Posts Tagged With: Dublin

Catholicism And Modern Art

It’s not that I dislike it as the headline suggests but what it has transformed into. The only way I can describe Modern Catholicism is how I’d describe modern art. It’s just a stroke of paint on the wall, it’s not art its way too simple to be art. You can’t just put a pair of glasses on the ground and call it art.

Catholicism like modern art has become void of all substance, meaning and the mystical. In its quest of compromise with the secular/pagan world in order to help bring about an easier conversion by making life easier for us all, it has become further disconnected from a world that already despises it.

Today I revisited this pain when I went to my local church at 3pm. They spent 10 minutes saying prayers for Good friday which consisted of the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3pm and then they all went home. I got back in the car and said to my wife ”You know down in the Greek Catholic and Orthodox parishes in Dublin they’re only getting started and ours is over already?”

Afterwards there’s no community. No coffee or chance to socialize like in Orthodox parishes. Everyone just makes a dash for the door and it’s considered to be an end to the obligation.

I almost felt like I should have just stayed at home and lit some candles to have our own 3pm Holy Hour.

Tomorrow I plan to go to my Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish an hour away in Dublin. I just can’t go through easter without experiencing some kind of closeness to God. The Roman Catholic Church just fails miserably at any attempt to lift a soul off the ground and bring it to God via the Divine Liturgy. They don’t even call it Divine Liturgy which has a much better ring to it than ”Mass”. The word Mass means nothing it’s mad.

I know it sounds mad, even Jesus I bet thinks it sounds mad when we say this is the church that’s the true Church.

Tomorrow I will be greeted by the smell of incense, singing, chant, imagery and tradition in which body language also plays a part in our prayer towards Christ in the tomb.





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The Dublin Homeless In Hotels

I’ve come to a hotel in Dublin As I’m training with other colleagues for the beginning of a new job. I’m here for a week and right now there’s a housing crisis in Dublin where people can’t pay the mortgage or the rent and so they end up homeless. 

What is the governments short term solution? Stick them in a hotel. Problem with this is that they could remain there until something gets better. 

Every morning as I head down to work I’m greeted by mothers leaving their children to school. Today I was greeted by them playing hide and seek or with their toys in the hallway. 

They are immediately become fearful in my presence and some apologise for their noise making whilst the little ones too young to speak say nothing but their body language and facial expressions tell me they’re frightened. 

By the time I got to the elevator and had passed through them all, my eyes swelled with tears which I held back from making their departure down my cheeks. I held back because once I get going, I get going. 

I have compassion on them simply because I myself was in their shoes at one stage when I lived in the UK and yet here I am  heading off to my new job. 

Now some people give out about them because they’ve been in that hotel a year and none of them are going out to get jobs. It is therefore argued that they have chosen a particular lifestyle and stick to it. As a result, the logical conclusions by the tax payer is that we are funding that lifestyle. 

Here’s the thing, (and I’m dead serious about this ) Laziness is a sin but sin is also a sickness and anyone with a sickness we should seek a way to heal them. Some folks don’t  possess the ability to move and find work because they lack the mental capacity and confidence to do so. 

There is no such thing as an untalented person. God gave us all talents that would help us gain employment in any role. He also gave us the talent to aquire more talents and learn and climb the ropes. 

Sometimes these talents and abilities remain buried deep within. They’re there, but it’s important we have the right coach to fish them out of us. Some folks have had traumatic experiences in childhood and whether they’re aware of it or not this keeps them in despair. 

I have compassion for these people, you say, because I’ve been there and done that. Others don’t have compassion or wish to see their situations simply because they’ve lived a comfortable life. 

But that’s exactly why Jesus connected with the people of his time. He knew their woes because he assumed the position of a poor slave and was raised alongside them from a young age. The Pharisees who lived a life of fine dining and corruptible livelihood, could not see but were blind to it. 

They ( Pharisees ) were blind to it simply because they’re lives of sinful and excessive comfort had buried it. This is why the Lord heals the blind because he’s interested more in us taking the spiritual message from it. That spiritual message is that our sins blind us and only through prayer and grace can we begin to see. However sometimes along with this prayer we need to rid ourselves of wealth and become poor. 

Saint Francis of Assisi took this literally and so he gave up his wealth and really became in the literal sense a beggar. 

So all I’m asking is the next time you see a Homless family, don’t think “lazy bastards  who won’t work and live off of me “. In contrast to all of that that you should be thinking “She is sick, how can I use my talents to help her”. You know it doesn’t take much either. You don’t have to make an app or build a website or foundation for the homeless. 

Sometimes just a smile and simple “good morning” can alleviate their worry and may be like a roof over their heads and a fire to keep them warm. That smile, that wealth of joy inside you that you store and reserve only for your friends and people who are of use to you, is the kind of riches you need to give away to those who need it most. 

