Showing posts with label Celtic Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celtic Christianity. Show all posts

Monday, December 21, 2020

Christ in Darkness ~ Christ in Light

"Christ, come to me; Christ be with me.
Christ, go before me; Christ behind me.
Christ above me; Christ beneath me.
Christ in darkness; Christ in light.
Christ this day within and about me.
Christ with your light enlighten and guide me.
Christ in your saving power redeem me."

Affirming His Presence, by Rev David Adam

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

St. Martin's Lent: Litany For Peace

White Poppies For Peace

We would like to invite all of our friends and associates, who feel called, to join us in prayer on November the 11th, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, praying for the peace of ourselves, our communities, and the world. As is our tradition, we will be offering the Litany For Peace every hour on the hour. Won’t you please join your prayer with ours? 

Litany For Peace By Archbishop Karl PrĂ¼ter 

Leader: Lord, Heavenly Father help us to become peacemakers, that we may be called, "The Children of God." 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Lord, Heavenly Father, help us purge ourselves of those attributes which make not for peace but which set the stage for war. 

All: Lord hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as Thou seest us, or even, as others see us, and save us from all unwillingness to know our infirmities. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: From all hasty utterances of impatience; from the retort of irritation and the taunt of sarcasm; from all infirmity of temper in provoking or being provoked; from love of unkind gossip, and from all idle words that may do hurt, save us, O Lord. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Grant us, O Lord, the strength to obey Thy commandments, that we defraud our brother in nothing. May we never commit adultery or do anything to disturb our neighbor's home or family. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Lord, Heavenly Father, grant that we covet nothing that is our neighbors, neither his house, nor his auto, his bank account, his job, nor anything that is our neighbors. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Heavenly Father, help us to maintain peace within our own households, with our neighbors in our communities, within our own nations, and in the world. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Lord, Heavenly Father we pray not only for the absence of war, but more especially for Thy peace, which passeth all understanding. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace. 

Leader: Lord, Heavenly Father, grant us Christ's wish that we may become One with Him, and with Thee; that in union with Thee, we may desire only what Thou dost desire, and thus come to know Thy perfect peace. 

All: Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace, this day and for evermore. Amen.

St. Martin's Lent

St. Martin and the Beggar
By Alfred Tethrl 1836

As we begin St. Martin's Lent I just wanted to wish every a happy St. Martin's Day!  May the peace of Christ be always with you and may you always choose to follow the Prince of Peace!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Humanities: A Love Affair Begins

Brian Ernest Brown 1986
This blog has been stirring around in my mind and heart for a long time it would seem and in reflection, my love of the humanities has forever been a part of my life I suppose. However, it came into clear focus in my high school humanities class taught by Mr. William "Bucky" Bowman my junior year.

For the most part, I consider my high school years to be a waste of valuable time and something I simply endured because I was forced to.  Had I known then, what I know now, I would have dropped out and taken my GED and jumped straightaway into college.

Ah, but as the saying goes: too soon we get old and too late we get smart.

There were, from time to time, glimmers of light and life beyond those parochial walls and I count my humanities class among them.  Two other endearing and life changing classes were to be found in my four years of Latin and two years of  journalism.

The year was 1986 and my humanities class was a pilot program that had just been introduced to the R12 high school curriculum in Springfield Missouri by Mr. Bowman who worked on the school board as well as taught within the system.  I was giddy to be part of the pilot program at Glendale.

That class opened me to the world in a new way.  It helped to begin my cognitive development in a way that encouraged me to see the interconnectedness of all things, but particularly in regard to the human experience and its development through philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language.

I gained a fuller appreciation of this cognitive awareness when I attended college and more especially, later in seminary.  However, it all started in that little classroom with a teacher that would admonish me, in my yearbook, to work harder in college than I did in high school.

While I have always been an ardent student I have not always been the best student. Mr. Bowman called me dingy but I prefer to think of myself as differentially distracted.

One of the things that struck me most from that humanities class happened on the very first day.  It was my exposure to a quote, which I use on the header of this blog, attributed to Publius Terentius Afer, more commonly known as Terence, a Roman playwright who lived around 170 BC.  It was inside the front cover of our textbook.

"homo sum humani nihil a me alienum puto" ~ "i am human i consider nothing human alien unto me"

I latched onto that quote like a drowning man latches onto a life-preserver.  I wrote it down on a little piece of paper that I used as a bookmark for many, many years.  In fact, it wasn't until this last fall that I finally consigned that little scrap of history to a burn pile in an effort to simplify my life and and to embrace minimalism but that's a story for another time...

That one line quote represented to me then and represents to me now how I saw and continue to see myself.  It continues to guide and inform much of my study, outlook, and life.

As a result, I consider myself a Christian humanist of sorts.  In the world of the Christian Church I would be considered a bit of a heretic suffering from Pelagianism, a heresy named after a Celtic monk, Pelagius aka St. Morgan.

If you'd like to learn more about Pelagius, please follow this link.

In short St. Morgan embraced, as do I, a particular view of creation that focuses on the essential goodness of human nature and the freedom of the human will but that too is a story for another time...

