God never closed one door without opening another.

Note: There is a Spanish version of this week’s proverb, “Dios que da la llaga, da la medicina.” (God who gives the wound, gives the cure.) Neither the Spanish nor the Irish version expresses a Calvinist notion of predetermination. God may open another door, or offer the cure, but one does not have to go through the door, or accept the cure. The notion of free will is preserved in both proverbs.

Note also: Both verbs in this week’s seanfhocal are in the past tense. We took some poetic license translating the second verb into the English gerund form, ‘opening.’ A more literal translation would be “God never closed a door, He did not open another one.”

Irish has a widely used verb form comparable to the gerund called the progressive form of the verb. It is formed by putting the preposition ‘ag’ before the verbal noun form with the verb to be. So the negative past progressive form is ‘ní raibh Sé ag oscailt’ (He was not opening), while the negative present progressive form is ‘níl Sé ag oscailt’ (He is not opening), and the negative future progressive form is ‘ní bheidh Sé ag oscailt’ (He will not be opening). Each is used to express an ephemeral action, one that is in progress.