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Dare you …
Saturday 13th May 2017 @ 5:47 pm / 0 comments

Brené Brown takes the title of her book, ‘Daring Greatly’ from a speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. It is an apt and illustrative title … and a fantastic book.  I am constantly amazed at how ‘snippets’ from history can jump toward us and be of use. By that I mean, I don’t know very much about Teddy Roosevelt. Only that he was called Teddy. And that like most Presidents he left snippets for us to muse … I suspect he was Wesleyan as one of the shortest snippets you sometimes hear is “Do what you can, ...

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Adaptive Change via Sophie’s World
Saturday 6th May 2017 @ 2:25 pm / 0 comments

 The following is s great example of what it means to adapt … it is taken from ‘Sophie’s World, and hits several nails on it’s head.   “In Britain there is a certain species of butterfly called the peppered moth, which lives on the trunks of silver birches. Back in the eighteenth century, most peppered moths were silvery gray. Can you guess why, Sophie?’ ‘So they weren’t so easy for hungry birds to spot.’ ‘But from time to time, due to quite chance mutations, some darker ones were born. How do you think these darker variants fared?’ ...

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Spot the gaps …
Wednesday 26th April 2017 @ 2:07 pm / 0 comments

These few thoughts may take a few mins to read – and they are incomplete and mis(un)–understandable without any explanation given to each stanza … but I’m interested in what ye think. Wild and wide gaps? Nothing new here … in fact if you can spot a particular philosophical/theological stream do say …     1.    Humans are relational creatures.   2.    The most satisfying and important relationships are those where we are held and we hold (we are trusted and we trust).    3.    Conversely, these relationships are often the most difficult relationships  – they take work, weaving, cultivating and ...

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Trinity Monday Sermon
Monday 24th April 2017 @ 3:52 pm / 0 comments

This beautiful address on ‘wisdom’ was preached to the university on Trinity Monday, a couple of weeks ago, by Dr Kieran OMahony OSA … find more of his gentle brilliance on www.tarsus.ie. We thank him for this …     TCD, Monday Holy Week 2017 Exordium Welcome again to this chapel for a time of reflection, thanksgiving and prayer. Welcome and congratulations to all present. The Provost read from the book of Sirach, a biblical book which comes down to us chiefly in Greek. It belongs to a family of books in the Bible, referred to collectively ...

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What happened Easter weekend 2017
Sunday 16th April 2017 @ 4:27 pm / 0 comments

It’s Easter Sunday  – and I gave the Brighton bomber a lift yesterday. The Corrymeela community continues to provide me with experiences and challenges and inspirations and conversations that I could not foresee. It’s Carafest … a mini–festival weekend here at the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle. The sea is roaring splendidly, the clouds are covering beautifully, and the sights sounds and smells of spring freshness are everywhere. On Friday night I had the surreal experience of sitting 6ft away from Patrick Magee – who was sitting beside Jo Berry, whose father he killed in 1984. In the Brighton bomb. ...

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What happened Easter weekend 2017
Sunday 16th April 2017 @ 4:27 pm / 0 comments

It’s Easter Sunday  – and I gave the Brighton bomber a lift yesterday. The Corrymeela community continues to provide me with experiences and challenges and inspirations and conversations that I could not foresee. It’s Carafest … a mini–festival weekend here at the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle. The sea is roaring splendidly, the clouds are covering beautifully, and the sights sounds and smells of spring freshness are everywhere. On Friday night I had the surreal experience of sitting 6ft away from Patrick Magee – who was sitting beside Jo Berry, whose father he killed in 1984. In the Brighton bomb. ...

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A brief comment on 2016 census
Thursday 6th April 2017 @ 10:20 pm / 0 comments

So – Republic of Ireland census 2016 results are in. Some interesting religion observations.Roman Catholic population in Ireland – 78%  … down from 88% 10 years ago. Take out the 10% that the Irish Catholics Bishops survey in 2010 reports ‘don’t believe in God,’ and you’re somewhere around the 65–68% RC. In Ireland. The most overtly Catholic country in Europe for decades (save maybe Italy). Church attendance figures put actual attendance in Ireland (total population, once a week) around the 40% mark. Some surveys have RC mss attendance at less than 20%. The year I was born, this figure was ...

