Over the last couple of days I’ve had a chance to catch up a little on some reading that I have intended to do for a while. I’m still not where I want to be, but opening up the book on celtic prayers and praying through the first few slowly washed me over and got me going.
Who knows what it is about celtic spirituality that is drawing people in, but there’s even a celtic daily prayer book that I received last May as a birthday gift that has become a treasured addition to our family routine. This book is a little different, it’s called “Celtic Prayers and Incantations” by Alexander Carmichael, a suitably irish name. It’s not really set up as a prayer book more of a collection, and with works like this it is best to take your time. You can read through it in one sitting, but that would be missing the point.
You want to sit and stew in each prayer and get them on your lips and in your head. It’s what all those contemplatives that compare meditation with that wonderful image of ruminates chewing their cud. Nothing like a cow to really get a picture of glassy eyed meditation, but for some reason the image works. Because meditation works best if you are mumbling and chewing over the words focusing on them like you’re learning a new language in which discussing and thinking about God become truly possible.
That’s what you want to do with prayer books.
Take your time.
Pray and talk and listen.
Find the cadence of the book/the prayer/the poem, it’s pulse and resonate with it.
You wont get through the book in a day, but that’s not what you really wanted when you picked up the book, unless you were confused about what reading is really like or just wanted bragging rights.
So here is a section of prayer from the book to ruminate one for a little while:
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,
The will of God,
To do on the world of the Three,
as angels and saints.