Ramadan

Iftar

Spare a thought today for Muslims living in Ireland.  Ramadan begins today at the height of the Irish Summer.

There are 50,000 muslims in Ireland.  They are not supposed to eat in the hours of daylight.

Daylight is defined as when you can tell a black thread from a white one.  That means they can’t eat or drink from 3am until 11pm.  So they go 20 hours of the day with nothing to eat or drink.  They need to wait until 11pm at night before they can sit down for the iftar meal and then, they have to rise only a couple of hours later at 2am if they want a bite of breakfast at suhoor.

The only way to cope with this situation is to sleep in the early evening when you come home from work.  Then dine through the late hours of the night and then go back to bed just as the sun begins to rise again.

Honestly, I don’t know how you are supposed to get through a working day like this.

Ramadan; by Kazim Ali

You wanted to be so hungry, you would break into branches,
and have to choose between the starving month’s

nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third evenings.
The liturgy begins to echo itself and why does it matter?

If the ground-water is too scarce one can stretch nets
into the air and harvest the fog.

Hunger opens you to illiteracy,
thirst makes clear the starving pattern,

the thick night is so quiet, the spinning spider pauses,
the angel stops whispering for a moment—

The secret night could already be over,
you will have to listen very carefully—

You are never going to know which night’s mouth is sacredly reciting
and which night’s recitation is secretly mere wind—

Gaudete Sunday

Advent wreath

Gaudete Sunday is the mid point of the Advent fasting season.  In the Catholic Church every Sunday is a Feast day and you are not allowed to fast on a feast day.  This is why Lent is 46 days rather than 40 days.

For Advent the mid-point Sunday is taken a step further and is a day of rejoicing.  Advent is about the anticipation of Christmas, building the excitement, like a queue for a ride in Disneyworld.  Gaudete is the latin for “rejoice”.  To symbolise the lighter atmosphere the rose coloured candle in the Advent wreath is lit in the church on this day.  Next week it goes back to the violet candles of discipline.

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.

Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est.

Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum.

Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.

Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand;

have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.

Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1