Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lgnatius Layola (1491-1556) July 31st

Ignatius was born in Spain, the youngest of 13 children. Before entering the Church he spent time as a page, then a soldier in the Spanish army fighting the French. A cannon ball and a series of bad operations ended his military career in 1521. While recovering, Ignatius read the lives of the saints. He decided to dedicate himself as a soldier of the Catholic Faith.

Soon afterward he began experiencing visions. A year later he experienced a fear that drove him to despair. Out of this dark night he wrote his famous "Spiritual Exercises". He spent time traveling and studying in different schools. He received his degree in Paris at the age of 43. At first he wasn't well liked. Despite this, he attracted several followers at the university, including St. Francis Xavier, and soon started The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. He died at the age of 65.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Examples of Caim Prayers from the Carmina Cadelica

There are many fine examples of this type of prayer found in the Carmina Gadelica: The Carmina Gadelica is a collection of prayers, hymns, blessings, and literary-folkloric poems and songs collected and translated by amateur folklorist Alexander Carmichael in the Gaelic-speaking regions of Scotland between 1855 and 1910.

The compassing of God and his right hand
Be upon my form and upon my frame;
The compassing of the High King and the grace of the Trinity
Be upon me abiding eternally,
Be upon me abiding eternally.

May the compassing of the Three shield me in my means,
The compassing of the Three shield me this day,
The compassing of the Three shield me this night
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill,
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill.

Blessing Of The Three, The Sacred Three My fortress be Encircling me,Come and be round My hearth, my home.Fend Thou my kin And every sleeping thing within From scathe, from sin. Thy care our peace Through mid of night To light's release.

My Fortress The Sacred Three My fortress be Encircling me Come and be round My hearth and my home. Celtic prayer

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Encircling Prayer

A common type of Celtic prayer was known as "encircling" or "circling" prayer. ( also known as the caim or prayer of protection) This type of prayer is reminiscent of Psalm 125:2: the Lord surrounds his people and protects them"

an example would be: Lord encirle me keeping out darkness and keeping in light

Choose a person or situation to pray for. Either physically or in your mind circle them. Decide what things to keep witnin and with out.

For example;

Lord encirle Mary with a wall of fire keeping out need keeping in provision, keeping out sickness keeping in health, keeping out doubt and keeping in faith. In the Name of the Father Son and Blessed holy spirit. The sacred Three in One.

Another variation could be:

Lord of the eliments encircle our friends at source ministries, keeping in peace and keeping out emnity, keeping in unity and keeping out discord, keeping in protection keeping out danger in the Name of the Sacred Three in One.

One could actually trace a physical circlein the air, by stretching out the right arm and turning clockwise, while praying the prayer.

I find this type of prayer to be particularly helpful. It gives me a templet for praying into certain situations where i might be at a loss for words. It demonsrtates in a tangable way the reality of God’s protection.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

JOHN CASSIAN (360-435)

John Cassian was born in the Danube Delta in what is now Dobrogea, Romania (some sources instead place him as a native of Gaul). He entered a monastery in Bethlehem in 382. After several years he and his friend Germanus of Dobrogeaa spent time living with the the Desert Fathers in Egypt. They remained until 399 except for a brief period when they returned to Bethlehem.

Upon leaving Egypt they went to Constantinople. There John Cassian spent time with St. John Chrysostom who ordained him as a decon. Eventually he settled close to Marseilles. After being ordained a priest he founded two monasteries, one for women and one for men.

Cassian wrote "the Institutes", in which he detailed the monastic life, and 'the Conferences", which provide details of conversations with the Desert Fathers. He also warned against some of the excesses in Augustine of Hippo's theology without attacking him personally. His writings were recommended by St. Benidict for the training of new monks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Assorted Prayers and blessings

Spare Us the Fall
May the roof above
never fall in,
May we belown

never fall out.
—An Irish grace quoted in Favourite Prayers

There is a mother's heart in the heart of God.
And 'tis his delight to break the bread of love and truth for his children.
a Hebridean mother's prayer

Big Sea, Little Boat
Dear God, be good to me;
The sea is so wide,
And my boat is so small.
fisherman's prayer—

Celtic Blessings and Prayers, edited by Brendan O'Malley

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Celtic Night Blessings

This night i be lying down with God,
And God be lying down with me
This night i be lying down with Christ,
And christ be lying down with me
This night i be lying down with the Spirit,
And the Spirit be lying down with me
God and Christ and the Spirit be lying down with me.

God with me lying down,
God with me rising up,
God with me in each ray of light,
Nor I a ray of joy without him,
Nor one ray without him.

Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,
Every day and night,
Each day and night.

God with me protecting,
The Lord with me directing,
The Spirit with me strengthening,
Forever and forevermore,
Ever and evermore, Amen.
Chief of chiefs, Amen.

