We have just had a ‘Day of Recollection’ – 24 hours of silence and retreat in the house, from Friday supper to Solemn Vespers on Saturday evening.
Dom Brendan Thomas, the novice master at Belmont Abbey near Hereford, led the retreat, sharing some thoughts about beauty, prayer and love, and showing us some breathtaking images.
He read this beautiful poem by Padraig Daly, which was written on the occasion of a priestly ordination:
SINGLENESS by Padraig Daly
There will be joy too in your singleness
As when gloom lifts while you listen
From some heart fastened to sorrow,
As when children in schoolyards ambush you
And drag you off to riotous play,
As when affection swamps you in a festive
As when ailing women you visit in shabby flats
Before the mystery of broken bread,
As when the dying bless you
With their last,
Most precious smiles,
As when, sitting in the silence of automatic prayer,
You know suddenly
You are being visited by God.
The old will shelter in your untidy heart,
The young will know in you
The laughter of Yahweh;
And the wretched see
You have no bride
I don’t know Padraig Daly. This is from the Dedalus Press site (I presume he is the same poet!):
PÁDRAIG J. DALY was born in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford in 1943 and is now working as an Augustinian priest in Dublin. He has published several collections of poetry, among them The Last Dreamers: New & Selected Poems (1999) and The Other Sea (2003), as well as his translations from the Italian of Edoardo Sanguineti, Libretto (1999) and Paolo Ruffilli, Joy and Mourning (reissued 2007). His latest collection of poems is Clinging to the Myth (2007) in which he reflects on grief and personal bereavement and uses the voices of 18th century Gaelic poetry to respond to the challenges of a post-Christian Ireland.