Sunday, 27 December 2009


God, light tall candles in my heart.
Make every dim-lit space
So glowing that no evil thing
Can find a hiding place.
God, light tall candles in my heart.
Lest I should fail to see
That Thy Word is the cup of strength
For all humanity.
Burn brightly, candles in my heart...
No soul has ever trod
Earth's twisted way in faith without
Deeper inner light from God.

Gertude Hanson

Saturday, 26 December 2009


The Victorians at rest after Christmas Dinner



And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour"


(Luke 1:46-47)

Observe, this morning, the sacred joy of Mary that you may imitate it. This is a season when all men expect us to be joyous. We compliment each other with the desire that we may have a "Merry Christmas." Some Christians who are a little squeamish, do not like the word "merry." It is a right good old Saxon word, having the joy of childhood and the mirth of manhood in it, it brings before one's mind the old song of the waits, and the midnight peal of bells, the holly and the blazing log. I love it for its place in that most tender of all parables, where it is written, that, when the long-lost prodigal returned to his father safe and sound, "They began to be merry." This is the season when we are expected to be happy; and my heart's desire is, that in the highest and best sense, you who are believers may be "merry." Mary's heart was merry within her; but here was the mark of her joy, it was all holy merriment, it was every drop of it sacred mirth. It was not such merriment as world lings will revel in to-day and to-morrow, but such merriment as the angels have around the throne, where they sing, "Glory to God in the highest," while we sing "On earth peace, goodwill towards men." Such merry hearts have a continual feast. I want you, ye children of the bride-chamber, to possess to-day and to-morrow, yea, all your days, the high and consecrated bliss of Mary, that you may not only read her words, but use them for yourselves, ever experiencing their meaning: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savour."
"Now a happy Christmas to you all; and it will be a happy Christmas if you have God with you. I shall say nothing to day against festivities on this great birthday of Christ. We will to-morrow think of Christ's birthday; we shall be obliged to do it, I am sure, however sturdily we may hold to our rough Puritanism. And so, 'let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.' Do not feast as if you wished to keep the festival of Bacchus; do not live to-morrow as if you adored some heathen divinity. Feast, Christians, feast; you have a right to feast. Go to the house of feasting to-morrow, celebrate your Saviour's birth; do not be ashamed to be glad; you have a right to be happy. Solomon says,
'Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.'
"Religion never was designed to make your pleasures less."
Recollect that your Master ate butter and honey. Go your way, rejoice tomorrow, but in your feasting, think of the Man in Bethlehem; let him have a place in your hearts, give him the glory, think of the virgin who conceived him, but think most of all of the Man born, the Child given. I finish by again saying, ---"A HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL"

Charles Hodges Spurgeon

Thursday, 24 December 2009


In these parts Christmas Eve has delivered a seasonal frost and freezing fog creating an atmosphere that Dickens himself would heartily approve of ! Its the time of year again when the calendar nudges our thoughts in the direction of that birth so long ago in Bethlehem, the beginning of a remarkable life who would profoundly impact on every generation thereafter. As the Scripture succinctly recounts the event, “ Mary brought forth her firstborn Son…and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) Of course that was not the whole story and Jesus grew to manhood when He went about preaching the Good News of the Kingdom , gathering a few followers who recognised His uniqueness but did not always understand His mission. That mission culminated at the cross where the sinless Lamb of God offered Himself as our substitute. The helpless babe in the manger became the suffering victim of Calvary, all to rescue you and I and a world plunged into darkness. For three days and nights Jesus’ followers were themselves in a dark and confused place as they pondered the dashing of their dream of Messiah . But while Jesus finished the work of redemption on the cross , death could not hold Him and He rose again and lives today. So as I wish all readers of the Dew a Happy Christmas , let’s remember that behind all the tinsel and religious cant there is One who loves us, who is only a prayer away and longs to become a part of our everyday lives.
Many have breezed in and out of these pages over the last year , most leaving no trace of their visit, but some brave and sturdy souls have stopped and passed comment and even left a name! To you, the brave named .… Tony, Leonardo, Antoin, Noreen, Mike, Joy, Philip, Deirdre, Lucinda, Alec, Lisa, Ralph, Trevor, Cathy, Brian Mc, Elf Girl, Kevin, Jim, Martin, Peter, Chris, Beneus, Aoife, Sundas, Madusa, Siobhan, Richard, Dominic, Kay, John, Propac, Garrett, Mandy, Pete, Joe, Rachel, Tim, Sam, Bogisha, Sarah, Doug, Therese, Julian, Matthias, Hapi, Jake, Liam, Eamon, Derek, Firieth, Harry and of course my old friend (or friends ) Anonymous ! I say a special thanks and I look forward to more of your feedback in 2010.
During the year the piece that drew most comment was the account of the arrest of a Christian couple in the UK who witnessed to a Muslim lady staying at their hotel. The lady took offence at their remarks about Islam and pressed charges (Oct 23). A review of U2’s latest album (March 1) came in at number two while a visit to Limerick New Testament Church (August 31) vied with the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal (January 12) as the third most commented on blog during the last twelve months.