Four Angels at Her Head

Four corners to her bed
Four angels at her head
Mark, Matthew, Luke and John;
God bless the bed that she lies on.
New moon, new moon,
God bless me
God bless this house and family.

Scary Things in the Night

From ghoulies and ghosties
and long leggety beasties
And things that go bumpin the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Smooring the Fire

This is a traditional celtic prayer that was prayed while stoking the fire for the evening before going to bed

The sacred Three
To save,
To shield,
To surround
The hearth,
The house,
The household,
This eve,
This night,
Oh! this eve,
This night,
And every night,
Each single night.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New and Present Home Blessings

A blessing upon your new home,
A blessing upon your new hearth,
A blessing upon your new dwelling,
Upon your newly-kindled fire.

A blessing upon your tallest grass
A blessing upon your fruitful partner
A blessing upon your growing son
Upon your growing daughter.

A blessing upon the household's helpers,
A blessing upon the children yet unborn,
A blessing upon the wise parents,
Upon your occupation.

A blessing upon your goods and income,
A blessing upon your kith and kin.
A blessing upon you in light or darkness,
Each day and night of your lives.

God Bless This House
From site to stay,
From beam to wall,
From end to end,
From ridge to basement,
From balk to roof-tree,
From found to summit.

Bless, O God, the dwelling,
And each who rests herein this night;
Bless, O God, my dear ones
In every place wherein they sleep;
In the night that is tonight,
And every single night;
In the day that is today,
And every single day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Praying the Lorica or Breastplate prayer

A Lorica was Breastplate armour. A breastplate prayer was therefore considered the putting on of spiritual armour. The most famous of this type of prayer for protection is attributed to St Patrick and has been so named St Patricks BreastPlate.

The Breastplate of St. Patrick (in its original form)

I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the Threeness,
through confessionof the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubimin obedience of Angels,
in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
In innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices,against inclinations of nature,
against everyone whoshall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of women [any witch] and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me todayagainst poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me,Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right,Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length,Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of theTrinity, through belief in the Threeness,
through confession of theOneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ.
May Thy Salvation, O Lord,
Be ever with us.

Legend has it that Patrick sang this as a hymn when ambushes were laid against. On one particular journey to Tara men lay in wait to kill him and his party of monks. The story goes that those waiting in the darkness to pounce saw coming from the mist wild deer with a fawn following them carrying books. They let them pass not realizeing what they saw was Patrick and his party. Patrick arrived at Tara; his Easter fire was the first spring light, conquering darkness forever in Ireland

This prayer summons God’s protection to strengthen us for life’s struggles.
The armour consists of...
1. God – the three in one
2. Human valour as lived by Christ
3. Angels and great souls
4. Powers of creation
5. Spiritual gifts

The praying person confronts negative forces one by one,
Inviting Christ into each situation, and repeats the opening invocation.
To make your own armour prayer, choose an example for numbers 1-5 above and confront one negative force in your life. Close your prayer by invocing the presecne of Christ and the Trinity.
In the St Patrick’s Breastplate prayer, the writer imagines that he is Patrick, putting on the different items of God’s armour: God, the saints, powers of creation, spiritual gifts – just like a suit of armour.
you can close with the words from the seventh verse of the prayer...
Christ beside me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ before me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ in heart of all who meet me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Very Old Celtic Wedding Blessing

May God be with you and bless you.

May you see your children's children.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.

May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Peace of Christ: an invocation

Peace between neighbors
Peace between kindred
Peace between lovers
I love the King of Life

Peace between person and person
Peace between mother & child
Peace between Father & Son
The Peace of Christ above all peace

invocation from the Carmina Gadelica collected by Alexander Carmichael

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


In the Celtic Christian tradition there was no seperation between the sacred and the secular. Life was seen as a hole and the Trinity present in every moment. Prayer therefore was a natural as breathing. The Celt practice was to pray or invoke God's involement for, during and about everything (good, beautiful,...). This facilates a very natural and organic approach to prayer and God's presence.
Prayers for frequent activities like lighting the fireplace, milking the cow etc. were learned by heart and handed down by word of mouth or later in writing.

Being an oral and creative culture facilated this very natural approach to prayer.The use of the imagination became second nature. For example, by imagining that Jesus, his mother or friends are in our back garden, workplace or bedroom! As we imagine this, we begin to sense what they would think and do if they were us and respond in very natural prayer.

The Celtic way is to bless everything in life (except evil), however earthy or ordinary. Animals, bicycles, computers, exams, food, gifts, jobs, love-making, meals, parties, travel – try it!

Over the course of the month we'll look at some celtic invocations, blessings and types of prayer. As your introduced to this more natural approach to prayer apply it and experience a deeping awarness of the all enveloping presence of the triune God, we have been invited to friendship with.