The Wide Mind of a Saint
Seeking a Liturgy of the Wild, (Part 31)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
“Out there in the mist and the green and the beasts there is a man that is praying, & everything prays with him. Everything in him prays, everything outside him prays. Holy, holy, holy, lord God all mighty. The horses by the ford are praying, the roebuck by the beech is praying, the blackbird in Kevin’s hand is praying, each in its own marvellous way.”
Photo credit Lucy Cooper
Good morning dear Parish, I find myself back in Ireland on the Medicine House tour, I’m stepping out most nights into a realm of pure imagining with a lively audience of big-hearted poets, boat builders, philosophers, monks and musicians. I am also trying to buy no-more-tweed.
I love this country. I am at ease here. I feel relief here. Friendships emerge all the time, everybody knows everybody else. There is a joining of hands from Galway to Dublin and all the copses between. Of course that’s ridiculous, but that’s never stopped me before. I want to emphasise some discreet warmth that I keep locating.
Of course the saints are in my mind. Especially the irascible ones that first toughed and wondered out the Christian message over here. So today I’m going to re-trace our steps through the story of St Ciaran of Saigir, then also bring in the lesser known St Declan.
Why do I tell these stories of saints?
To refresh us, prod us, bliss us. Because they ring a bell – a bell I call The Dreaming Bell – a bell I’ve followed my whole life, maybe not knowing it. I tell saint stories because there’s love of the earth in them and love of God in them, and one doesn’t cancel the other out. Sounds tragic that I would have to emphasise that, but I do.
TWO STORIES OF BELLS
And the boy had the wonder-eye, everyone knew it.
Two generations earlier he would have been a druid. But he was deep fumed with the Peregrini God and that was that. A native of Clear Island, St Ciaran was a Cork man. Just before his birth, his mother had visioned a star falling into her mouth.