Monday, 28 October 2013

Live as though money is no object?

Twittering-class poppycock strikes again.

I'm sure that it must be lovely to have enough money that you can spend your life doing what you desire.

But back in real-world-land, I really appreciate that there are rubbish-collectors, bus-drivers, shop-assistants, road maintenance staff etc etc who spend some of their lives doing very boring-ordinary-not-the-stuff of dreams things, so that all of us can spend a little of of lives doing what we dream of.

Hedonism = society failure.

Church rules and funeral music vs sound pastoral theology

A great piece of pastoral theology from

"because church "rules" about music can be bent for the rich and famous (for instance, when at the cathedral "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was played at Harry Carey's funeral during the final procession), they can be bent for the not-so-rich and otherwise-unknown when grief enters their houses as well. I resist, I expect that the funeral liturgy will proclaim the resurrection. Since the resurrection is such a surprise, and I have no idea what that means as well, I've had to decide that
assuaging a family's grief by (rarely) playing a song "sacred" only to the memory of the deceased won't keep me or them out of heaven."

Amen to that - what more can I say.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Musicians as God's workers

A quote from Andrew Greeley's introduction to Rory Cooney's 1987 collection "Mystery"
"Musicians, you see, are men and women who see the wonders of God's graceful love in patterns of sound, the splendor of the form of God's beauty manifested and revealed in the proportioned parts of the matter with which they work. They do God's work and are worthy of the respect, the encouragement and the payment due in justice to all God's workers."  


We need all styles of music

I do wish our more traditionally-minded brothers and sisters could see things this way:
... discern how the Lord speaks through the different types of worship expressions in the Church and therefore use these expressions appropriately in ministry:
  • ... through contemporary praise & worship music, I see the Lord’s intimate love for his people & their passionate response back to him expressed in the simplicity and freedom of the music.
  • Through traditional hymnody, I see God’s majesty expressed in the beauty of ordered rhythm & meter.
  • In sacred chant, I see the solemnity & truth of God expressed through his Word which are beautifully sung according to the rhythm of the text itself.
  • And through the blending of Sacred chant and praise & worship in the Liturgy .... I see God’s people “singing a new song” to the Lord.

Personally, I find a great depth of spirit "feeding" in the rhythms of Irish traditional music.   In the intricate patterns blending around each other, with a unifying underlying tune, with a huge sense of life and energy in them ... I see God's hand at work guiding us our lives, and giving us occasional surprising moments.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

I See, I See

Francis, dear Francis 
So glad you've come along 
Francis, dear Francis 
That's why I write this song 
The Vatican is a lonely place 
The good gets thrown back 
In your face 
Francis, dear Francis! 

Do not cry, Argentina 
Or get caught in a trance 
Your son of that great country 
He learned the tango dance! 
And waltzing Matilda 
Is not far away 
I stop and salute you 
As we gather to pray! 

Francis, dear Francis 
Don't shed a tear 
Your friends in Vaticano 
They are always near 
The sky is blue 
The smoke is white 
May God help you 
Make it through the night! 

© 2013 Jarír Al-Majár

A poem which appeared around the pubs of Galway after Pope Francis' election.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Many will be horrified, but I'm afraid I just think it's funny:

Thanks to:

Saturday, 26 January 2013

You don't need to have other people's problems for them: Implicit emotional support works better

They may not realise it, but sometimes it seems like many Irish people cannot help but (try to) solve other people's problems - and can't understand why other people aren't grateful:

  • I shiver because I remember something horrible that I heard on the news - they run to turn the heating up.
  • I say we're not going on holiday this Christmas 'cos we had to go to a funeral - they spend an hour on the internet researching holiday options (most of which I've looked at and rejected already), and start angling to find out who died so they can get a Mass card (ahh, thanks, but the father-in-law didn't actually believe in God).
  • I comment that I'm thinking about looking for a new job, they tell me about all the unemployed people they know and why I should be happy to stay where I am. Or I say I'm unemployed, and they tell me about their uncle who's looking for a girl for his reception desk (yup, but I'm a qualified accountant).

Here's a bit of reading that 'd like to share around. It's a bit jargony, and all about work. But basically it's saying that other people will find it more helpful if you tone things down, and assume that they can assume their own problems. Good advice, IMHO.  You cannot do other people's praying or worrying for them.