Sunday, 9 September, 2012

This small monastic site on the Limerick/Cork border was founded in the 7th century by Saint Molaige and the name Labbamologga comes from the original Irish, Leaba Molaige (the bed of Molaige or Molaige’s resting place). Labbamologga continues to be used as a graveyard.

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M. C. Escher in Milan

Sunday, 12 August, 2012

The first print of an impossible reality that M. C. Escher created was Still Life and Street in 1937. Other early works include Drawing Hands, a work in which two hands are shown, each drawing the other; Sky and Water, in which light plays on shadow to meld the water background behind fish figures into […]

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Alberto Salazar and the art of exhaustion

Tuesday, 7 August, 2012

On Saturday night in London, Mo Farah and Galen Rupp disrupted the African hegemony of long-distance running events by winning gold and sliver in the 10,000 metres race. How did they manage it? In essence, Farah moved to Oregon last year to train with Rupp under the guidance of Alberto Salazar. In the current issue […]

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For our mental, moral, and spiritual uplift

Monday, 11 June, 2012

Busy week for Dublin. The city hosts both the Eucharistic Congress, celebrating the Catholic faith, and Bloomsday, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses by James Joyce. And the connection between the two? In a letter to his brother Stanislaus, James Joyce wrote: “Don’t you think there is a certain resemblance between the […]

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The boy who became the pope

Thursday, 19 April, 2012

On this day in 2005, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger became Benedictus PP. XVI. Fans of the scholarly Bavarian cardinal were thrilled. He was, after all, the draughtsman of the Vatican’s crackdown on liberation theology in Latin America and the perfect intellectual partner during Pope John Paul II‘s courageous challenge to the Soviet empire. And today, seven […]

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The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross in Spain

Saturday, 7 April, 2012

The Austrian composer Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) wrote The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross for the Good Friday service at the Catedral de Santa Cruz de Cádiz. It provides musical interludes during the priest’s meditations on Christ’s final utterances, and offers a moving journey through grief, resignation and redemption. Here, it is performed in the San Agustin church in Santiago de Compostela by the Dominant Quartet with Do Phuong Nhu as the lead violin.

Auden on a Good Friday

Friday, 6 April, 2012

If there’s ever an award for a poem deemed worthy of Good Friday reflection, among the more deserving winners surely would be the grief-filled Funeral Blues by Wystan Hugh Auden. Funeral Blues Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking at a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled […]

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Saint Brigid’s Day

Wednesday, 1 February, 2012

Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá dúl chun shíneadh, Is tar eis na féil Bríde ardóigh mé mo sheol. So wrote Raftery (1779-1835), the last of the Gaelic-order poets. His beautiful verse here says that spring is coming and the days will begin to lengthen, so he’s going to move out in the world […]

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Meditation upon the Feast of the Epiphany

Friday, 6 January, 2012

“How Real Is The Meaning?” That’s the question posed by Walter Russell Mead in his Yule Blog 2011-12 post, which appeared on three days ago. Taking as his starting point the Biblical account of the Three Kings who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Bethlehem, Mead takes us on a long journey into […]

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