Gerard O'Shea

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


Christmas shatters any idea that God is some kind of vengeful tyrant bent on smiting any who fail to live up to His expectations. The image of a harsh, punishing deity is contradicted when we discover that our God was incarnated in a baby in Bethlehem's manger.What we realize with the birth of Jesus is that God is a loving person who was willing to give up power in order to express His love. At Christmas we are reminded, as it says in the second chapter of Philippians, that the same God who had the power to toss the galaxies into outer space and set electrons spinning in inner space loved us enough to set aside all that power in order to show that love.
Soren Kierkegaard, the nineteenth-century theologian and philosopher, once told the story of a prince who had fallen in love with a peasant girl. This prince knew that if he presented himself to her with all of his royal trappings, she would be overawed by him. His power and majesty would render her incapable of freely choosing to love him. Knowing this, the prince took off his royal garments, set aside his crown, and dressed himself as a peasant. He became a peasant in her eyes, so that in this guise she could choose to love him or not, for his own sake.
So it was with God at that first Christmas. If He had not been willing to put His power "on hold," loving Him would be impossible. We would not have the freedom needed to choose love if our God powerfully controlled everything. If all that we thought and did was under the control of His power, then love, freely given, would not be possible.
Sociologists who have studied personal relationships have long known that power and love cannot be simultaneously expressed. In any relationship, they point out, the person who has the most power is the one expressing the least love. Consider a married couple in which the wife loves her husband intensely, but he could not care less about continuing the marriage. Which of them has the most power? He does, of course. Her love has made her vulnerable to being exploited. Love does that! That is why Fredrick Nietzsche, the father of modern atheistic existentialism, sneered at love as he exalted "the will to power."The good news is that 2,000 years ago, our God showed us His love by emptying Himself of power and coming into the world as a vulnerable infant child. The scandalous declaration of Christians is that the Bethlehem child is none other than the creator God, having become one of us. There is no greater love than this!

Sometimes it is hard to want a God who, for love, gives up His power. There are situations in which we might prefer a God with limitless power. When cancer strikes, or when evil enemies threaten, most of us, like the Psalmist, want a God who uses His power to provide deliverance and make things right. But we can't have it both ways. Either we have a God who exercises limitless power or a God who limits His power so that love might live in His heart and in ours. God is love! That love has made Him vulnerable. We see that in the life of Jesus. That vulnerability was made brilliantly clear on Calvary. The Bible says that on the cross "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." On the cross we see how far God's love will go. He was willing to die an agonizing death rather than have those He loves endure harsh condemnation.
From Bethlehem to Calvary, we learn that God is not a condemning God, but a friend to sinners. In Scripture we read, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." This Christmas, be thankful for the God who comes to us in weakness because He loves; a God who annihilates any belief that He is a harsh and vindictive deity. His coming to us in Jesus is all the proof we need that in His love He wills peace on earth and good will for us all.
Tony Campolo

Monday, 21 December 2009


The road outside my house this morning
Snowfall may be a routine event in some parts of the world but here in Ireland it is still noteworthy news. This morning I woke up to a changed landscape , crisp underfoot and dazzling to behold ! As Deirdre observed in a comment this sudden whitening of the place has lifted spirits considerably (unless you’re planning a journey!) and so especially for her and anyone else whose heart is cheered by snow, here is a poem on the subject from Robert Frost. ~GOSh.~

Stopping By Woods

On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Let Christmas not become a thing
Merely of merchant's trafficking,
Of tinsel, bell and holly wreath
And surface pleasure, but beneath
The childish glamour, let us find
Nourishment for soul and mind.
Let us follow kinder ways
Through our teeming human maze,
And help the age of peace to come
From a Dreamer's martyrdom
Madeline Morse

The message of Christmas is that the visible material world
is bound to the invisible spiritual world.

