From the Archbishop's desk: August 2019

By Archbishop Malcolm McMahon

As you read this edition of the Pic, I will be on holiday with my old friends somewhere in Normandy. As you know the word 'holiday' comes from the two words holy and day. On 15 August we celebrate the Assumption, and in France that is still an occasion for a day off work, which in rural and coastal areas is accompanied by the blessing of the harvest and the fruits of the sea.

Last year, after Mass, the parish priest set off on a very small fishing boat to bless the sea. His position on the bow of the boat looked precarious to say the least but he didn’t fall in and get wet. Instead, he and his parishioners retired to the parish hall where they wet their insides with the local cider and wine. Everyone had a good time and relaxed from the pressures of everyday life.
 
Finding time to be with those you love and those who love you is what makes a day holy; giving thanks to God in holy Mass for the blessing of friendship makes it even more holy. It is easy to forget that making space for others also allows God into our lives. And we don’t have to go away for that to happen, although it can help. If we learn how to do this at home, then every day can be holy – we could then say we are always on holiday.