Good Monday morning and wishing you all many blessings on today’s feast of St. Brigid.

In primary school we used to make crosses out of rushes for St. Brigid. Delighted with myself that I’d made several I was horrified when once the teacher gave out to me for using all the elastics!!

I was a very sensitive little boy beneath it all and each one of these experiences marked me. Growing up it seemed that being smart and good in school came at a very high cost and being bullied and excluded were just some of the ways I suffered.

As life goes on not much has changed in many ways. The Australians call it “tall poppy syndrome” when people feel obliged to knock you down rather than rejoice in your success.

Yesterday I experienced another version of this with a lady asking me to no longer send my blog as she said it was boring and repetitive etc.

Before I would have been insulted while this time I was more disappointed, disappointed for her.

Every blog or piece of writing is inevitably going to be repetitive. Indeed the gospels and mass readings can be very repetitive and if we just read or listen with our reasoning minds of course we’re going to say “boring”.

But Jesus calls us to listening with our hearts and to being open to learning something new from what we’ve read before.

At times the process is boring but does that mean that the gospel or piece of writing is boring or does it simply mean that we are blocked?!

Fortunately I get quite a bit of positive feedback for my blog and while I know that at times I do repeat myself, the Holy Spirit constantly inspires me with new ideas and ways of expressing and talking about the same things.

Not everyone likes this type of blog and that’s ok but there is a polite and humble way of expressing that and an arrogant and prideful.

At times I feel that Satan works more powerfully through bitter and jealous christians than full on Satanists who in the name of keeping us “humble” justify every sort of put down. Sadly I learnt this lesson far too early on from my own mum!

God on the other hand is an encourager. He wants our light to shine so that seeing us happy people will seek Him. He wants to raise us up and anoint us powerfully so that when people ask us what our secret is we’ll be able to say “Jesus”.

God never gets jealous of our success because our success is His success! His only issue is if we get successful and attribute the glory to ourselves.

God knows that it’s not easy being involved in ministry nowadays whether as a priest or a preacher or teacher and so He likes to build us up even more and He asks that we love and encourage eachother just as we do in sports!

And so today my message is very simple. Let’s not be bitter and jealous and go around knocking other people and begrudging them some success. We don’t know what they have been through or what they are still going through to be where they are.

Even if we don’t like something, let’s find humble and edifying ways of saying “no” that leaves the other feeling both respected and loved.

And finally if we find something boring or challenging maybe we need to sit with that in prayer and ask ourselves if it’s really the problem or of there isn’t a deeper problem lying in our own hearts?

Thank you for reading and please continue to pray for me even if you haven’t time to read everything as this ministry is very challenging and we need all the support and encouragement that we can get.

St. Brigid, pray for us!

Michael