In this the Tercentenary Year of Nano Nagle’s Birth (2018) we are drawn to make more time to understand who Nano Nagle was, and who she is for our times, especially in the light of all of the immediately visible social issues in Irish Society today, as well as those we might fail to recognise, lurking just below the surface of our rapidly demanding, urgent lives.
In an initial clear out of the old year’s paper piles, I found myself by chance, re-discovering among lose sheets a welcome signpost in Sr. Raphael Considine’s wonderful poem entitled, ‘This is Nano Nagle’.
She was a woman who, in her simplicity
Yet dared greatly…
Dared to let herself
Be guided by the spirit of God.
And when He, like some will o’the wisp
on the mountains, led her from the
warmth of what was safe and comfortable,
out past the four walls of what was
“enough” and “reasonable”, away beyond
the security of the familiar
tried and proven,
she followed with laughter in her
heart. For she had caught a glimpse of the
Divine delight in reversing human logic,
in drawing power from weakness,
wisdom from folly,
life from death.
In this lay her strength.
This is NANO NAGLE.