Friday, November 29, 2013

Dorthy Day ( 1897- 1980 )

Dorthy on: Action and True Revolution

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart.”

“What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”

 “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”

“I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.”

  “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”

  “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.

 “God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them”

“It is we ourselves that we have to think about, no one else. That is the way the saints worked. They paid attention to what they were doing, and if others were attracted to them by their enterprise, why, well and good. But they looked to themselves first of all.”

graphic:  modern Icon by  Nicholas Brian Tsai

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thought's from Bohme

"For he that will say, I have a Will, and would willingly do Good, but the earthly Flesh which I carry about me, keepeth me back, so that I cannot; yet I shall be saved by Grace, for the Merits of Christ. I comfort myself with his Merit and Sufferings; who will receive me of mere Grace, without any Merits of my own, and forgive me my Sins. Such a one, I say, is like a Man that knoweth what Food is good for his Health, yet will not eat of it, but eateth Poison instead thereof, from whence Sickness and Death, will certainly follow."

 Böhme, unlike Luther, does not believe that Mary was the Ever Virgin. Her virginity after the birth of Jesus is unrealistic to Böhme. The true salvation is Christ, not Mary. The importance of Mary, a human like every one of us, is that she gave birth to Jesus Christ as a human being. If Mary had not been human, according to Böhme, Christ would be a stranger and not our brother. Christ must grow in us as he did in Mary. She became blessed by accepting Christ. In a reborn Christian, as in Mary, all that is temporal disappears and only the heavenly part remains for all eternity. Böhme's peculiar theological language, involving fire, light and spirit which permeates his theology and Marian views, does not distract much from the fact that his basic positions are Lutheran, with the one exception of the virginity of Mary, where he holds a more temporal view.

 Böhme saw the incarnation of Christ not as a sacrificial offering to cancel out human sins, but as an offering of love for humanity, showing God's willingness to bear the suffering that had been a necessary aspect of creation. He also believed the incarnation of Christ conveyed the message that a new state of harmony is possible. This was somewhat at odds with Lutheran teachings, and his suggestion that God would have been somehow incomplete without the Creation was even more controversial, as was his emphasis on faith and self-awareness rather than strict adherence to dogma or scripture.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Columbanus ( 543 - 615 )

"It was into a country where all the bonds which bind society together were totally dissolved, that St. Columbanus flung himself with all the headlong courage of his race, to be the champion of morals, the apostle of "civilization, the fearless soldier of the cross of Christ. The two languages used by him, the Celtic and the Latin, would, of course, carry him everywhere ; and the king eventually settled upon him the old Roman castle of Annegray, where the first Irish monastery ever planted on the Continent raised its head. 

There he laid the foundations of his system as he had learned it in Ireland. These foundations are plain, aye, the very plainest living, high thinking, and hard work. He lived for weeks, according to his biographer, Jonas of Bobio, without any other food than the herbs of the field and the wild fruits yielded by the forest around. We trace in him the same love of nature and of natural objects which we find in some of the beautiful stories told of St. Columba. 

All nature seems to have obeyed his voice. The birds came to receive his caresses. The squirrels ran to him from the tree-tops to hide themselves in the folds of his cowl. One day, when wandering in the depths of the woods, meditating whether the ferocity of brutes, which could not sin, was not better than the rage of men, which destroyed their souls, he saw a dozen wolves approach and surround him on all sides. He remained motionless, repeating the words, Deus in adjutorium. The wolves touched his garment with their mouths, but seeing him fearless, passed upon their way."

Excerpted from The Irish Element in Medieval Culture by H. Zimmer, trans. from the German and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1891.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fridays in Advent

Lord God
we praise you for creating man,
and still more for restoring him in Christ.
Your Son shared our weakness:
may we share his glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God
for ever and ever. 

from the  Liturgy of the Hours,

 This is a collect specifically for the Fridays of Advent

C S Lewis ( 1898 -1963 )


“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been - if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you - you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.” 

“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”  

Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don't go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don't try to get there at all. It'll happen when you're not looking for it. And don't talk too much about it even among yourselves. And don't mention it to anyone else unless you find that they've had adventures of the same sort themselves. What's that? How will you know? Oh, you'll know all right. Odd things, they say-even their looks-will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open. Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools."
-The Profesor” 

 “None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning--either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in it's inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.” 

 “My dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realised that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it.”

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Theosis (3)

According to the teachings of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the quintessential purpose and goal of the Christian life is to attain theosis or 'deification', understood as 'likeness to' or 'union with' God. Theosis refers to the attainment of likeness to or union with God, as deification has three stages in its process of transformation. Theosis as such is the goal, it is the purpose of life, and it is considered achievable through a synergy (or cooperation) between humans' activities and God's uncreated energies (or operations).

This metamorphosis (transfiguration /Theosis ) or transformation results from a deep deep love of God, surrender, and spiritual practice in particular, heyshasim.  Theoria is achieved by the pure of heart who are no longer subject to the afflictions of the passions. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit to those who, through observance of the commandment Love of God and your neighbor as yourself and ascetic practice( have achieved dispassion. According to the standard ascetic formulation of this process, there are three stages: catharsis or purification, theoria or illumination, and theosis or deification (also referred to as union with God.

compiled from Ortho-Wiki

early church teaching: Free Will (14)

       These two, namely, grace and free will, although they seem opposed, in fact are
       complementary ...Were we to deny the one or the other, we would appear to have
       abandoned the Faith of the Church (Conversations with the Desert Fathers, 18).

