The power of good
Today didn't take shape once again until just after lunch and once again it took me in an unexpected direction.
I had lunch at place called Little Flowers Penny Dinners, which was excellent. Friendly, welcoming and simple, wholesome food. After eating, I sat thinking about a meditation in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola where he asks us to consider the approach adopted by evil in the world and, in contrast, the approach adopted by the good (the side of Christ).
It is very obvious how evil works, we see it every night on our TV news, but at that moment it struck me that I was getting an opportunity today to see some of the hidden work of good in the world.
I had been to mass earlier and during the service the congregation, 30 or 40 older Dubliners, spent 10 minutes praying for people who had died, for their families and also for the problems facing the world, essentially praying for strangers.
Through the kindness of the volunteers or the prayers of countless people across the city (and across the world) the side of good was quietly, gently and powerfully at work, and it did feel very powerful. There was a hidden, often unnoticed or unremarked upon goodness there and it was different from the power of evil, and more than a match.
And at that point I decided to spend my day going from church to church (today's pic is taken in one of them). In all I ended up visiting 8 churches, which meant 6 masses, 2 novenas, 1 Benediction, 3 times joining in a communal praying of the Rosary and 2 half hour periods of Adoration: hundreds of people and tens of thousands of minutes of prayer and much of it for other people. And by the end of the day I felt the most amazing sense of peace.
And alongside the prayers, there were the volunteers at the soup kitchens for breakfast and lunch and for the soup run this evening outside the GPO. Dozens of people giving of themselves, never mind all those who had donated money or gifts in kind - and helping out the several hundred who rely on these sorts of services every day.
The darkness often grabs the headlines, but today I could see that in so many ways light fills ordinary spaces and ordinary lives.