The Jubilee Year of God’s Mercy is for all

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I decided to take a few days off last week to enjoy the seasonal weather and travelled down to Enniscrone to meet up with my brother and one of my friends from Maynooth.

I decided to take a few days off last week to enjoy the seasonal weather and travelled down to Enniscrone to meet up with my brother and one of my friends from Maynooth.

I’ve visited Enniscrone on many occasions staying at my friend’s family holiday home which overlooks the Atlantic. Situated outside the town the holiday cottage is up on a height with a breath taking view of the coast and sea. So I was looking forward to travelling down the west coast along the Wild Atlantic Way with my brother to meet up with my classmate from Maynooth who I hadn’t seen for four or five months. What I wasn’t expecting was a fourth visitor who landed as far as I was concerned unannounced. The unexpected guest arrived literally like a whirlwind and I’m not talking about Fr Sean. I am of course referring to Storm Desmond which played havoc with my plans for a night away.

Driving through the town I turned up the heating in the car as I watched all the tall people bending down as they were battered by the torrential wind and rain. I thought it was good enough for them as I relaxed in the heat on my booster seat. Unfortunately I paid for my lack of charity when my brother and I arrived at the house as discovered there was a problem with the central heating. In technical terms it was broke and no amount of hammering or thumping the boiler made it work. Our only resort was the open fire but unfortunately I had only brought wooden blocks, no coal. As the night got darker and colder we sat ever closer to the fire which gave out heat for a radius of about two feet. At one point I was practically sitting on the fire place. Thankfully, a plumber came to fix the heating and that night all I had to worry about was whether a tree would blow down on my bed or if my brother ever stop snoring.

Driving home the next day through Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal was a slow and careful journey due to the flooding and red weather warnings. The force of nature was powerfully on display and I was conscious of how helpless I was in the face of the elements. We have no control over the weather or the obstacles we meet on the road. Yet during this season of Advent John the Baptist reminds those who listen to the message of repentance and mercy that God can calm every storm, lay low every mountain and fill in every valley. As we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee Year of God’s Mercy everyone is invited to make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral to enter through the Holy Door. ‘The Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope’. As we enjoy the grace of God’s forgiveness Pope Francis explains how the power of the indulgence we receive blots out all the consequences and effects of sin.