Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Celtic New Year Blessing

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth in your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

- John O'Donohue

New Years (8)

The Olde Year Now Away is Fled

(sung to Greensleeves) 13th Century English
Translation By Lawrence Rosenwald
The olde year now away is fled,
The new year it is entered
Then let us now our sins downtread
And joyfully all appear
Let's be merry this holiday
And let us run with sport and play
Han sorrow, let's cast care away -
God send you a happy new year
Come, give us more liquor when I do call
I'll drink to each one in this hall
I hope that so loud I must not bawl
But unto me lend me an ear
Good fortune to my master send
And to my dame which is our friend
God bless us all, and so I end
And God send us a happy new year

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Francis de Sales 1567 1622

“It is love that gives value to all our works; it is not by the greatness or multiplicity of our works that we please God, but by the love with which we do them.”

“We have to do everything for love, not out of force.”

“All the good we do, we do for love of God, and the evil we avoid, we avoid for love of God.”

 “Nothing else purifies the intellect of ignorance and the will of depraved affections better than prayer.”

“The true and solid devotion consists in the constant will, resolve, promptness and activeness to execute what is pleasing to God.”

“If your eye is simple all of your body will be too.”

“Let us not lower our eyes without humiliating at the same time the heart; let not others think we want the last place without truly desiring it.”

“Humility perfects us in what concerns God, and meekness in what concerns our neighbor.”

“We have to allow our minds to be pierced by the thorns of difficulties, and allow our hearts to be pierced by the lance of contradiction; to drink of the bitterness and swallow the vinegar, if this is God’s will.”

“We should perform all our actions by the obligation we owe them or by the simple acceptance of God’s will, and this is to be in calm or in storm.”

“Know that the virtue of patience is what assures us the most perfection.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

St Stephens Day (2)

The Wren Song

(sung on St Stephen's Day, Dec. 26th)
The Wren, the Wren the king of all birds,
St. Stephenses day, he was caught in the furze.
Although he is little, his honor is great,
Rise up, kind sir, and give us a trate.

We followed this Wren ten miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow,
We up with our wattles and gave him a fall
And brought him here to show you all.

For we are the boys that came your way
To bury the Wren on Saint Stephenses Day,
So up with the kettle and down with the pan!
Give us some help for to bury the Wren!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christnsmas Day (7)

St. John Chrysostom: Homily on Christmas Morning

Behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is Born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became He God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassibility, remaining unchanged.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him Angels, nor Archangels, nor Thrones, nor Domination's, nor Powers, nor Principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Since this heavenly birth cannot be described, neither does His coming amongst us in these days permit of too curious scrutiny. Though I know that a Virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this generation I have learned to venerate in silence and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech.
For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works.

What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend.

Nature here rested, while the Will of God labored. O ineffable grace! The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption. For what reason? That coming amongst us he may teach us, and teaching, lead us by the hand to the things that men cannot see. For since men believe that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears, they doubt of that which they do not see, and so He has deigned to show Himself in bodily presence, that He may remove all doubt.

Christ, finding the holy body and soul of the Virgin, builds for Himself a living temple, and as He had willed, formed there a man from the Virgin; and, putting Him on, this day came forth; unashamed of the lowliness of our nature.

For it was to Him no lowering to put on what He Himself had made. Let that handiwork be forever glorified, which became the cloak of its own Creator. For as in the first creation of flesh, man could not be made before the clay had come into His hand, so neither could this corruptible body be glorified, until it had first become the garment of its Maker.

What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infants bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness.

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me.

Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been ¡in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.

Why is this? Because God is now on earth, and man in heaven; on every side all things commingle. He became Flesh. He did not become God. He was God. Wherefore He became flesh, so that He Whom heaven did not contain, a manger would this day receive. He was placed in a manger, so that He, by whom all things arc nourished, may receive an infant¢s food from His Virgin Mother. So, the Father of all ages, as an infant at the breast, nestles in the virginal arms, that the Magi may more easily see Him. Since this day the Magi too have come, and made a beginning of withstanding tyranny; and the heavens give glory, as the Lord is revealed by a star.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

christmas eve (9)

The Darkest Midnight

(from the Kilmore Carols)
The darkest midnight in December
No snow nor hail nor winter storm
Shall hinder us for to remember
The Babe that on this night was born.
With shepherds, we are come to see
This lovely Infant's glorious charms.
Born of a Maid, as the prophet said,

The God of love in Mary's arms.
Ye blessed angels join our voices
Let your gilded wings beat fluttering o'er
While every sould set free rejoices
And everyone now must adore.
We'll sing and pray that he always may
Good people one and all defend
God grant us grace in all our days
A merry Christmas and a happy end.