Shelter them indeed if you’re in a position to do so but also shelter them with your love because one roof is just as important as the other, and both kind of shelters you provide keep out the cold, one physical, the other spiritual. 

Pray for Dublins Homeless. Pray for those stuck in a mental block and have despaired. But remember always…’re not so great yourself. 

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Churches, sea, mountains and photos of my Village.








These are photos I took the other day with the exception of one being the Drummer on Grafton Street, Dublin. All other photos were taken in my village and my house. God bless you all and I hope you had a nice Christmas and will have a happy New Year.

Categories: Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Why does it always rain on me?

Why does it always rain on me, Is it because I lied when I was 17? This is Travis who have long been my favourite band since I was a young teenager. The other week a charitable friend bought my wife and I tickets to go see them play in Dublin at a popular venue “The Olympian Theatre” on Dame Street.

I had never seen them live before. I got all their albums, DVDs, posters but never went to see them live… its a funny world. I always found them to be just a good decent band with great lyrics and some fantastic dreamy melodies. Being a songwriter and musician myself I would delve in a little more and say they inspired my own music and I just loved their dreamy chords. If anyone taught me anything on the the guitar growing up and how to play chords it was really this band as I had every music score sheet of every album.

I like this song here and they played it last on stage Monday night just gone. Whatever the storyline of the song may be I think it really reflects our desire to understand suffering and why the innocent often suffer or why we suffer all the time. There are times when we ask the same question to God when we get fed up and we cry out “why does it always rain on me” and we conclude its because of our sin ” was it because I lied when I was just seventeen?” We tend to blame God for everything but I often find that where mishaps happen in our life it’s usually our own fault some of the time and someone else’s fault most of the time too.

This post isn’t designed for a full on Launch or sermon into the mystery of suffering and why God allows it but just thought this song could get us thinking about how we may come to understand suffering and to ask the question…how do you deal with suffering in your life and what’s the best remedy for the black cloud that seems to chase you around on a daily basis?

I hope you enjoy the band and the song.

God bless you.

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The real reason Enda Kenny Wants to legalise abortion.

The chips are down. Taoiseach Enda Kenny is running out of solutions To resuscitate the economic Ireland of the boom years, a bubble created by bank executives for bank executives.

Times were bad enough without Ireland’s reputation being up for grabs by worldwide liberal media on the case of savita who lost her life in Ireland under the care of the HSE.

Enda now needs to use this story to regain good relationships with those who can help Ireland’s economic growth, namely, the whole world basically. He wants to succumb to all the liberal pressure. Enda would like to ignore the advice of the worlds leading experts that abortion is not the cure for any illness. He wants to give his cold shoulder to 25,000 people with a heart, brain and degree of common sense behind them. And he does all this because he simply wants good relations with the world and to lift Ireland out of its economic downturn. He has seen legislating for abortion and killing babies as the solution to all these problems. 

Okay! So it may not be the REAL reason. But it is definitely something to ponder would you agree? Children’s rights referendum and now this? Oh my, sounds like someone is just steam rolling in the goodies for the EU. what will it profit a man if he gains the whole worlds approval and yet loses his own countries approval?

Good night and God bless.

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We Saw Ivan of Medjugorje in St.Xaviers Church, Dublin Today

Dear friends, brothers and sisters, Today we were at the hospital. My wife got a biopsy done of her bone and a bone marrow extract too. It was really painful for her. Doctor said to me, ”its quite a small room here, things get heated and people are known to faint as there does be blood everywhere and you can see some of it”. I looked at Audrey and in my weakness said ”maybe I should wait outside?”. Audrey said in a very humorous yet firm tone of voice, ”Oh no, you should stay”. With that I said I would remain here against all odds and if I faint who cares anyway, as long as Audrey has the support she needs.

We laughed about it afterwards but during the surgery, Audrey squeezed my hand for a lengthy period of time, and then after my left hand went white I offered her my right hand and said ”here, you have squeezed the life out of that one, time to give it a rest and give this ( my right hand ) a go. She was laughing and screaming at the same time when I said that but it kept her spirits up.

After this we went over for an Ultrasound, then back to the Oncology unit to get set up for a CT scan and then it was another walk back over to the CT department. Before that long walk the doctor came in and informed us that due to the Ultrasound they found that the liver was enlarged and the spleen also. Upon the liver they discovered a spot. The Doctor explained that this information is very fresh as they are getting it quite quick but they think that further examination could conclude that this is a result of the Hodgkins cancer and that is the culprit.

This was a shock to the system for Audrey and myself too because this meant either it is a stage III or IV Category A. This means it is the last stages of the cancer and the ”A” means she is not having night sweats or any other symptoms like that. Very worrying, but we are assured if we move quickly it can be dealt with so we start it all on Thursday.

