The Language Of Love

In this month of May, the month of our Blessed Lady we continue to remember families in our prayers and we also pray for Mothers and children suffering all around our world. We place them in the hands of Mary who knows the meaning of suffering. Suffering must cease for all. Why do so many continue to suffer at the hands of so few?


The origins of Suffering

"A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of bitter weeping. Rachael is crying for her children; she refuses to be comforted, for they are dead." (Mt. 2: 18)

In our families of origin, behaviours are learned and passed on from generation to generation. Whether right or good, these behaviours become the norm. Love may be absent; love may be sacrificed. But learned behaviour can be changed; and this change gives love a chance of survival.

The story of Adam and Eve concerns the betrayal of God's love by sampling that which is forbidden, under evil influences. Paradise is lost, and the original parents are cast out into a cold, harsh world of internecine strife and other violent acts.

Born to parents who had committed original sin, and who had suffered the consequences, Cain and Abel were at a distinct disadvantage, coming from an under-privileged, 'flawed pedigree' background. While one brother's actions against the other were terrifying, was our acceptance and understanding of them not surprising, in consideration of God's betrayal, at the hands of his own creation? By man's own submission to the will of the devil, from creation he did condemn himself and his successors to eternal suffering.

Trying to make sense of Crimes against Humanity

What kind of persons maim, rape, and kill innocent human beings? Were they born with hatred in their hearts and an animalistic desire to be the Kings of the jungle? As they grew up, did some innate desire drive them on to their goals; or were they inspired in their efforts by other lunatics? In their heads, do the plans that they conceive appear to make sense, shot through with a certain, fatalistic logic? Are their visions so pure and clear as to demand of them nothing less than their complete fulfilment, no matter what? Do they know what will be the final result, if they succed in their aims? Can they justify their means, irrespective of their foulness? Are the rest of us so completely insignificant, that they plan to crush us like ants or seek to submit us to their iron rule? In all of this, does the love for even their own children exist at all?

There are reasons and theories as to why people behave so inhumanly to each other. Historical wounds and hatreds fester indefinitely; inbred beliefs of superiority burst periodically through the chains of equality; and sometimes it may just be a case of the worm turning. Through all of those runs a common thread - the complete lack of, or the loss of love.

Senseless acts, past and present

Our existence is as fragile and as strong in flight as a butterfly's wings. The sun shines through diaphonous membranes as we are borne on the wind. But this existence is very short; shorter still when cruel hands pull at our bodies.

The German rulers did seek to crush and to rule by force during the second world war. But within their unparalled agression against other nations, they did desire to commit an even more heinous act by exterminating the Jewish race in Europe.

Normal days ended for millions of people and their children. No more did they wake up in their own homes to the sound of birds, the smell of coffee, the rush to work and school. They did not come home to dinner, tea, sunsets and nights by the fire, surrounded by loved ones. Their homes, property, sentimental possessions were destroyed or looted or left behind. They were roughly kidnapped from their existence, numbered, hauled away like livestock, enslaved, starved, maimed, raped, experimented upon and finally exterminated. Their beautiful wings were pulled from their bodies, as their tormentors looked on in equal parts satisfaction and fascination. As we sit in our homes today, like we have done so for many years, perhaps enjoying a takeaway at the end of a busy week, in the company of our children, under the cloak of a peaceful, dark blue sky, could we possibly imagine what it would be like when armed goons boot in our doors tomorrow morning, and transport us away to our deaths?

The Gaza Strip has 1.8 million people locked into one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Largely a refugee population expelled from homes and private property in what is now Israel, people here have endured devastating conflicts with their neighbours in 2008, 2012 and in 2014, resulting in the deaths of over 3,500 people, 500 of which were children.

Yazidi women have reportedly been gang-raped in public by Isis fighters and tortured by their captors. Hundreds of women and children were abducted from the town of Sinjar, in northern Iraq, and held hostage by Isis for over eight months. Some were sold to fighters as sex slaves or given as ‘prizes’. Many were beaten and forced to convert to Islam. More than 200 were released by fighters in Himera, near Kirkurk. They told harrowing tales of the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of their captors. Ziyad Shammo Khalaf, who works with the Yazda organisation to support Yazidi victims, said children were separated from their mothers and "distributed among houses" in Mosul and Tal Afar.

