turned out that he offered me Carte Blanche, let me write a concept and define myself the film I could imagine. And the Vatican would not interfere, and would open its archive for us.”

5th Mar, 2018



There are many cat-lovers writing on LJ. May I share this little poem with them.

"Pangur Bán" is an old Irish poem, written by a monk about his cat, in Gaelic, about the 9th century. The monk compares the cat's happy hunting of mice with his own scholarly pursuits.

I and Pangur Bán my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

'Tis a merry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.        Translation from Old Gaelic by Robin Flower.
                                                     'Bán' is pronounced 'bawn'. It means 'white'.

1st Mar, 2018



I've been reading about potatoes. Our history will always be associated with potatoes since the Great Famine of the 1840's.

After wheat and rice, potatoes are the third most important crop in the world. Although it had its origins in South America, the humble potato is now grown all over the world. We claim that here in Wexford, in the south east of Ireland, we produce the best and flouriest potatoes there are!!

There are thousands of varieties, I understand, with different sizes, shapes, colours, textures, qualities, and flavours. My own favourites are the Roosters, especially in late winter and spring. The "spud", as we often refer to it in Ireland, can be cooked in many different ways, but for me, they must always be steamed and served in their jackets. I also like French fries and chips but I realize that served that way they are not great for my health.

Being 80 per cent water and 20 percent solids (mostly starch) they contain minimal amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar, and are non-fattening, so they make a good healthy meal. Long live the potato!

28th Feb, 2018


Should Men Write Advice Columns?

Dear John,
I hope you can help me. The other day, I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled and broke down about a mile down the road. I had to walk home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbour's daughter!

I'm 32, my husband is 34 and the neighbour's daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won't go to counselling and I'm afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help?
Sincerely, Sheila.

Dear Sheila,
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults in the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
Hope this helps.     John

26th Feb, 2018


Interesting Perspective

Billy Graham's daughter, Anne, was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding the attacks on Sept, 11, hurricanes and earth quakes).  She said "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?" In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school .... the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW." Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think, of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard. No Nation or people can ever survive or succeed without Jesus Christ.

25th Feb, 2018


Lent - a Journey of Christian Hope

Lent was instituted as a time of preparation for Easter. We can visualize the Risen Christ calling Christians out of darkness into light. It is a journey of hope. So Lent is a period of repentance, of renewing our baptismal identity, and not as an end in itself.

We've seen it all before. Moses helped the Israelites to escape from slavery in Egypt and guided them on a long journey through the desert to freedom. The entire journey was carried out in the hope of reaching a land of their own. It was a hard slog. It took a whole generation to complete.

Our salvation is surely God's gift, but as in every love story, we are asked for our own 'yes'. Those who make the Lenten journey are always on the path of conversion.

19th Feb, 2018


Ireland is so multicultural now it's normal to be different.

Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, learning the basics of Ireland's national games - Gaelic Football and Hurling.

Lee Chin is a young sportsperson from Wexford. He is a hurler, Gaelic football and soccer player. He plays Gaelic games for Faythe Harriers and the Wexford inter-county team.His father, Voon For Chin, hails from Malaysia.

18th Feb, 2018



Having a child makes you overcome all limits.
Having a child makes you a role model.
Having a child teaches you that what you eat matters.
Having a child teaches you to believe in God and learn how to pray.
Having a child makes you confront your dark side (e.g. anger).
Having a child teaches you that it is only through love you educate yourself.
Having a child makes you a more prudent person.
Having a child gives you so much pleasure.
Having a child teaches you what life is all about.
Having a child you re-learn the delight of a bubble bath.

17th Feb, 2018



Is imprisonment meant to be a means of punishment, a means of rehabilitation, or a means of preventing crime?

Does it work in any of these aims?

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