We had a long four hours at the hospital. Having come home my Mother and Father took our son Christian for a while to give us some time to let it all sink in. My wife decided to take some time alone to lie down and have a sleep. It was then that I was going through my feed on facebook and noticed an update from Medjugorje TV on Ivan having an apparition in Dublin at 6pm. They explained that if we wanted to attend we would need to go today. I looked at my watch and noticed it was 3pm and that I needed to go now and really wanted to take my Wife. But we are an hour north of Dublin so how could we get there? I don’t drive. My wife can’t drive there because she is a learner driver and very unwell. My father was too tired for the journey. I didn’t know what to do. but I sent them an e-mail asking where it was happening.

An hour later I get a call from Denmark and a man told me it is happening in Xaviers Church on upper Dorset Street in Dublin. I said ok and that I will get there as a matter of urgency somehow. I knew this would be good for Audrey so I shot into the room and said ”come on lets go”. She replied ”where?” I explained where we are going and she got excited and was all very well and fit to go. But how do we get there? I called everyone and they called back telling me not to go, and the more they told me not to go the more I knew we were meant to go.

So I said ”we will get the train”. So off we went to get the train. We would arrive 20 minutes late but we were ten minutes early for the apparition itself so we did not miss that. Having arrived there I knew the place would be packed as it was indeed full to the brim. Sooooooo. I walked up the Isle and we stood by a pillar. I was very worried. My wifes back was hurting and there were no seats. I had my eye on the slab of tiles that looked like the only comfortable route to take by the altar. So here we are, my pregnant wife and I, confused and tired when a man pops up from his seat all annoyed at us and shouted in the thickest and most purest Dublin Accent you can imagine, ”Will ye get out of the way, your blocking everyones view,”. I replied ”but where will we go?”’ in a very harsh tone he said ”I don’t know but you can’t stay here, move away from here and go whereever, because your blocking our view”. It was at this moment that I needed to take a deep breath, and remind myself that the man simply is not aware of our situation, because I must admit a sudden anger arose in me and the temptation to give him a good telling off was boiling inside me, but I kept my cool and I said ”Ok ok”.

So in my confusion I led my 7 month pregnant, cancer stricken wife towards the altar thinking ”Our Lady will do something here I just hope she will” and then all of a sudden these men in suits and ties came up and said ”We have a seat here for you”. We ended up getting the best seat in the house up on the altar front row woohoo ( remind you of a Gospel Passage anyone? ). So that was that, we had a lovely experience, the Mass the Homily and it really put a fire into my wife. Whatever we got from Our Lady we are truly thankful for. My wife has been begging to go to Medjugorje now for many years but we could never get there. This is the closest I could ever bring her and wow is she so happy. So that’s all that matters.

I love her so much so please do keep her in your prayers. I am in tears, all I know is that we had an hour to get there and I got her there, or rather Our Lady brought us there.

God bless

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Savita, Enda Kenny And The X-Case


Osama Bin Laden attacks the two towers and bush responds by attacking Iraq. Savita passes away from medical malpractice due to a miscarriage and the government proceed to sit and discuss legislation for abortion on the X-case which would result in giving grounds for abortion for those who are suicidal. Does this not speak volumes to you of how people are just using Savitas case to propel their own agenda upon Ireland?

Us Irish people tails are easily twisted this way and that by the media and political forces. We are so easy to convince of anything and just lay down and take it.

Even our priests, bishops and cardinals remain silent whilst all of this is happening. Perhaps they are waiting for the report of the HSE to come back. To lay patient and see on what direction this takes. However there needs to be some kind of public outcry on their behalf against this X-case ruling.

What a sly attack this truly is. Savita dies, and Enda Kenny with his gang go off and talk about legislating for a completely different case altogether. The media and pro aborts use Savita’s death to create a storm in their favor for abortion in Ireland and our clergy sit back, sip on their lemonade, then continue to watch their gaelic football on a Saturday afternoon.

What a nation of victimized wimps we really are. Enda Kenny knows exactly what he is at. He wanted the nation to vote for children’s rights a couple of weeks ago telling us every child matters, but according to his proposed talk on legislating for abortion in Ireland, the most fundamental rights of children’s rights to life are being denied. What a joke of a country this really is.

Please Join us outside the Dail in Dublin Tuesday 4th at 4:30pm for our Unite for life pro-life vigil to remind Enda Kenny of his pro-life promise he made to Ireland.

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My First Real Icon.

From Romania

I was in Dublin for a few days and happened to come upon this Icon of St.Paul in a Christian bookstore known as ”Veritas” on Lower Abbey Street. We had planned to take a few days off in the city with booking a hotel. I was already aware that this icon existed as I was in Dublin before for some reason and happened to come across it. So it was on my mind for a long time to buy it as I have a certain closeness I do believe with St.Paul. I tend to think of him a lot and this is surely no coincidence. There are times when saints follow us around and make their presence known either through thought or visual icons or in the sermons we hear at the Divine Liturgy.

