Monday, April 29, 2013

More Celtic blessing for ordinary life

Said when Dressing

Lord, clothe me with the robes of innocence.

Said during a Thunder Storm

O Lord, be between us and harm and protect us from the harm of the world.

Said on the day of the country fair

God be with them now, and bring them home with their fair share of stock or money.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day 2013


It is Thou
who givest the bright sun,
together with the ice;
It is Thou
who createdst the rivers
and the salmon in the river. 
That the nut-tree should be flowering, 
O Christ, 
it is a rare craft; 
through Thy skill too
comes the kernel, 
Thou fair ear of our wheat. 
Though the children of Eve
ill deserve 
the bird-flocks and the salmon, 
it was 
the Immortal One on the cross
who made 
both the salmon and the birds.
It is He 
who makes
the flower of the sloe grow through the bark of the blackthorm, 
and the nut-flower on the trees;
beside this, 
what miracle is greater?



Friday, April 19, 2013

Irish Marriage Blessing

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
from this day forward.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Anam Cara (part 3 ) Observation on Friendship

Friendship is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Of all the gifts a wise providence grants us to make a life full and happy, friendship is the most beautiful. Epicurus

Two friends one soul

A faithful friend is the medicine of life
Ecclesiasticus 6:16

Some friends are more loyal than brothers
Proverbs 18:24

Sexes make no Difference; since in Souls there is none: And they are the Subjects of
friendship.” William Penn

I can only truly know myself through the other
Jean-Paul Sartre 20th cent. philosopher

True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”
David Tyson Gentry

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” Elisabeth Foley

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”
Walter Winchell
One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.”
Clifton Fadiman (American radio Host, Author and Editor 1904-1999)
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
Dr. Seuss

graphic:  Edward Hicks - David and Jonathan at the Stone Ezel

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ignation Meditation

The Ignation Method

This form of meditation has quite a number of steps. Given a chance - it can be life changing. Besides Bible Study this method can be applied to all sorts of texts and situations.Ultimately we must move beyond the text, hermeneutics, theology and history and open hearts to the  living words themselves  to become trans formative.

When we lift up our souls to God, we are offering him Ourselves, Our minds, our hearts, our wills, our strengths and our weaknesses.  Saint Ignatius was a real expert in prayer and meditation. He was also an expert in people and their souls. So - although there are many variations and tailorings of his method, and they are all well worth investigating as we become more fluid in the basic method, here is the core of the matter. 

  Choose and read the subject over night. 
     Choose not more than three points on which to meditate. 
     On waking, recall the subject, and the grace to be prayed for. 
PREPARATION A few short preparatory prayers. They may be formal or not, as you please. 
First Prelude:  recalling the points of the subject or the reading. 
Second Prelude: use your imagination. Picture the scene, imagine you can hear the words. Sometimes it helps to imagine yourself as a character in the scene. If the passage has Our Lord speaking, imagine yourself as one of the disciples, a by stander, the woman at the well, someone eating the fish. Perhaps, if it is hard to understand, ask yourself what our Lord might have been feeling as he said this, what he was looking at. 
Third Prelude:  Prayer for grace, to love and serve God better. 

THE MEDITATION       Mind, Heart, Will. 
     + Apply your mind, recalling the significant episode or words. 
     + Apply your heart, entering into understanding of the meaning, the lessons, and the demands within the passage. 
Especially for Yourself
This may do you more harm than good if you find yourself finding all sorts of other people to understand this for. If our Lord is speaking of S adduces or Pharisees, at once ask yourself in what ways this applies to you - it doesn't matter if it applies to Jews or the members of the church down the road. It is his job, not yours, to speak to them. Right now he is speaking with you, and about you. It is your job to listen. 
      + Apply your will. Make a resolution. Nothing vague. This is something that should be done the same day. For no better reason than that you love God. Promising vaguely that you will try to be better with Aunt Edith doesn't cut it (grin) Go take her some vegetables.. 
      + Now for the good bit. There's a fancy and rather wonderful name. 

That's a conversation, talk it out with Him, whether he thinks you've got the right end of the stick, the points that are essential for you, is really important, so listen as well, you'll at least sense when he is nudging you towards a different interpretation. 
These acts of the will are the essential bit of the meditation. So test out your decisions and nudgings.

