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Reflection: What Am I Missing ?
- The Life of Edmund
- Times of sorrow.
- The death of his wife.
- The birth of his special needs child.
- Accompaniment on the gallows.
- Destitution and ignorance in the streets.
- Desertion by his first companions.
- Opposition to his work.
- Rejection and humiliation by his Brothers.
Pieta: The Silence and the Sorrow
Who will come and share my sorrow
Hold my heart t'il wake tomorrow ?
Is there time that I could borrow ?
Oh, oh, the silence and the sorrow.
When I was young, I dreamed of roads not taken,
To walk the way so many had forsaken,
And I would seek the heart of love's creation -
It was found in you. - Refrain
When love was young, I cried with tears of laughter.
And deep inside I wondered what came after,
How a heart could love without condition -
It was found in you. - Refrain
When life was young and living seemed forever,
I knew somehow you never hid its pleasure,
And all my tears uncovered hidden treasure -
Love was found in you. - Refrain
(Liam Lawton: For the people of Omagh)
A Person of His Times
Edmund was a modern man. He understood the world he lived in and the way it worked. He was able also to see God's presence in the world and slowly grew to understand that presence.
Lord, help us to understand the world around us and teach us to see your presence in that world.
A Business Person
Edmund was a man of business. He was at ease in the marketplace and used his business skills to the full. He never laid aside those skills but used them throughout his life to feed and clothe the poor, to fund his schools and to support his Brothers.
Lord, may each one of us discover the skills you have given us and use them generously in the service of others.
A happily married man, Edmund knew the joys of intimate relationship. He was able to open his heart to share himself fully with others. He understood commitment.
Lord, gift each one of us with happy relationships. Help us to understand that we have to work constantly at our relationships if they are to enrich our lives.
Edmund experienced the devastation and despair of bereavement when he lost his wife through tragedy. His loss, however, became for him a further embracing of God's presence in creation and God's presence in darkness.
Lord, help us to embrace life in its fullness and not allow ourselves to become twisted and misshapen by suffering when it does come our way.
Edmund had a daughter, Mary. He shouldered the responsibility of parenthood. Today parenthood appears to be more and more difficult.
Lord, be with all parents. May they love their children with a love that will enable those children to develop into mature Christian men and women. May parents help young people value the spiritual dimension of life.
Father of a Disabled Daughter
Mary, Edmund's daughter, was disabled. This was a further cause of grief and sorrow to Edmund. It takes great love and courage to raise a disabled child and accept that child's giftedness.
Lord, may your arms reach out to parents and to others who care for the disabled. Teach us all to love with the courage, selflessness and commitment that these families show day after day.
Edmund was a teacher. He was the master dancer who taught the dance of life to children running wild in the streets. His dance and his teaching were full of wisdom and joy.
Lord, may all our teachers be masters of the dance and bring wisdom and joy to their work. May the art of education always be prized by us and in our society.
Friend of the Poor
Those who were less well off in society were befriended by Edmund. He spent both himself and his fortune on their behalf. Today, the level of poverty around the globe challenges all of us who live comfortable lives.
Lord, may the poor be our passion as they were Edmund's. May we dedicate ourselves to their service. May we be determined to make a difference and leave nothing undone that can be done.
Friend of the Condemned
As the condemned walked to the gallows, Edmund walked with them. He was not afraid to brave the derision of the crowd and the contempt of his peers to stand with those about to be executed. He held their terror.
Lord, you knew the agonies of condemnation and execution. May we refuse to condemn. May we stand by those who are despised, denigrated and mocked in our society. May we also value life itself and not be afraid to speak for the protection of life.
Friend to the Stranger
On the quayside, Edmund once bought a young black boy from a sea captain to save him from an existence of hardship. He cared for him and saw that he was afforded an opportunity to lead a life of dignity and freedom.
Lord, may we welcome strangers to our shores as Edmund did. May we allow them the opportunity to lead lives of dignity and to contribute meaningfully to our society.
Founder of Religious Congregations
Edmund founded two religious congregations. He had a profound awareness of God's part in his life. He believed that God had called him to do a work for him that no one else could do.
Lord, may our sense of your presence in our lives equal that of Edmund. May each one of us have the courage and strength to live out our vocation, whatever that vocation may be.
A Person of Faith
As a person of faith, Edmund centred his life on God and lived to serve him by serving his brothers and sisters. No difficulty could distract him from that focus. No disappointment could dishearten him. No setback could dissuade him.
Lord, may our faith in you burn brightly. May you truly become the centre of our lives. May we realise that in you is the meaning of life. May you be the beginning and the end of all that we do.
- Stones and Sea
In the beginning, I was counting the stones on the seashore looking for the precious ones
Among the stones I found many pretty things while the sea rolled on beside me all the time.
Time moved on I had collected many stones
till I tired of them and I think they tired of me, some were lovely, I was never satisfied
and the sea rolled on beside me all the time.
And the wind rose, east and cold, whispering sweetly to my soul.
It said, look you fool you're missing precious things, raise your eyes and look towards the sea.
And so I looked. It was as if I saw the sea for the first time and its power captured me.
All the time I had wasted seeking stones, I had missed the rolling glory of the sea.
And the sea, devoured a mighty swathe of heart, overwhelmed me in a way I couldn't know
and the price for the love of greater things was surrender to the great and cruel sea.
And it stole me and I feared the aching sea, It consumed me, drowned my mind.
The wind said, look you fool no matter what you do you can't contain the ocean like a stone.
O God, we thank you for the life of Blessed Edmund.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund
as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.