My son André has been reading and appreciating the poetry of Pádraig Ó Tuama and has shared some of it with me from time to time. Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian and conflict mediator in Northern Ireland and was the leader of the Corrymeela Community (Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community) from 2014 to 2019.
I recently read this prayer from him and felt it spoke so powerfully to me of us all working and living beside each other, striving for harmony as we struggle with differences, hurts, sorrows and find ways to celebrate our joys and successes. Take some time, out of your busy day, to reflect in awe with Jesus on the words of Pádraig Ó Tuama about finding meaning and clarity in our messy, flawed, and yet beautiful, relationships.
Learning Leader: Formation
A Prayer of shelter and shadow
By Pádraig Ó Tuama
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine
– It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.
– It is in the shadow of each other that the people live.
We know that sometimes we are alone, and sometimes we are in community.
Sometimes we are in shadow, and sometimes we are surrounded by shelter.
Sometimes we feel like exiles – in our land, in our languages and in our bodies.
And sometimes we feel surrounded by welcome.
As we seek to be human together, may we share the things that do not fade:
generosity, truth-telling, silence, respect and love.
And may the power we share be for the good of all.
We honour God, the source of this rich life.
And we honour each other, story-full and lovely.
Whether in our shadow or in our shelter, may we live well and fully with each other.