Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prayer at Dressing


Bless to me, O God,
My soul and my body;
Bless to me, O God,
My belief and my condition;

Bless to me, O God,
My heart and my speech,
And bless to me, O God,
The handling of my hand;

Strength and busyness of morning,
Habit and temper of modesty,
Force and wisdom of thought,
And Thine own path, O God of virtues,
Till I go to sleep this night;

Thine own path, O God of virtues,
Till I go to sleep this night.

From Catherine Maclennan, née MacDonald, crofter, Achadh nam Breac, Moydart.

“My mother was always at work, by day helping my father on the croft, and by night at wool and spinning, at night clothes and at day clothes for the family. My mother would be beseeching us to be careful in everything, to put value on time and to eschew idleness; that a night was coming in which no work could be done. She would be telling us about Mac Shiamain, and how he sought to be at work. If we were dilatory in putting on our clothes, and made an excuse for our prayers, my mother would say that God regarded heart and not speech, the mind and not the manner; and that we might clothe our souls with grace while clothing our bodies with raiment. My mother taught us what we should ask for in prayer, as she heard it from her own mother, and as she again heard it from the one who was before her.

“My mother would be asking us to sing our morning song to God down in the backhouse, as Mary’s lark was singing up in the clouds, and as Christ’s mavis was singing it yonder in the tree, giving glory to the God of the creatures for the repose of the night, for the light of the day, and for the joy of life. She would tell us that every creature on the earth here below and in the ocean beneath and in the air above was giving glory to the great God of the creatures and the worlds, of the virtues and the blessings, and would we be dumb!

“My dear mother reared her children in food and clothing, in love and charity. My heart loves the earth in which my beloved mother rests.”

Quoted from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the Last Century, by Alexander Carmichael (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press 1997), pp. 197, 621.

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