In this week’s blog, Fr. Paddy reflects “where there is love, there is a way”.

There is nothing like a good movie. It lifts the spirits and opens our minds and hearts to a feelgood message.

Our local cinema in Carlow is a fantastic amenity.

If anyone needs such medicine, I recommend going to see the movie War Horse, a film whose story speaks about wonderful themes such as resilience, courage, love and compassion.

War Horse is based on the 1982 children’s book and subsequent 2007 stage adaptation of Joey, a horse who’s raised and trained by Albert to plough the fields and help keep the family farm.

However, one day’ Albert’s father sells the horse out of necessity to a soldier, who takes him for use in battle after World War I is declared. Albert is heartbroken.

The film has the feel of a classic sweeping epic, but one where the emotion matters just as much as the spectacle. We see Joey passed from one person to the next, as a result of usually unforeseen circumstances.

However, the common thread that I found truly inspirational was that where there is love, there is always a way.

Perhaps this was best expressed in no man’s land during the Battle of the Somme, when this remarkable animal discovered that both the English and German soldiers held compassion in the depth of their being as they united to set this horse free – a moment when light shone bright, despite the darkness of war and violence.

Soon we will celebrate St Brigid’s Day. Traditionally, this is also a time to celebrate the beginning of early spring.

I cannot but feel hopeful these days, with the brighter evenings and early daffodils and snowdrops reminding us that darkness has yet again been defeated by our new light.

In these difficult times, we all need to nourish ourselves with hope and inspiration. Perhaps that’s why War Horse is such a popular movie.

It is a known fact that we all respond best in an environment where we are accepted, appreciated and valued.

It is in such soil that our roots can be grounded and our gifts and talents can display their unique colour and fragrance.

It cost little, yet it is a source of invaluable contribution when we speak the language of positivity. Our words are so important, yet idle gossip and put-down language can cause immense harm to others.

A kind word is always best. Perhaps if we can’t come up with a positive contribution, remaining silent is an adequate response.

To have courage and to disassociate oneself from idle gossip is indeed a marvellous gift.

Surely, we have more than enough in looking after our own story, as opposed to engaging in a negative manner that can cause pain and hurt to another person.

Recently, I went to visit a young child, who was blind, deaf and immobile.

And as her mammy’s hands touched her face, I was amazed at the most wonderful smile that shone from this little child’s face.

Where there is love, there is a way.

May the hand of God, whose touch evokes hope and inspiration, bring us this early spring, renewed light and peace.