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Charles Dickens

The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected
Samuel Johnson
I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.
Shirley Temple
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'
Dave Barry
Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making.
Leigh Hunt
Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.
Grace Noll Crowell
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
Erma Bombeck

Saturday, 19 December 2009


A young Lewis posing with
bearded seasonal visitor on donkey !

Our earliest description of Christmas from writer C.S. Lewis is a bitter one. The year was 1922. As usual, C.S. Lewis and his brother Warren spent the holidays with their widowed father in his big house outside Belfast.
"It was a dark morning with a gale blowing and some very cold rain," Lewis reported in his diary. Their father Albert awakened his two sons, both in their mid twenties, to go to early Communion service. As they walked to church in the dawn light, they started discussing the time of sunrise. Albert irritated his sons by insisting that the sun had already risen or else they would not have any light. He was an illogical and argumentative man.
Saint Mark's church was intensely cold. Warren wanted to keep his coat on during the service, and his father disapproved. "Well, at least you won't keep it on when you go up to the Table," Albert warned. Warren asked why not and was told that taking Communion with a coat on was "most disrespectful." Warren took his coat off to avoid an argument. Not one of the three Lewis men had any interest in the meaning of Communion. The two sons hadn't believed in Christianity for years.
"Christmas dinner, a rather deplorable ceremony, at quarter to four", Lewis continued in his diary. After dinner the rain had stopped at last, and Albert urged his two sons to take a walk. They were delighted to get out into the fresh air and head for a pub where they could get a drink. Before they came to the pub, however, some relatives drove by on the way to their house for a visit and gave them an unwelcome ride right back home.
After too much sitting and talking and eating and smoking all day in the stuffy house, Lewis went to bed early, dead tired and headachy. He felt like a flabby, lazy teenager again. ...


from 'Christianity Today'

Friday, 18 December 2009


The Volgelenzangs Walk Free
Last July I brought the case of Christian couple, Benjamin and Sharon Vogelenzang to the attention of Dew readers. They were accused of insulting a Muslim guest at their hotel, Ericka Tazi. During the two day hearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court , Mrs. Tazi had alleged that they had insulted the 'Prophet' Mohammad by calling him a warlord and they had also made disparaging comments on her distinctive Muslim dress. District Judge Richard Clancy suggested that Mrs Tazi’s version of events could not be relied upon and that she was not the religious person she presented herself as in the witness box. The couple were cleared of a religiously aggravated public order offence of insulting a Muslim guest because of her faith.
The charge had been hanging over the couple for the last 9 months and they have experienced an 80% drop in business at the hotel which they run as a result of the accusation. After the case Mrs. Volgelenzang said, “We’ve been found innocent of any crime. It has been a very difficult nine months and we are looking forward to rebuilding our business and getting on with our lives.
‘We would like to thank all those who have supported us, our family, our friends, our church and Christians all around the world, and non-Christians. And as Christmas approaches we wish everybody peace and goodwill.”
I know many who had been praying for this outcome and who will be relieved that the case was seen for the opportunistic attempt it was, to stifle the right of freedom of thought and speech which are the bedrock of an open and healthy society. We need continued vigilance wherever we live to ensure that insidious legislation is not enacted which seeks to curtail the freedom of Christians to openly proclaim the Gospel. Incidentally the original report in the Dew drew the most comments of any single blog entry over the last year, you can find it at
Gerard O'Shea

Wednesday, 16 December 2009



"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily she sat for a moment and read,
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas! What do you mean?
I seem to remember that only last week,
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street.
"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge?
Perhaps you'd better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and still filled with pride?
Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared?
So little he asked, which you could have spared.
"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do.
Ready for Christmas! Your circle's too small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all!
"She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair,
"There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
Oh, Father, forgive me. I see what you mean:
To be ready means more than a house swept clean.
"Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree.
It's the heart swept clean that He wants to see
,A heart that is free from bitterness, sin-
-Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"

Author Unknown


Sadly the old story of there being no room at the Inn for Joseph and his pregnant wife has taken on a new relevance for some families this Christmas, whose homes have been re-possessed by the banks for payment arrears of mortgages. As property prices tumble from the artificial highs created in ‘boom’ economy times, many on shrinking incomes or faced with job loss are unable to continue hefty repayments to the banks. Thankfully the number of home re-possessions is still small here but each day this recession continues, the threat of foreclosure increases. Later in His life Jesus would tell the disciples , " Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20) indicating that we are not to get entangled in mere earthly habitations but live our lives with an eye to eternity. As the materialistic rug is being pulled from under our feet we are realising how flimsy our security is apart from a relationship with the eternal God who loves us and gave His Son to die for our sins. While we assist our neighbours and friends during these difficult days, let’s not forget to share the life-changing message of the gospel with them and pray by God’s grace for the power to live by it ourselves.

