The present

I was watching an episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys recently and ‘Mrs Brown’ spoke about ‘the present’. She said how the present – now – is, as the other meaning of the word has it, the gift. And that all we have is the present. It’s the same wise insight of that magnificent movie ‘It’s…

Remembering

I spoke as a Humanist celebrant and chaplain at a commemoration event today for people who lost loved ones during the year. It is good to take time out to remember the deceased. People who have shaped us for the good; enriched our lives with their love and acceptance and wisdom and joy and affection….

Be Happy Now

There’s something about autumn. Beauty, colour and harvest. The farewell glance to summer. Winter biding its time.  Pink misty dawn. Walking the dogs on a moss-strewn stony country path. And glad to be me and happy in myself and grateful for life and love. And the sometime kids now twenty-something and finding their way and…

More Humanist musings

Time passes so quickly! As ever, the challenge is to live in the present. To  savour this moment. To be thankful for all we have and all we are. Being human, all too often we only appreciate things when we’ve lost them.  So enjoy this day. Count your blessings. All you have going for you….

A Humanist Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday, 01 March 2017 The Last Word has phoned me and there’s a pre-recorded interview scheduled for 3.45pm today on the theme of Ash Wednesday. I gave it a bit of thought and rang back agreeing to do the interview. I feel privileged to have been asked. I guess it’s exploring a question I’ve…

Time flies

Sometimes it feels like there’s just too much going on – like children growing up and leaving home. Was I blinking? How did that happen so fast? College calls. CAO. UCAS. Wherever. Choosing what to do aged 18 or 19 is probably most people’s first adult decision. Mine was to enter a seminary (although I’d…

Humanist musings

I’m loving being a Humanist celebrant. There’s something wonderful about it for me, doing something I love, something that has meaning, something I’m good at, something that each day, for each ceremony, for each couple or family or individual, is different. It helps me to live in the here and now. Celebrating this particular couple’s…

Dear Sarah, On the Eve of your Leaving Cert

Dear Sarah, my daughter, on the eve of your Leaving Cert, I know you think that the entire outcome of your life hinges on how well you do in your exams. It doesn’t. I know you think that the grades that you feel you have to get will determine your happiness or unhappiness in life….

What would a Humanist Ireland look like?

It would begin with children. Every child in Ireland would have equal access to his or her local national primary and second-level State-funded schools. None would be discriminated against because he or she was not baptized. How shameful it is that in 21st-century Ireland that that still remains the case! And, staying with children, in…

‘Email to ISIS’ by Michael Murphy is magnificent

Michael Murphy, psychoanalyst and author of A Chaplet of Roses – Twenty-four Poems,  had a fascinating discussion on the RTE Radio 1 ‘Today’ Show with Sean O’Rourke on Monday 16 November. Hosted that day by Keelin Shanley, the 8-minute clip explores the Terror attacks in Paris and asks what drives people to carry out such…