Voices in the Mist

The time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door
Were shut between me and the sound:

Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate, and now decrease,
Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.
 By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
graphic: Martin Luther's family on Christmas eve 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

a Christmas chant



p. 134

p. 135
HOIRE! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
      Ho! hi! beannaicht an Righ!
      Ho! hi! biodh aoibh.
Buaidh biodh air an tulaich seo,
Na chualas leibh ’s na chunnas leibh,
Air na leaca loma loinnear lair,
      ’S air na clacha corrach cuimir clair,
      Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
Beannaich an taigh ’s na bheil ann,
Eadar chuaill is chlach is chrann
Imir do Dhia eadar bhrat is aodach,
      Slainte dhaoine gun robh ann,
      Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
Gu mu buan mu’n tulach sibh,
Gu mu slan mu’n teallach sibh,
Gu mu liuth dul ’s ceann sguilb ’s an aros,
      Daoine tamh ’s a bhunntair,
      Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!

HAIL King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
      Ho, hail! blessed the King!
      Ho, hi! let there be joy!
Prosperity be upon this dwelling,
On all that ye have heard and seen,
On the bare bright floor flags,
      On the shapely standing stone staves,
      Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
Bless this house and all that it contains,
From rafter and stone and beam;
Deliver it to God from pall to cover,
      Be the healing of men therein,
      Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
Be ye in lasting possession of the house,
Be ye healthy about the hearth,
Many be the ties and stakes in the homestead,
      People dwelling on this foundation,
      Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!

p. 136

p. 137

Iobair dh ’an Ti eadar bhonn agus bhrat,
Eadar chuaill agus chlach agus chrann;
Iobair a ris eadar shlat agus aodach,
Slanadh shaoghal a dhaoine th’ ann,
      Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
      Hoire! hoire! beannaicht e! beannaicht e!
           Ho, hi, beannaicht an Righ,
               Ho, hi, biodh aoibh!
         Beannaicht an Righ,
         Gun tus gun chrich,
         Gu suth, gu sior,
         Gach linn gu brath,
               Ho! hi! biodh aoibh!

from the CarminaGadelica

Offer to the Being from found to cover,
Include stave and stone and beam;
Offer again both rods and cloth,
Be health to the people therein,
      Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
      Hail King! hail King! blessed is He! blessed is He!
           Ho, hail! blessed the King!
               Let there be joy!
         Blessed the King,
         Without beginning, without ending,
         To everlasting, to eternity,
               Every generation for aye,
               Ho! hi! let there be joy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Advent evening Hymn

Come, Sun and Savior, to embrace Our gloomy world,
its weary race,
As groom to bride, as bride to groom:
The wedding chamber, Mary's womb.
At your great Name, O Jesus, now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
All things on earth with one accord,
Like those in heaven, shall call you Lord.
Come in your holy might, we pray,
Redeem us for eternal day;
Defend us while we dwell below,
From all assaults of our dread foe.

Advent Evening Hymn (8th Century)

Monday, November 17, 2014

St Hilda's Birth

We do not know where Hilda was born, but we learn from Bede that her birth took place in the year 614. She was the second daughter of Hereric, great nephew of King Edwin of Northumbria, and his wife Breguswith. Her elder sister Hereswith, married the King of East Anglia. Hilda’s noble status is important in understanding her, but it did not mean she had an easy life.

When she was still an infant, her father was murdered by poisoning while in exile at the court of the British King of Elmet, (in what is now West Yorkshire). It is generally assumed that she was brought up at King Edwin’s court in Northumbria.

Graphic: 7th century Northumbrian kings and Abbesses.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Saints Day (5)

A Litany of The Saints

Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord have mercy on us)

Christ, have mercy on us. (Christ have mercy on us)

Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord, have mercy on us)

Christ, hear us. (Christ, hear us)

Christ, graciously hear us. (Christ, graciously hear us)

God the Father of heaven, (have mercy on us)

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us)

God the Holy Spirit, (have mercy on us.)

