From The Pastors Desk
 Last Updated  13-Feb-2005 11:19 AM



Sunday :13th February 2005

During the past week, just like every other week, we had our usual diet in the media of sport, happenings local, national and international, farming, fashion, advice on diet etc. It's great to have the various organs of media to keep us up-to-date on all these things. All are important in their own way.

And yet, each item does not hold its place in the headlines for long. They are pushed aside by the latest breaking story. Life is like that - it passes quickly. Still we long for something more lasting to cling to. Let's take two of the past week's items.

Our Holy Father's illness grabbed world headlines. The media crowded round the hospital, trying to get the least snippet of news to feed the interest of a waiting world. He has his critics, as we all do. The response of people in many parts of the world was extraordinary. They gathered in St. Peter's Square just to catch a glimpse of the one that millions the world over acknowledge as the Vicar of Christ on earth - the one who unites the beliefs of people from practically every nation on earth; physically frail from suffering, like the One whom he represents.

His presence reminds us that God cares. He promised that He would be with us always; in many ways invisible, but visible in his Vicar. We thank God for him and we pray that God will restore him to health.

The second item is one I see in this weekend's Irish Catholic. It features the much-capped Niall Quinn, Tipperary's gift to Irish and English soccer. In an interesting article he tells us how important and central to his life, and to his family, his Catholic faith is. The entire proceeds (One and a half million sterling) of his testimonial match with Sunderland, Niall gave to two charities. He was admired not only for his prowess on the field but for the dignity with which he conducted himself on and off the park. Ireland's tall centre-forward is never taller than when on his knees before his Maker! Men like him are a model for aspiring young sportspeople.

Lent - a time for New Beginnings!
Never too late to start. If you have already fallen get up, dust yourself down and begin again. It may be Daily Mass, the Visit to the Bl. Sacrament, the Stations of the Cross, or just time given to quiet prayer. Give up something and give Trócaire the money spared so that they can feed the hungry for you. Prayer, Fasting and Almsdeeds are the guidelines Christ has given us.

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