Gerard O'Shea



O men from the fields,

Come gently within.

Tread softly, softly

O men coming in!


Mavourneen is going

From me and from you,

Where Mary will fold him

With mantle of blue!


From reek of the smoke

And cold of the floor

And the peering of things

Across the half-door.


O men of the fields,

Soft, softly come thro'

Mary puts round him

Her mantle of blue.


Padraic Colum

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government will be upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called
“Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6
Lord our God, you have sent light to shine on earth
and have revealed your heavenly power in Jesus
Christ, so that in spite of all the darkness and evil
we may rejoice because we have a Savior. Reveal
your power in our day. Let something be done anew
toward the building of your kingdom on earth. Let
something draw men’s hearts to you to give them
light so that they may thank and praise you for all
you have done and are still doing to bring the whole
world into your hands. O Lord God, let men be
moved by the opening of the heavens. May their
hearts awaken and their sadness give way to joy in
Jesus Christ the Savior. We are your children who
are allowed to wait in expectation for you to set
everything right. We can know that even in our
troubled times your hand is at work to reveal your
will, to make your will plain to all generations on
earth, as you promised through Abraham. May your
name be glorified, O Lord God. May your name be
honoured, your kingdom come, and your will be done
on earth as in heaven. Amen
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Blumhardt was a 19th century German Lutheran theologian who practised a radical message based on Jesus sermon on the mount and the Kingdom of God. As the First World War broke out, he declared his belief in a coming Kingdom of God, declaring "we live in the time before a massive change in the world. This darkness will be vanquished through the Lord Jesus Christ." He is regarded as one of the fathers of Christian socialism but also believed and worked in the area of the miraculous and the supernatural. He was a significant influence on the theologians Karl Barth, Hermann Kutter and Leonhard Ragaz ~GOSh.~

Saturday, 12 December 2009


This cartoon humorously illustrates what will be a reality for many families this year as belts are tightened in a global economic recession. I remember growing up in the sixties when money was tight and marching my beleaguered mother into Woolworth's Store to show her exactly the electric guitar that I wanted Santa to bring. Well despite this and a detailed letter sent to the North Pole via our chimney, Santa delivered a guitar on Christmas morning alright but it was an acoustic and not one you could plug in, I was furious and sulked for the day spreading anything but Christmas cheer ! ~GOSh.~

Friday, 11 December 2009


'Field of Yellow Corn' ~ Van Gogh
’Twas just this time, last year, I died.
I know I heard the Corn,
When I was carried by the Farms —
It had the Tassels on —

I thought how yellow it would look —
When Richard went to mill —
And then, I wanted to get out,
But something held my will.

I thought just how Red — Apples wedged
The Stubble’s joints between —
And the Carts stooping round the fields
To take the Pumpkins in —

I wondered which would miss me, least,
And when Thanksgiving, came,
If Father’d multiply the plates —
To make an even Sum —

And would it blur the Christmas glee
My Stocking hang too high
For any Santa Claus to reach
The Altitude of me —

But this sort, grieved myself,
And so, I thought the other way,
How just this time, some perfect year
Themself, should come to me —