     CONCLUSION:      You won't feel like just getting up and walking away anyway. You may not even be able to. To ground yourself, and come back to earth, write down a few notes. Thank God for the insights you've had. Assess how 'well' you did, where your attention was. Then write down the decisions you've made and go and do them. 

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Choice of topic    
2. Preparatory prayer 
3. Composition of place 
4. Petition for special grace needed 
5. See and reflect 
6. Listen and reflect 
7. Consider and reflect 
8. Draw some practical fruit 
9. Colloquy with the Father and Jesus 
10. Closing with the Lord's Prayer

1. Choice of topic: the incarnation. 

2. Preparatory prayer

3. Composition of place: See the great extent of the world with its many different races; then see the particular house of Mary and its rooms in the town of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. 

4. Petition for special grace needed: "I ask for what I want: here I ask for interior knowledge of the Lord who became human for me so that I may better love and follow Him." 

5. See and reflect: "This is to see the various kinds of persons: first, those on the face of the earth, in all their diversity of dress and appearance, some white and some black, some in peace and others at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy, others sick, some being born and others dying, etc.: second, I see and consider the three divine Persons, as though They are on the royal throne of their Divine Majesty, how they look down on the whole round world and on all its peoples living in such great blindness, and dying and going down into hell; third, I see Mary and the Angel who greets her." 

6. Listen and reflect: "This is to hear what the people on the face of the earth talk about, i.e. how they talk with each other, how they swear and blaspheme, etc. In the same way what the Divine Persons are saying, viz., 'Let us bring about the redemption of the human race etc.' Then what the Angel and Mary are talking about." 

7. Consider and reflect: "Now I look at what the people on the face of the earth are doing, e.g. wounding, killing, and going to hell, etc., and in the same way, what the divine Persons are doing, that is, accomplishing the sacred Incarnation, etc., and similarly, what the Angel and Mary are doing, the Angel fulfilling his role of legate and Mary humbling herself and giving thanks to the Divine Majesty." 

8. Draw some practical fruit

9. Colloquy with the Father and Jesus: "I think about what I ought to be saying to the three Divine Persons, or to the eternal Word incarnate.... and I make a request, according to my inner feelings, so that I may better follow and imitate Our Lord, thus newly incarnate." 

10. Closing with the Lord's Prayer.

"Ignatian Meditation" is essentially the meditation style developed by Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises. It has lots of steps, and so it appeals to someone who likes structure,  In the middle of following the steps, however, one learns to let one's imagination run wild.

The irony of mixing strict rules and vivid imagination is just as much in the temperament as in the meditation. Practical types seem to glum onto this style of meditation once they get over any iconoclastic misgivings they may have about it.

Ironically, one of the most entertaining forms of Christian meditation is most appealing to the most practical and rules-oriented kind of people,

 This is one of the most popular posts on the site. Please feel free to leave comments.  Also if you found this helpful or encouraging would appreciate if you'd consider following and  informing others about this blog.  Deep peace ... Brad

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hours ( part 3)

The Structure of the Hours

Saint Benidict of Nersia is credited with the formal incorporation of the hours. This practice however is taken from what John Cassin describes in his two works "the institutes" and " the conferences ". In those pages he details the monastic practices of the Desert Fathers of Egypt.

By the end of the 5th century the liturgy of the hours was made up of the night service (the vigil) and seven day services of which the prime and the compline seem to be the last added as the fourth century Apostolic Constitution does not mention them.

The following is how they appear after the 5th century.