I never had an Icon of my own. One that was painted in the traditional sense on wood. This particular icon I had in mind was later found out to be from Romania but came through an Italian person/company that delivers them to Ireland so that was interesting. It was 72 euros to purchase so I thought, ”wow a lot of cash” but the woman behind the counter decided to give me 20% off ( with no protest about the original price on my behalf ) which made it come to around 57 euros in total. ”Ah”, I thought to myself, ”Saint Paul must me looking over my wretched little financially broke self”.

So having arrived home yesterday I braved my tiredness to get over across the road to the Redemptorist community where Fr.Tony Rice came to Bless my Icon and he told me some interesting stuff about Icons, some of which I was aware already but some of which I wasn’t. He explained how Icons are not ”Painted” but are ”written”. This would make sense because a few days prior to my trip I saw a woman’s collection of Icons online and she would say beneath each Icon ”This Icon was written in 2002”. I had no idea at the time what exactly she meant by ”written” but Fr.Tony Rice explained that the scriptures tell us a story and like the scriptures, the icon too tells a theological story also. This is why we use the word ”written” instead of ”painted”. The Iconographer writes us a story on wood, isn’t that interesting? He went on to explain how in ancient times of Ireland people would carve out theological stories in the Crosses they made ( for example you could google the Cross of Clonmacnois ). They did this because they were illiterate and unable to ”write” in the ABC sense of things. So they would tell a story with their art of carving.

That explanation was interesting because after our talk my father told me a story about a priest who was a friend of the family but fell asleep in the Lord not so long ago. Basically the priest was at the bed of a dying man. The man kept pointing saying ”Book, Book”. Fr.John had not a clue and so he asked people around him to get the book he wanted and that he is looking or a book. So the man kept pointing saying ”book book”. It turned out he was looking at the Crucifix on the wall which was his ”Book” and that the man was illiterate and could not read or write. So the Crucifix told this illiterate man ( along with anything else he had learned through Mass and the oral tradition ) the story of Jesus. So Icons and statues and paintings tell us a story and I felt that was a nice story to illustrate just how Icons are important for all walks of life in the Christian community.

But back to the explanation of Fr.Tony, ”The Icon”, Fr Tony continued, ” acts as a window between heaven ( the Divine ) and earth. The presence of the Saint in the icon is there, so when you are looking at him/her, he/she is looking back at you.” Yes that’s it, the actual saint is looking back at you through the Icon. How interesting. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of the Russian Orthodox Church makes us aware of this but said he prefers to call it ”The Door to the Kingdom of Heaven” in which we not just look at the icon as if through a window, but enter therein when looking at it.

What about the Iconographer? Fr.Tony Rice explained to me that each Iconographer takes a two-week retreat and fasts with prayer before going ahead and beginning the work of each Icon. How interesting to know that somebody did that just before writing this icon. Fr.Tony did ask me why I felt drawn to this one and no other. I was too tired to think about why but blurted out what I felt was possible at the time and explained I picked it because I felt a closeness with St.Paul but that was it. However if given the time I could go on to say that I picked him because of his conversion experience. I too experienced a great conversion and felt I held something in common with St.Paul. I feel that he is a great saint to invoke for our daily conversion to the Lord as well as for the conversion of others. He was a loving Saint with a fire inside of him for Christ. He took no messing and was not afraid even to inform the first Bishop of Rome ( St.Peter ) of his faults and mistakes so that we could all remain united and come to be of the same mind in Christ Jesus.

He is a great Saint to invoke against laziness and slothfulness and despair. Because he was such a great Saint of Faith, Hope and Charity. He worked his butt off and took the most horrid beatings and stoning for the sake of The Name. If there is a Saint I desire to be like and model myself upon I only wish it could be St.Paul. To imitate him in his imitation of Christ. To have him as a great role model of what a Christian should be is a wonderful gift of God that we should all make well use of.

So what about the Theology behind the Icon that I bought? Well . . . I will go ahead and admit I have not a clue and would appreciate others thoughts but in my own private opinion is: He is bald because he cut his hair in the acts of the Apostles. The reason he did this was because he was under the Nazarite vow, the same vow Samson was under. He is wearing a red garment which to me tells the story of his ”Martyrdom” as red is the color vestments priests wear on the feast of a Martyr. His thumb and index are close together and his three fingers are separate and close together, the former indicating the two natures of Christ and the latter indicating the Holy Trinity. He is of course holding the scriptures too but that’s all I know. If there are any good Iconographer’s out there who would like to explain please do I’d be interested in hearing from you.

I pray that this Icon will last a very long time and that it will be handed down to my son and his children and then his children’s children and so on. It will be a sort of Icon and Patron Saint of the Family and I would like that very much so.

God bless

Domestic Monk

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