Tag Archives: Ireland

The Halls are Alive with the the Sound of….. eh?!!!

As Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage approaches, opponents to the potential change have taken to the streets to hand out anti-gay leaflets.

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This leaflet was handed out in Dublin and poses the important question: “Should children be exposed to sounds of sodomy?”
“As the date of the referendum to redefine the Irish Family draws ever closer it is time for christians of conscience to examine the dire consequences for the innocent if homosexuals are given access to the scarament [sic] of marriage.
“Marriage is between one man and one woman. Our legislators are without hte Light of Our Lord. At this very moment the liberal agenda conspires to undermine God’s Word and is drafting law to allow homosexuals to adopt children. Should children be exposed to this beastly obsession with unholy acts? Should the sounds of sodomy echo in the halls of a Christian home?
“In the coming weeks and months lobby your TD. Tell them children should not be exposed to unholy homosexual unions. STOP the adoption legislation. Contacat your TD now.”

 

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Bono Vox

Bono talks to Gay Byrne about religion and his beliefs

When Bono and his family want to worship, they read Scriptures, go to church or sometimes just pile into bed and pray.

In an interview with Ireland’s RTE One in June 2013, the U2 frontman opened up about his belief in Jesus, his prayer practice and the way he and his wife instill religious values in their children.

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true — I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” Bono told interviewer Gay Byrne. “We don’t do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray.”

Byrne presses Bono on his perception of Jesus — Was he divine? Did he truly rise from the dead? Bono answers in the affirmative.

“[Jesus] went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that whole millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I just, I don’t believe it.”
When asked if he believed Jesus made promises that would come true, Bono replied, “Yes, I do.”

Apart from his prolific music career, Bono is also an avid philanthropist and social entrepreneur. In 2002 he co-founded DATA, an AIDS and poverty awareness organization that would go on to create ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History.

Bono’s faith has been an ongoing factor in his advocacy work, and it even cropped up in the lyrics of some of his most famous U2 hits. From ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’: “I believe in the kingdom come/Then all the colors will bleed into one.”

(from Huff Post)

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April 11, 2014 · 15:30

Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland

Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland

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March 17, 2014 · 19:01

Three Men in a Boat

One summer holiday from University saw D and M and I on holiday in Ireland.

We hired a cabin cruiser to sail (via the many locks  on the Grand Canal) from just south of Dublin to Athlone – just before the latter reaches the River Shannon.

 

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We three inexperienced but intrepid sailors had a marvellous time until one evening when we docked en route in a small town and went to “the dancin'” – our first experience of hearing a “showband” and impressive they were too – and of the strange custom (to us) of clearing the floor after each dance.

We got back to our boat late and discovered that it had been broken into during our absence, although only one small thing had been taken (I can’t remember what – but it was inexpensive)

It was decided, however , to contact the Garda – so one of my pals went to find a phone box (no mobiles in those far off days).

Half an hour later, a “jolly” policeman appeared.  He had obviously worshipping at the altar of Bacchus that evening, as his gait was so unsteady that we had to help him cross over to our boat which was double moored.

Unsteadily, he staggered into the cabin and plonked his ample frame on the bench.

“It will be restorations” he began – enigmatically

We looked at each other and then at the perspiring stout police-officer.  “But nothing’s been restored; it’s been stolen!”

“Not ‘restorations’ – I mean ‘reparations'” he answered – even more mysteriously.

I thought of reparations in payment for past British actions in the Emerald Isle- but was our law enforcement friend an historian of sorts.

So I asked him, “What are you implying?”

Cryptically – “It’s because you’re from the North”

“No, we’re from the West (west of Scotland)”

“Derry way?”

“Glasgow”

“Aye, I’ve heard of the ‘Brig’ton Billies’ – that’s it, then – I’ve deducted (sic) it – it’s retribution ….. that’s the word I was looking for” said he, sleuthfully and triumphantly.

“Right,” said Sherlock, “I’ll be takin’ down yer details”, taking out his police notebook and a stub of a pencil.

