Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Stranger at the door: for peace in Ireland

"Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it."
(Pope John Paul II)

"Hands Across the Divide", Maurice Harron's Peace Sculpture in Derry, N Ireland

At the close of St Patrick's Day, with no commentary on the whys or rights or wrongs behind the recent shock of violence in Northern Ireland, pray with palms upturned to the future; the lines you may find there, like the lines of the prayer included here, are themselves ancient but timeless.
If you really, truly want peace now and forever, never chart your future by looking back into the fray.

"You are the peace of all things calm, 
You are the place to hide from harm, 
You are the light that shines in dark, 
You are the heart's eternal spark, 
You are the door that's open wide, 
You are the guest who waits inside, 
You are the stranger at the door, 
You are the calling of the poor, 
You are my Lord and with me still, 
You are my love, keep me from ill, 
You are the light, the truth, the way, 
You are my Saviour this very day." 
(Old Irish prayer - Anon) 

"Be Thou My Vision" Van Morrison

"Peace is liberty in tranquility."
(Marcus Tullius Cicero)


  1. When we were in Belfast for the day last month, we took a hop on hop off bustour, and it took us right into the ugly underbelly of the city. And it made me weep inside. Such a beautiful country, so torn still. It was the first time I saw with my both eyes what really happened there and I hope the current promo campaign to bring people back works out. I now understand a certain Mr. gL when he sings 'I finally love this town'.

    1. Aha. That's why I've always loved that song. Belfast - Norn Ireland in general - is vibrant and warm and full of passion. The coast and countryside of N Ireland are breathtaking. I know you fell in love with Dublin, but I'm so glad you got to see the real charm, with all it's sadness, of N Ireland.
      Bernadette Devlin McAliskey said something about Holy Ireland's people hating each other in the name of Jesus Christ: this is the huge sadness of it all. I think of the country as a place where everyone, whatever their politics or parish, shares the same lyricism and humour. I can't wait to go back; I'd love to see you back there too hon. God bless xxx

  2. Exactly! So incredibly sad. Especially because, let's face it, how many of the people that take part in the riots nowadays still know what it was originally about rather than just take it as an excuse to cause havoc... The torn flags and the grafiti clad buildings are silent tokens of an age old struggle that should have been settled a long long time ago.
    Like I said, I hope you are right. I hope one day (and by God let it be soon) I get a sign and a good enough reason to go back for.

    1. You know I'm always right hon : ) although my time-frames are sometimes skew-whiff!
      I hope the graffiti and murals are left as they are, on both sides. It's a huge historical wake-up call today to people who must realise that they can look the same, talk the same, share the same jokes, hopes and fears; and have a mutual respect any differences.