Dear All,


Last week we included a piece of John O’Donohue’s writing about Circles.  We are going back to him this week as, in the context of the Circle of Life, he reflects on ageing.  He refers to Celtic spirituality & so the other attachments are associated with the Celtic people and their spirituality.


So for our blessing this week, we have a celtic one – it comes from ’Light in our Darkness’ – a Margaret Rizza CD.


With our love to you all,


PS For those who join us for Evening Prayer: we will be away from Saturday 8 July for a week so no EP on Sun 2, Mon 3, Thurs 4, (and Frid 5th Community only).  Back for Sunday 15th.




John O’Donohue

The circle brings perspective to the process of ageing.  As you age, time affects your body, your experience & above all your soul.  There is a great poignancy in ageing.  When your body ages, you begin to lose the natural and spontaneous vigour of your youthfulness.  Time, like a bleak cloud, begins to indent the membrane of your strength.  It will continue to do that, until gradually it empties your life completely.  One of the most vital questions that affects every person is:  can we transfigure the damage that time does for us?  Let us pursue this question by first exploring our kinship with nature.  Since we are formed from clay, the rhythm of the seasons outside in nature is also active within our own hearts.  We can learn much, therefore, from the people who constructed & articulated in sisterhood with nature, namely, the Celtic people.

Even though the body ages, diminishes, becomes frail, weak and ill, the shelter of the soul around the body always  embraces that fragility tenderly.  As your body ages, you can become aware of how your soul enfolds & minds your body; the panic and fear often associated with ageing falls away.  The soul is a great consolation & shelter.  Ageing is so frightening because it seems that your autonomy and independence are forsaking you against your will.  To the young, old people seem ancient.  When you begin to age yourself, you realise how incredibly quickly time is moving.  In fact the only difference between a young person at the height of their exuberance and a very old person at a very frail and empty physical level is time.



Celtic Sensuousness

John O’Donohue

The world of Celtic spirituality is completely at home with the rhythm and wisdom of the senses.  When you read Celtic nature poetry, you see that all the senses are alerted: you hear the sound of the winds, you taste the fruits and above all you get a wonderful sense of how nature touches human presence.  Celtic spirituality also has a great awareness of the sense of vision, particularly in relation to the spirit world.  The Celtic eye has a great sense of that interim world between the invisible and the visible.  This is referred to in scholarship as the ‘imaginal’ world, the world where the angels live.  The Celtic eye loves this interim world.  In Celtic spirituality, we find a new bridge between the visible and the invisible; this comes to expression beautifully in its poetry and blessings.  These two worlds are no longer separate.  They flow naturally, gracefully and lyrically in and out of each other.



Some  Celtic Prayers & Reflections

When morning in russet and saffron clad

Is mantling the hills in a dew-soft plaid,

To the song of the moorland two-wings glad

 Let my heart upraise.

When light creeps in through the chinks of the door,

When the mist ascends from the mountain floor,

When the ocean simmers like burnished ore,

 Let me give the praise.

O God of the morning, Christ of the hills,

O Spirit, who all the firmament fills,

O Trinity blest, who all goodness wills,

 Keep us all our days.

G.R.D. McLean


Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm, I say to thee,

        ‘Lord, why am I here?  What is here to stir my gifts to growth?  

         What great thing can I do for others – I who am captive to this dreary toil?,

And seven times a day thou answerest,

        ‘I cannot do without thee.  Once did my Son live thy life, and by

         his faithfulness did show my mind, my kindness, and my truth to men. 

But now he is come to my side, and thou must take his place.’

Hebridean Altars


Light of the World

Light of the world,

Enter into the depths

of our lives.

Come into the dark

and hidden places.

Walk into the storehouse

of our memories.

Hear the hidden secrets

of the past.

Plumb the very depth

of our being.

Be present through

the silent hours,

And bring us safely

To your glorious light.

David Adam