Now this part is genuinely true – as the skipper of the ‘Vital Spark’ would have said, “If Dougie were here, he would tell you”:  he ran out of space on the page, so tore off a blank page from the back of his little book and sellotaped to the side of the page on which he had written, in order to continue his notes!

at one point he asked what my occupation was and when I replied that I was a theology student, he asked if I were studying for the priesthood.  When I replied that I was a Protestant, he muttered, “Aye, ’twill be retribution, for sure”

We offered him a drink – he knocked back a Jamiesons in one gulp, then we helped him off the boat and watched, as he staggered away into the night – never to be seen again…… and we heard no more of the matter.

btw we continued our journey to Athlone, and having tuned into Radio Athlone as a teenager, discovered a small building (it must have been a transmission post) with the Radio station’s logo on the door.

I knocked.  The door opened and a wee leprechaun of a man looked at us furtively and not without a degree of suspicion.

“May we have a look inside, please?”

“Are you from the North?”

“No”

“OK, in you come!”

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Book of Kells

Book of Kells

 

The Book of Kells was Thrown Away

The Book of Kells was probably produced in a monastery on the Isle of Iona, Scotland, to honour Saint Columba in the early 8th century. After a Viking raid the book was moved to Kells, Ireland, sometime in the 9th century. It was stolen in the 11th century, at which time its cover was torn off and it was thrown into a ditch. The cover, which most likely included gold and gems, has never been found, and the book suffered some water damage; but otherwise it is extraordinarily well-preserved.
In 1541, at the height of the English Reformation, the book was taken by the Roman Catholic Church for safekeeping. It was returned to Ireland in the 17th century, and Archbishop James Ussher gave it to Trinity College, Dublin, where it resides today.

From the Facebook page of Christopher Robert Bruce

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December 19, 2013 · 09:30

Irish Funeral Customs

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September 8, 2013 · 12:50

The anti- British Irish priest

Years ago in Ireland, there was a priest who was very anti-British. Every Sunday he would blast them from the pulpit. He became so notorious that the Pope himself summoned the priest to Rome for an audience.

“Father,” said the Pope, “I want that there should be peace between the British and the Irish. You’re not helping matters at all. I want you to kiss my ring and swear by the Blessed Virgin that you’ll never so much as mention the British in public again.”

“But Your Holiness, I – I – ” the priest stammered.

“No buts,” said the Pope. “Swear it here and now or there’ll be trouble!”

“Aye, Holy Father,” sighed the father. “All right. I swear it.”

The very next Sunday just happened to be Easter, and the priest was back at his pulpit in Ireland, giving his annual Easter sermon.

He got to the part of the Easter story where Jesus said, “And one of you shall betray Me.”

The priest continues: “Saint Andrew jumps up and says, ‘Is it I Lord?’ and the Lord says, ‘Nay, Andy darlin’, it’s not you. Sit down now and dunna worry. Eat your supper.’

Then Saint John the Divine gets up with tears in his eyes and cries, ‘Is it I Lord?’ And the Lord says, ‘Nay, Johnny me boy, it’s not you. Sit down now and dunna fret yourself. Eat your supper.’

“Then that dirty dog Judas Iscariot slowww-ly rises to his feet. And he looks the Lord right in the eye and says, ‘Blimey, Mate. Ya think it’s me?”

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Drink!

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers.

The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone.

An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more.

This happens yet again.

The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.

Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. “I don’t mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?”

‘Tis odd, isn’t it?” the man replies, “You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond.”

The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.

Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening – he orders only two beers. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.

The next day, the bartender says to the man, “Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know-the two beers and all…”

The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, “You’ll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well… It’s just that I, myself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent.”

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reblogged – Clare T Walker (my niece)

Principle 7: Collaboration

 

Balance prudent self-reliance with healthy, interdependent relationships.

Some time ago, I came across a book called The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century[1](written by two psychiatrists). A quote from the book:

“Being neighborly used to mean visiting people. Now being nice to your neighbor means not bothering them.”

