This is a lovely book of poems, each with a simple dedication: for those who learned Irish in Donegal, for those who remember Belfast as it used to be, for those who have waited by a hospital bed, for those at the limits of suffering and many more. Each poem is followed by a very short prayer, an evocative reflection which, gently read, may take us through so many of life's experiences into the presence of the Lord. It is a book which may open our eyes and lift up our hearts in gratitude, understanding and love.
- Baroness Nuala O'Loan
Reading this book is a most rewarding experience. Each piece combines a poem with a short prayer reflection. Some of the pieces are observed from ordinary life such as a morning scene in a coffee shop. Others are memories of the poet's own life. Others are about recent world events, from the Japanese tsunami to the royal wedding. Others again are about Northern Ireland. There is such a rich variety. There is wonderful poetry. And the structure where the poem is followed by a prayer reflection is very effective. I found it all very original and very striking.
- Donal Harrington is a consultant and facilitator with parishes and dioceses engaged in pastoral renewal.
Not since Michel Quoist and his much loved Prayers of Life have I experienced such a myriad of topics inviting us to pray our way through so many familiar facets of life. Indeed many lifetimes find echoes in these beautifully crafted poems attractively presented in pocket book form. With Michael Maginn, we move prayerfully from the contemplation of bluebells, the loveliness of fuchsia to the humour of a dugout and the nuptials of Will and Kate. Here there is a coming to grips with the meaning of life in many and varied circumstances.
This compendium of prayer reflects the genuineness of a prayer life that is charmingly simple, domestic in its intimacy yet fully relational and socially aware. The world and its mother, in these pages, offer fresh opportunities to pray at all times, in all places, with a sense of God permeating the events of our lives, even what may seem trivial. I recommend this book fully; it will be a precious gift for people of all ages.
- Dr. Una Agnew SSL, Associate Professor of Spirituality at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy.
The Wave is an apt title for another inspiring series of Prayers from Life. These gentle poems, insights and reflections jog our memories, encourage us to consider our lives and attitudes, nudge us to move on. Like the varying motions of the tide, they evoke memory and empathy, invite response, stimulate mindfulness, prayer and gratitude. The Wave: More Prayers from Life is indeed a rich, imaginative resource to refresh and support us on the human journey.
- Sr Olive McConville RSM
I had the privilege along with many other priests at the recent annual Armagh Clergy Gathering of listening to Michael Maginn (Parish Priest of St Paul’s, Lurgan, Co Armagh) read from and put into context some of his poems, reflections and prayers from The Wave – More Prayers from Life.
Following in the footsteps and great tradition of priest-poets from St John of the Cross to Gerard Manley Hopkins, Michael Maginn has been gifted with both an extraordinary sensitivity in the observance of what has happened and what continues to occur around him as well as the means of delving into and expressing the hidden depths of such experience.
From childhood memories as in ‘The Dugout’ and ‘Serving Mass’ to chance encounters with the world of nature such as the vivid and prayerful ‘Bluebells’ and ‘Swallows’, from the poignant memories of the troubles in ‘Checkpoint’ (which includes an unforgettable portrait of his father) and ‘Belfast Before the Troubles’ to the more whimsical ‘Coffee Shop’ or ‘The Juke Box’ to the devastating ‘Cloyne’ the author draws the reader in every case to meaningful prayer.
Profound, yet accessible on all levels, this new collection provides a wonderful sequel to his earlier, first publication Prayers from Life which many found to be an inspiring source of introduction to deeper prayer.
- Fr Paul Clayton-LeaClogherhead, Co Louth