While the Christian world was celebrating Easter last month, news broke of the deaths of 147 people, killed after Islamist terrorists attacked a Kenyan university, singling out Christian students to murder. Cf. (The telegraph)

In an Edinburgh court this week, a man was convicted of raping a one-day-old baby and two other young children. The details of his crimes were so horrific that the jurors were exempted from serving on another jury for five years. The judge described his crimes as being "truly depraved and despicable". One of the investigating officers commended the bravery of two young girls who spoke out about their horrific abuse, bringing the offender's crimes to the attention of police. The victims and their families will receive specialist support to help them cope with their ordeal.

Is it possible for fallen nature to truly love?

In our modern world do any of us know what it is to truly love one another without being even the slightest bit selfish? Is it possible for fallen nature to truly love? Jesus Christ, God made man loved everyone. Our Blessed Lady, the Immaculate Conception born free from original sin, is an image of love and devotion not only to her Son, but to all of us. Without God, it is impossible for human beings to aim at loving.

Jesus Christ is pure love. It is from Him that we learn, grow and become. In his life here on earth, He did not judge others; He served others. He healed; He helped to make life better for all, and he drew people to his way with gentleness and love. Christ's language is a language of love.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, came to earth and lived amongst us. It would have been easy for Jesus to triumph over the Romans, the Scribes, High Priests and the Pharisees. Instead, He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God the Father in atonment for that first betrayal of love by mankind. He endured a horrible death upon a wooden cross, in the company of common thieves. All was one great act of divine love that would one day reunite man with God.

Today, the risen Christ still continues to love and seeks to draw all to himself in mercy, love and compassion; but we need to open ourselves to this one true source of love. Love begins in each individual heart and then spreads outwards to reach others. When we begin to take the splinter from our own eye, then and only then will our world become a better and more loving place.

The saints are examples of humans who have loved much with the help of God's grace.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta gave her life to help those suffering from poverty and sickness in the gutters and backstreets of Calcutta. Her life was one of prayer and union with God and the fruit of this was love.

St. Francis of Assisi abandoned riches for a life of poverty and love which was only possible with prayer and a life lived in union with the will of God.

These are just two examples of what man can achieve when he prays and allows himself to be open to the action of God within himself.

On the other hand man who shuts out the God of Love and seeks subtly after his own way, his own agenda in the name of a cause is truly empty of love.


Each day, we are reminded of the suffering of mankind, especially of mothers and their children, whether from senseless wars, natural disasters or depraved and despicable human acts. We were born under the cross of original sin but there are enough good people in the world today to make it a better place to live in, especially the survivors of attempted genocides and the victims of all inhuman acts. We look to the example of Jesus Christ and his gospel of love and forgiveness to pull us from the mire of our own selfishness. We ask Our Lady to protect us and to teach us to live a life of love.


International Businss Times, Cf. Independent

Cf. The Telegraph

Doug Bolton, The Independent

Mary our Mother

May's intention

In this month of May which is the month of our Blessed Lady, Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord, and Saviour we place all the children of the world in her care. One may well ask why? Mary who is our Spiritual Mother, leads us to her son Jesus Christ; she is like a good fisherman who lets the line out so far but who knows when to reel it in. Mary protects us and teaches us the right way to live our lives.

Mary's life and Mission

The story of Mary is so inextricably entwined with the story of Jesus and our faith, as to be almost one. She was His mother, gentle guide and companion until his death. In the bible, in our mass devotion to her and in her apparations, she has been revealed to us as a unique person or entity in herself. The human side of her is evident, enabling us to empathise with her role, her own challenges and tasks; as we believe that she empathises with us.

Mary, her parents, and Joseph were incredibly brave people; brave to the point of being divinely driven by the Holy Spirit, guiding them on their mission. After the Annunciation, Lk 1:26-38 Mary at some point had to inform her parents that she was pregnant. And you could imagine a tense scene not so long ago in Ireland if a young girl sat her unsuspecting parents down to tell them that she was expecting. Would she have been placed in the care of the Holy Sisters? Would she have been placed in the care of a relation abroad?

