Do you know people who feel immortal, immune or indispensable? People who work too hard, who are becoming spiritually and mentally hardened? People who plan too much yet work without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise? And have you come across people who have ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’?

To me, this sounds like the absolute perfect description of those bankers, builders, and property developers who ruined the country, well: in fact several countries, with the backing of their political masters. Those who defended “bare knuckles capitalism” when they were making an absolute fortune from a big bubble of hot air, and then introduced socialism for the rich when the deals went down by sharing out their debts with all of society, including you and me.

I cannot read this description of these ‘ailments’ often enough. It’s pure brilliance, I think.

The most brilliant thing about this description, however, is that it is part of the “15 Ailments of the Curia” referred to by Pope Francis in his Christmas Address this year.

Try to remember, when was it that you heard a Pope talk like this? I remember bishops, and bishops in Latin America especially, getting into big trouble with the Vatican (and the German Pope) for saying stuff like this some years ago. And now? Now, the Pope himself is from Latin America and is telling off the catholic churches’ officials. – Looks like there are interesting times to come!

imagesOver Christmas, Pádraig was as good as he can get these days. I remember that we used to check his vital signs (heart beat, oxygen) on the monitor first thing when we came in, but not anymore. When he is in the wheelchair, we even disconnect him from all these wires altogether, without any hesitation. Physically, he’s great, he been getting so much better and stronger, and I am sure that this also is affecting his level of alertness.

UnknownBut it is like training. Even if you have achieved a ‘personal best’, or a PB, like one of Pádraig’s ‘firsts’, you will have to work hard, and keep working hard, over quite some time, so that you repeat this PB again and again, until it becomes something that you then take for granted. You can never let go, you have to keep at it, every day. This is what is happening with Pádraig. He can drink. Next day, he tries again and this time it doesn’t work that well. But he keeps trying. Working through all of this frustration of failure. But he keeps trying and the next day it works again. And the next. And the following day he doesn’t take the water and the milk from a spoon but out of a cup.

All of this is like so many things in life. Good things don’t tend to fall into your lap. They are the result of hard, continuous, regular work

There was a great surprise today when a team of physios came in to work with Pádraig for a session. Something we hadn’t expected on the 2. Weihnachtstag – when staff is still on a skeleton level. It was brilliant.

Oh, I gave a copy of Amhrán do Phádraig and the Dreamboat yesterday to Udo Lindenberg 🙂