At twenty-seven years of age, Seán was a broken man. The trauma of what he witnessed and the effects of his near drowning caused him a severe emotional and psychic collapse, the ripples of which washed up against him – sometimes pulling him back under – for the rest of his life. His bi-polar disorder produced a curious older man; someone who would laugh with all the joy of life and sink into the bleakest recesses of the valley of the shadow of death – sometimes in the same day.
It’s no mystery that our Tory masters have reduced animals to things incapable of feeling pain or thinking thoughts in order to exploit nature – and profit from it – as much as they possibly can. Killing beasts and people is always about pennies, albeit millions and millions of pennies – but pennies nonetheless. Why wouldn’t they do this to animals? If you can be so cruel to a defenceless animal you can do the same to a child.
Our childish question; “Why did no one help him?” must be asked again and again with fresh opportunity for us to answer that question in our words and actions. We are the answer to that question.
That’s fighting talk, that is. Growing up where I did I’ve heard this language a lot. It’s the battle cry of housing estate vigilante justice, “You just tell me where he lives, and I’ll march right round there and see what he has to say for himself. By God, he’ll listen to what I have to say.”
Today, regardless of what we think we are doing, we are not remembering the dead of that horrific war. The so-called ‘Great War’ is now all but beyond the horizon of living memory. Instead we are sharing in – not remembering – an imagined past; a glorious celebration of invented heroes who serve only to justify more modern, less morally justifiable wars – land and resource grabs.
Peter O’Loughlin, the clean-cut poster child of Ireland’s newest far-right political party Identity Ireland, may be frustrated tonight that his attempted Beerhall Putsch ended in farce. Today’s events may indeed spell the end of his own particular hopes for a rise to power, but that the racists in our midst now have the confidence to come out of the woodwork is indicative of more worrying changes in our social and political landscape.
'Remembering' the fallen of the so-called Great War mustn't be about the power and the glory. It must be rooted in the immeasurable suffering of poor, working men and boys, and tens of millions of innocent civilians.
Who am I to pick faults with a saint? I never had the pleasure of meeting Alphonus Maria de’ Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists. He was a bit before my time (1696 – 1787), but I was an altar server in a parish very much influenced by his spirituality, especially during the season of … Continue reading Grant That I May Love Thee Always