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Who would ever have thought? A second Christmas Eve in our apartment in Hamburg. A second Christmas Eve with Pádraig in the Schön-Klinik. That certainly was not the plan a year ago…

Do you make plans?

Did you hear about Pope Francis’ list of 15 Ailments of the Curia delivered in his Christmas address? I had a look at them and have promised myself to read it again with more time. This is a list not just for the curia, this is a list for us normal mortals too.

Number 4 caught my attention:

Planning too much. “Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”

It’s another way of expressing what many people on earth, of different beliefs, believe: that our plans never take us very far.

At the same time, an inability to plan, for whatever reason, is probably one of the biggest stress factors, one that is so stressful, that it can be torture-like.

IMG_9872From mid-day today to Saturday, Germany will close down. They will briefly open on Saturday morning, and then close again for Sunday. A lot of Irish people on panic stations on Christmas Day because some essentials are missing (“What do you mean? – There were no batteries with it???!!”), running out of food on Stephen’s Day (although that is unlikely – usually the turkey and ham last for a week to finally end up on sandwiches), or nervous to exchange their unwanted gifts and get the best items on Stephen’s Day Sales, a lot of them would not understand this. I have heard of Irish people on motorways trying to find the next airport or open garage to buy bread and milk on Sundays, never mind Christmas.

IMG_9873We will have a few days together here in Hamburg. Apart from not sitting in front of an open fire with the Christmas tree and crib in the corner. Apart from not being with our our Irish family, and so far away from all of Pádraig’s friends. Apart from this, we are lucky. Lucky to be together, with Pádraig. Of course, there is much we hope for – and Christmas is the time when we are full of hope for things to come. Amazing things. Things we would never have anticipated.

Padraig is doing well, he has improved so much over the past year, there is nothing stopping him now. And we, you, all of us, will support him every step of the way.

Despite of what Pope Francis’ #4 says, I’m making a plan. And I’m making it for Pádraig too. Let’s get onto the Dreamboat!