Holy Trinity, Blessed Three fold Friendship of the Living God, (have mercy on us)

Holy Mary, Holy Mother of God, (pray for us*)

St. Michael, St. Gabriel,St.

All you holy Angels and Archangels,

St. John the Baptist,St. Joseph,

All you holy Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles,

,All you holy Martyrs,

All you holy Bishops and Confessors,

All you holy Doctors,

All you holy Priests and Levites,

All you holy Monks and Hermits,

St. Mary Magdalen,St. Agatha,St. Lucy,St. Agnes,St. Cecilia,St. Catherine,St. Anastasia,All you holy Virgins and Widows,

All you holy Saints of God, (make intercession for us.)

Be merciful, (spare us, O Lord.)

Be merciful, (graciously hear us, O Lord.)

From all evil, O Lord (deliver us*)

From all sin,

From the snares of the devil,

From anger, and hatred, and every evil will,

Through the mystery of Your holy Incarnation,

Through Your Coming,

Through Your Birth,

Through Your Baptism and holy Fasting,

Through Your Cross and Passion,

Through Your Death Burial and Resurrection,

Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.

In the day of judgment .(We implore you to hear us*)

That You would spare us, That You would pardon us,

 That You would bring us to true penance,

That You would vouchsafe to govern and preserve Your holy Church,

That You would vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate,and all orders of the Church in holy religion,

That You would vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church,

That You would vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,

That You would vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to the whole Christian world,

That You would call back to the unity of the Church all who havestrayed from her fold, and to guide all unbelievers into the light of the Gospel,

That You would vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Your holy service,

That You would lift up our minds to heavenly desires,

That You would render eternal blessings to all our benefactors,

That You would deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren,relations, and benefactors, from eternal damnation,

That You would vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth,

That You would vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,

That You would vouchsafe graciously to hear us,Son of God,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Lord.)

 Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Lord.)

 Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us.)

Christ,  (hear us)

Christ, (graciously hear us)

Lord, have mercy, (Lord have mercy)

Christ, have mercy, (Christ, have mercy)

Lord, have mercy,  (Lord, have mercy)

Finally say the Our Father inaudibly.

Friday, October 10, 2014

teresea of Avlia

Prayer for a Busy Life by St. Teresa of Avila

How is it God, that you have given me this hectic busy life when I have so little time to enjoy your presence? Throughout the day people are waiting to speak with me, and even at meals I have to continue talking to people about their needs and problems. During sleep itself I am still thinking and dreaming about the multitude of concerns that surround me. I do all this not for my own sake, but for yours.

To me my present pattern of life is a torment; I only hope that for you it is truly a sacrifice of love. I know that you are constantly beside me, yet I am usually so busy that I ignore you. If you want me to remain so busy, please force me to think about and love you even in the midst of such hectic activity. If you do not want me so busy, please release me from it, showing others how they can take over my responsibilities.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Richard Rolle 1290, 1349

Richard Rolle Quotes

It behoves thee to love God wisely; and that may thou not do but if thou be wise.

Who breathe where you will, come into me and snatch me up to yourself.

The commandment of God is, that we love Our Lord in all our heart, in all our soul, in all our thought.

For love is a willful stirring of our thoughts unto God, so that it receive nothing that is against the love of Jesus Christ, and therewith that it be lasting in sweetness of devotion; and that is the perfection of this life.

The first is called insuperable, the second inseparable, the third singular.

Thy love is singular when all thy delight is in Jesus Christ and in no other thing finds joy and comfort.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Henri J. M. Nouwen ( 1932 - 1996 )

A split between divinity and humanity has taken place in you. With your 
divinely endowed centre you know God's will, God's way, God's love. 
But your humanity is cut off from that. Your many human needs for 
affection, attention, and consolation are living apart from your divine 
sacred space. Your call is to let these two parts of yourself come 
together again.

