Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Rolling down from Dubbalin town...

Pope Benny's address on the Big Screen

We have been away for the last few days. Up in Dub-a-lin (Roo loves adding extra consonants to placenames) at the closing Mass of the Eucharistic Congress.* We organised it before I was pregnant and it was a trip into the unknown for us. The five of us go to Mass on Sunday all together and it's hard work!  So I wasn't sure how we'd get on at managing the bookles at a fourhour long outdoor Hyper-Mass... hmmm.

The lads were excited and in good form from staying the night before in the hotel.  On opening the thick hotel room curtains, we discovered that the day was brighter and warmer than I had expected, so things were off to a good start.  

We took the Luas into town with Granny and Uncle Bee, with Roo asking at each stop, 'is this the one?' and Poonch cheerful in the buggy next to a sleeping Toot.   We walked from Busaras to Croke Park through the usual dodgy bits and thanks to the double buggy, made a big entrance through the gate used by players' buses.  Hopefully not the last time our boys will go in that way!

Much to Mum's chagrin, RTE had quite a presence,  'thought we could escape from them for once' and there were a couple of politicians there too.  From where we were sitting, we could see a diverse range of people, with a good few children.  It was very loud in the stadium, which was great because it meant the lads' chatter wasn't disturbing anyone too much.  The music throughout was good: my favourites being Maynooth Gospel Choir's version of the Hallelujah chorus and some hymns that Mum and Bee were familiar with.  From then on, I'm afraid it became the usual containment operation I experience every Sunday at Mass and so I can't give many details of what happened, except a feeling of joy and warmth at being there.     

I was really looking forward to the Pope's address at the end and felt a bit disappointed as I thought their would be a live linkup with the Vatican, instead of just a recorded message. I think Pope Benny's homilies are beautiful stuff, but I knew I would have to go away and read what he had said because I find it a bit difficult to understand what he's saying when I have a 22 month-old trying to climb up the Davin Stand underneath other people's seats! But I did catch some of his address there and then, and in particular, I loved his words about the history of the Catholic faith in our country.

How "Ireland has been shaped by the Mass at the deepest level for centuries, and by its power and grace generations of monks, martyrs and missionaries have heroically lived the faith at home and spread the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness well beyond your shores."

He reminded us about the enormous, positive effect Irish Catholics have had on the world: "You are the heirs to a Church that has been a mighty force for good in the world, and which has given a profound and enduring love of Christ and his blessed Mother to many, many others."

He seems to be encouraging us to emulate the holiness of our forebears in the Church, to keep the Eucharist central in our lives, rather than allow the "revelation of sins committed by priests and consecrated persons against people entrusted to their care" to take away our "thankfulness and joy at such a great history of faith and love" so that we can "pass on a love of the faith and Christian virtue to other generations".

It was lovely to stand and applaud the Holy Father with thousands of other Irish people, such a different image to the one we hear about in the media day in day out.  It was such a happy occasion and lovely to share it as part of three generations of our family.  This was what inspired a kind stranger to take our photo before we went in.      

As we left the stadium, I felt a huge sense of relief  (at the weather, the good behaviour of the boys, that I had coped ok with them in my pregnant state) and a feeling that we need to show our love for Jesus in everything we do, so we can make others want to share that love too.  

*Roo had been telling people we were going to the 'conga', but the closest we got to that was the orderly little procession of people that snaked through the stands at Holy Communion time.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

How lovely and blessed that day must have been for you.

Dublin is such a beautiful city.

God bless you Kee, and your family too.

Idle Rambler said...

Oh, so pleased to hear you were able to attend the Mass. It'll be one of those things you'll look back on in the future and say, 'Yes, we were there' :-)

kee said...

Hello Victor and Idle Rambler!
Thank you both for your comments. Yes, it was a very special occasion and we're glad we made the effort. Hope you are both well.
God bless,

Jennifer said...

We had tickets for block 1 for the Mass and were getting ready to go when our 2 year old found her heart medicine and downed the lot!! I watched the Mass from Crumlin Hospital where we spent two days! It was an amazing week all the same, the congress has marked the beginning of great things in Ireland.

kee said...

Hi Jennifer
That must have been a very anxious time for you all. I hope Louise is back to her old self again. Is she usually that keen to take her medicine?

Jennifer said...

Very enthuiastic lol!! I don't know if you've seen her story, if you google ourlittlelouise it'll come up. Bring a few tissues, the most hardened of hearts haven't managed to read it all without a few tears.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Pope Benny?! I have never heard anyone on this side of the ocean (USA) call him that! :)