Pope Francis - Very Human

I can't help but like what I am seeing and hearing about Pope Francis. He seems very human, still doing the simple things like taking the mini bus to diner with his friends rather than a special car. I loved the comment he made to the cardinals at dinner just after they had elected him Pope, "May God forgive you what what you have done."

With every phone now having a camera we are seeing simple images of him like this shot of him paying his own hotel bill.

When he has been talking publicly he seems well able to go off script, say what he's thinking, for example today The Table reported him saying "half of us are in our old age, this is like the seat of knowledge of life. The old have wisdom. This wisdom is like good wine that gets better over the years. Then we must give the young people wisdom of life, go back to your sees enriched in your ministry from these days""

Pope Francis - First Words

Brothers and sisters good evening.

You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.

First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory to the Father…

And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.

[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]

[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon... We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!

You can listen to the Vatican Radio recording here: http://media01.radiovaticana.va/audiomp3/00362051.MP3

Taken from Vatican Radio - www.news.va



In the dark, blackest night; gloom that blinds the captive,
The endless days, hopeless, worried eternities of despair,
When all we say or do seems wrong; no answer ever right,
It’s then that God, unseen, is there to gently say, “I care.”

We cannot ever fully know how deep, how great the love,
That holds us close each, every moment: Even times when,
Wearied beyond the wit of man, hope is lost without trace,
Our heavenly Father is there loving; arms held wide open.

Stand amazed, breathless, lost in awe and great wonder,
None can begin to know, to imagine the times, and ways,
The silent, unspoken prayers of desperate hearts are heard,
And God answers not as we expect but with what’s best!

Patrick R.
March 2009

Receive to Give

Receive to Give.

It is so good to be able to give,
Freely with no thought of me,
To simply enjoy friends’ delight,
At smallest unexpected acts,
And yes, we feel so good!
Giving is better than receiving,
simply putting all other’s first,
Or is it?
Have we paused to consider,
Consider our friends’ feelings,
When all we ever, ever do is give,
Some small trinket or cash gift,
Yet perhaps fail to give ourselves?
Are friends’ smiles those of delight?
Or fixed grins grimaces of real fear,
Faced with our tsunami of kindness,
Our well-meaning, blind generosity,
Perhaps they fear our true motives,
Those we do not know ourselves,
Do we seek to own them?
Sell ourselves short buying love,
Never realising,
We are truly loved for ourselves,
The kindly friend we are to them.
Before we can give effectively,
It’s now time to learn to receive,
To know our actions true effect,
So then we can give ourselves,
And our giving will bring such joy.

Patrick R.
February 2010

No Man Listener

No Man Listener.

I am privileged to be me,
To listen
Offer a smile in return,
The sure hand of a friend
Freely offered
Never seeking any reward,
Privileges that cost nothing
Joy of giving myself freely,
Hope that dispels darkness
Despair; the legacy of today
The possibility the smile; words
Thoughts of the no man listener
May have encouraged,
Sent you my fellow man
On your homeward journey,
Your heart less troubled,
Your foot lighter,
And dare I even hope
Lifting the veil of tragedy
For others o this pilgrim way,
A gift from this man,
The rich man with nothing!
Patrick R.
February 2013.

Lenten Abstinence

Lenten Abstinence.

A friend has given up Facebook for Lent!

I was tempted to be really cruel; to respond "Peace at last!"

On reflection I felt that would not be fair or the correct thing to do. We will miss her contributions.

Why do we give things up - Facebook, chocolates, cigarettes, et al?

Who really benefits and gets the glory for our act of selflessness?

Lent is a time of preparation.

Should we be saying, "Lord, teach me your will. What little extra can I offer this season of Lent?
Father empower me by your Holy Spirit to be obedient to your will; to give in your strength not only
during this season of Lent but in the days that follow too."

There is, for example, the false gospel of thou "shalt not" smoke or drink. What is the scriptural
authority for it? The Gospel is positive not negative! If we try to do any of these things in our own
strength then we glorify man not God. What do we achieve that is of lasting benefit?

This Lent why not say "What can I give not what can I give up?" I believe God will bless our giving!

Patrick R.
March 2011

Mothers Day

Mothers Day

Darling, this today is your special day,
Time to salute you, truly say I love you,
Thank you for the precious, gentle love
That gave me life dearest, best friend.

No words, no thoughts can ever express
Those feelings, emotions that overwhelm,
Filling my heart with peace and gratitude,
Each moment I remember my best friend.

Patrick R.
March 2009

A Secret

A Secret.

This is a great secret seldom told,
Forgotten as days unfold!

One person gave us life today,
Made us glad to live this way!

The least we can do is this,
Help our Mum to life of bliss!

Ensure her memories are sweet,
Children never be indiscreet!

Simply with the fondest love ever
Cherish your Mum forever.

Long the days when she is gone,
And we remember all our wrong!

Our failure to say one simple thing,
“I love you Mum!” Let the words ring!

Patrick R.
January 2013.

For Real: For True

For Real: For True.

My friend; believe; this is the truth,
Something real; honest,
My word; handshake,
As I tell you simply this,
You are loved; respected
Simply ‘cos you’re you,
Unique; so special
With charm that’s yours alone,
Gifts only you can share
Making this world a better place
Without the need to try,
Just simply being the real you,
Rewarding me with this prize,
The joy of your company,
Laughter; your gentleness,
And above all else
Your friendship!

Patrick R.
January 2013.

To Love

To Love.

