The StayingPower 


              She didn't know that the Lord's timing is perfect 

Even though Mollie O'Connell had not yet made a full recovery from a very severe bout of illness, nothing or nobody would keep her in bed any longer, when she heard that Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock was playing at the Abbey for just one week.  So dressed to kill in her usual show of elegance,  though somewhat slightly hanging loosly on her emaciated body, she dragged herself onto the fast train to Dublin in joyful anticipation of a wonderful experience.  

However, this happiness was short-lived when moments before the lights went out and the curtains swung open, her wedding ring slipped off her finger and rolled downwards beneath the packed seats.    This ring had been on her finger for close on sixty years  and now that her darling Tom had left for safer havens, to lose it would be inconcievable.  Mollie was devastated.  

  Try as it might, after the show, the audience tried to find it,  but the ring was nowhere to be found.  However,  the warm-hearted manager assured her that the cleaners next day would be informed of its loss and would be assured of compensation did they manage to retrieve it.

   Next morning at the crack of dawn, Mollie was on the phone to the theatre as she had been so wisely advised by the compassionate manager.   The person who answered the phone was abrupt but polite not knowing the details of the episode but promised to make all enquiries.  The Irish being nocturnal creatures and actors to boot, were nowhere to be seen, and it took several minutes to locate the keys of the manager's office. 

  Instantly, the messenger spied the ring lying on the desk all bright and shining.   He dashed back to relate the great news of this miraculous find but the phone was dead.    Mollie couldn't wait.

  She had never, never received the gift of faith;  she had given up on hope;  she was short on staying power.   She didn't know that the Lord's timing is perfect.

That He never pays on a Friday.

 Twenty years later that ring still lay on the manager's desk in the Abbey Theatre.   It was encased in a yellowing envelope which bore the following inscription:  "To be collected by an  unknown lady".  

 The Italian writer Carlo Carretto, who lived as a hermit in the Sahara desert for several years , when asked what the solitude taught him, answered:   " God is saying learn to wait, learn to wait for everything - for love, for fulfilment, for consummation, for God."      

  A very lovable, poverty-stricken lady called Kitty, who lived in our area during my childhood, whose staple diet was tea, bread, potatoes and buttermilk and whose comfort was a sobby love story courtesy of Mills and Boon, was apt to assure us in time of crisis that ' the darkest hour was just before the dawn', and St. Ignatius of Loyola put it another lovely way when he told us to 'pray as if everything depended on us and to wait as if everything depended on God.'  For with Him,



In fond memory of Kitty, I would like to add that her favourite book was 'The marriage of Helen Raeburn' by her much-loved author, Charlotte M.Brame.  This she pronounced Bramm.  "Give me a mug of hot , sweet tay, a packet of Woodbines, a roaring fire, a book by Bramm  and I wouldn't call the Queen me aunt". Her conversation was laced with matchless wit and endearing Hibernicism.  Because of the dearth of books in the area, due to lack of funds, Kitty's library on her kitchen window-sill went a long way towards filling that void.  Dear Helen of the 'sparkling eyes and skin so fair' had made a 'damned bad fist of things' and taught all of us a valuable lesson for life.  I cried my eyes out, then aged 15, nestling amongst the tall, green potato stalks in the long haggard on a memorable day, well out of humanity's reach, whilst furtively reading her sad, sad story.  Poor Helen...  

 Kitty's books were dearly loved and cherished by her but THE FARM BY LOUGH GUR, a classic, by Mary Lady Carbery , first published in 1937 (and in print again for the sixth time - Lilliput ) held pride of place.

Were she alive today, surely Michael Quinlan's superbly crafted narration of the Lough Gur people, A PLACE OF DREAMS and SUN SHIELD OF LOUGH GUR.

 would jostle for position.

A Chriost, dean trocaire uirthi.

A Mhuire na nGras, a Mhathair Mhic De, gui ar a son.

For vibrancy and meaningfulness in your life begin each day with


1.   Be Still. God is here.  

He is the source of all Truth and Love.

Take time to realize His presence.   He speaks when we listen and hears when we pray.

2.  Be grateful.  For what am I especially thanking this morning?   Name over some of God's gifts.

3.  Where have I failed from God's point of view to measure up to Christ's Standards of absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness, absolute love and failed to do God's will?  Accept God's Forgiveness and release in Christ. Surrender myself to Him.  Claim the Holy Spirit to dwell in me.  Get up and go on in His Strength.

4.Bible Study.  Meditate on today's Bible reading.   Relate it to God's plan for the world and my part in it.

"If anyone loves me he will obey my word".  

5.  Listen to God.   What new responsibilities for people and situations does God want me to take today.  Make notes of things He wants me to do, persons to see, letters to write, people to pray for etc.  Live transparently.  Obey fearlessly throughout the day.

"Courage I have overcome the world".

6.  Get into action with others today.  Tell each other what God has been telling you, as He directs, thus together remaking your home, community, nation and the world.

"Thy Kingdom come"

This form of daily prayer created by Drs.Kenneth and Frances McAll for their students in China in 1941.

It was truly an honour to have known them.

May they they rest on the right side of God!

Anita Kilbride-Jones,  

Saint Paul's Bay,Malta


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