Mary knew that she was on a predetermined path, but perhaps this did not preclude her having concerns about the impact of her news upon Joseph, her bethroated. Indeed, the honest fellow displayed his instinctive human reaction when he initially withdrew from the marriage arrangement, illustrating just how real this scenario must have been. But, after the Angel appeared to him in a dream, Joseph stayed and never walked away, again. Mt. 1:18-24

No ordinary young couple is fully prepared for the impact of a young baby into their lives; and so it was for Mary and Joseph. On top of the dramatic change in personal circumstances, there was colossal hardship; fear and terror involved at the beginning for the young couple and, later, the Holy Family. Walking when 'near-term' is difficult enough, but having to deport yourself on the back of a mule over rocky roads, for several days and many miles must have been complete agony. To find not a place in an inn at the end of the gut-wrenching journey would have been deflating, but not as degrading as the offer of a place in a stable. At least, that is how I might have felt initially. If I was Mary, I probably would have understood and accepted with grace, the propriety of it all; there amid the peace and quiet, in the company of simple animals, with a loving man beside her, bundling the straw and clothes around; and preparing a humble but nourishing meal with all that he had at his disposal. Lk. 2:1-7

The birth should have been difficult in those circumstances but Jesus was delivered safely. For at least twelve days, Joseph and Mary and Jesus enjoyed a period of relative calm, culminating in the visit of the distinguished Wise men. Lk.1:15-16, Mt.2:1-12 But then, the reality of bringing her special child up in a tough and unyielding world intruded once more; they had to flee the wrath of a vicious and demented ruler; a mass murderer of innocents. Mt. 2:13-15, 16-17

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, was aware of her role. She had the fortitude to take most of what lay ahead of her on board. Yet, the bible allows for insights of a human mother's normal anxieties when bringing up a child, a son, a young man. When He was twelve, Jesus disappeared for three days. In today's world, filled with depravity, a mother will contact the police within hours of her young child going missing. As a society, we have shared in the anxiety of missing children, the dreadful wait for news of the worst kind. Eventually Jesus was found, safe; but He had to remind His mother that she need not have worried. What exactly would He have said to her? 'You of all people must have known that I was engaged on my Father's business; there was no need for you to worry?' Lk. 2:41-51

Mary did worry. The period of her Son's wrongful capture, torture and horrifying death must have been as excruciating as the pain endured by Him. If she had indeed known from before he was even born that she would be standing at the foot of his cross, thirty-three years later, then her life must have been filled with a painful resignation.

As he was dying, Jesus turned to His mother, and John his disciple. He addressed them both: "Woman, this is your son." Then to the disciple he said: 'This is your mother." And from that hour John took her into his home.

The relevance of Mary today

The world today might have more modern ways of travel, communications, light and production; there are great riches. But regrettably, it has retained its desire for power, war and genocide; there is great poverty. Even more, we turn to Mary, because we know in our hearts that she will listen to us and understand our entreaties.

We have many images of Mary. She is eternally present in our lives, not just from our teachings on the holy bible, but through the beautiful visions and appearances she has made to young children especially, since her own death and the death of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

During the 'why Mammy' months and years of our innocence, we ask about Mary and are told of her divine existence in our daily lives, from the wonderful story of the nativity, through to the tragedy but ultimate triumph of Easter. Clasping our rosary beads in our hands at first communion, we pray to Mary, our Heavenly Mother, her image indelibly imprinted on our hearts.

As teenagers, even when we are at our most rebellious, how can we reject the influence of our spiritual mother? Is it possible to deny her desire to be by our sides even when life appears to challenge our beliefs? Our existence? Her's is a very 'modern' story.

When your child is wrongfully accused and tortured by a brutal enemy, Mary will know how you feel. When he is wrenched from your side and inhumanely slaughtered, she will understand your excruciating pain and dreadful loss. When you still find it within your heart to pray to God, and his Son, and your Holy Mother, she will help you, as Jesus comforted her when He was dying.

When you contemplate the body of your child, before being finally laid to rest, she will hold you and support you in your hour of need.

The devotion to Jesus and Our Blessed Lady is demonstrably evident around the world during Easter. During the Easter Vigil in Spain this year, we witnessed five babies being baptised. After the Mass, the priest asked the parents of the newly baptised infants a question. A few minutes later he took each little baby, and brought them in his arms over to an image of Our Lady on the altar. He held them up one at a time before the image and presented them to Our Blessed Lady. These young parents wanted to have their newly baptised babies placed under the watchful eye of Our Lady. It was a very moving experience.

With his dying words to His mother, Jesus gave her to us as mother of the Church.


This month as we continue to pray for all God's little ones around the world let us place them under the protection of Mary and ask her to guard and protect each and every little one.