To love truly; love deeply,
With a heart that’s true,
Is to let go of all of self,
Our hopes and fears,
All cherished ambition,
And simply to accept,
You just as you are,
You just ‘cos you’re you,
The one we love,
Whose friendship we cherish,
Who means the world to us,
To whom we offer our all,
For you are you
Just as you are; just as we met,
And fell in love!

Patrick R.
September 2011

A Smile

A Smile.

Life is too short,
Too short for war,
Life is too cruel,
Too hard for unkindness,
Life is too precious,
Too good to be wasted
On petty mean disputes,
Point scoring,
Creating mindless sadness,
Why not offer a smile
A kind word
They are free; cost nothing,
Hurt less than a frown,
A scowl,
A hastily foolish word,
Ease life’s upward path,
And more than even this
Bring joy and pleasure
To you
The giver!
Patrick R.
September 2011.



Three Sudoku puzzles!

The challenging puzzle was easy; the two easy puzzles challenging!

Is this a mirror on life today?

How often do we make life; friendships; relationships more complicated than necessary! We always
seem to seek hidden meanings or agendas.

The greatest mystery; God’s perfect love is the simplest thing in the world for all of us to understand.
Our Lord’s first disciples were simple men; unschooled; fishermen. Even the youngest child can
respond to love.

Lord grant us a new beginning; the gift of simple understanding; to live our lives as You would have
us live them.

Patrick R.
December 2012.

Big Bang

Big Bang.

Fido enjoyed dinner. Meat; gravy; evidence was over the floor and the walls. It was a mess.

The chimney exploded; crumbled. Debris scattered in every direction.

Two “Big Bangs!” Total confusion!

Despite all man’s worst efforts there remains order in this world. Day follows night; sunset comes
after sunrise; the sea knows its boundaries; the sun, moon and stars continue on their orbit; they do
not fall from the skies.

What has been for millions of years still is!

No explosion; no “Big Bang” could create order; this legacy for all eternity.

Only the master creator created order.

Patrick R.
December 2012

Tee Hee

Tee Hee.

He was enchanted. Tiny eyes sparkled open wide with excitement, His face beamed as he gurgled;
tiny hands clapped out of time; his toes waved messages only he understood. He was too young;
too innocent to know this was Christmas. He had not been bewitched by the spirit of the age. All he
knew was that it was good; he was surrounded by love.

What will this Christmas mean to each one of us?

May God grant each one of us the childlike innocence; simplicity that will enable us to understand;
treasure the true meaning of unfailing love.

Patrick R.
December 2012.



The only gift of true value anyone of us can give is the one that is offered freely, without conditions, with love
and no thought of any reward. Anything else is damaged goods, without worth and simply an end to a means; our own satisfaction and glorification!

At this Christmas season, and as we give, Father may we all always remember that special free gift given
for each one of us; the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus, your only Son, our Lord and Saviour. May we
always give as you give that your name may be glorified.

Patrick R.
December 2012.

Live Today

Live Today.

Man’s foolish wisdom,
A little learning
Without real understanding,
The end is nigh,
Despite our Lord’s words,
“None shall know
The date; time of His return,”
For we are to be prepared,
Seeking first His Kingdom,
As if dear friend
Every day
Each moment was our last,
Our opportunity
To proclaim His Kingdom,
Live in newness of life
Ever expectant,
In harmony with our Lord,
Our God,
Ever singing,
A hymn of praise; love
Our Redeemer lives!
Patrick R.
December 2012.



My words announce me,
My life is testimony
To the love of God!

Patrick R.
December 2012



Stop; listen and hear,
Our Lord is risen,
Unite today in celebration,
Tell the good news to all!

Patrick R.
December 2012.

Mark 6:30-34

Short Homily on Mark 6:30-34

'The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.'

It's good to hear this passage of scripture, without hearing what comes after. If you read on, it would be far to easy to ignore what we just heard. Why? Because what follows is the feeding of the 5000.  Here we have a few simple lines about the disciples returning to Jesus, a promise of some quiet times, and the introduction of a large crowd miles from home. So is this passage just the setting of the scene, a literary journey to where Mark really want us to be? Well I don't think so.

We know from earlier in Mark's gospel that Jesus sent the disciples out to preach repentance, cast out devils and heal the sick. We also know that they took very little with them relying on the Lord to provide for them. It must have been a hard and marvelous journey for them, and they returned tired and in need of rest.
On first reading I felt sorry for the disciples, their promise of some quiet time disappeared when they saw the large crowd waiting for them on the bank. I thought, the Lords work is never done, I smiled and thought this is a good example for us, deacons in formation, we need to get used to the call of the Lord.

But then I prayed about what I should be saying today, and that  wasn't it. Then the line “Sometimes the journey is enough” got stuck in my head.

When they arrived on the shore and saw the crowds they were ready. We don't know what happened on the boat, but we do know the disciples spent the journey in the company of Jesus, and that was all they needed.

As Christians we have been called to do the Lords work. It's a wonderful job and a demanding job and sometimes we get tired. Like last week, I got home on Thursday evening, with 30mins to eat, change and get back out the door to teach an evening at our journey in faith class. Gail looked at me, and said “I'll drive you round tonight love”, we spent ten minutes together in the car, Gail, me & God. I got out of the car refreshed and and ready for the evening.

We can do wonderful things with the Lord, and like the disciples in today's gospel we get tired, and sometimes we don't have time to stop, but sometimes, as long as Jesus is with you,
the journey,  is   all   you   need.