Dawn Mass, Lough Corrib, Cong, Easter Sunday

BEEP beep beep. The piercing drone of my alarm clock popped my bubble
of slumber bright and early (actually it was still pitch black
outside) on Easter Sunday. I rolled over and glared at the red neon
digits that flashed 5.00 am. Groaning into my fluffy pillow I would
have loved nothing more than to snuggle back into my warm nest but
instead found myself throwing my blankets off me and stomping to the
bathroom cursing whatever possessed me to agree to this. A few hours
later however, as I stood at the edge of Lough Corrib after watching
the sun relieve her sister, the moon, of her duties and slowly climb
to her position in the unending blue above us, my opinion had
definitely changed.

No I hadn’t set out at that hour for a camping trip in the forest or
a breakfast picnic in the woods and neither was I embarking on a
morning of scenic fishing on the lake. I was attending a Dawn Mass in
Cong on the shores of Lough Corrib organised by the Diocesan Youth
Council. The aim of DYC is to schedule events and happenings which
encourage and allow young people to experience church in a new way,
celebrating their faith in a communal environment. That morning I can
safely say they achieved just that.

As we travelled the deathly quiet roads to our destination a thick
blanket of fog dominated the countryside but when we stumbled into
the dense forest to the clearing where mass was being said it slowly
let go of its embrace and drifted away gently, like the stroking of a
mother’s hand. Beauty is a word we commonly throw around today. That
dress is beautiful. The wallpaper is beautiful. Your new hairstyle is
beautiful. Well at daybreak on Easter Sunday I witnessed true beauty.
The calm ripples in the water, a friendly wink or wave, a backdrop of
pointed peaks which the sun balanced herself upon, hugged tightly by
the abundant trees that looked and watched over us. The sun, the
moon, two equally divine opposites yet existing together, as one in
the misty purple that casually faded to blue. The sharp crisp cool
air, so fresh it slightly stings your throat, filling your lungs your
chest, tousling your hair playfully. It tickles your ears, your nose,
your finger tips, a gentle caress. Beams of daylight kiss your face,
the smells of earth, of wood, of damp. The echoes of silence. A
silence you could wander into and get lost in. The silence of prayer.
It was as if it was just for us, that Mother Nature had allowed us a
quick peep at her children. When mass had finished two swans waltzed
across the horizon, drawing the drapes of fog together again, the
finishing curtain. You didn’t have to be Catholic, or Christian or a
believer. It didn’t matter if you were Muslim, or Jewish or agnostic.
It was more than religion, it was spiritual. Construction companies
built the skyscrapers, engineers drew the blueprints for the bridges,
and architects designed the Eiffel Tower. But this was here before
all that, before the roads, the aeroplanes, the hotels. The world was
here before us, the earth, the globe. She was no accident. There was
someone out there who created her, someone, something out there who
watches over us. Even if you can’t believe in that you can believe in
the beauty of nature. She is constant and thorough in her work, ever
present, ever existing. That was no once off performance, an occasion
or a theatrical event. That is her morning routine, a celebration of

Easter is a time for new beginnings, new life, new starts. I don’t
mean a period for empty promises like disregarded new years’
resolutions, but genuine small steps to change. Whatever that means
to you, whether it’s spending more time with family, vowing to turn
over a new green leaf, or attending mass more often, in body and in
mind. Let go of whatever is holding you back, weighing you down,
squeeze every ounce of joy, happiness and peace from your days,
there’s enough agony in the world, and let’s all try to be like the
world at dawn, a celebration of life.
— Soracha O’Rourke

Easter Reflections – — Sorcha O’Rourke

Courtesy of Tuam Herald

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