My ordination class, the class of ‘81, and not a bishop among us.
40 years in ministry through turbulent and changing times. The Ireland of today, not the Ireland we were ordained for.
Nor could it or should it ever be, since all is change. Nothing stays the same.
As I grow older, reflecting on the years I have lived in Parochial Houses, ten in all, I am as content, maybe more than I have ever been.
The poet Maya Angelou says it well: I know that love saves us and that it is here to save us all.
I heard the phrase on Irish Radio the other day
and recognised it for what it was,
The kind of catch-all shorthand
which peppers our conversations,
Flattening whatever sensibilities are within range,
with the indiscriminate and thunderous report of a blunderbuss.
Once every Irish mother’s dream, a son in Maynooth.
Gone like the purple veils that once shrouded
Christ and the Saints during Lent.
Gone like the Ireland we knew and remember,
but never want restored.
In Ireland much has changed, mostly for the good.
Not all. Since progress seldom finds the straight or easy path.
The Land of Saints and Scholars no longer,
yet still the land of stubborn kindness,
The land of dogged heroism,
where daily miracles still happen.
So, I am content as I have ever been,
nothing more to prove.
Closer to the end than to the beginning,
my default position, Gratitude. Deeply felt.