Mantins (during the night) also referred to as vigil or nocturne

Lauds - dawn prayer

Prime - morning prayer (first hour) 6:00

Terce - mid morning prayer (third hour) 9:00

Sext - midday (noon sixth hour) 12:00

None - mid afternoon (ninth hour) 3:00 pm

Vespers - evening, night prayer, at the lighting of the lamps

Compline- before retiring

Mary and i started keeping the morning office first. Added the evening. Then eventually included the miday. We eased into this rhythm inside a year. We found it quit natural and easy to adapt to. We really enjoy the office and find it disappointing when we miss it. Technically we take a stab at keeping the third hour, the sixth hour, and the compline.

for more information on the office or fixed hour prayer as it is also known.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 –1945 )

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906, son of a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Berlin. He was an outstanding student, and at the age of 25 he was ordained and became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University where his talk of peace was unpopular. He was a prolific author as well.
Before his ordination he spent time in the US. as an exchange student. It was there he saw first hand the evils of racisim, little guessing how relivant his experience would soon become to his life in Germany.When Hitler came to power in 1933 Bonhoeffer was a leading spokesman for the Confessing Church and the director of one of it's main Seminaries. When the Nazis's closed the seminary

He organized and for a time led an underground teaching community. His book Life Together describes the life of the Christian community in that seminary. His book The Cost of Discipleship attacks what he calls "cheap grace," meaning grace used as an excuse for moral laxity.
The net tightened around the Jews as Bonhoeffer withdrew to America. As time passed he felt he must return to Germany against the council of many friends.
He became a resitance worker and part of a failed attempted to assassinate Hitler. It was his refusal to report for military service that finally led to his arrest in April of 1943.

He was sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison. His life was spared, because he had a relative in the government; but then this relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots. In prision He wrote his parents, his fiance, supported and prayed for fellow prisioners, and continued to write.
On Sunday 8 April 1945, as he finished conducting a service at Schoenberg two soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us," the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another prisoner, "This is the end -- but for me, the beginning -- of life."
He was hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the prision camp. Perhaps it can be argued that he died for his political convictions and not His christian faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have argued there was no distinction between the two.

living water reprint from 2008

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Gaelic Christening Blessing

Dearest Father in Heaven,
Bless this child and bless this day
Of new beginnings.
Smile upon this child
And surround this child, Lord,
With the soft mantle of your love.
Teach this child to follow in your footsteps,
And to live life in the ways of
Love, faith, hope and charity.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. ( 1929 - 1968 )

King a black American Southern Baptist preacher became a key voice in the civial rights movment of the 60's opposing racism, segregation. He taught and practiced a model of active non-violent resitance or civil disobiedence.Martin's grandfather and father were inturn both pastors of Ebenezer Baptist Church in atlanta. His mother was a teacher. King earned his own Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozier Theological Seminary in 1951 and earned his Doctor of Philosophy from Boston University in 1955.

While at seminary King became acquainted with Mohandas Gandhi philosophy of nonviolent social protest. After a trip to India in 1959 where he entered into discussion with followers of Ghandi, he became more convinced than ever that nonviolent resistance was the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.

As a pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, King lead a Black bus boycott. King and several others were arrested and found guilty of obstruction of buisness. As the bus boycott dragged on, King was gained a national reputation. The ultimate success of the Montgomery bus boycott made King a national hero

Letter from Birmingham Jail inspired a growing national civil rights movement. In 1963 King led a massive march on Washington DC where he delivered his now famous, I Have A Dream speech. King's tactics of active nonviolence (sit-ins, protest marches) put civil-rights squarely on the national agenda

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King at the age of thirty-nine was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee. At the time he was becoming more out spoken against the war in vietnam as well as focusing attention on a nationwide campaign to help the poor. Right up until his death he never wavered in his conviction that nonviolence must remain the central tactic of the civil-rights movement.

living water reprint from 2008

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One of my favourite celtic prayer blessings.

Prayer for A Heavenly Feast.

St Brigid's  Blessing

I wish I had a great lake of ale for the King of kings,
and the family of heaven
to drink it through time eternal.
I wish I had the meats of belief and genuine piety,
the flails of penance,
and the men of heaven in my house.
I would like keeves of peace to be at their disposal,
vessels of charity for distribution,
caves of mercy for their company,
and cheerfulness to be in their drinking.
I would want Jesus also to be in their midst,
together with the three Marys of illustrious renown,
and the pople of heaven from all parts.
I would like to be a tenant to the Lord,
so if I should suffer distress,
He would confer on me a blessing.

One of my personal favorites. The shear honesty and earthness of the words and imagery are so refreshing.

The photo was taken at our one of our infamous Christmas Morning champange breakfast celibrations. I altered it with a photo shop program.

living water reprint from 2008