February 2022: Editorial


In Praise of Snowdrops


The ‘January blues’ is now compounded once more by COVID19 restrictions adding to the usual inner post-mortem following the Christmas, New Year festivities as people examine wallets which have grown thinner and waistlines grown broader! It usually takes a brief period of reflection before we act to reverse the situation, a resolve which is strengthened by the sight of new growing things in this part of late winter and early spring. In her article this issue Éanna Ní Lamhna quotes the poet Raftery (Cill Aodáin le hAntaine Ó Raifteirí 1784-1835);

    Anois teacht an Earraig
    Beidh an lá dul chun síneadh
   ‘Gus tar éis na Féile Bhríde
    Ardoigh mé mo sheol.

‘Now with the springtime / The days will grow longer / And after St. Bride’s day’ / My sail I’ll let go..’

One of the earliest signs of new life and positivity for the year ahead is the appearance of the snowdrop, the first flower to bloom at the end of winter. A symbol of purity and innocence, like the unwritten page of the new year, it also signals hope.

      During this month Pope Francis prayer intention is offered for religious sisters and consecrated women whose mission and courage in its purity and strength have so often provided and continues to offer new life and hope for the church. Their dedication to prayer and service, their community life entailing a constant readiness to forgive and forebear with one another and the bearing of each other’s burdens, inspires the rest of the church and the human family. St Catherine of Siena wrote; ‘Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.’ As we rejoice in the feast of St Brigid and the generations of consecrated women after her, may we also celebrate the women amongst us who continue like the early snowdrops to represent the springtime of the Kingdom and set the world on fire.

Paul Clayton-Lea