"Nobody can counsel and help you. Nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all - ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet his earnest question with a strong and simple "I must," then build your life according to this necessity: your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it."
As a young person, growing up in Ireland, I became fascinated with the the idea of story. Before the proliferation of TV, we visited with neighbors late into the night, listening to stories of olden times; snippets of local and national history; discovering playful ghosts; dispossessed spirits; fairy tales and larger than life fairies. I discovered my roots in a culture that was oral; a culture that celebrated its history in story and song. I discovered the growth of the "Hedge Schools," as they passed on a rich tradition of learning to a younger generation. As a priest, I realized that the story of our lives is woven into the fabric of God's story. As I listen to people's stories of struggles and achievements; of questioning and discoveries; of doubt and affirmation, I began to see the hand of God at work, weaving a masterpiece of growth, beauty and love in the lives of people.
The columns you will find on this web site are a collection of some of the columns I have written for "Gulf Pine Catholic," newspaper for the Diocese of Biloxi, over the years. Many of them reflect the hopes, dreams, questions, struggles, joys and sorrows of people I have met as I tried to help them see the hand of God at work in their lives. As you read some of these columns, maybe that same God will touch your life and give you the insight, strength, wisdom and guidance that will help you continue on your journey.Individual columns are in pdf format. Adobe reader can be downloaded from here.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” ― Stephen King
All the column can be found under the sub-menu under "Columns"