The Bagful of Biscuits


Deftly she unzipped it and out popped  -YES -  a bagful of biscuits.


Sheila O'Malley set her alarm clock for 4a.m. She would have to be at the Sligo airport at least two hours before take-off.   There was no time for breakfast, so she squeezed a bagful of biscuits into an already bulging passenger pouch and off she sped.    A buyer at the prestigious clothes shop in Galway she held her head up high.    A tall, elegant lady in her early thirties she was gifted, proud, arrogant, rude, overbearing and highly strung.   As temperamental as the yearlings that grazed the Golden Vale farm of her husband Bill.    He, being a trainer and breeder and owner of the Ballymalowen Stud was fully conversant with the temperaments and tantrums of the foals and fillies he continually broke-in and moulded.   

"Take  it easy my dear "

he would tell her.  

"Some day you will drop dead if you don't calm down".

But Sheila never did.   

At last she sank down on a seat packed with happy travellers and uttered a sigh of relief.  Then she thought of the oven at home.   Did she turn it off last night ...What if the house went on fire...and what if - and bending down she helped herself to a biscuit in the bag beside her left foot.   She was really hungry and kept on eating, when to her horror she now noticed a grubby hand with disgusting broken nails doing the same thing.   She was so horrified, but at the same time intrigued, that she never turned her haughty head or uttered a word.     He took a biscuit and she took a biscuit until there was only one biscuit left.  Now she paused and waited to see what this appalling, dirty creature would do.  Can you believe this, he actually broke it in two and left the other half for the proud and arrogant Sheila.  Pulling herself up to her full, arresting height with an air of caesarean hauteur and without looking sideways or backwards, she marched to the nearest lift and disappeared.  At last, comfortably seated and strapped, Sheila stretched her elegant legs and pulled the bulging travel pouch towards her.

  Deftly she unzipped it and out popped 

 -YES -  

 a bagful of biscuits. 


Dear brothers how can you claim to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, if you show favouritism to rich people and look down on poor people.   If a man comes into your church dressed in expensive clothes and with valuable rings on his fingers, and at the same moment another man comes in who  is poor and dressed in threadbare clothes, and you make a fuss over the rich man and give him the best seat in the house and say to the poor man,

 "you can stand over there if you like or else sit on the floor"

well judging a man by his wealth shows that you are guided by wrong will be judged on whether or not you are doing what God wants you to do so watch what you do or what you think for there will be no mercy for those who show no mercy...have you not discriminated among yourselves  and become judges with evil thoughts.      (James chapter 2)

He has put down the proud from their seats and he has exalted the humble. 

Oh woman of three cows a gra,

Don't let your tongue go rattle,

Don't be haughty, don't be proud,

Because you may have cattle.     

Remember this : 

Before you can enter heaven you will need a recommendation from the poor.       

Mother Theresa.

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

Blessed Fulton Sheen.

A man who sneers at the poor insults his Maker.

Proverbs   ( 17 : 5) 

The wrath of God is reserved for those who refuse compassion, no matter how religiously observent and religiously scrupulous they may be.    ( Amos 5-21 ). 

To separate the two great commandments is a tragedy and goes clean contrary to the Gospel. 

 Yet unfortunately this often happens.  Those who have faith often have no love, and those who have love often have no faith.  Thus the Gospel has been torn in two.

Jesus spoke of two great commandments.  The first - that we should love God.  The second that we should love our neighbour.   He didn't say that they were the same thing, but that they are like two side of the same coin.  If we want the total gospel we must have both.  He himself showed us how to do this.


It is extraordinary that Christianity which believes the Word  Became Flesh, should so emphasise the divinity of Christ that His humanity is so often neglected.   Nothing so masks the face of God as religion. 

(Fr. Gerry Hughes S.J.)   

The Beauty of Courtesy.

As a boy, Desmond Tutu saw how white people treated  black people under South Africa's Apartheid System. Indignities and humiliations were commonplace.  One day as the youngster was walking down the street with his mother, a white Anglican priest stepped aside in a deferential manner and tipped his hat to her.  Young Tutu was amazed and said: "why was that white man so nice to you?

"that man is a minister of the Gospel" the mother answered 

"people like him are courteous to everyone."   Tutu told himself there and then, that he too, would one day

become a minister of the Gospel.     

He went on to become an Anglican Bishop, a Human Rights Activist and a Nobel Prize Winner.

And such, is the value of courtesy.

As Hilaire Belloc epitomizes it :

Of courtesy/ it is much less/ than courage of heart and holiness / but in my walks it seems to me / that the Grace of God / is in courtesy.

The value of saying ' God Bless You! '

Recently I had occasion to call at the Police Station in the island of \Gozo to enquire about the broken phone in the  booth next door.   An avuncular character behind the desk greeted me with enthusiasm and enquired after my well-being

as if I were his best pal.  Do you know me I laughed.   Indeed I do he said, didn't you say 'God  Bless you' when you were leaving here about five or six years ago! I've been doing that ever since!  No mistake about that. Something I will never forget to do.

Pride is an open door to the devil.   No humility - no sanctity.

Alexander Pope was asked by the Prince of Wales to compose something that could be used as identification on the collar of one of his wayward dogs.  The couplet he wrote eloquently satirizes the desire to cause envy in others :

' I am His Highness' dog at Kew, 

Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you ?'

In fact, humility is truth.   "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14 : 11 ).  This can already happen on this earth, in this life, but that is only secondary. What is essential is that the humble will be exalted in heaven by God himself.  "Do you want to be great?" asks St. Augustine: and he answered : Begin with the smallest things.  Do you want to build a great building? First think about the foundation and the base".  If we truly desire to construct the building of our holiness, we must build its foundation on humility.   Pope John Paul 2. 

There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an ABOMINATION to Him :  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.   A heart that devises wicked  

plans and feet that make haste to run to evil.  A false witness who breathes out lies and a man who sows discord among brothers. 

Proverbs ( 6 : 16 )

Anita kilbride Jones


St.Paul's Bay



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