Firstly I want to say thanks to all who visited the blog in the past few days. I just did a count and more than 5600 views of the previous post have taken place. This is undoubtedly the biggest flow of traffic I’ve had and I’m not naive enough to think it’s likely to happen again soon!! I am thankful to the website www.balls.ie who kindly picked up on the piece I posted last Sunday and asked if it could be re-posted on theiir website. Needless to say, I was happy for that to happen since the words were born of a sports event and to think that lovers of sport, especially GAA, might get to read them was special for me. I was told by the site that more than 75,000 views of the post had taken place and the man added “that’s a conservative estimate” and that more than 10,000 shares had taken place on Facebook.
Before the post, there’s an acknowledgement to be made as well; because I’m not sure it would have happened at all had a man not spoken to me after Mass in Urlaur. I spoke more or less the same words at Sunday Masses in Kilmovee and Urlaur – focusing on the two photos featuring Andy Moran, his daughter Charlotte and Bernard Brogan. The man seemed teary eyed (I hope it wasn’t just a cold) and he said he felt very sorry for Mayo though, like myself, he’s not a native of the county, and added “your words were meaningful and helpful”. Then he said “Thanks for them”. That’s all he said but as I came home from Urlaur I thought he’d said a lot. I decided to try to remember the words and put them on the blog. So it’s likely had that man not spoken to me after Mass, the post might never have taken place. So thanks to him as well.
In any case, I don’t live in a place where posts of mine go “viral” but it was a nice place to be for a few days because I truly meant those words. The photos (not mine of course) painted a thousand and more words and the few I added were just that – a few added.
So thanks again to all mentioned above and to YOU who are reading these words. Chances are you’re one of the regulars and, as such, you’re my audience and friend. Thanks for the loyalty.
Now I want to share some words that a priest sent to me during the week. I’ve just put them on the front of our Parish Bulletin for this week. The priest, Fr John Cullen, was recently appointed Parish Priest of Roscommon and he is editor of The Angelus (Diocese of Elphin publication). Fr John writes some very meaningful reflections and this, to me, is among the best of the best. It’s as timely as it’s sad and as necessary as it’s timely. He calls it “Refugee Prayer”.
I believe it’s important to acknowledge words that are meant to help, heal and provoke a thought. So thanks John for sending me this prayer.
On the wide open seas
our small boats drift.
We search for land
during endless days and nights.
We are the flotsam
floating on the vast ocean.
We are the dust,
wandering in endless space.
Our cries are swamped
and lost in the howling wind.
Our stinging tears, one by one
float into the vast ocean.
Without food, family and friends
our children lie exhausted
until they cry no more.
We thirst for our land,
but are turned back from every shore.
Our distress signals rise and soar
to the open sky and beyond.
The passing ships do not stop.
How many boats have perished?
How many people are beneath the waves
of the open seas, now in a watery grave?
Lord Jesus, do you hear the prayer of our hearts?
Lord, do you hear our weeping sobs of wordless prayer
from the abyss of death?
O welcoming shore, we long for you!
We pray that the bread of mercy
a crust of compassion and
a few crumbs of loving friendship
be given to us today,
from any land to
nourish and sustain us.