My lovely Mom called me last week to tell me about this poem that she had seen. Apparently it was a favourite of Sister Philomene Tiernan, an Australian nun who was on board Flight MH-17 when it was shot down over the Ukraine, and it had been used at a memorial service celebrating Sister Phil’s life. By all accounts, she was a great woman.
It seems that Sister Philomene’s Irish friend – Sister Aideen Kinlen – had shared What Will Matter, by Michael Josephson, as the two were on a retreat in France, towards the end of Sister Phil’s time in Europe. I think it’s pretty incredible that the two friends had reflected on this poem at that time, given what was to come.
I think some people may read it and feel sad at the suggestion that everything’s ultimately a bit pointless. But I guess I read it as a reminder to prioritise what’s important and try not to get caught up in the other ‘stuff’, which messes with our heads and doesn’t really matter.