Sunday, August 28, 2016

From My Nature Journal: Deep Peace – A Blessing in the Celtic Style

Much of my recent blog writing has been newer essays rather than ones written in the past. But these new writings come only as I receive them from God, and since I’ve not been inspired in the last month to write a fresh piece, my typical modus operandi when it comes time for a post is to look back on my older writing and see what catches my spirit as pertinent to today.

Wow, was I caught.

It is a highly stressful time for us. Just this week we’ve put our Colorado home on the market, and before next week is finished we’ll travel to Washington State to purchase a new home, though we know not where. Add to these the delight of a U-Pack move some time in the next two months, beginning to resettle somewhere, and all the regular responsibilities of life and work, all while we remain open to a new ministry call, and it becomes clear just why we are feeling the strain. Of course, we are constantly seeking to keep it all in perspective, knowing we are safely in God’s care, but the pressure still can build.

How glad I am that I went back to the well, all the way back to the third entry in my old leather journal, dated April 2008. At the time I was taking classes for a certificate in spiritual direction. As part of that experience we were assigned to attend a workshop on a related subject of our choice. Celtic spirituality had long been an interest, so, living in Omaha then, and seeing a workshop offered on that subject not too far away at the Sophia Retreat Center in Atchison, Kansas, I booked it and attended.

I enjoyed it very much. The presenter, after giving the history of the movement and highlighting its characteristics, challenged us to try writing some things in a more Celtic style. What is that style? I’ve blogged before on it, and you can take a look at this post or this one if you’d like to see, but suffice it for now to say that a couple of the characteristics of Celtic spirituality are the practice of giving and receiving blessings and of seeing God in creation. One afternoon while wandering the grounds, I wrote this blessing, "Deep Peace."

Peace to you, deep peace.
Peace of the morning sun to you, deep peace of the flowing brook.
Peace of the quiet forest to you, deep peace of the soft rain.
Peace of birdsong to you, deep peace of the whispering pine.
Peace of midday shade to you, deep peace of a gentle breeze.
Peace of the wave’s rhythms to you, deep peace of the sunset’s color.
Peace of moon’s whiteness to you, deep peace of the shining stars.

Peace to you, deep peace.
Peace of a child’s held hand to you, deep peace of a friend’s blessing.
Peace of a mother’s kiss to you, deep peace of a beloved’s embrace.
Peace of a clear conscience to you, deep peace of the Lord’s forgiveness.
Peace of holy discernment to you, deep peace of divine direction.
Peace of satisfying labor to you, deep peace of a job well done.
Peace of a cool drink to you, deep peace of an evening’s rest.

Deep peace of the love of God,
Deep peace of the presence of the Holy Spirit,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you this day, and every day.

This blessing is an important gift to me today, this month, and this season of our lives. Just praying it through again these last couple of hours since ‘rediscovering’ it has helped bring a calmer standpoint in the midst of the frenetic activity and transitions that are before us.

I pray there is some greater reason than
my own need of it that God brought it
back to me to share with you today…

But I also pray there is some greater reason than my own need of it that God brought it back to me to share with you today.

Be at peace. Be blessed. 
RGM, August 24, 2016

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