Lenten Reflections: A Catholic Perspective

As part of an ongoing series of Lenten Reflections, I asked Fr. Leo Walsh, Pastor of St. Benedicts Parish, to share his thoughts. He kindly pointed me to his brief Ash Wednesday homily which can be heard, in its entirety, by clicking here .

Father Leo presents a clear, Catholic perspective on Lent in this homily which is delightfully introduced by his recounting the Irish joke below.

There was an Irishman in Dublin, which you’ll find a lot of Irishmen there I’m told. And he walked into the pub one evening, and he walked up to the bartender and he says, “I’ll have 3 Guinness” and the bartender says “sure”.

So the bartender pours 3 of them, and he takes about 7 minutes to pour Guinness, you know, properly, and then he notices the fellow does something particular and he goes over by himself to a table. He puts 2 on the other side of the table and 1 in front of himself and takes a sip of 1, and then the other, and he continues this pattern until all 3 are complete and then he goes up to the bartender again, and he says “I’ll have 3 more Guinness”.

And the bartender says, “Sure! I can pour them individually… that way they’ll be fresh.”

The guy says, “Oh no, you don’t understand”, he says. “ I’ve got a brother in America, and a brother in Australia. We used to come here when we were lads, and uh, and this is my way of remembering them.”

He says, “Ah, grand, you’ll have them.” So he gives them the 3. And this goes on for several months.

And finally one day, the fellow comes in, kind of a hang-dog look on his face, and he says, “I’ll have 2 Guinness.”

The guy looks at him with that sad face and says, “Ach, you’ll have them, and with my sympathies.”

He says, “What’ya mean?”

He says, “Well, I can only assume that one of your brothers has died.”

He says, “Oh no, that’s for me. I gave up Guinness for Lent”.

Thanks to you Father Leo for sharing your excellent Lenten thoughts with Church Visits readers.