Daly Cardinal Cahal
Author(s): Cardinal Cahal Daly
Publisher: Veritas Books
The two texts printed here are revised and updated versions of recent addresses. Chapter One incorporates the substance of a homily delivered on the occasion of a Day of Prayer for peace in Ireland, observed on 21 November last, but with considerable later additions. Chapter Two is substantially, with minor additions, the text of an address given on 1 December in the Grand Committee Room of the House of Commons, Westminster, to the Parliamentary Catholic Community. They are offered to the wider community as an attempt to contribute to the peace initiative currently in progress, an initiative still surrounded by uncertainty and controversy, still fragile and elusive, but also the bearer of intense hope and with the potential of great promise.
One feels in these days how apt for our present situation in Northern Ireland are the words which Our Lord spoke with tears of pity as He looked down from the Mount of Olives over the City of Jerusalem:
As he drew near and came in sight of the city, he shed tears over it and said: `If you had only understood on this day the message of peace. But alas it is hidden from your eyes.
He warned Jerusalem of the tragedy and the suffering which would follow if they rejected the message of peace, and he said this would all occur
because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it. (Luke 19: 41-4).
It would be quite wrong to press too far the comparison with the present situation in Northern Ireland; the conditions are very different. Nevertheless, we too, in our present circumstances, have to ask ourselves whether we are ready to understand `the message of peace and to `recognise our opportunity when it is offered.
May God grant that all those in positions of leadership and responsibility in both parts of Ireland and in Britain will recognise the unprecedented new possibilities which now exist, and will seize them with resolve and with courage.
8 December 1993
Feast of Our Ladys Immaculate Conception