Saturday, June 23, 2018

prayer diary Saturday 23 June 2018

'The day will come when the bridegroom is taken from them, and then they will fast.' 
Matthew 9.15

Fasting, along with many traditional penitential practices, have gone somewhat out of favour. Yet we know from Sacred Scripture that they were recommended by Christ himself. Should not then we, who call ourselves his followers, follow his teaching as much concerning this as we do with all other matters?

Friday, June 22, 2018

prayer diary Friday 22 June 2018 (day of discipline & self-denial)

'For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.' 
Matthew 9. 13

And we know, of course, that Christ came to call all people to himself; for all indeed are sinners. But woe onto those who think they are without sin; for in that way they reject Christ's mercy and his promise of eternal life.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

prayer diary Thursday 21 June 2018

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic 'take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.' 
Matthew 9. 2

We all remember that Jesus told the man to take up his mat and walk; how many remember that he did so that he might display to the world he had the authority to forgive sins? For that was why he came, to save us from our sins. Do not deceive yourself, and thereby reject Christ, by believing you have no sins to be forgiven of.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Father's Day

I got something of a surprise Father's Day gift this year. I was rooting through a drawer looking for something and I came across a small box. It had a few old tie-clips and things of my dad's in it – stuff my sister couldn't bring herself to throw away when she was clearing out the house but didn't want either. Her solution was to give it it to me! I didn't really want it either but, like her, I couldn't bring myself to dump it.

It sat in a drawer, forgotten until the other day. Looking through it, I noticed again something in the box that had always struck me as rather odd – what looked like a small piece of brass pipe-fitting of some sort. I had always wondered why my dad had it in with what was essentially jewellery. But the light must have been better that day, because it suddenly looked different. I picked it up and looked at it more closely. And realised that it wasn't brass, but discoloured silver. A little tingle ran down my spine. Because as far as I knew my dad had only ever owned one silver ring in his life. And I had seen him make it.

You see, years ago when I was about ten, I remember my dad explaining to me about how you could make a ring out of a shilling, provided it was one of the old ones that had a high silver content. Apparently someone had once shown him how to do it. The conversation must have put a little bee in his bonnet about it, because for weeks after you'd see him examining his change, looking for a really old shilling. Finally he found one. And then he began.

First he hammered it flat until he had a thin, smooth disc. With a metal punch he cut a hole in the middle, so that he had what was essentially a washer made out of silver. And then the work really started. He threaded it over an iron spike. For an hour here and an hour there after work he patiently tapped at it, gently folding it down upon itself. You couldn't rush it, he explained. If you did, it would crack and be ruined. Finally, after weeks, maybe months, he was finished. A shilling had been transformed into a shining band of silver.

I'd always wondered what had happened to it. I couldn't believe that I might actually be holding it in my hands after all these years. I took it to a friend, Dani who has a jewellery shop, Artists by Night, in the Estate Yard in 'Comer. And as far as he could tell it was what you'd expect if it had been made from a coin.

That was all the confirmation I needed. It couldn't be anything other than the ring I had watched my father make. We polished it and trembling with excitement I put it on. A Father's Day gift to me – from my father.

published in the Kilkenny Reporter, 20 June 2018 

prayer diary Wednesday 20 June 2018

Thomas answered him 'My Lord and my God.' 
John 20.28

the phrase 'doubting Thomas' has entered indelibly into common parlance. Yet this is the same man who was the first to clearly and unambiguously recognise and declare the divinity of Christ. We who walk the path he first trod should daily give thanks for his inspired witness to the truth of whom Christ is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

prayer diary Tuesday 19 June 2018

And Jesus said to them 'why are you afraid, you of little faith?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm.
Matthew 8. 26

Death comes to us all. But for those who put their faith in Christ, there is nothing to fear in this world.

Monday, June 18, 2018

prayer diary Monday 18 June 2018

'Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.' 
Matthew 8. 20

The material things of this world matter little. All that matters is following Christ.