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Scribe in the Woods

The Scribe in the Woods

A hedge of trees surrounds me, a blackbird’s lay sings to me, praise I shall not conceal.

Above my lined book the trilling of the birds sings to me.

A clear-voiced cuckoo sings to me in a grey cloak from the tops of the bushes.

May the Lord save me from judgement; well do I write under the greenwood.

-Ninth Century, Old Irish

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blessing of the Kindling

I awoke to a cold, drizzly, blue, misty morning here on Bear Mountain. I was immediately reminded of two things. We have entered into that “blue time of the year” in terms of not only the church calendar but also in respect to the depression that haunts many folks during the holidays.

Every now and then the fire within weakens and we are left with a cold hearth and a fading memory of warmth and happiness. Please take the time to make a difference in someones life, take the time to care, and take the time to let them know you care. Help kindle their fire anew that the flame of love my grow and radiate within their lives and then spread its warmth to those around them.

Blessing of the Kindling

From the Carmina Gadelica

I will kindle my fire this morning
In presence of the holy angels of heaven,
In presence of Ariel of the loveliest form,
In presence of Uriel of the myriad charms,
Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
Without fear, without terror of any one under the sun,
But the Holy Son of God to shield me.
Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
Without fear, without terror of any one under the sun
But the Holy Son of God to shield me.

God, kindle Thou in my heart within
A flame of love to my neighbour,
To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all,
To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall,
O Son of the loveliest Mary,
From the lowliest thing that liveth,
To the Name that is highest of all.
O Son of the loveliest Mary,
From the lowliest thing that liveth,
To the Name that is highest of all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Harvest Home

Autumn is falling on the Ozark Mountains, the leaves are changing and the air is crisp in the mornings and cool in the evenings.

The last of the harvest season is upon us. The pumpkin patches are full and soon the Great Pumpkin will arise from the Pumpkin Patch, or so Linus Van Pelt would have us believe. (And believe I do!)

In the Celtic tradition we approach the end of the year at Samhain or October 31st and we begin a new on All Saints Day November 1st.

At this time I always reflect over the year gone by. I think of all that has been harvested in my life, that which has been stored for the winter, and that which has withered and died away. Time changes and life marches on. The wheel of the year turns yet again.

Is your harvest greater than your loss? Is mine? Time will tell. Winter cometh.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Patron: Saint Melangell

This website/blog is dedicated to Saint Melangell, a long time patron saint of mine. She’s a wonderful wandering Celtic saint that spent her life trying to make a safe place for folks amongst the thorns, thickets, and brier patches of society and of the world.

The Legend of Melangell and the Hare

There is a legend that survives from long ago, known to Welsh school children who have learned it from their mothers’ lips. The legend concerns a maiden, an Irish girl whose father had arranged for her to marry a chieftain back in 607 CE. She did not want to marry this chieftain – he was old and she was young. She joined a band of Irish hermits who came across the sea to preach the Christian gospels to the Pagan Welsh. The maiden’s name was, in Latin, Monacella. In Welsh it became Melangell. She traveled to the Pennant Valley, in Powys, in the 7th Century and lived in a cave in the hillside.

One day Brochwel, mighty Prince of Powys, was out hunting with his men and his hounds. The hounds raised a hare that took refuge in a thicket. The hounds were urged on but fled howling. Their huntsman raised his horn to his lips and was unable to remove it. On pursuit, the Prince found a young woman standing there – the hare had run under her long skirts to hide. The young woman told Brochwel that she lived in the valley, where she had come to take refuge. The Prince was so impressed by the young woman’s godliness, that he granted her the valley as a sanctuary for people and animals. Here she founded a religious community.

Another Account Of Saint Melangell

The Life of Saint Melangell of Wales (+ca. 590) ST MELANGELL (whose name has been latinised as Monacella) is interesting because the incident for which she is known is a Welsh version of one that is known in various forms in several European countries. She appears in the pedigrees as a descendant of Macsen Wledig (the usurping Roman emperor Magnus Maximus), and according to her legend her father was an Irish king (probably Scottish, in its later meaning, is intended). She vowed herself to God, and when pressed to marry fled to the part of central Wales called Powys, where she remained hidden for fifteen years.

Then one day the prince of Powys, Brochwel Ysgythrog, came hunting in her neighborhood, and pursued a hare into a clearing of the forest where Melangell was at prayer. The hare ran for the shelter of her garments, and turned to face its pursuers from a fold of her skirt.

Brochwel urged on his hounds, but they drew off, howling; the huntsman tried to wind his horn, but it stuck mute to his lips; and Brochwel approached the girl for an explanation When he had heard Melangell’s story of herself, he made her a present of the land on which they were standing as a “perpetual refuge and place of sanctuary”, in recognition of God’s protection of the ” little wild hare” in the shadow of His servant Melangell.

Accordingly she lived the rest of her life there, another thirty-seven years, gathering a community round her which she directed as abbess. But it was also a meeting-place for hares, who never showed any fear of their protectress, so that they came to be called “Melangell’s lambs”.

The church of Pennant Melangell in Montgomeryshire claims to stand on the site of this happening, and it formerly contained St Melangell’s shrine. It still has some medieval carvings relating the story of the hare, and the shrine chapel at east end.