Our animal guardians

We are all stuck indoors. Some of us have the joy of animal friends for company, I no longer call them pets. My daughter wasn’t at all well yesterday and the our cat wouldn’t leave her side. We have taken to calling the cat Florence Nightingcat. They know! For the Celts, God and Creation were intrinsically linked.

Jesus took great comfort when he was in the wildness from the wild animals around him. Like my little cat, ministering to my family, the animals ministered to him. The following is a paragraph from one of my new books which should be out quite soon.

Thou King of the moon and sun,
Thou King of the stars beloved,
Thou Thyself knowest our need,
O merciful God of life.

The Celtic story is full of wonderful tales of the Celtic saints developing strong and lasting bonds with animals and forming deep friendships with them. It is interesting that in Mark’s Gospel Jesus too formed great bonds with animals during his time in the wilderness. Ian Bradley in The Celtic Way reports that St Serf had a pet robin and a lamb that followed him around and raised a dead pig to life. Ciaran was helped in the graveyard by a tame wild boar that helped him to dig the graves. In time he employed the boar as his servant. St Cuthbert had his life saved by wild animals on a number of occasions and the sea otters would dry and warm his legs when he had been praying all night in the water.

So today, I am thankful for my animal friends and I am going to go in the garden and see if I can see the robin who hangs around every day. I am going to be thankful for the world we live in and on and pray for all of those people who are ministering to us.

Go well. Be kind.

Steve

This morning I saw a robin

Isn’t the weather lovely? I am watching my friend the robin hopping around outside the door. beautiful.

In this uncertainty I remind myself that creation is good and we live on a beautiful planet. I like this from the great theologian of the Celtic Christians, Pelagius.

Look at the animals roaming the forest; God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the birds flying across the sky: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the tiny insects crawling in the grass: God’s spirit dwells within them. Look at the fish in the river and the sea, God’s spirit dwells within them. There is no creature on earth in whom God is absent.

When I feel low and worried I get great comfort from going into the garden and looking at the wonder of nature. There is an old ninth-century prayer that goes like this:

Let us adore the Lord,
Maker of marvellous works,
Bright heaven with its angels,
And on earth the white-waved sea.

Go well. Stay safe. Be kind.

An angel makes an appearance

Hi folks. I hope you are keeping well. As ever, call me on 07873 434617 if you are feeling a bit lonely or anxious or just want to chat.

Here is a very short message from me. It is a little reflection on the Annunciation – tomorrow is the day we celebrate it. The angel showing up caught Mary by surprise – which isn’t surprising. Mary’s reaction is a great help to us.

Message of the week: 23 March 2020

It feels today that we are on an uncertain path. The Celtic Christians knew all about that, that’s why so many of their prayers are about journeys. Try this one.

God, bless to me this day,
God, bless to me this night,
Bless, O bless, Thou God of grace,
Each day and hour of my life;

God, bless the pathway on which I go,
God bless the earth that is beneath my sole,
Bless, O God, and give me Thy love,
O God of gods, bless my rest and my repose.

Let’s keep praying for all those who are working in the emergency and care sectors. They are our heroes.

The start of the week

Friends, I am taking the Celtic blessings and prayers from a very interesting place. Alexander Carmichael was a tax collector in the Highlands and islands of Scotland in the late 19th, early 20th Century. On his travels, he began taking notes of all the prayers and sayings her heard from the locals. He realised that these were in fact very ancient words and had been handed down orally through the generations. The book is called Carmina Gadelica. Thankfully it runs to 600 pages so we shouldn’t run short of material! I think there is huge power in these lovely blessings and prayers. The people who uttered them lived through times of terrible danger and fragility – not least because of plague. Go well. Steve

I love this one

The peace of God, the peace of men,
The peace of Columba kindly,
The peace of Mary mild, the loving,
The peace of Christ, King of tenderness

Be upon each window, upon each door,
Upon each hole that lets in light,
Upon the four corners of my house,
upon the four corners of my bed.

Thoughts on Mothering Sunday

Hi friends. I hope that you are remaining well. My number is 07873434617 – ring if you need any help.

I am very blessed to still have my mum. Like so many mothers she has dedicated her life to others and has always been there for us. Today we honour mothers. The reading for today is very pertinent.

Just before Jesus went to the cross he had something important to deal with. he entrusts his mother into the care of his friend John and he entrusts John into his mother’s care. he doesn’t see his mum as a pastoral case. instead he foresees old and young being a blessing to each other. That is as true now as it was then. Please do have a listen to my very short talk.

Message of the week: Mothering Sunday (22 March)

Todays short Celtic blessing is this.

May God make safe for you each step,
May God open to you each pass,
May God make clear to you each road,
And may He take you in the clasp of His own two hands.

For all Mother’s (and parents)

Hi friends. I hope that you are keeping your spirits up. We will get through this. I found this beautiful mother’s blessing for her daughter as her child makes her way on a journey.

Listen, fair daughter of my love, to me
Torn with love between keeping thee
And bidding your heart
From my heart depart.

To win the dream I cannot see.
Whatever thy tomorrow
of sun or sorrow
May God go, comrade at your side
His arm your strength
his love your shield
Against chance’s barb or change’s tide.

Steve

Today’s jewel

May the blessing of light be on you – light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.