Sunday, October 13, 2019

WILD ATLANTIC WAY!

A trip to Donegal was presented to me. In company with my sister, Mairead,
we traveled by McGinley coach from Parnell Square via Monaghan and Derry to Carndonagh, up near Malin Head.
This is a fine way to see how beautiful and green Ireland is, especially through the county of Monaghan,  however, perhaps more enjoyable in summertime. 
The Atlantic way through Donegal is wild and wonderful!
Carndonagh is a nice town with a beautiful Church and friendly people.
We battled our way up to Mass the next morning while rain and wind did its best to put us off. Ah, but we were brave souls and put up a good fight even though our umbrellas didn't make it.
Time was well spent with our cousins, bringing back happy memories of years ago and an awareness of how fast time moves on. 
We visited Moville and stopped in Greencastle; an opportunity to take photos.
As a child, my visits to Donegal took place during the summer holidays.
The Wild Atlantic Way definitely lives up to it's name.  A good challenge for hardy people!


Thursday, October 3, 2019

KNOCK TRIP!

Last Sunday I made a pilgrimage to Knock with family and friends.
It was the yearly trip from Cabra Parish and a first time for me to do so.
What an experience it was and I look forward to do so again, God willing.
A special day for Knock and buses came from all over the country, almost every county was represented. It was jam-packed!
I had never see such crowds, not even in Fatima.  We battled with the crowds to find seats in the Basilica, which holds 5,000 plus!
Our discomfort was out-weighed by our delight and encouragement to witness
so many people willing and able to show their love for our Blessed Mother, Mary the Queen of Knock.
Of course the bus trip home was a delight, only time for one rosary recited by grateful hearts; a stop for a lovely meal in Athlone and a sing-song afterwards to lighten our spirits.  What a day! 
On reflection, I realize how important it is to share ourselves and our Faith with
each other.


Monday, September 16, 2019

God's Cottage

A visit to Glendalough via Local link was a treat for myself and my sister.  We visited God's Cottage, a first visit for my sister Mairead 
Spent a little while in the lovely Chapel and shop before visiting Glendalough graveyard and Saint Kevin's monastic buildings.
Such a thought, Kevin was just a man who wanted to live a quiet monastic life.  However, he soon attracted followers and they became a spiritual community which attracted even more people.
Today, so many years after Kevin and his monks lived in this beautiful natural place, people come from all over the world to enjoy the peace and quiet
( relative quiet with all visitors) and the natural beauty of Glendalough ! 
( Glen of two lakes)


Monday, September 9, 2019

COURAGE!

To be courageous is wonderful and allows a person to rise above themselves.
In a way, it's an invitation to follow our spiritual selves and step out of our comfort zone and embrace God's Will in all that is presented to us.
We could ask ourselves then, what happens when we believe ourselves to be without courage; to be a person with a timid nature?
These are thoughts that present themselves to me whenever I need to face a challenge.  I wonder where do these thoughts come from?
A Child of God has no need to be afraid or anxious.
Our Faith teaches us that God loves us and cares for us the same way a Father cares for his child.  Even more so, because God is Love.
I realize now that feelings of fear and anxiety are invitations, helping us to trust in God's love for us.
'Fear not, I am with you always...'
How wonderful to truly believe in God's love for us!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

SAINTS I LOVE

For my 21st Birthday I was gifted a copy of the Life of St. Catherine of Sienna.
My second name is Catherine, so I read about her and was impressed.
She was a princess and from childhood, had a special love for God.
She suffered a lot when her husband died, yet continued to trust and depend on God's love for her. So I learned from Catherine that suffering helps us to be close to God.
When I joined the Community I was given a book called 'The Story of a Soul'.
Such a wonderful introduction to the life of St. Therese of Lisieux.
Her life-story invites us to abandon ourselves to God; to simply believe in how much God loves us.
Therese's simple approach to the spiritual life is a great encouragement for me to follow her 'Little Way.'
Most of all I have a love for Mary, our Lady, the Mother of all Saints.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

WELCOME THE FUTURE!

The Future is always a mystery.  
We may think we know what's going to happen in the next hour / day / month / year etc., yet only God has a true awareness of the Future.
For that reason, we can be a winner if we learn to trust in God and pray to be guided by Him in regard to the future of our lives.
Wise people and saints advise us to value the present moment and live in the Now. Good advice if only we could.  
Often, our thoughts take us away from the present moment and we are filled with thoughts of what might or might not happen.
I believe that if we can learn to Welcome the Future, then we will be free to relax and allow the mystery of the Future to guide and inspire us.
When we truly believe that God loves us and also believe that God knows ALL, especially what is most good for us, then we are in a happy state and free to love. 

INISHEER

I've just returned from a trip to Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway.
It was an adventure just to get there, coming from Wicklow town.
My journey began at 8am on the 133 bus from Wicklow into Dawson street, Dublin. Step off one bus and on to another, 145 bus to Hueston Railway station.
The train to Galway was at 11.25pm so I had a good hour to relax and replenish myself for the journey.
Travelling by train is a joy and especially with the modern models we now have here in Ireland.
I arrived around 2pm in Galway city and had time to meet up with a friend, Nuala for lunch and a good chat.
The Park Hotel provided a good venue and not expensive either.
Next stop was Kinlay Travel, Eyre Square, who organize trips to the Aran Islands.
They team up with Lally buses who connect people from Galway city to Rossaveal harbour where the boats sail from.
By 6.30pm I was sailing on the 'Queen of the Sea' to the islands.
My day trip ended at 8pm that evening where I was met by good friends, waiting on the Pier of Inisheer.
I quickly settled into the Hostel on the island, then off to a very welcome meal offered by another good friend.
God bless friends and my Pass!