devotions note

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It was said by some wise old monk in some source I can’t remember there are two types of spiritual seekers. One begins with discipline and through this attains contemplation. The second begins with contemplation and then discovers the bounty of discipline. Most “religious” folks so called are, in my opinion, likely the former. They hold the practices themselves in the highest regard. Those who are “spiritual” are mostly the latter. They believe in spirituality but too often disregard the established patterns which can deepen one’s insights.

Oddly enough I’m very much the latter myself. Christianity, to me, is a dance with the Spirit of the Living God, an individual and communal relationship which more often than not is sharpened better in the beauty of a forest than in a concrete carpeted church. However, my being this way isn’t enough. The truly mature have both discipline and contemplation.

So I regularly have to find ways to make up for my inherent secondary interests, rising and falling in my ordered spirituality which oddly enough seems to have no direct relationship with the rising and falling of my contemplative spirituality. Sometimes I am urged towards discipline because of a waning inner life, sometimes because of a waxing (the moon kind, not the hair removal kind — I have no experience testing how that kind might affect my spiritual life).

Likely it has something now to do with all the reading on sin I have been doing, and thus the readings about how to fight it. I got to looking for a good devotional and found one that, for me, hits the spot. It sets up for 3-4 times of daily liturgy and reading, and includes two smaller readings as well. Plus, there are special prayers and liturgies for special events or places.

It’s nondenominational so I don’t run into the sorts of theological barriers that sometimes hit me when I use similar such prayer books. Plus, it’s Celtic themed. I bought the Celtic Daily Prayer book, but it has also been partly put online by those who wrote the book.

With this I also got a copy of the Carmina Gadelica, which is a (one might say the) collection of ancient Celtic prayers and hymns. It used to be six volumes in both Gaelic and English. Now they’ve put a version out with just the English translations in one volume. Fine inspiration this.

I am praying and appealing to God,
The Son of Mary and the Spirit of truth,
To aid me in distress of sea nd of land:
May the Three succour me, may the Three shield me,
May the Three watch me by day and by night.

God and Jesus and Spirit of cleansing
Be shielding me, be possessing me, be aiding em,
Be clearing my path and going before my soul
In hollow, on hill, on plain,

God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Be shielding and saving me,
As Three and as One,
By my knee, by my back, by my side,
Each step of the stormy world.

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