Emily Dickinson

Sunday, 6 December 2009


Ladies, Read Only The First Part Men, The Rest
A Woman was out golfing one day when she hit the ball into the woods. She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap. The frog said to her, “If you release me from this trap, I will grant you three wishes.”
The woman freed the frog, and the frog said, “Thank you, but I failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes. Whatever you wish for, your husband will get times ten!”
The woman said, “That’s okay.” For her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
The frog warned her, “You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis to whom women will flock.”
The woman replied, “That’s okay, because I will be the most beautiful Woman and he will have eyes only for me.”
So, KAZAM-she’s the most beautiful Woman in the world!
For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world. The frog said, “That will make your husband the richest man in the world. And he will be ten times richer than you.”
The woman said, “That’s okay, because what’s mine is his and what’s his is mine.”
So, KAZAM-she’s the richest woman in the world!
The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, “I’d like a mild heart attack.”
Moral of the story: Women are clever. Don’t mess with them.
Attention female readers : This is the end of the joke for you. Stop here and continue feeling good.
Male readers, continue reading….
The man had a heart attack ten times milder than his wife
Moral of the story: Women think they’re so smart. Let them continue to think that way and just enjoy the show.
PS: If you are a woman and are still reading this; it only goes to show that women never listen!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Another damning report on the scale of child sexual abuse by the Roman Catholic clergy in this country has been published this week. In the report of the commission on child abuse within the Dublin diocese several Bishops are named as having not acted honourably when alerted to the activities of their clergy, most of them did nothing and many just moved the offending cleric on to another parish where the abuse continued on more children. I have been listening through this week to many ‘good’ Catholics venting their frustration at the lack of response of their church to these atrocities in any meaningful way. All the Church officials can muster to date are verbal apologies (they have never been at a loss for words, both inside and outside the pulpit ! ) and paltry sums of compensation offered to some of the victims. It is heart rending to hear fair minded members of that Church tearfully baffled as to the stony response of their spiritual leaders in the light of these awful happenings, as many have asked over the last few days, where has basic Christianity gone ?

A Bishop lies, a Cardinal lies, even a child preparing for Communion knows from their Catechism that it is a ‘sin’ to tell an untruth. But there seems to be one code of morality for the man or woman in the pew and an entirely opposite code for the Church hierarchy. Of course I am looking at these events from the outside having long ago substituted dead religious practise for a living faith in Jesus Christ. I could never understand how anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Gospels could confuse that heartless monolith which is the Roman Catholic Church with the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. While much good has been done by individual clergy and laity within the Church the structure of it, headed or lorded over by a Pope who lives in palatial grandeur, runs so counter to the way Jesus admonished His disciples to behave that it beggars belief. Jesus model of church leadership was that of a servant in fact He said that the greatest in His Kingdom would be the servant of all. ( Matthew 18: 1-4). As the Roman church strengthened its power base over the centuries it lost its spiritual clout and diluted the early teachings of Jesus with clever sounding theologies and doctrines that owed more to human ingenuity than to a revelation from God.

When I first opened the pages of the New Testament to read it for myself I was so surprised that much of what I had been taught to believe as a Catholic was no where to be found within its covers. Staples of my childhood like Confession, Mass, Praying for the Dead, worship of Mary and the reverential place of the Priest were all absent from the Four Gospels and did not appear in the early written works of the first Christian communities. Sadly, to people of my parent’s generation, reading the Bible had been deliberately discouraged by the Church , her ministers alone would explain and interpret the Book in line with its own peculiar belief system. The result of this rigorous authoritarianism was to allow generations of Irish people to have a dread of the Scriptures and thereby deny them the possibility of nurturing a vibrant personal faith in the Jesus of the New Testament. Compounded to this spiritual theft as we now know, was the scandalous behaviour of large numbers of the Churches clergy in the sexual abuse of thousands of children. Over the last few years as details of the awfulness of those crimes have been exposed, the once intimate relationship between the Irish and the Catholic Church has been altered beyond recognition. To the religiously sceptic these revelations of clerical wrongdoing have confirmed their disdain of any type of a faith based approach to life, to those who refused to live under any personal moral code it has shown how hollow that code was in the first place and to the majority of ordinary church going Catholics it has been a massive act of betrayal inflicted on them by the Church they loved.

Those of us looking on from outside the Roman fold do not have reason for any smugness or quiet satisfaction ,as the Catholic Church crumbles before our eyes. For most people here the terms Catholic and Christian are interchangeable, however misguided that opinion might be. So as the R. C Church looses ground, so too in common perception does the message of the Gospel. The opportunity must now be grasped to present the plain teachings of Jesus without the ecclesiastical razzmatazz or clerical sleight of hand. As Paul recalled his first encounter with the people at Corinth, “ My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” ( 1 Corinthians 2: 4,5 ) All religious life is littered with the dead ash of human wisdom and persuasive oratory, what the disillusioned ‘faithful’ of the Catholic Church in Ireland now deserve to hear is a message of power and purity that emanates from the very heart of God. My hope is that the baby wont be tossed out with the bathwater as the distinction between the glorious message of Jesus and the moribund works of failed religion are muddled in the public mind. The challenge is for those of us who have tasted the goodness and mercy of God to pass it on as urgently and gently as we can, our fellow citizens deserve nothing less in the present trying circumstances.

Gerard O'Shea