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I’ve no interest in the nonsense
Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 6:10 pm / 0 comments

I think it might be because I have been devouring Brené Brown’s writings – but I am increasingly aware of how important authenticity is. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any children to point out my crap? So I have to try and do it myself. For all of us, the joy of being simply ‘the wonderful you that you are’, should sustain us in the desire to live constantly and presently. Fully present. Constantly. Aware. Alive. Loving in all things. Old writings like this one (well, old being 18 years ago) help to remind me of my ...

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I’ve no interest in the nonsense
Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 6:10 pm / 0 comments

I think it might be because I have been devouring Brené Brown’s writings – but I am increasingly aware of how important authenticity is. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any children to point out my bullshit? I have to try and to it myself. Old writings like this one help (well, old being 18 years ago!!!) Thanks Oriah for ‘The Invitation.’   It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. ...

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Something
Thursday 16th February 2017 @ 11:30 am / 0 comments

Yesterday I was in one of those meetings that gave me hope and life. Such meetings provide sustenance. The meeting was about an initiative in Trinity to engage refugees and asylum seekers around issues of education. It is a very small ‘private’ idea by a few members of staff. Those members of staff have gathered a few more members of staff, and they have gathered a few more students, and they have created a framework to engage refugees in real ways. The project will most likely involve eating together and having conversation. Eating and listening. That’s all. Those initiators of ...

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Brené Brown nearly got me killed today
Monday 23rd January 2017 @ 11:00 am / 0 comments

There are some things which are worth remembering and often the best way for me to hold something is for me to share it. Brené Brown nearly got me killed this morning.* (*by got me killed, please read ‘probably not, but an ankle injury or broken arm was a definite possibility’) It’s Monday. I’m still slightly jet–lagged so I wake up before 6am. Yes, I know, normal people often wake up this time. But for me, that’s a good 90mins–2hrs early, but still better than the 5 hours ...

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The Day The Donald Took The Throne
Friday 20th January 2017 @ 8:15 am / 0 comments

On the day The Donald took the throne in USA, my own day began with readings & reflections on the throne of Egypt in the time of Moses. It’s tough to read it … God deliberately intervenes to harden hearts; animals & harvests get wiped out, several times; destruction upon destruction is amplified; finally the first born of every home (with the text deliberately pointing out that the first born of the throne is not exempt) are slaughered. It is quite a narrative – and without making exegetical comment, I simply note that Walter Bruggermann reminds us this text speaks ...

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Christmas State of the Union blog
Wednesday 14th December 2016 @ 11:50 pm / 0 comments

There is nothing new or breathtakingly original about the thoughts contained in this blog – but for those who like to consider other angles on the Christmas narrative … here is my annual ‘Homily’ from Carols by Glowstick – or what I like to pretend is my annual stab at trying to push the Christmas narratives beyond the children with tea–towels wrapped across their heads …        I have attended a few Chrismassy things so far this Advent … there has even been a showing of ‘Love Actually’ in my apartment … all these christmassy things! They are ...

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Vulnerability
Tuesday 13th December 2016 @ 5:15 pm / 0 comments

This is an Advent post. But it won’t seem like it. It won’t seem like it because you’ll think the post is about sex. It’s not. It’s about intimacy, vulnerability, and expectation. And Advent is about vulnerability and expectation.  Recently I started listening to/reading Brene Brown  … and I’m loving her work on vulnerability & transformation. In the section below, she writes about interviewing a class of young adults (the people I spend my life with) and having her (and their) perceptions on sexual intimacy and masculinity smashed. It’s just a straight quote …   “In 2006 I met with ...

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Disagree Well – Padraig OTuama
Tuesday 22nd November 2016 @ 1:50 pm / 0 comments

The wonderful Padraig OTuama, leader of the Corrymeela Community, joined us for a time in Space to Breathe earlier this month. The day after he left, he delivered a Thought For The Day on BBC Radio Ulster … it was the morning of the US election results. He spoke about being with us in Dublin, and his words were deeply felt and appreciated by those of us who listened. He has graciously sent them to me – and I share them with you:     For two days this week I was in Dublin. I went to Dublin to meet ...

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