                                                         John Cassian

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to Candlemas

graphic: Celtic Madonna from the Book of Kells

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1st advent Sunday Collect

Anglican Collect for First Sunday of Advent

 Almighty God,
give us grace that we may cast away
the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life
in which thy Son Jesus Christ came
to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day, when he shall come again
in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost,
one God, now and for ever.

Hilda (614–680)

St Hilda’s Baptism

In 627 King Edwin took the momentous step of accepting the Christian faith. He was baptised on Easter Day 12 April, in a small wooden church, hastily constructed for the occasion, near the site of the present York Minster. The ceremony was performed by the monk-bishop Paulinus, who had come from Rome with Augustine. He accompanied Ethelburga, a Christian princess, when she came North from Kent to marry King Edwin. As Queen, she continued to practise her Christianity and, no doubt, influenced her husband’s thinking.

Hilda was among the nobles and courtiers who were baptised with Edwin. This means that as a girl she must have been aware of the traditions of the Church in Rome and of the existence of monastic life.

Jacob Bohme (1575 - 1624)

  A German Christian mystic and theologian born in April 1575, at Alt Seidenberg.Böhme was the fourth of five children. Böhme's first job was that of a herd boy. When he was 14 years old, he  apprenticed to become a shoemaker. His apprenticeship for shoemaking was hard; he lived with a family who were not Christians, which exposed him to the controversies of the time. He regularly prayed and read the Bible as well as works by visionaries such as Paracelsus, Weigel and Schwenckfeld

 Although he received no formal education he is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. In contemporary English. 

  Böhme had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision  in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil. At the time he chose not to speak of this experience openly, preferring instead to continue his work and raise a family

 In 1610 Böhme experienced another inner vision in which he further understood the unity of the cosmos and that he had received a special vocation from God.

 Having given up shoe making in 1613, Böhme sold woollen gloves for a while, which caused him to regularly visit Prauge to sell his wares

 Twelve years after the vision in 1600, Böhme began to write his first book, Die Morgenroete im Aufgang (The rising of Dawn). The book was given the name Aurora by a friend; however, Böhme originally wrote the book for himself and it was never completed. A manuscript copy of the unfinished work was loaned to Karl von Ender, a nobleman, who had copies made and began to circulate them. A copy fell into the hands of Gregorius Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, who considered it heretical and threatened Böhme with exile if he continued working on it. As a result, Böhme did not write anything for several years; however, at the insistence of friends who had read Aurora, he started writing again in 1618.

In 1619 Böhme wrote "De Tribus Principiis" or "On the Three Principles of Divine Being". It took him two years to finish his second book, which was followed by many other treatises, all of which were copied by hand and circulated only among friends. In 1620 Böhme wrote "The Threefold Life of Man", "Forty Questions on the Soul", "The Incarnation of Jesus Christ", "The Six Theosophical Points", "The Six Mystical Points". In 1622 Böhme wrote "De signatha". In 1623 Böhme wrote "On Election to Grace", "On Christ's Testaments", "Mysterium Magnum", "Clavis (Key)". The year 1622 saw Böhme write some short works all of which were subsequently included in his first published book on New Year's Day 1624, under the title Weg zu Christo (the way of Christ) 

 The publication caused another scandal and following complaints by the clergy, Böhme was summoned to the Town Council .He fell terminally ill with a bowel complaint forcing him to travel home on 7 November. Gregorius Richter, Böhme's adversary from Görlitz, had died in August 1624, while Böhme was away. The new clergy, still wary of Böhme, forced him to answer a long list of questions when he wanted to receive the sacrament. 

He died on November 17, 1624.

adapted from several sources

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hugh of Lincoln (1135 - 1200 )

 Hugh was suited to the monastic life, becoming a deacon at the age of nineteen. About 1159 he was sent to be prior of the nearby monastery at saint Maximus, presumably already a priest. From that community, he left the Benedictine Order and entered the Grande Chatruse then at the height of its reputation for the rigid austerity of its rules and the earnest piety of its members. There he rose to become Proctor of his new Order, in which office he served until he was sent in 1179 to become prior of the Witham Charterhouse in Somerset, the first Carthusian house in England.

Hugh was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln on 21 September 1186 at Wesminster Almost immediately he established his independence of the King, excommunicating a royal forester and refusing to seat one of Henry's courtly nominees as a prebendary of Lincoln, but softened the king's anger by his diplomatic address and tactful charm. As a bishop he was exemplary, constantly in residence or traveling within his diocese, generous with his charity, scrupulous in the appointments he made. He raised the quality of education at the cathedral school. Hugh was also prominent in trying to protect the Jews, great numbers of whom lived in Lincoln, in the persecution they suffered at the beginning of Richard I's reign, and he put down popular violence against them in several place

he began a restoration project at the gothic style Lincoln Cathedralhowever, he only lived to see the choir well begun. In 1194, he expanded the St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford.

