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


 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.