Fr. Paddy’s Blog

Ode to a mouse or a spider:

Robbie Burns writes well on the little things. When he was ploughing, he disturbed the home of a mouse. He apologised in a poem. ‘Ode to a mouse.’ He admits too, how careless humans are and disrespectful of the social status of life where every little mouse (and everything else) has a place. But then he wanders towards his own problems:

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!

The present only toucheth thee:

But Och! I backward cast my e’e,

On prospects drear!

An’ forward tho’ I canna see,

I guess an’ fear!

Robbie had a friend in Robert the Bruce (of Scotland). The Scottish myth catches an important Message, for all of us. Robert was on the run from the English and was hiding in a cave. He watched a little spider building a web. It didn’t matter how often the spider failed, he kept going until he finished the job. Robert was inspired. And so we can. It is the little things always.

“The best laid schemes of mice and men (and women too) go often askew.” (Burns)

The blessedness of little things:

Oh it is the little things. It is the gestures. The smile. The word. The call. The thank you. The hello. The –is there anything I can do? The appreciation. The praise. The touch. The shopping for the cocooned. The neighbours on the roads as a guard of honour for the funerals. The handing in of the Trócaire boxes. The collections in case the parish might be short. The opening up. The disinfecting of the churches. The tidy up. The patience of everyone. The small talk of life; the chatter; the gossip; the bantering; the raimeis of everyday. And what then is prayer? It is noticing the little things. The little people. The little gifts. The little beauty. The hidden gems. The wonder. It is being able to see. To take off the shoes. To bow the head. To be grateful. To being aware.

To looking back and remembering the graciousness of life in people. It is looking around and seeing the Godly image in everyone. It is being at Mass and knowing that it is holy ground and listening. It is watching with amusement and amazement the scatter of seed in life and seeing the gentle growth. It is the marvel of Isaiah’s words on the effectiveness of God’s word which depends on our response. Oh it is the little things that matter. Every day and every moment is grace and blessing.

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him