I'm sure some of the older people in the parish will remember
fondly the custom of 'bringing in the Summer' on May Morning.
Some probably still do it, that is, bring in a bit of greenery
and put it up in the house. There are of course lots of old customs
around Bealtaine. It was an important festival for our ancestors.
May is a beautiful month. It heralds the arrival of Summer. Nature
all around us here in Kilmurry Parish is bursting at the seams
with new life. The swallows and the cuckoo have arrived. It's
wonderful and we thank God for everything.
May is also the month of Mary, the Mother of God. It is certainly
appropriate that this month of new life should be her month. She
made all things new when she gave a wholehearted 'yes' to
the will of God and gave God a human body. Because of her 'yes'
to God, we have all been made new in God. Let us rejoice and be
Devotion to Mary has waned somewhat in recent times. Maybe it's
time we took it up again? Remember the May devotions? Remember
the extraordinary devotion Pope John Paul 11 had to Our Lady?
He venerated Mary at many of her famous shrines around the world.
Starting with his own beloved Black Madonna of Czestochowa in
Poland, thence to Guadalupe in Mexico, then to Lourdes and Fatima
and of course the main objective of his visit to Ireland in 1979
was to celebrate the centenary of Our Lady of Knock.
The Rosary is a beautiful prayer. The constant repetition of
the same prayer has the effect of quietening the mind and the
spirit. It brings us deeper into our heart and soul and it is
there that we really meet God. The Rosary serves the same purpose
as a mantra. It's ironic that just as we abandoned the practice
of the Rosary here in Ireland we now find ourselves going down
the road of Eastern meditation techniques.
On October 16th, 2002, Pope John Paul 11 issued an Apostolic
Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae. The Rosary, the Pope stated,
is an ideal instrument at a time when the world is experiencing
a powerful demand for new forms of meditation. In that Letter,
in addition to the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, he
added five new mysteries dedicated to chapters from Jesus' public
life. The new mysteries, called the" Mysteries of Light"
focused specially on:
1. Christ's Baptism in the Jordan River.
2. Christ's self-revelation at the marriage of Cana.
3. Christ's announcement of the kingdom of God with the invitation
4. Christ's Transfiguration, when he revealed his glory to his
5. The institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.
Let us make May 2005 the month of the Rosary. Let us make it
the month of Mary. Friday May 13th. is the Feast of Our Lady of
Fatima. There will be a Novena to Our Lady of Fatima each evening
at 8.00p.m. in Canovee Church, beginning Thursday May 5th and
ending with Mass at 8.00p.m. on Friday, May 13th.