From the darkness

It is easy to see the Celtic Christians in soft-focus. But their prayers show people of depth, who struggled with what we struggle with. yesterday, we had the pastoral idyll at the start of Columba’s prayer. if we read on, the saint gets into much heavier waters. he tells us:
I watch the ebb and flow of the ocean tide; it holds my secret,
my mournful flight from Eire.
The great evangelist has a vulnerable side, which he is ashamed of. He misses home. Perhaps he doesn’t feel safe. He is suffering more than just homesickness. He is haunted by memories of his past. He feels that the sea is chanting his sins and he feels contrite. He reassures himself:
Let me study sacred books to calm my soul;
I pray for peace, kneeling at heaven’s gates.
And then he has a breakthrough. He suddenly knows how to come back to himself and feel more normal again. he decides to throw himself into his daily work and to work for the good of others. It is a recipe that still works, even today. Once again, he experiences some peace in his life , ‘on a peaceful isle…serving the King of Kings’