Sunday 7th June 2020
Today is Trinity Sunday: The feast of Trinity is not just one feast among many others, as if it is just an item of faith. Belief in the Trinity is the heart of the Christian faith, and every feast and every Sunday is a celebration of the Trinity. However it is good to have one day set aside for reflecting and praying that it is the centre of our faith. It took the Church two Ecumenical Councils and a few hundred years to untangle what we know and believe about the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God is a communion of persons, Father Son and Spirit, every time we cross ourselves we remind ourselves of that fact. Three persons, one God!! This is a mystery to be celebrated with child-like love and trust. God is a Father to us; God is a Brother to us; God is the Consoler and Guide to us. From earliest childhood we have been told that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them (Genesis 1:27). We are created to be like God. God is a communion of relationships. Thus we also are created for communion with one another. That is why this “lockdown” and “social distancing” is so difficult. It is in our DNA – it is hard-wired into us -that we should be in communion with each other. We are wired for intimacy. Human beings are social animals – loved into existence by a loving God. Every human being’s greatest drive, greatest urge and greatest need: is for union, togetherness. God’s own inner self is to “be with”, to be in connection, to be family; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What makes God, God, is intimate relationships and no wonder we can’t help it if we are the same way. That is why the apostle Paul prays in today’s second reading that the community at Corinth will experience “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 13:13). Another word for “fellowship” is communion. Yet we are still in the midst of a pandemic that is having consequences for all our lives. Many of us now are praying alone or in the narrow context of a family. This can reshape our sensibilities in an individualistic direction. Think of the photo of the pope presiding over Good Friday liturgy this year at St. Peter’s standing alone in a darkened, empty church. We are all called to community.
Yet to be human is to be lonely. To be human, however we are called to respond to others in their loneliness. Loneliness is most dangerous when it is not recognised accepted and worked through creatively. During these days there are many people who are lonely. I am thinking of those grandparents who, because of current circumstances cannot hug their grandchildren, or families who have loved ones in a nursing homes and they cannot visit because of the fear of infection! I think also of those who have lost an important relationship in their lives, those who have no friends to confide in and they feel cut off from others. If our loneliness is not faced and grappled with in a meaningful way it can lead us to become a hardened and desensitised person. If we refuse to listen to the pain of our own hearts we blunt and callous ourselves to our own real needs and yearnings. Fr. Richard Rohr OFM said “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” Loneliness if not understood can be the cause of much inexplicable unhappiness and tension. Ultimately loneliness can be totally destructive of our human personality. We can take refuge in the bottle…..or other substances…that deal with the pain yet fail to truly satisfy the hunger that is deeply held in our hearts. There is many an old country song that sings of the pain of that kind of hunger and heartache! But there is a place in all our hearts that only God can fill. Blaise Pascal (1623 -1662) French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher said “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” This is not a new idea. In 398 AD, St. Augustine of Hippo wrote in his Confessions: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
A tribe in Uganda have a Creation myth that explains to them why there is this hunger within every human being for a deeper truth. Katonda was their supreme deity. In the beginning Katonda, the High God made the man and the woman. And gave the man and the woman a mind and a will. But as yet he did not give them a “motema”which means a heart. And Katonda gathered all his other creations and the man and the woman. He gathered the Sun. He gathered the Moon. He gathered the rain and the darkness. And told them all that he would soon be leaving. But before he left, he would ask them what they would do when he was gone.The Sun spoke up first and said, “I intend to blaze, my Father” Katonda looked at him and said,“Blaze!?” “All day, all the time I will blaze” said the Sun. Katonda said to his child the Sun, “Look at these, my children, the man and the woman, do you think that they can live, if all you do is blaze? They will be burned and the earth will be scorched!! No, you must share your duties with the rain!” And then Katonda turned to the rain and said, “Rain what do you intend to do?” Rain said, “I intend to deluge.” “Deluge!?” said Katonda. “All the time I will deluge” said the rain “Look at this man and this woman” said Katonda, “ Do you think that they can live under water?”