Paddy Kavanagh, the Irish poet wrote often and beautifully, about the meaning of Christmas and the presence of God, in our lives.
For Kavanagh, childhood, poetry and theology were all of one piece.
Everything he wrote, captured something of the mystery of the incarnation. He wrote about the most common things which he saw as carrying hints of heaven.
His farm was the Bible. County Monaghan was his Bethlehem. His poetry was his prayer. He had his Emmaus revelations along the Iniskeen Road.
He didn’t fear a judging God. For him, the Maker of an astonishing creation, could only be a beautiful and loving God, a tender Mother who ‘caresses the daily and nightly earth.’ The miracle of continuing Creation, of the renewal of the world each day and each season, filled him with a child’s wonder. “And in the green meadows,” he wrote “the maiden of spring is with child through the holy Ghost.”
His most quoted lines are:
“God is in the bits and pieces of Everyday: A Kiss here, a laugh again, and sometimes tears.”
Kavanagh invites us to look at the world and to see beauty, in the things we take for granted. But he does more than that: he goes beneath the beauty and shows us, the inner meaning,
“Until one day, we will recognise the face of our incarnate God of surprises and disguises everywhere. ”