You have to move gradually from crying outward - crying out for 
people who you think can fulfil your needs - to crying inward to the 
place where you can let yourself be held and carried by God, who 
has become incarnate in the humanity of those who love you in 
community. No one person can fulfil all your needs. But the community 
can truly hold you. The community can let you experience the fact that, 
beyond your anguish, there are human hands that hold you and show 
you God's faithful love.
 From: 'The Inner Voice of Love' by Henri  J. M. Nouwen

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

King Oswald (605-42)

Oswald in a wall painting in Durham Cathedral

Lord God almighty, who so kindled the faith of King Oswald with your Spirit that he set up the sign of the cross in his kingdom and turned his people to the light of Christ: grant that we, being fired by the same Spirit, may always bear our cross before the world and be found faithful servants of the gospel; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

A Collect (prayer) from the memorial Mass of King Oswald

Saturday, June 28, 2014

IRENAEUS (120-202)

" the greatest way to glorify God is with a life well lived"

Born in Asia Minor, probably Smyrna. He was a disciple of Polycarp who had been mentored by John the beloved. He studied in Rome then became a priest at Lyons at the invitation of the Ponthinus the first bishop of Gaul.

He was sent back to Rome with a message and on his return to Lyons found that Ponthinus had been killed in the persecution. Irenaeus was made the new bishop of Gaul. He remained in the West and died there.
Irenaeus made a later journey to Rome to plead for leniency toward the Montanists and for those Eastern Christians who were threatened with excommunication because they did not observe the Roman date for Easter.

His writings were important in the early development of Christian theology and the development of the Canon. Irenaeus also provides the first explicit witness to a four-fold gospel canon. He was the earliest Father of the Church to systematize the Christian beliefs that would later they the foundation for orthodox doctrine. He is frequently cited by later theologians.

Only two of his works survive—neither in the original Greek. The five-volume Against Heresies establishes Christian doctrine against the Gnostics and incidentally supplies much of our present information on Gnosticism. And the Epideixix or the Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, which is a concise exposition of Christian doctrine.

He is recognized as a Saint by both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.

Monday, June 9, 2014

St. Columba

Kindle in our hearts, O God,
The flame of that love
which never ceases,
That it may burn in us,
giving light to others.
May we shine forever
in Thy holy temple,
Set on fire with Thy eternal light,
Even Thy son, Jesus Christ,
Our Savior and Redeemer.

attributed to Columba of Iona


O Lord, grant us that love which can never die, which will enkindle our lamps but not extinguish them, so that they may shine in us and bring light to others. Most dear Savior, enkindle our lamps that they may shine forever in your temple. May we receive unquenchable light from you so that our darkness will be illuminated and the darkness of the world will be made less. Amen.

                                                     St Columba

Madame Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717)

Love of God

All are indebted much to thee,
But I far more than all,
From many a deadly snare set free,
And raised from many a fall.
Overwhelm me, from above,
Daily, with thy boundless love.

What bonds of gratitude I feel
No language can declare;
Beneath the oppressive weight I reel,
'Tis more than I can bear:
When shall I that blessing prove,
To return thee love for love?

Spirit of charity, dispense
Thy grace to every heart;
Expel all other spirits thence,
Drive self from every part;
Charity divine, draw nigh,
Break the chains in which we lie!

All selfish souls, whate'er they feign,
Have still a slavish lot;
They boast of liberty in vain,
Of love, and feel it not.
He whose bosom glows with thee,
He, and he alone, is free.

Oh blessedness, all bliss above,
When thy pure fires prevail!
Love only teaches what is love:
All other lessons fail:
We learn its name, but not its powers,
Experience only makes it ours.

               a poem by Madame  Guyon

taken from Thirty-seven poems by Guyon translated by William Cowper (1779) from a French collection published in 1722, Poesies et cantiques 

Visit the Living Water bio for Madame Guyon

ST Columba (521-597)

Columba was born into an Irish royal clan and trained as a priest. He travelled preaching and teaching thoroughout Ireland founding several monastries including those at Derry (546) and Durrow (556).
Columba was condemned by a Synod in 561 due to his part in a dispute over the ownership of a copy of a Gospel which resulted in the deaths of many in the battle of Cooldrevne.

Columba asked Finnian if he could make a copy of the manuscript but Finnian refused. Columba, however, was a prince of the O’Neills. A proud and independent minded man he ignored Finnian’s refusal getting up in the middle of the night Cloumba copied a small piece of the manuscript. He repeated this act every night until the cpy was completed. Fiinnian flew into a rage when he discovered what had been don, demanding the copy. Columba who refused and retreated to the country of his tribe.

