God’s Fire Kindled in Our Hearts – A Morning Prayer

I am working on a set of morning and evening prayers for reflection and meditation. Some like this one are based on Celtic prayers and their connection of prayer to every part of life. Kindling the fire was a very important part of the day that invited the fire of the Spirit into their lives.
Lord may we enter this day..003I am working on a series of morning and evening prayers which I thought you might enjoy.

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The Celtic Way of Prayer

The Celtic Way of Prayer

The third book I read this last week is The Celtic Way of Prayerby Esther de Waal. I have read this book a number of times over the last 10 years and never fail to gain fresh insights about the Celtic Christian movement and its lessons for us today.

This time I was particularly impacted by the comment:

They saw the world through eyes washed miraculously clear by continual spiritual exercise; they was with “rinsed eyes”. They was with such clarity because the seeing came out of contemplative vision (96).

This concept is one that I need reminding of time and again. Taking time to see the world, with contemplative vision so easily gets lost in the midst of busyness. Living in the present, being alive to the world around, totally listening to God, looking and listening for the sacred in the midst of every mundane act of the day, finding in the world in which we live the reflection of God’s invisible world, these are the things that I keep coming back to.

A couple of days ago in my post Am I Fully Recognized for What I am I wrote: for Celtic saints all of life was organized in light of spiritual realities. It was the same for the Trappist monks I wrote about yesterday. The centre of all things is meant to be the spiritual reality of our relationship to God. It is this that should control our time, our rhythm of life, our use of resources.

As I continue my journey this is the focus of my thoughts. The questions that keeps revolving in my mind is: What would it be life to give myself totally to God? How can I organize my time, my habits, my thoughts and actions to become instruments of spiritual formation? I hope that you will continue to walk the journey with me. And to guide me today I pray this prayer – one version of St Patrick’s prayer known as “the deer’s cry”

This day I call to me;

God’s strength to direct me,

God’s power to sustain me.

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s vision to light me,

God’s ear to my hearing,

God’s word to my speaking,

God’s hand to uphold me,

God’s pathway before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

In the Power of the Triune God

Celtic cross Mayne Island

One of the spiritual disciplines that is really helping during this season of my life is the writing of prayers. Celtic Christians believed that life was embraced on all sides by God and that God was present alongside, behind, before, above and below. They experienced God as guest, fellow traveller, friend, fellow worker, brother, companion and comforter. This has certainly been my experience over the last couple of weeks.

I hope that you enjoy this prayer I wrote a couple of days ago with these thoughts in mind.

I will enter this day

In the power of the triune One.

God of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding.

Ignite within me a fire of love,

Its flame in my heart for all to see.

Let it shine for neighbours

And be generous to strangers.

Let I express compassion for friends,

And show forgiveness to foes.

Let it reach the lowliest creatures that live

And exalt Christ’s name which is highest of all.

This day and every day

Triune God,

Creator of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding,

Ignite within me a fire of love.

Lord, let us walk into this Day.

I uploaded this prayer on Facebook a couple of days ago. It is one that I have found comforting during this challenging time. Because of its popularity I decided to repost it here with a photo added – enjoy.

Lord let us walk into this day - small.001.001

Sunday Morning Liturgy For Celtic Retreat

Wish I was at the Celtic retreat today where they will be finishing with this liturgy. I am heading home to Seattle from Sydney instead. Lots of memories, lots of tears, much to remember and think about.

Godspace

Our annual Celtic retreat is over, one of the best we have ever had. Jeff Johnson’s beautiful chants and music are still with me as I unpack and prepare for the coming week. Those of us who stayed through the weekend finished out time together with this liturgy.

As this day begins Christ be with us,

Be in our hearts and in our minds,

Be in our souls and in our spirits,

Be in our thoughts and in our desires.

As this day begins Christ walk beside us,

Show us the love only you can give,

Show us the light only you can provide,

Show us the wholeness only you can reveal.

As this day begins Christ surround us,

Circle us with your presence,

Keep protection near and danger far,

Bring us the assurance of your love.

Pause for a time of silent reflection on the glory of God.

Lord…

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Celtic Retreat Evening Prayer

The MSA 22nd Annual retreat begins tomorrow evening on Camano Island. There is still time to consider attending, just email me for directions and pay at the site. However for those, like me who are too distant there are other ways to enter into the spirit of the event. Consider reading along with the liturgies which I will post over the next few days. We begin with evening prayers Friday evening, this year using the same prayers as last year.

Godspace

The retreat is only a few days ago. We are pulling out our tents, packing our bags and getting ready to head up to Camano on Friday. So many of you have told me that you wished you could come that I thought I would share some of the programme with you. (More to come next week). Hopefully you can be with us in spirit if not in person. For those that are undecided there is still time to sign up.

Here is the prayer that we will begin with on Friday night – a prayer to prepare our minds for a time of thanksgiving and gratitude towards God.

 

 

Friday Evening Prayers

God we gather this night to thank you for the many blessings in our lives,

We praise you for your generous goodness new every day,

To you our God we offer praise and thanks.

God…

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Walking is For Naming

Iona pilgrims - Sarah Bingham

While I sat beside my mother lost week I read to her from the book In Search of Sacred Places: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands. She loved the story of Iona and Columba often asking me to keep reading even after my voice was hoarse and I wanted to stop.

One reflection from the book really stood out for me.

Everything on Iona has a name. each physical feature of the island has been part of a specific human experience and therefore thought worthy of bearing a name….

These many names are a testimony to the human scale of life on Iona. As the scale of physical size diminishes as one travels to the island-England, Scotland, Mull, Iona-the scale of individuals and spiritual significance increases. Walking is the maximum desirable speed for seeing things fully enough to name them. And when we name things we begin to value them. No wonder we want to be named and known. (37)

To really see and fully enter into the world around us we must walk not run or drive. And when we walk we want to name everything and everyone.  We say hello to the people we meet, we look at the flowers and mention them by name, we watch the birds and identify the species. We even like to give our own names to landmarks we pass and houses we enjoy.

To give something an appropriate name that reflects its nature, we must be able to see it fully. To continue appreciating it we need to slow down and notice, not once but regularly. Only in walking or in stillness is this possible.