Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Queen Comes Calling

President McAleese and the Queen

The Queen of England arrives in Dublin today.  The visit, her first ever to her nearest neighbour, is full of historical significance. It is seen as a sign of the improved relations between our two countries, united by a long and tortured history.

However, yesterday I met a man who spoke bitterly of the visit. Having been raised in Derry during the Troubles, the British monarch was the symbol of a system he rejected.

While I could listen and have some understanding of the suffering that was the source of  his anger, I know that bitterness must not determine the path ahead.

A man from Holland who read my recent blog  'Praying for Osama bin Laden?' sent me a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

'Returning hate for hate multiplies hate,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.'

Thank God that this day has arrived, unthinkable  at the height of the hated and killings of the Troubles.