Finnian appealed to the High King of Ireland who summoned both to appear before him on a set date for the judgement. When they appeared the King’s judgement was "To the cow her calf." Finnian won the judgment but Columba was was determined.

He returned home to his tribe raised an army and marched south. The High King, angry that his judgement had been defied, raised his army and marched north. There was a huge battle. Columba won but 2000 men were killed. Filled with remorse he sought the counsel of his Soul friend who told him he must leave Ireland and win as many souls for Christ as had been lost at the battle. This sentence became known as white martyrdom

In 553 he left his beloved Ireland with a group of twelve and in a self imposed excile sailed for Scotland. He reached the island off Southend on the Mull of Kintyre but he found that when he climbed to the top of the hill he could still see Ireland. As a result he sailed on to Iona. He established the now famous monastic community there and become it's first Abbot.

Blessed with powerful oratory skills and using Iona as a base Columba and his companions travelled widely on the mainland revivng Christianity among the Scots and even managed to penitrate
into Pictland.

Columba made a number of return visits to Ireland. At one such visit he attended a summit of all the kings of Ireland and managed to persuade them to exempt women from military duties
By the time of his death in 597 Columba had succeeded in making Iona the centre of a Celtic church that was very rapidly expanding through out Great Britian.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hospitality (1)

 A Familiar Stranger

I saw a stranger today.
I put food for him in the eating-place
And drink in the drinking-place
And music in the listening-place.
In the Holy name of the Trinity
He blessed myself and my family.
And the lark said in her warble
Often, often,often
Goes Christ in the stranger's guise.
O, oft and oft and oft,
Goes Christ in the stranger's guise.

Celtic proverb  

graphic: Emmaus Road 

living water reprint from 2009

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bless to Me Oh God

Bless to me, O God, 
the moon that is above me, 
bless to me, O God, 
the earth that is beneath me, 
bless to me, O God, 
my wife
and my children
and bless, O God, 
who have care of them.
                                            Bless to me
                                             my wife and my children, 
                                          and bless, O God, 
                                             who have care of them. 
                                             Bless, O God, the thing 
                                             on which my eye doth rest, 
                                             Bless, O God, the thing 
                                             on which my hope doth rest, 
                                             Bless, O God, my reason
                                             my purpose, 
                                             Bless, O bless Thou them, 
                                             God of life; 
                                             Bless, O God, 
                                             my reason and my purpose, 
                                             Bless, O Bless
                                            Thou them, 
                                            Thou, God of Life

reciter: Dugall MacAulay

living water reprint from 2009

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Souls Healer

My soul's Healer,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
On rough course faring,
Help and safeguard
My means this night.
I am tired, astray, and stumbling,
Shield me from snare and sin.

Ancient Celtic prayer collected by Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), published in Carmina Gadelica (Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1992). These are prayers, hymns, and incantations collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the 18th century.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mystical Verse Rumi

When we talk about the witness in our verse, 
we talk about you.
A pure heart and a noble demeanor
cannot compete with your radiant face.
They will ask you 
what you have produced.
Say to them,
except for Love, 
what else can a Lover produce? 

Trans Shahram Shiva
 Graphic: Asha performing her signature sufi fusion dance 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Blessing for the Children

Blessing for the Children

O Thou, to whom to love and be are one,
Hear my cry for them who are more
Thine than mine.
Give each what is best for each.
I cannot tell what that is,
But Thou knowest.
I only ask Thee to love and keep them
With the loving and keeping
Thou didst show to Mary's Son and Thine.

an Irish Blessing for more blessings like this one

 graphic source

living water reprint from 2009

Thursday, May 15, 2014

St Brendan (486-575)

Born in Ireland in 486 known as Saint Brendan the Navigator, he is remembered with extreme fondness for his great sea voyages, which captured the hearts and minds of the people his day and many in the ages since. The stories of his voyages read as part travelogue and part spiritual allegory. He was educated by Ita and ordained by Bishop Erc.

There is a wonderful legend of how he and his traveling companions landed on an small isle that turned out to be a great fish that waited paitently for them to complete their celibration of the Holy Euchurist. It is believed he may have made it as far as North America. He was also responsible for establishing several major monastic communities. Particularly Clonfert in Galaway where he was eventually buried.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Tozer on God & Nature

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

“Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God.”

