Saturday, April 7, 2012


Last night I watched 'The Sunset Limited' a film based on the play by Cormac McCarthy and starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. The story is simple: two men sit in an apartment. Black (Jackson) has saved White (Jones) from suicide and is trying to help him. White, a college professor, does not want to be helped. As the debate unfolds Black tells his own story of redemption, his efforts to help others and his relationship with God. White, whose life of privilege could not be more different from Black's, slowly reveals his own vision of the world. It is a world that has been emptied out so that only the shapes of things remain, a world of suffering and despair. White believes in nothing and longs for annihilation. In the end he does not want God and departs leaving Black in sorrow, mourning his failure and his lack of words that could reach White in his nihilism. It is a powerfully acted and grim film, alternatively sad and funny. It illustrates both the emptiness and hopelessness of atheism and the dark night of believers who struggle to live faithful lives in a secularised world. The 'Great Silence' is how I describe the mood of these days. Once the Blessed Sacrament has been moved to a secure place on Holy Thursday night there is an emptiness, a great 'lacking', that continues until the Easter Vigil. The churches are bare and empty of the Presence that one takes for granted. This is the world without God. This is religion with symbols and without Sacraments. The great silence is the sound of the great emptiness. Without God there is no meaning, no purpose, no morality, no eternity. Atheism must logically lead to nihilism - the denial of everything. As atheism spreads it also poisons. In the name of reason and science it tears down rationality and enthrones intolerance and prejudice. As Christ Himself deliberately walked into the darkness of that first Passover so we who are His followers must follow Him into the darkness of our age. We must endure the great silence of this age of unbelief and be the still small voice of God. We must stand in this emptiness and be His Presence. This is our dark night, our Passover, our Calvary. To those who are faithful He has promised us resurrection.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Recently I heard someone declare that he believed in God's unconditional love for him and that God loved him just as he was. I have no quibble with the unconditional love bit. God does love unconditionally. His love for us is not dependent on our behaviour, individually or collectively, but is a free, unmerited and unasked for, unimaginable gift. But to say that God loves unconditionally is not the same as saying that God loves indifferently. To say that God's love is not lessened by sin is not the same as saying that God does not care about sin. God loves me not as I am but as He intends me to be i.e. in perfect union with Him. He loves that I exist and all that is good in me but not the evil, not the sin. God hates sin. God hates sin because it makes me less than human. Sin damages and destroys my relationship with Him, with my neighbour, with myself and with His Creation. Sin is a choice away from God's plan, away from being truly human. God cannot love that. God cannot love what makes me less than He created and redeemed me to be. These three days are the holiest of the year because they celebrate just how deeply God's love will go for us. During these three days we celebrate His victory over sin and death. Tonight we begin with His institution of His Church: the Mass and the Priesthood. Tomorrow we remember how He revealed, and saved us through, the Son's love for the Father on the Cross and in embracing suffering and death. On Saturday night we will remember the Father's response: the raising of the Son from the dead.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Above is a piece of work made by one of our students. I don't know the girl, a junior, but it illustrates the talent that our young people have. All it needs is channeling in the right direction, encouragement and support and they can produce such beautiful things. The Merit awards in the school where I work are given not for academic achievement but to recognise the contributions students make to other parts of school life: the Meitheal who look after the First years, Community Care that raises funds for charity, or Cool Fm that entertains the school with music on every second friday to name a few. It was amazing to see the number of students who do that bit extra for others and the ones who are involved in many different areas. They have so much potential and such generosity.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


According to the Belfast Telegraph Ed Mulhall, RTE's Head of News has quit and 'Prime Time Investigates' taken off-air for the foreseeable future because of the 'Mission to Prey' program that defamed Fr. Reynolds. What will happen to those others who were involved?


Related Posts with Thumbnails