“You must share your duties with the Sun! So that there will be sun and rain and the earth will grow and the man and the woman will be at home!!” Then Katonda. turned to the darkness and said, “Darkness, my child, what do you intend to do?” Darkness replied, “I intend to be dark!” Katonda said, “Look at this man and this woman, do you think that if all you are is dark they will be able to live? They will bump into each other and they will not see the beauty of the earth that I have created. You must share your duties with the moon. The moon will be in eclipse and then the moon will shine and then there will be light even in the darkness.” Then Katonda turned to the moon and said, “What do you intend to do, my child the moon?” The moon was a quick study, “I intend to work with the darkness!”“Very good” said Katonda. Katonda. then said, “ Because everybody knows what they must do. Then I must be gone!” And since He was the High God his word was action. And no sooner had he said, “I must be gone” than he was! No sooner was Katonda gone, the heart (motema) came. And he said, “Where is my Father I must talk to him?” They said, “He is gone!! But He asked us “What we would do?”, while he was gone, and we all told him. What do you intend to do heart (motema)? And (motema) , the heart said, “ I think I will hide in the man and the woman, and I will search for Katonda, all my days!” And that is why down to this day, all people who have (motema), a heart search for God, all their days. (“Stories” by John Shea (Acta Publications Chicago 2008))
We are so grateful, here in the Graan, for all your kindness and donations to us during these unprecedented times. We pray that soon we may see light at the end of the tunnel. We are conscious also of the many who have lost a love one to coronavirus. We are aware also that many have died, not from coronavirus, and their funeral services were truncated because of Covid 19. Because of these circumstances many have expressed sadness that they feel no real sense of closure over the death of their loved one. We are remembering you especially and we pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort you in your sorrow and despite the pain of loss you may now feel, may you know in the depths of your being that your loved one is now in the hands of God.
On this Tuesday we celebrate the feast day of a great Donegal man Columba (521-597). St. Columba, secondary patron of Ireland, is considered one of the most prolific evangeliser in Christian history. He founded numerous monasteries across Scotland, and on the coastal island of Iona. He also founded monasteries in Derry, Durrow and Kells. He left Ireland as a penance or to be a pilgrim for Christ. He was a lover of people and of nature. His biographer, Adamnan, writes that Columba had such a deep love for the forests and all of God’s creation that he made sure that his monasteries were built without a single tree being cut. He asked that whenever his monks built a new monastery, that it maintain groves of trees around it. His monks absorbed his respect for creation and thereafter Irish and Scottish monasteries cultivated a keen appreciation for the natural world as the vesture of the Holy Spirit. In one of his hymns, he declared that he was more afraid of the sound of an axe in the forest, than he was of the voice of hell itself. Such was his respect for nature!
Be assured even though we are not able to gather in our church for Mass because of current restrictions you are being remembered every day in our community prayers.
The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
Standing Order Form Link attached HERE. Please note if you complete a form please return it to your own bank.
The Church here at The Graan will remain open from 9.30am – 4pm each day for private prayer. The shop & Monastery will remain closed until further notice. You can ring the monastery from 10am – 2pm each day or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries or if you need cards sent out in the post we will gladly do so.
Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, Special Occasion, etc cost £2 / €2.50 each.
Maureen Mc Loughlin, Drumquin
Patrick Murphy, Ballyreagh, Tempo
Barney & Anna Mc Hugh, Drumna, Boho
The Mc Gurn Family, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
The Togher Family, Belmullet
Donal Blake, Tobermore Pk, Enniskillen
Fr Marius Donnelly C.P & Fr Cosmas Donnelly C.P, The Graan Monastery, Enniskillen
Eddie Todd, Lisnaskea
Sarah Mc Cullough, Armagh
Conor Burns, Drumclay Rd, Enniskillen
Una Slevin, Tempo
Dolly Moohan, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
Aiden Moohan, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
James & Sarah Woods, Moneymore
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201