St Brigid’s Day 2022

A  ‘Cisean of Random Thoughts on a Wintry Eve  of Brigid of Faughart, with a Threefold Blessing of Poetry, from ‘A Small Psalter’, by Padraig J. Daly, O.S.A.

On Sunday morning radio, I heard a wrenching, heartrending report: An Afghan father had sold his 8yr. old daughter into marriage, to buy bread for his starving family. Her dream of school and college snatched from her by her father’s desperation, echoing the desperation of the many millions of other desperate people in a world awash with abundance..

Boat People.
Wintertime: our noses drip,
Our throats are raw,
We cough into the night.
But our beds are warm,
No one calls us out to the cold.

While they,
On the unfenced sea,
Watch one another sicken and die,
Praying to their God or gods
That somewhere there might be mercy.

I was heartened to see, on the front page of the Irish Times Magazine, last week, the photograph of a Presentation Sister, Sr. Jo McCarthy, in the ‘LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE LOCAL HEROES’ article. We help people find their voices, she said of her present work in the Cork Migrant Centre following 20yrs as a missionary in Peru and Ecuador.

I am reminded of the many thousands of forgotten heroes and heroines  of dedicated religious, who have given their lives, with others, in the service of ‘good’. Much of that work is now largely undervalued and unsupported, in my view.

                       Old Nun in a Bookshop

She is trying hard to believe in God.
The old certainties are gone.
She is eighty and weary,
Battered by the unbelief around her.

She slides along the bookshelves,
Hoping to find a fresh prophet,
Persuading her that life is purposeful,
That she is cherished.

On this Eve of Brigid, I sense a reluctance to give Her the title 'Saint' in our rush to embrace the Goddess, Celtic and Pagan. For me they are compatible, the Saint ,the Cailleach, Wise Woman, Celtic Goddess, Champion of poor and hungry Carer of the Earth and the many other aspects of our Secondary! Patron!

I celebrate the many Brigid’s, Breda’s  Bridget’s in my own life along with the hero Brigids, the hurting Brigids, the heartbroken Brigids. The brave and the warrior goddesses, whose day is come, celebrated or not!

She wakens early,
Smudges on lipstick,
Dons her white caftan,
Walks towards the bus,
Secreting her whiskey bottle
In her capacious bag.

Bit by little bit-
Go bhfoire Dia orainn!-
She is coming apart.

Muireann Maguire