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Mary McAleese - “consumed by consumerism”
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:17 pm
Irish Times Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Ireland is on rebound from consumerism, says President
DENIS STAUNTON in Phoenix
IRELAND IS trying to find its way back to a more balanced approach to materialism after becoming “consumed by consumerism”, President Mary McAleese said yesterday during a visit to Phoenix, Arizona.
Speaking to reporters after a presentation at Arizona State University about a joint entrepreneurial project with Dublin City University, Mrs McAleese said Irish people were paying a big price for a radical shift in values.
“I think that everyone of us would have to say with our hands on our hearts that we were all consumed by that same element of consumerism,” she said. “Somewhere along the line, we began to think that we weren’t happy with deferred gratification.
“We had to have it now and in this moment and I think that we have paid a very, very big price for that very radical shift. And now the balance presumably is going to swing back the other way and it will be no harm. We clearly have come from quite unbalanced times and they have not been able to secure for us the kind of peace of mind, peace of heart, contentment that we would have wished for. Now we’re trying to find our way back to a more rooted and possibly more modest time.”
Earlier, the President lamented that some global financial leaders had been “overwhelmed by greed”, misdirecting their brainpower to produce a financial system “with all the stability of a pack of tarot cards”.
Mrs McAleese said she was referring to some in the corporate sector who ignored the consequences of their actions on vast numbers of people of more meagre means.
“In particular, I was talking there about those who made decisions about other people’s lives that had very devastating downstream consequences but may very well have been influenced by the chance for themselves to make [money], whether it was profits or bonuses. That’s the kind of mentality,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to help people have their own homes and to build up community in that way. But if you lose sight of the fact that that’s what you’re doing – that you’re building up community – if what you’re doing is building up your own bonus, it seems to me that somehow we’ve lost sight of what we’re all about here which is about helping one another to grow, to flourish, to benefit as human beings and to benefit widely as community.”
Mrs McAleese said she looked forward to Barack Obama’s inauguration as the next president of the US and suggested that Ireland was not far from being able to choose a member of an ethnic minority as head of state.
“Not far at all, I hope,” she said.
“I’d like to think that we’re building the kind of Ireland where that would be as easy, as normal, as natural as night follows day.
“It would be wonderful if it happened.”
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
This type of speak sounds familiar!!!!
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:19 pm
But then again....
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
President tells of days spent living with nuns in Ennis
PRESIDENT MARY McAleese each year spends a number of days in prayer with an enclosed religious order in Ennis, she revealed yesterday.
As she launched the Poor Clares' Golden Jubilee Celebrations in the town she reflected on the time she has spent with the nuns since becoming President in 1997.
In the monastery Mrs McAleese wished "a very happy birthday to all the Poor Clares for 50 wonderful years and I particularly thank you for 11 of those years".
She told the nuns: "You are great custodians of the traditions of Clare. . . I know from my time here that any time the phone rings, any time the bell goes - people come to ask you to go.
"You can't take the burden of sorrow from them and people do come in great sorrow, but you can go in a journey of light with them and that matters so much; the courage, the faith, the hope that your prayers give them. That little bit of energy to keep them focused for tomorrow - that is so important to bring the joy of Clare and the joy of Christ into their lives."
The Poor Clares established their enclosed monastery in Ennis in 1958 and today number 17 nuns. They dedicate their lives to God through the vows of enclosure, chastity, obedience and poverty.
The abbess, Sr Barnardine, said the President "is a close personal friend of ours and she comes to us every year. . . and we find her an inspiration and also a challenge to us.
"It is like welcoming a friend in here today, so it was very fitting that we would mark this special occasion, the start of our celebrations, with the President's visit."
A signed photograph of President McAleese hangs on the wall of the main corridor: "Much love to my dearest sisters, Mary."
In the visitors' book yesterday she wrote: "Congratulations on 50 years of prayful loving care of so many people whose sorrows you shared, whose joy you enchanced. God bless this lovely community".
Sr Barnardine said the President came to Ennis in 1997 to open a library "and it was a mutual friend of ours, local solicitor Michael Houlihan, who introduced her to us".
"It was while she was here having a cup of tea that she said that she would like to come back to us and this is where she would like to come for a retreat. Every year she comes here and her husband, Martin, jokes that it is a break for him and he can go off to play golf."
Sr Barnardine said the President normally stays around three days. "It is the only place she will come where her security won't stay with her all the time. Because we're enclosed . . . so it is perfectly safe."
Earlier the President and her husband joined the Poor Clares and local friars in a festive midday prayer in the monastery chapel where she read from the book of the prophet Hosea.
© 2008 The Irish Times
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:02 pm
I don't think that the president saying we were seeking bonuses rather than building a community leads to the conclusion that we all must return to superstition and supernaturalism.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:21 pm
Nevertheless, I find it hard to suppress the gag reflex when politicians who sat back and shut up when everyone was raking it in suddenly discover some sort of pop-morality tale now that the world has hit and recession and are trying to insinuate that somehow we all ought to feel guilty in our complicity in this new evil that has befallen western society.
Quite a lot of Christian ministers and priests have been careless enough to express public enthusiasm and glee recently as well in anticipation of the return of the despairing and suffering lapsed Christians to the pews (to say nothing of their long-absent contributions to the collection plate).
Its nothing more than unbridled opportunism.
Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:16 am
the idea that we have a choice is most galling
“with all the stability of a pack of tarot cards”.
is she a sceptic?