Before her appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent”, Susan Boyle, was completely unknown outside a small circle. She gave living testimony that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, when we trust in the gifts and talents that we are blessed with.


Fr Paddy Byrne has a weekly column in the Nationalist.

This column appeared on April 2009

The name Susan Boyle, up to Three Weeks ago was completely unknown, except for her small family circle and local Church in which she is an active member. She has become an international phenomenon, since her appearance on the popular British T.V. programme, “Britain’s Got Talent”.

She gave Living testimony that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, when we trust in the gifts and talents that we are blessed with. Her singing from the popular, “Les Miserable’s” song, “I Dreamed a dream” has now been visited by over 100 million people, on You Tube, throughout the world. A very ordinary woman stunned into silence a cynical audience who pre-empted an ordinary performance, but instead were overwhelmed by her extraordinary talent.

These days the storm clouds of recession and uncertainty may well overwhelm us. We may feel much less confident than we were previously and in many ways we seem to have lost our direction. It is a time to remind ourselves that in the depth of our being, God has planted a huge amount of talent, an abundant reservoir of gifts and talents. Our creator boldly reminds us, that it is in the midst of such storm clouds, we should be confident that All Will Be Well.
In the midst of the ordinary everyday we achieve extraordinary things. Such fruits and gifts can only be discovered and appreciated through the eyes of reflection. Our lives have all been touched by the extraordinary generosity and great love of parents. Faithful companions and friends who remind us we are not alone. Ordinary routines often are indicative of extraordinary encounters when Gods presence becomes alive in the midst of our day to day lives.

Mothers and Fathers bringing children to school with lunch packed and breakfast complete. A task that in the life of every parent is no doubt routine but fuelled by an unconditional generosity and love that gives us a glimpse of the sacred.

Our communities are so enhanced by the sprit of volunteerism. Tidy Towns committees, meals and wheels, care of the elderly, sporting organizations are just some of the many incidents where in the midst of routine wonderful things happen. A visit to a neighbour who is sick, a word of sympathy to the bereaved, an action of compassion in times of gossip all sing a hopeful melody in a time when we are overwhelmed and frightened by the constant flow of doom and gloom.

Deep within us all, we have that innate confidence, to see beyond the present storm clouds. With God on our side, we are blessed to have a Christian Hope in the midst of the ordinary. We are encouraged to continue to see beyond the now and to taste the sacred. “I have knit you together in your mother’s womb, before you were born I knew you” We are created as living sacraments, signs of the sacred, rays of hope. The sun continues to shine even when the storm clouds darken its light. May all of us on the midst of the ordinary continue to make a difference.