Our people were pagan until we met Christ.
We recognized Him from the start.
Never a martyr was made at our hands
For Christ was in the Irish heart.
And His message of Good News that God loved the world
was something we always believed
for we knew well God's Spirit in nature and life,
and it showed in the circles we weaved.
We knew of the other world all around us
such spiritual people were we
who hungered so deeply for life and for love
outraged it was nailed to a tree!
As Conor MacNessa first led the way
defending Christ unto his death,
our people have faithfully recognized Him,
calling Him with their last breath.
But the old pagan ways and the gods that we knew
continued along by Christ's side,
called by a new name given by Rome.
It is not from Christ that they hide,
But from those who dare to speak in His Name,
conquering culture and lore,
proclaiming that Christ would have it that way,
destroying all that came before.
But free Celtic spirits knew that in Christ
there is neither male nor female,
and threatened the power that sought to control
the mind, heart and soul of the Gael.
And 'tho they have died for Christ through these years,
their spirit submitted to Rome,
their passion subdued by Jansenist lies
invading their Faith and their home.
'tho many a priestly priest came from our land
and they had the power, we know.
That power was Love, God's very own.
(For others it just wasn't so.)
For others the priesthood was not to serve God
and not to bring Grace to the soul.
With goodwill we trusted and honoured them all.
Their power was meant to control.
Yet still we are Irish and still our souls yearn
for that spiritual part in our lives.
Abused and afflicted, like Christ we were led,
as children and husbands and wives.
Obeying the laws, tho they were not our own
but placed upon us from outside,
we trusted their goodwill and trusted their vows
until we discovered they lied.
We look deep within now still knowing the Love
of that God who is greater than Rome,
to the God of our people, the God of our clan,
the God of our family and home.
The misuse of power, that we trusted so,
as quietly we bore our cross!
Exposed now for what it was, treachery, sin!
Our clear vision now is Rome’s loss.
But surely it was not Christ who did wrong
nor priests humbly serving our land,
but those filled with lust of power over us.
Satanical, clerical band!
Our impulse toward God will guide us as we
continue to seek the Divine.
We’ll see God in nature, in people and song
as clearly as in bread and wine.
And the ancient soul friends who’ve never left us,
who’ve always been here in our land
Daghda and Bridget and from Tir na nOg
with Jesus they walk hand in hand.
Forget not our heritage and whence we came!
And honour the heart of the Celt.
We must be respected in Church as in home,
For before Rome knew Christ, we knelt.
‘twas never a time that we did not know God,
regardless the titles we use.
And we welcomed the Truth, whatever the form.
The true God would never abuse!
So we hold fast to God as we always have,
as Pagan or Christian or Jew,
and take back the power that we gave to Rome.
Oh God, if only we knew....
c. Cáit Finnegan 1997