Summer reflections

June 26, 2024 in Featured News, News

“With every gift there comes opportunity, the sun shining through the trees, the dew glistening on an open flower, the smile of a baby, the embrace of a friend,” says Sister Stan, Religious Sister of Charity. Writing in the July Messenger in an article entitled ‘Summer reflections’, she reminds us that “the long summer days and evenings are the time to tune in to the beauty of our lives, to take a cool drink in the garden, and experience the joy of it.”

Also on the theme of summer, author and broadcaster Andrea Hayes notes how her ‘Family Holiday’ is a welcome opportunity to drop daily routines and the comfort of familiar surroundings to travel to new places. “Taking a break or making time for myself always inspires contemplation and a little soul-searching,” she writes, adding, “It’s as simple as seeking rest or solace in the beauty of the present moment”.

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, theologian and writer, shares his insights on the next phase of the synodal journey ahead of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome this October. He says: “They will have at their disposal the feedback from around the world to the Synthesis Report from the first phase of the Synod last year… among these are some canonical matters regarding specific ministerial forms which may include consideration of the female diaconate”.

Readers are also reminded of Pope Francis’ intention for July, where he calls on people to pray for the pastoral care of the sick: “We pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confers to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord that they become an even more visible sign of compassion and hope for all.”

The July Messenger also features an article courtesy of Independent News on Carlo Acutis, a Catholic Italian teenager who died in 2006 and who will be beatified on 10 October 2024 in Assisi. The article says Carlo “loved the Eucharist and was fascinated by eucharistic miracles. He asked his parents to take him on pilgrimages – to the places of the saints and to the sites of eucharistic miracles”.

Mary Hunt, a frequent contributor to the Messenger, speaks about the importance of ‘Giving and receiving love’, the title of her reflection. She says, “When your ability to trust God allows Him to help you, you are closer to eternal life.” And she says that for her “eternal life is the complete presence of love and trust in God who is love itself, and that is what is best for us all”.

Jesuit Eamonn Walls SJ explains why Ignatius of Loyola is a very down-to-earth saint in his piece entitled ‘Ignatius: Down to Earth Holiness’. He notes that God also came ‘down to earth’ in the person of Jesus Christ. Saint Ignatius also features in Messenger editor Donal Neary SJ’s piece, ‘Incarnation Reflection’ which is based on the contemplations of St Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises.

An extract from the 2024 Chrism Mass Homily of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, reflects on the ‘Wilderness Journey of the Church’. The Archbishop reminds us that “to be led by the Spirit is to be brought into the wilderness; to follow Jesus is to negotiate the wilderness with him”.

The July Messenger has all its regular features as well, – scripture reflections, cookery, crosswords, children’s pages, nature focus, and RE:LINK.