On hospitality


         "Truly I say to you ,as you did it to one of the least of 

                         these my people, you did it to Me"


  A Catholic since birth, at the age of 36 I had been a widow for two years with three young children and had just remarried.  Wandering into my husband's study, I found him reading the Bible which he snapped shut and handed to me saying: "Why don't you open this and find out what the Good Lord wants to say to you ! "

  It was the first time I had ever opened the Bible and my eye fell on the following which changed my life:" Let hope keep you joyful: in trouble stand firm; perist in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of God's people and practise hospitality".  (Romans  I2:I2). The word "hospitality" hit me like a ton of bricks.  I may have heard or read this injunction before then, couched in other terms, but if I had, it did not register with me.  It was the word itself which stuck.  For days it tormented me and took away my peace.  Eventually, I took action in the form of a concrete table which I had erected on the patio at the front of my house and then I decided to the best of my ability, to try to live the Word which had made such an impact on me, beginning with the Tinkers.

  Who were the Tinkers? Today they are called "The Travelling Folk", but back then, they were just plain Tinkers.  This name was derived from the fact that, especially in rural areas, they were the nomad people travelling in horse-drawn caravans, who with solder and glue pots, repaired and mended all kinds of tin containers, pots, pans and umbrellas for busy housewives.

  Living in comfort in a leafy suburb of Dublin, they would knock on our doors once or twice a week when it was customary to get rid of them by offering a small sum of money and that as quickly as possible.  In fact, they might have been aliens from another planet, so little did people concentrate on them or indulge them in any way.  Except for my own father, I never saw anyone show much kindness or recognition or ever involve them in conversation, during my childhood in rural Ireland.

  These thoughts were running through my mind when my doorbell rang and sure enough there were three Tinkers on the doorstep.  With the words of that Bible - now my most treasured possession - ringing in my ears. I posed the question: "Would they like a cup of tea?".  Had I pointed a gun at them they could not have shown more surprise and it was the first time I ever saw a smiling Tinker.  

 The following week saw the erection of that stone table on our patio along with a huge brown earthenware teapot - the contents of which would have slaked the thirst of an army of soldiers - purchased in the bargain basement of Clerys in O'Connell Street.  It was tea time for the Tinkers from now on at the Joneses - to the horror of Mrs Wormwood who accused us of "lowering the tone of the neighbourhood" - and the word spread like wildfire among the Tinker faction.  In fact they marked our house for their pals by putting small pebbles on our surrounding wall.

  The family which made the greatest impact on us was definitely the Nash Clan of which the father, Mickie of the Silver Tongue, was rarely in a sober state, while long-suffering, truculent Bridget with the remains of a black eye and a graveyard cough, preceded an extended family up the path.  When the old grey mare was pulled up at our gate with a "Whoa there!" a kindle of kids packed into that cart like a packet of figs, would tumble forward in a riot of colour and dash towards the stone table to take up its rightful place. As soon as the Clery teapot was heaved onto the table, they would proceed to "doctor" it, by making it so thick and sweet that a full grown mouse could safely trot on it.

  A great time was had by all.  A really marvellous time.  Since we had constantly been explaining, simplifying and trying to inculcate the meaning of the Bible reflection - "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my people, you did it to Me" (Matthew 25:40) - in the minds of our children, they were fully alert to the needs of these poor, marginalised, neglected people and went all out to be of help to them. 

 On a summer evening, my daughter, a precocious seven-year-old, shouted down the garden to me:  "Hurry up Mum, you are wanted at the door!". "Who is it Tara?" I called? " 'Tis Jesus Christ and His family and they are simply gasping for a cuppa tea!". 



I saw a stranger yestreen:

I put food in the eating place,

drink in the drinking place,

music in the listening place;

And in the blessed name of the Triune

he blessed myself and my house,

my cattle and my dear ones.

And the lark said in her song

Often, often, often.

Goes the Christ in the stranger's guise;

Often, often, often,

Goes the Christ in the stranger's guise.

An old Irish Gaelic rune.



"God created me to do Him some definite service: 

He has committted some work to me which He has

not committed to another.

I have a mission -

I may never know it in this life,

but I shall be told it in the next.

Therefore, I will trust Him.

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;

in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;

if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.

He does nothing in vain;

He may prolong my life, He may shorten it,

He knows what He is about."  

Blessed John Henry Newman.

Many of us are afraid to touch other people. We give a few pennies to a beggar, but  we make sure there is no contact between us, not even eye-contact.  JESUS DIDN'T STAND OFF OR KEEP HIS DISTANCE,


He touched lepers, sinners, sick people and even the dead.   Physical contact is precisely what gives people, especially sick and wounded people, a sense of warmth and joy.

By the very act of touching another person, we accept that person exactly as he or she is.

Lord, give us a warm heart and kind hands


"Not even God can tell the proud anything.  Only the humble

can find God."  

 Fulton Sheen.  


Love must initiate all we do.   ( Carlo Carretto ).


To love only perfection is just another way of hating life , for life is not perfect. ( Laurens VAN der Post ).


Who can separate his faith from his actions' or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saying :

'This for God and this for myself ;

this for my soul and this other for my body ? '

He who wears his morality but as his best garment

were better naked.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.

Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,

the things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight/

And take with you all men.

And if you would know God...look about you and you will see Him playing with your children.

Khalil Gibran.

The Wounds of Love.

Those who care about others/pick up a lot of wounds.

There may be no  great wounds/ only a multiplicity of little ones/ a host of wrinkles, scratches and welts.

But there can also be a lot of invisible wounds: 

the furrows left on the heart and on the mind by hardship, worry and anxiety, disappointments, ingratitude and betrayal. These wounds are not things to be ashamed of. 

They are badges of honour,

They are the proof of our love.

Jesus didn't hide His wounds.

Neither should we. 

By His wounds we are healed.


Anita Kilbride-Jones,

St. Paul's Bay,Malta.


Above & below Tara & Finnegan

Tara at Iosagan in ponderous mood.

'Whoa there!'   'Tis

Tea-time at 'the Joneses'.

Make a Free Website with Yola.