"Something there is that doesn't love a wall" is the first line of "Mending Walls" - a poem by the American poet, Robert Frost, in which he challenges the human predilection for erecting walls even in places where there is no obvious need for one. Each Spring he and his neighbour work diligently on either side of the wall dividing their properties, mending the breaks which have appeared - sometimes mysteriously - over the winter months. It's as if, the poet speculates, there is something in nature that "doesn't love a wall" and mischievously effects openings and breaks in that which has been so carefully and deliberately, constructed.
"He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Before we build our walls, perhaps, like the poet, we need to ask ourselves what exactly we are walling in and what we are walling out!
Might we be walling in old prejudices fossilised in dead anger; stubborn convictions wilfully deaf to counter arguments; suspicions and bigoted opinions clinging on to the carcass of the past?
Might we be walling out the clean fresh air of enlightenment; the bright green fields of hope; the sharpness of newly-minted thinking; unpalatable evidence which states that we are wrong, wrong, wrong?
Are we walling out unbearable jolts to complacency and the comfort of familiarly-held beliefs? Are we walling out unwelcome signposts urging change when everyone knows humankind's natural antipathy to change?
Best to build the wall higher. Close that gap. Mend that break. And if there are any stones left over, throw them at the would-be sabateurs of our handsomely-constructed walls.
Leave us alone behind our walls. They may blot out the sun but we can learn to live in darkness.
But what's that light breaking through the gap in the wall? And where did that gap come from? It wasn't there yesterday!
7th September 2017 Gaps
20th June 2017 "Love is not loved."
25th April 2017 I Hope You Dance
21st March 2017 From Darkness to Dawn
27th October 2016 The Bright Field
27th June 2016 The Enemy Within
31st May 2016 The Little Way to The Almighty
25th January 2016 Love Immeasurable
11th November 2015 Letting Go
21st May 2015 The Gift of Loss
6th May 2015 Walls
24th November 2014 Leaning into Winter
24th October 2014 Crossing the Road
25th June 2014 Fetters of the Soul
30th April 2014 The Power of Gratitude
10th March 2014 The Darkling Thrush
11th February 2014 Spring
10th February 2014 Masks
3rd February 2014 Dancing in the Wind
21st January 2014 Chains of nostalgia
13th January 2014 Forgiving wrongs darker than death or night
7th January 2014 Singing out Loud
17th December 2013 CHRISTMAS FOUND
9th December 2013 Withering into the Truth
2nd December 2013 The Celtic Prayer Garden
25th November 2013 Missing Dates
18th November 2013 NEARER GOD’S HEART
12th November 2013 Night
27th April 2010 Healing God
25th November 2009 Our Poverty
1st September 2009 Which of the two tigers will win the fight?
1st June 2009 Be your own role model
25th May 2009 The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
18th May 2009 Power of the real presence
7th May 2009 "Lessons I did not learn in School" - by Bill Gates
20th April 2009 JESUS RISES FROM THE DEAD
30th March 2009 The Long Walk to Freedom
23rd March 2009 Become a Friend
16th March 2009 Ireland in Identity Crisis?
9th March 2009 Love to Pray
2nd March 2009 Life - Giving Words
16th February 2009 Exclusion Policy
9th February 2009 Somewhere the Child
2nd February 2009 The Conversion of St Paul
12th January 2009 Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"
22nd December 2008 A Christmas Parable by Louis Cassels
15th December 2008 Work – from In the heart of the Temple by Sr Joan Chittister
8th December 2008 Am I at home when the doorbell rings?
1st December 2008 Street Corner Christ
17th November 2008 How Did I Get This Busy?
10th November 2008 A Homily for The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – 9th November 2008
3rd November 2008 John O’Donohue taken from “Benedictus - A Book of Blessings”
27th October 2008 Charles Peguy 1873-1914, French poet and politician
20th October 2008 The following is an extract from a talk given by Bishop George Lungu of Chipata in Zambia in Africa, to the synod of Bishops being held in Rome this month.
13th October 2008 Excerpt from ‘A Door of Hope’ by Jean Vanier
6th October 2008 A Reflection on Matthew's Gospel 21:28-32
29th September 2008 The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII