In Cana of Galilee…



Surprise

Dinner-time, end of May. I place a beautiful red box on the table tied up with a bow. A present for everyone. The kids come into the kitchen and take a seat. “What’s this Mum?” they ask. “Is it a box of chocolates?” But Frankie looks over at Clare: “Where have I seen a box on the dinner table before?! Clare, I think we’ve seen a few scenes like this before… Is it possible?!” I try to look serious. “No, it’s not chocolates. It’s a Christmas present:” “Christmas?”. Now curiosity is raging. “Sara will be the one who has the(…)

Read more

Graces or disgraces?

Recently, on my birthday, my mother was here in my house telling me how she remembered the happy day 46 years ago when she picked me up in her arms for the first time. Beside her, in the maternity ward, was another mother, a mother of six children who were never born. Yes, that’s right, beside my mother there was a woman recovering from her sixth miscarriage… My mother still remembers today her face and the tenderness with which she looked at me. In life, and cost what it may to believe, everything is a gift. Both fertility and infertility.(…)

Read more

Life, Death, Love…and no more wine!

Yesterday was a celebration here in our house: the Parliament in Portugal rejected draft legislation on euthanasia, and the victory of life must be celebrated. But the celebration wasn’t as great as it might have been for it was clouded by the resounding defeat of life in our other country, Ireland, at the end of last week. Niall especially, who loves his country, has suffered terribly with the news coming out of there. How was it possible, and above all, how do the Irish justify the celebrations, the euphoria, the victory cries in the face of rivers of innocent blood(…)

Read more

Soldier of Christ

On Sunday the 27th Clare received the sacrament of confirmation. Such great joy there was here at home! At last Clare completed her Christian identity having received all three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. By her side, Francisco was the privileged sponsor. Because her Godparents from baptism couldn’t be there on the day, Clare asked her brother, himself confirmed three years ago, to be beside her. What does a confirmation sponsor do? Just this: he is a witness to the fact that Clare is ready to receive the sacrament, and he’s available to accompany her in her faith.(…)

Read more

Our Lady Help of Christians

Today, May 24th, is the feast day of Mary Help of Christians. Here at home we celebrate this day with a cake and by going to Mass, naturally. The Salesian school that David attends organized a trip to Fatima today, as part of a bigger pilgrimage that includes students, teachers and staff who want to give thanks to Mary for the gift of their schools that they consecrate to her every year. I grew up with a strong devotion to Our Lady but did not really ever invoke Mary Help of Christians, a devotion that was little heard of in(…)

Read more