As one of the premier bishops of the Kingdom of England Hugh more than once accepted the role of diplomat to France for Richard and then for King John in 1199, a trip that ruined his health. He consecrated St Giles Church Oxford , in 1200. There is a cross consisting of interlaced circles cut into the western column of the tower that is believed to commemorate this. Also in commemoration of the consecration,  St Giles Fair was established and continues to this day each September.  

While attending a national council in London, he was stricken with an unnamed ailment, and died two months later on 16 November 1200. He was buried in Lincoln Cathedral.

compiled from several sources

Celtic Advent begins

 a short liturgy to be prayed each evening of Advent up until the 17th of December when the antiphons begin

Can be accompanied by the lighting of an advent candle or candles 9depending where you are in the advent cycle)

* God of the watching ones,
give us Your benidiction.

* God of the waiting ones,
give us your good word for our souls

*God of the watching ones
the slow and the suffering ones
give us Your benidiction,
Your good word for our souls
that we might rest.

* God of the watching ones,
the waiting ones,
the slow and the suffering ones,

* and the angels in heaven,

* and the child in the womb,

give us your benidiction,
your good word for our souls,
that we might rest and rise
in the kindness of your company

* indicates a change in reader
bold types to be repeated together

Mary and i have used this during advent for years by the way the pictures is that same advent cadles we have, enjoy.. deep peace

taken from Celtic Daily Prayer of the Northumbria Community

check out  Celtic Advent Litug, one of the most popular postings on Living water from an ancient well

Friday, November 15, 2013


Advent comes from the Latin Advenio "to come" the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. The coming of the saviour, the birth of Emmanuel, God with us.

In Eastern Orthodox churches — where it is also called the Nativity Fast, Winter Lent, or the Christmas Lent — it lasts forty days, beginning on November 17. The Celtic tradition coincides with the beginging of the Eastern Orthodox celibration of advent.

In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The earliest Advent can begin is November 27 and the latest is December 3.

Advent ends on December 24 before the Vigil of Christmas (the evening of December 24).

In the evening instead of our compline before retiring we light our advent candle and and recite an advent prayer. Starting the last week of advent, the 17th of December we begin the traditional last week evening prayer.

for more general info on Advent go to
for a Protestant prospective on Advent
for more info on Celtic Advent and Advent traditions go to

photo by b culver

living water reprint from 2008

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Celtic Rising Prayer

Christ be with me,
be after me,
be before me,
and be at my right and left hand.
May everything I do be for Christ.

to be said on rising


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pacificsim and non-violence

Matthew 5:39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Luke 6:27But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Romans 12:19-21Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Colossians 3:11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

1 Peter 3:9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

James 4:12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?

a living water reprint  from 2009

Monday, November 11, 2013

Martin of Tours (316-397)

Martin was born around 316 to pagan parents. His father was a soldier, who enlisted Martin in the army at the age of fifteen.

He recieved a discharge from the army of Rome to become a monk.A community grew up around him in France. Whole areas were transformed by teams of his followers who went out among the people doing good works coupled with the good news of the Gospel.

In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. His was a mainly pagan diocese, but his instruction and personal manner of life prevailed. In one instance, the pagan priests agreed to fell their idol, a large fir tree, if Martin would stand directly in the path of its fall. He did so, and it missed him very narrowly. When an officer of the Imperial Guard arrived with a batch of prisoners who were to be tortured and executed the next day, Martin intervened and secured their release.

Martin was a hermit than a monastic in the tradition of the Desert Fathers. With his communities we have the beginings of a missionary monastic movement that was to characterize early Esetic and Celtic Christianity
The Feast of Martin falls on the Armistice ( remembrance day)which marked the end of the First World War. On it we remember those who have risked or lost their lives in what they perceived as the pursuit of justice and peace.

a living water reprint from 2008

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

Willliam Blake
            From: Songs of Innocence and Experience

William Blake

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Willliam Blake From: Songs of Innocence and Experience
- See more at:

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Old Celtic Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you—
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

An Irish Prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Invocation of Celtic saints ( 5)

Illumine me, you holy ones of God,
you saints of Eire, of Alba and of now,
I cry to you, I supplicate, I pray;
My sins have found me out, my heart is full.
O Holy Padraig (Patrick), pray for me to God
that He may make me worthy, just as you,
that union in the Blessed Trinity
may be my only breastplate and my name.
Now, Blessed Aidan, saint of Lindisfarne,
your holy island calls my name this morn,
light me with all-pure Light, the Christ of God,
as once you shone Him to Northumbria.
Great saint of Alba, Ninian, now cry
with me, I ask of you, apostle be
to me as to the Picts of old you gave
the Prince of Peace to free barbaric souls.
O fair Iona! Saint Columba's home!
I ask you, Holy Abbot Columcille,
to guide me now, please pray for me, my friend,
as now I seek to know th'Annointed One.
Now, Holy Lady, saint of saints and pure,
pray with these ancient ones, these holy Celts
to free my soul from passions strong and deep,
that I may see a vision of your Son.