“The fact of God is necessary for the fact of man. Think God away and man has no ground of existence.”

 “The created world is to be prized for its usefulness, loved for its beauty and esteemed as the gift of God to His children. Love of natural beauty which has been the source of so much pure music, poetry and art is a good and desirable thing. Though the unregenerate soul is likely to enjoy nature for its own sake and ignore the God whose gift it is, there is nothing to prevent an enlightened Christian who loves God supremely from loving all things for God’s dear sake.”
~ A.W. Tozer, The Set of The Sail

God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.”


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Prayer to the Trinty

I am bending my knee
In the eye of the Father who created me, 
In the eye of the Son who purchased me, 
In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me, 
    In friendship and affection. 
Through Thine own Anointed One, O God, 
Bestow upon us fullness in our need, 
    Love towards God, 
    The affection of God, 
    The smile of God, 
    The wisdom of God, 
    The grace of God, 
    The fear of God, 
    And the will of God,
To do on the world of the Three, 
As angels and saints
Do in heaven; 
     Each shade and light, 
     Each day and night, 
     Each time in kindness, 
     Give Thou us Thy Spirit.

Prayer from the Gaelic

 living water from an ancient well reprint from 2009

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beltaine (5)


BLESS, O Threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, and my children,
My tender children and their beloved mother at their head.

On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling,
     On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling.

Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
All kine and crops, all flocks and corn,
From Hallow Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
     From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.

Be the Three Persons taking possession of all to me belonging,
Be the sure Trinity protecting me in truth;
Oh! satisfy my soul in the words of Paul,
And shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory,
     Shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory.

Bless everything and every one,
Of this little household by my side;

Place the cross of Christ on us with the power of love,
Till we see the land of joy,
     Till we see the land of joy,

What time the kine shall forsake the stalls,
What time the sheep shall forsake the folds,
What time the goats shall ascend to the mount of mist,
May the tending of the Triune follow them,
     May the tending of the Triune follow them.

Thou Being who didst create me at the beginning,
Listen and attend me as I bend the knee to Thee,
Morning and evening as is becoming in me,
In Thine own presence, O God of life,
     In Thine own presence, O God of life.

Carmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmicheal, [1900]

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Celtic Christianity Historic Overview (part 4)

After Whitby

The decree of Whitby did not immediately change the whole face of British Christianity. For hundreds of years there were pockets of resistance to the Roman mission, notably in Devon, Cornwall and Scotland. For instance on Iona, the Celtic monastic community was not finally dispersed until the Benedictine Abbey was built in the 13th century.

The period of resistance ( and renewal) was marked by some of the greatest achievements of the Celtic tradition with illuminated gospel manuscripts like the Book of Kells, and high standing crosses with Scriptural imagery on one side and creation imagery on the other. The general picture throughout Britain and Ireland however, was of gradual conformity to the Roman mission. The riches of the Celtic churches spirituality was guarded in the teachings of an oral tradition passed down among the laity for hundreds of years.

Increasingly, and especially after the 16th century Reformation in Britain, the Celtic tradition again met with resistance. The reciting of their prayers was discouraged and even banned because they were regarded as pantheistic and pagan in origin. In Scotland, a combination of Religious persecution and the 19th century Highland clearances, (in which thousands of families were torn from their ancestral lands to make room for large scale sheep farming,) resulted in the fragmentation of the Celtic culture. This loss of the collective memory, meant that the oral tradition began to be lost.

However, even this did not represent the death of the Celtic tradition however. Attempts were made to transcribe and collect the prayers, in Scotland in Alexander Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica (1900) and in Ireland in Douglas Hyde's Religious Songs of Connacht (1906).
Carmichael and Hyde were part of a revival of Celtic art and literature, and others were finding new ways to express the spirituality of the Celtic tradition. Although they had ensured that written copies of some of the prayers were preserved, by the 20th century, their living use had virtually disappeared.

Despite the previous centuries of resistance to the Celtic tradition, the 20th century saw a growing toleration of the Celtic tradition and an increasing depth of appreciation for its spiritual riches, and their applicability for today. This included George MacLeod, who founded of the Iona community in the Hebrides (and was at one time Minister of St. Cuthbert's church). 

Graphic example Celtic Cross and High Tower

reprint of living water article from 2009