The start of a new week as we try to cope with a new way of living ‘faoi scath a cheile’ (in the shadow of each other).
We have been told repeatedly over the past two weeks that what is vital is to try to slow down the spread of the virus, and the best way to do that is by creating a distance with others outside the home. I’m mindful of a line from the writer Kibran in his lovely book of reflections the Prophet, ‘Let there be spaces in your togetherness’.

At a minimum we are asked to create a space of 2 meters from each other. Try to spread the message & stay well.

Fr Michael 23/03/2020

Below is a very appropriate reflection sent to me this morning, 

written many years ago by John O Donohue who ministered as a priest for many years in the Galway diocese.

A time to be slow

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”

John O'Donohue,
To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Last Friday, 28th March, new restrictions were enforced in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, and protect the most vulnerable. So many of us over the 70 bracket were asked to stay within the confines of the home.
A quietness has descended on the roads, as families and people living alone attempt to live a totally new form or existence. This is challenging, and the poem by David Whyte, reminds us to draw on resources deep within to sustain us.

                                                  Just Beyond Yourself                        by David Whyte

Just beyond
It’s where
you need
to be.
Half a step into
and the rest
by what
you’ll meet.
There is a road
always beckoning.
When you see
the two sides
of it
closing together
at that far horizon
and deep in
the foundations
of your own
at exactly
the same
that’s how
you know
it’s the road
to follow.
That’s how
you know
it’s where
to go.
That’s how
you know
you have
to go.
how you know.
Just beyond
where you
need to be.


                              Take care.                                                           Michael D Higgins


In the journey to the light,

the dark moments should not threaten.

Belief requires that you hold steady.

Bend, if you will, with the wind.

The tree is your teacher,

roots at once more firm from experience

in the soil made fragile.


Your gentle dew will come

and a stirring of power

to go on


                           “Leaving Early”                            {Tribute to Care Workers} by  Leanne O’Sullivan

My Love, tonight Fionnuala is your nurse.
You’ll hear her voice sing-song around the ward
lifting a wing at the shore of your darkness.
I heard that, in another life, she too journeyed
through a storm, a kind of curse, with the ocean
rising darkly around her, fierce with cold,
and no resting place, only the frozen
rocks that tore her feet, the light on her shoulders.

And no cure there but to wait it out.
If, while I’m gone, your fever comes down —
if the small, salt-laden shapes of her song
appear to you as a first glimmer of earth-light,
follow the sweet, hopeful voice of that landing.
She will keep you safe beneath her wing




Mairtín Tom Lee

We're going through strange and difficult times at present.. It's a time when we need words of inspiration and hope... 'a way of seeing in the darkness'.
A man who has known darkness is Mairtín Tom Lee. Anyone who meets him will testify that his light shines through the darkness in an most extraordinary way.  Mairtín is a man I'm lucky to have as a good friend. During the pandemic, I asked him to script a few verses for the times that confine us. Lo and behold, not surprisingly,  the script appeared within a few days.DSCN1636JPG 

Repairing the damage


We were rushing around like lunatics

Going here and going there

Now we are all on lock-down

And nobody is going anywhere


And we pursue the mighty euro

For without, life would be tough

And now we are not earning much

But we still have enough


My hair is getting long

And will soon have dreadlocks

And when I step outside that gate again

 my neighbor will get a shock


Now we have all this time,

why not think of those who live alone

Take five minutes out of your day to pick up the phone


We are breathing fresh air

for the first time in many years

Mother Nature is repairing the damage

O she must be shedding tears


We get over this virus, like we got over other strife

And please God it won’t be long

before we are back to some sort of life


There is one good thing about this virus

You say what he's on about;

this is the first time my hands have seen

more alcohol than my mouth


Go dtuga Dia síbh Slán

Tá rud eigint aisteach faoí virus seo
Bhuail sé muid go leím
Agus chair sé chuile dhuinne
Dá gcois céim

Rinne muid Dia beag don Euro
Ní bheidh a ndóthain ainn ó go bráth
Ag obáir ó dhuth go dubh
Ansin 2 uair a chloig sa trácht

Tá dámaiste déanta gon domhan seo ainn
Is tan muid ann achar gearr
Ach beidir go spáineamh an vírus seo dhúinn
Go bhfuil ann bealach níos fearr

Mo mhíadh gon ghalar seo
Mar tá chuile shórt thuas san aer
Tá ard tráthnona is an clár spoirt imigh uainn
Is iad ag teasláil uainn go géar

Ag breathnú suas san aér anois
Ní fheicfidh tú ann ach éanachaí
Tá said ag caint athrú aeráide
Meastú an bé an béalach le dhul faoi

Breathnaionn an virus seo air chuide dhuine
Go díreach már a bheadh siad nocht
Má tá tú ag fanacht i dteach mór nó teacht beag
Is cuma má tá tú saibhir nó bocht

Má tá tú ag obair sa front line
Biodh sé o thuaigh nó o dheas  
Coinnigh suas an obair mhaith
Mar go bhfuil ainn oraibh an mheas

Go bhfagá Dia ainn an radio
Mar go bhfuil sé ag tabhairt an teolas ar fad duínn
Ag inseacht ceárd atá tarlú sa saol mór
Is céard atá a amach romhain

Tá daoine ag obair ón mbaile
Is tá ag lirí go maith leo
Ach ní oibríonn sé seo do chuile dhuine
Is iad ag iarraidh a bheith ag ritheacht gnó

Taistíonn bearra gruaige uaim
Tá sí thíos ag mo chuid guailli
Is shil mé go raibh mé feín go dona
Ach dá bhfeicheadh tú bean an tí

Ó gheobhaidh muid thar an virus seo
Ach go dtogfaidh sé roint am
Sé mo fhaidir dhibh a dhaoine choír
Go dtuga Dia sibh slán


 This passage from a wee book  Letters to a Young Poet (public library) by Rainer Maria Rilke (Dec 1875–Dec 1926).  the poet makes a beautiful case for the importance of living the questions, embracing uncertainty patiently..

Live the Question

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart 

and try to love the questions themselves, 

like locked rooms

 and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. 

Do not now seek the answers, 

which cannot be given you 

because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is,

 to live everything. 

Live the questions now. 

Perhaps you will then gradually, 

without noticing it,

 live along some distant day

 into the answer.

All One Together..


When you’re all alone ‘cause

you stay at home

Well we’re All One Together

When our loved ones die and

All we can do is cry

Well we’re All One Together

If you feel despair because

there’s no one there

we’re All one Together

Or if it’s up to you to help

get us through

Well we’re All One Together



You can see Irish lights

In the windows, or hear

the nightly New York cheers

listen to one world together

and stay apart to be near


I’m scared like you but we’ll

Get through

If we’re All One Together

Listen to your heart and stay


If we’re All One Together

You can find your way if

You pray everyday

When we’re All One Together.

Facetime or What’s App

Loved ones can be on your lap

When we’re All One Together


You can Zoom, you can

Skype, anytime day or night. There are those

 who will come out to your

Just hang in there a little longer. Enjoy the skies that

Are so blue.


When it’s all over and the crisis is gone. Just one

thing I ask of you Let’s continue to work

 together as one. We’ve seen what mankind can do. 


You can see Irish lights

In the windows, or hear

the nightly New York cheers

listen to one world together

and stay apart to be near.


A Covid song composed  by Bill Geoghegan

Sung in Barna Church by Bill and Judith

Sunday 17th May 2020