I think this anti-social attitude has infected much of the technologically advanced world, not just America. We leave people alone because we think that’s what they want, yet loneliness has become a hallmark complaint of modern men and women. We dare not show our faces on our neighbors’ front porches…

…yet we scrawl updates on the walls of their facebook pages, we tweet until our smart phones are hoarse, we forward emails to all our contacts. It’s paradoxical. We have an explosion of online social networks, endless opportunities to “connect,” but how many of us scroll through our computer screens, feverishly hitting the delete button, just looking for something—anything—from someone we actually know or that we actually want to spend time reading?[2]

It’s good lift up our eyes, away from our screens, and be really physically present to other human beings.

illustration from the front cover of O Come Ye Back to Ireland, painted by Christine Breen

Susan K. Rowland, in her book Make Room for God, discusses at length Sarah Lanier’s[3] comparison of “hot-climate” and “cold-climate” cultures:

“Hot-climate cultures are communal, group-oriented, inclusive and spontaneous. Cold-climate cultures are more individualistic, privacy-oriented and interested in structure and productivity.”

My parents grew up in England—which has elements of both hot- and cold-climate cultures—but cultures definitely collided when she encountered the true hot-climate culture of southern California in the 1960s. She and my dad had just moved to America with their infant daughter (me). After several months of dealing with the apparently certifiably insane population of La Mesa on the odd side of town, they moved into a new place. My mom, expecting the worst, battened down the hatches, unwilling to interact with more of these crazy Americans.

To no avail: one morning there was a knock on the sliding door of the kitchen. In walked her new neighbors with freshly baked goods and coffee. Long story short—these two or three families spent the next five years raising their small children together, and even though they now live across the continent from one another, they are friends to this day.

What does any of this have to do with simplicity?

Living and working in close proximity to other people, and building intentional community with them, simplifies things because you can pool resources of time and energy, tools and materials, emotional strength and physical skills.

“Many hands make light work.” (John Heywood, 1546)

Cocooning with just our nuclear family on the back deck while the front porch remains unused isolates and limits us. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—you can ask your neighbor if you can borrow his wheel. And, even though we are sturdy, self-reliant Americans, we don’t have to do everything alone in this increasingly cold-climate culture:

  • The Amish and other “plain living” subcultures excel at the principle of collaboration, with their barn-raisings and other community activities.[4] [5]
  • Busy yuppies Niall Williams and Christine Breen experience the beauty of community and collaboration when they move from Manhattan to rural Ireland and work side-by-side with their neighbors on their farm.[6]
  • In The Way (2010, Directed by Emilio Estevez), a man grieves the death of his son, and also honors his son’s memory, by walking the historic “el camino de Santiago” (“the way of St. James) in France and Spain. On the journey he discovers the beauty of community and collaboration.

I’ll finish with a little anecdote from my own neighborhood. A friend who lives nearby was over at my house putting the finishing touches on some electrical work he had very kindly done for me.

As he was leaving, he said, “I think I’ll take my ladder home with me today, because I’ll need it for a project I have to do at my house.”

“Okay,” I said.

Then, after a moment’s thought, I said, “I think that ladder might be mine.”

“Hm,” he said, furrowing his brow. “Are you sure?”

We went to look at the ladder. It had been back and forth between his house and my house so often in recent months that neither of us could remember whose ladder it actually was!

He took it and used it for whatever it was he was working on, and I think it’s in my garage at the moment.

“Any culture emphasizing productivity cannot allow us to spend much time socializing.” (Susan K. Rowland Make Room for God)


[1] The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century by Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz (2009).

[2] Social Clear Cutting: Can Our Social Media Behaviors Destroy Our Social Environment?” This is a very good post by author Kristen Lamb. She writes passionately about the need to forge real connections with other people. Her target audience is other authors attempting to construct social platforms to promote their creative work, but her articles and books (We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer) still speak to anyone disillusioned by online social media and searching for rewarding interactions online.

[3] Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures by Sarah Lanier (2000)

[4] Plain and Simple: A Woman’s Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender (1989)

[6] O Come Ye Back to Ireland by Niall Williams and Christine Breen (1987)

 

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St Patrick

St Patrick

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October 4, 2012 · 10:15