Advent: Journeying with the Light

WEEK 1 – Journeying with the Light of Hope 

Welcome to Solas Bhríde and to our reflection on Advent.

Our theme for the first Sunday is: Journeying with the Lght of Hope.



We light the first candle – a symbol of hope.

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness – Desmond Tutu

Hope is needed to carry us through difficult times.

This is the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere –  a time when many experience darkness at a personal level – family level – darkness in nature – collective darkness as we try to cope with a global pandemic.

Advent gives us the opportunity to focus on the light that shines in the midst of darkness.

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Spirit.  (Romans 15:13)

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Tuesday, September 1st, the Church will mark the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Following in the footsteps of the Orthodox Church, Pope Francis has decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September. As Christians we are challenged to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.

St. Francis’s Canticle of the Sun

O most High, almighty, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!index

Praised be my Lord God with all creatures;
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day, and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.

Praised be my Lord for our sister water,5777a
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness:
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,
and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields divers fruits, and flowers offlowers
many colors, and grass.

Praise you, and bless you the Lord,
and give thanks to God, and serve God
with great humility.

(St. Francis, 1182-1226)



samhainWe invite you to join with us as we celebrate the feast of Samhain.

Samhain is a festival that celebrates the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. They are at the heart of the Celtic spiritual tradition. We enter into that space between the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. It is the season that invites us, like the seeds, to embrace the darkness so that new and more abundant life will spring forth when the winter darkness is over.

Samhain is a time for deep reflection, introspection, thanksgiving, stillness, and harvest.  It is a time to give thanks for the blessings received as the year draws to a close and the earth prepares for its winter sleep. During this festival the veil between this world and the other world is thin so it is customary to remember family members and friends who have made this journey on earth before us.


May Reflection

That Place where I find Grace

pilgrimmaryjune2009I walk beneath the oak, the ash, the birch and the beech
Under where their boughs meet.
And their mantle enfolds me, loves me, holds me.
A butterfly accompanies me along the way,
Till it and I are startled by pigeons, making such a racket in the trees.
I pick up a dandelion, one that’s seeded, a beautiful ball of fluff.
I blow – ABCD – what will my husband’s name be?
I pick up another – 1,2,3,4,5 – how many children will I have.
A cheeky rabbit sums me up before running into the ditch.
There are primroses, cowslips, violets pink and blue,
Wild strawberries and buttercups too.

I think of when in the snow these were hiding underground
And now with the sunshine, lush abound,
And how we too forget those harsher times
When the “Sun” comes into our lives
Brings out the best in us, makes us beautiful too.

I thought of you all on this afternoon walk
And hope that you too can find that place of grace.


Bealtaine Reflection

It has been a long cold winter and it looked like the grass would never change from its dull yellow/brown back to a rich green. It felt like things would never grow again.  But at last Bealtaine is upon us we are aware of the wonderful changes nature is bringing, with new life and colour.  If we can’t be outside in it, we can sit quietly and imagine a warm summer breeze on our faces and picture in our mind a beautiful summer scene:-


A gurgling stream proclaims, ‘It’s May’,

Its clear water, sparkling in the sunshine,

Hurtles forward over pebbles and rock,

Reflecting a blue sky crisscrossed by birds on the wing,

While others perch in nearby bushes,

Filling the summer’s day with song. 


Cherry blossoms display delicate pink

To decorate the skies for Mary’s month,

While bees buzz from flower to flower

Ensuring the continuation of life,

And new green leaves, curling and soft

Form dappled tunnels between the trees.

Reflections for Advent

“Journey to Christmas”

Advent is a season that makes us stop, look and ask: “What is the reason for Christmas?  What is it all about?  What do we really need this Christmas?


5777aEntering into darkness, stillness,
beyond time, beyond space.
Waiting and listening,
Until filled with that Mysterious Presence
that reaches the depths within.

We offer evenings of quiet reflection in the midst of our busy schedules.

Winter Solstice

“Within our darkest night a fire is kindled that never dies away” Please join us in celebrating something greater than ourselves, as we prepare for the great feast of Christmas, when we celebrate the Incarnation of God first in creation and then in the person of Jesus.

In ancient Ireland December was a time of fear of the growing darkness, but it was also a time of hope based on past experience that the light would again begin to break through before the month ended.  That hope was celebrated with a festival at the winter solstice on December 21st.

Darkness can be positive.
Darkness is a beautiful gift although it can be very painful.
The seed in the earth must have darkness in order to grow.
We were fashioned and formed in the darkness of our mother’s womb.
Darkness can lead to transformation.

It is here, between the darkness and the light,
That we wait, uncertain
Seeking the moment
That challenges us to believe
In a freshly minted miracle

Born every Christmas day.
John Matthews

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