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17 May 2022

Offaly influencer reflects on the glories of May

RONAN FOR WEB

Ronan Scully of Self Help Africa

As I write this thought for the week, I am just after returning from a beautiful May walk around where I live, where finally the season of summer is upon us and it has shown itself in full bloom and it gave me a sweet taste of the hopefully warm summer days before us. Hopefully it will make us in some ways feel younger and more alive even in these worrying times!

A thought that came to me during my walk is that I love and adore the month of May and the beginning of the season of Summer. I love the sunshine of the summer months as it brightens up the world, and with it, brings days of new warmth and gives obvious signs of awakening and renewal wherever we look. It amazes me how the evening's start to lengthen to its fullest and how the heat of the sun comes back into the air.  For me, summer is the symbolic season that reminds one to grab hold of all that life has to offer as we are never sure of our tomorrow's. 

Summer is the fulfilment of a hopeful Spring. To make the most of summer is, for me, to make the most of all that is good in life.  Gone are thoughts of winter despair or a chilling and wet spring. Everything around us now in this summer season is alive and vibrant and in full maturity.  If I seize a summer day, I believe I seize life itself and find in it all that gives pleasure and meaning. But nothing is as beautiful as all the trees, flowers, shrubs and bushes that are in full bloom and full of life and energy. It is truly a beautiful, magical and wonderful time of our year. It makes me think about the many blessings that summer shines upon us, such as the warmth and freshness in the air, the warm sun on my skin, wonderful humid breezes, singing of the birds, the growth of nature all around me, animals of all kinds fully emerged, fresh and sea waters flowing, trees, plants and flowers fully blossomed in an array of numerous colours, and of course the oncoming of the summer holidays.

Month of Our Lady


The month of May which is also the month of Our Lady marks the start of the  summer and a time to enjoy and experience life. It is often said that May is the most beautiful month of the year.
The flowers are in full bloom, the weather is mild and the first fruits of the soil are beginning to reward our hard labour. It is fitting that we should dedicate to Mary, the most beautiful month of the year, for she is the most beautiful of God’s creatures. We should offer this month to Mary, by increasing our love for her. We should love her with a filial love, for she loves us with the heart of a mother. If we contemplate her beauty and goodness, we shall be inflamed with love for her. It will be a tender love, such as we have for our earthly mother and, at the same time, a respectful and worshipful love, such as we ought to have for the Mother of God. Our offering of the month of May to Mary, should result in a twofold resolution: the resolution to make good our failings and to advance in holiness. This is the only way in which we can prove the sincerity of our affection, by deeds rather than by words. It is certain that we have many faults of character. Let us examine ourselves in front of Our Lady’s Altar, by comparing our weakness with her magnificence of soul.

When we have discovered our failings, let us be courageous in eradicating them. We can offer this sacrifice to Mary, with love and generosity, no matter how hard it may be. We can spend every day of this month, digging out those weeds in the garden of our soul, which, our passions and the influence of evil in our world have helped to flourish. Let us plant and bring to perfection in their place, the flowers of caring and loving virtues. We all need to be positive and embrace abundance, love, care and joy into our lives, treasuring each moment as it comes. We get so wrapped up at times, well I know I do, with thinking about the past, a lot of the time trying to control the future and forgetting to enjoy and be at peace in the present moment of now. In this world there is strife. There is hardship. There is suffering. There is inequality. There is injustice. There is also abundant beauty amidst it all. And within that beauty there are reminders tucked away everywhere, encouraging us to persist, to strive, and to bring our dreams for a better world to life. We have only to open our hearts and look, and we will see them. Please this summer try to embrace the positive in your life as it’s meant to be.

Thought for the week


As your thought for the week, I pray that as the signs of summer begin to show themselves all around us, you will remember that each new day is like a cleared field eradicated of weeds ready for planting. Your thoughts, attitudes, and actions are the seeds you plant. This summer choose only the seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest of love, joy, health, kindness, care, prosperity, and peace. And may you give thanksgiving not only for the summertime around you, but also for the summertime within you.  This summer season try to dislodge hate and replace it with love. Dislodge pride and replace it with humility.

Dislodge anger and replace it with self control. Dislodge unbelief and replace it with faith. Dislodge revenge, and replace it with forgiveness. Dislodge complaining and replace it with praise. Dislodge evil and unkind thoughts and replace them with pure and kind thoughts. Dislodge gossip and replace it with encouragement. Dislodge laziness and replace it with caring. Happy Summer season everyone!! I wish each of you as you read this thought, in this moment and on this day, much peace and joy and pray that we will recover from the worries and destruction of the coronavirus and find a cure for it. Feel this summer, own it, squeeze the juice out of it. You have arrived at your destination; this is the present summer of your life.

Let us make this month of May and season of Summer be a month and season of blessings: blessings of goodness, blessings of joy, peace and kindness, friendship and love, creativity, strength, serenity, equality, justice, peace, love, fulfilling work and dignity, satisfaction, success, and sustenance, physical health and radiance. May truth and justice guide our acts, and compassion temper our lives that we may blossom as we age and become our sweetest selves. May it be so during this month of May and always. This work of clearing and eradicating our faults and replacing them by their opposite virtues, is a difficult task which we cannot carry out on our own. Prayer is necessary if we are to obtain the grace which we need.

During Mary’s month of May, we should beseech our heavenly Mother, with greater earnestness, to obtain for us, from her divine Son, the grace which we need to correct the evil in our nature and to perfect it in goodness. Mary wants us to pray to her because she wishes to obtain for us, the graces which we require. She loves us very much and is ready to help us to become, like her, living imitations of Jesus, insofar as the weakness of our nature will permit. Among our other prayers, let us remember to give pride of place to the Holy Rosary, whether we recite it in church or with our family. Let us include, at least a quarter of an hour meditation; a daily visit, however short, to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady’s Altar; an examination of conscience in the evening and many prayers during the day, which will express our love for Mary and for her divine Son.

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