Fr. Paddy’s Blog

This month of September, has begun with bright, warm sunshine. We all respond positively to light and warmth, its energy helps us to grow and blossom. I was particularly inspired, by Pope Francis, recent visit to Mongolia. This vast country, sandwiched between Russia and China, is 20 times bigger than our island. It has a tiny Catholic population of almost 2000 people. Pope Francis, in his reaching out to the periphery and those on the margins expressed solidarity and joy to the indigenous people of Mongolia. He encouraged them to trust in their transcendent God and to hold firm to the values of kindness and compassion. He also sent solidarity to the Catholic community in China, often deeply oppressed by a regime that restricts religious practice. The following text is part of an amazing and uplifting wisdom Francis shared with the people of Mongolia.

“You can have flaws, be anxious and even be angry, but just remember that your life is the world’s biggest contest. Only you can stop it from failing. You are appreciated, admired, and loved by so many. Remember that happiness is not having a sky without storms, a road without accidents, a job without effort, a relationship without disappointments.

Being happy means finding strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in fear, love in discord.” It’s not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It’s not just about celebrating success it’s about learning from failure It’s not just about feeling happy with applause, it’s about being happy anonymously. Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but an achievement for those who can travel on their own.

Being happy is to stop feeling victimized and become the author of your own destiny.” “It is to walk through deserts, but to be able to find an oasis deep in one’s soul. It’s thanking God every morning for the miracle of life. To be happy is not to be afraid of your feelings and to be able to talk about yourself. Have the courage to hear a “no” and trust the criticism, even when it’s unwarranted. It’s about hugging your kids, hugging your parents, spending poetic moments with your friends, even when they hurt us.

To be happy is to let the creature that lives in us live, free, joyful and simple.” You are mature enough to say, “I made mistakes”. Having the courage to say I’m sorry. It’s the sense of saying “I need you”. It’s having the ability to say, “I love you”. May your life become a garden of blissful opportunities that in spring is a lover of joy and in winter a lover of wisdom.

And when you make a mistake, start over.” Because only then will you be in love with life. You will find out that being happy isn’t about having a perfect life. But use tears to irrigate the tolerance. Use your defeats to train your patience.

Use your mistakes with serenity of the sculptor. Use the pain to connect to pleasure. Use obstacles to open the windows of intelligence. Never give up… Above all, never abandon the people who love you. Never stop being happy because life is an amazing show.”    ~ POPE FRANCIS

Life Is A Gift

Today before you think of saying an unkind    word – think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food – think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife – think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life –

think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children –

think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep – think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive – think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job– think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another –

remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down – put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.