A Celtic Blessing
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work that you do
with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light
and renewal to those who work with you
and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of
refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.
This is a great blessing which I will adopt and use. I love the image that in what we do each day is the opportunity to be a people who are sacred, who are healing and who are light.
Today is the feast of St. Boniface a martyr of the church. This good Englishman who was missionary to Germany was a reflection of reform, of unity and of courage. He was martyred with 52 others on June 5, 755. To protect himself, it is said that he held the Bible over his head. A sword pierced it and killed Boniface. The image is powerful. In his death Boniface’s last defense, his protection was the scripture on which he relied heavily in his life.
I am certain that this man of faith also understood that his every action was a great opportunity to reflect God’s peace. He in fact was baptized Winfrith which means ‘friend of peace.’ We should take heart in the example of St. Boniface that, we too can be missionaries and agents of God’s love and healing as the prayer above reminds us. His mission field was Germany; our mission field is around us. We can reflect Jesus in our homes, our schools, our workplaces and our social gatherings. We can be the church by living the faith we proclaim.
Ten years ago I was ordained Priest on this day at St. Matthew’s Church in Heart’s Delight, NL. It was a big day indeed.
(Much younger Kevin on June 05, 1998)
Did I know what I was in for? Absolutely not! That day was one day on a long journey that beagn many years before and has continued now beyond that day. The days that have followed have brought me many challenges and surprises, and on each step of the journey God has been abundantly present. I have been very fortunate in my priestly life to be present with a community like St. Mark’s by-the-Lake which, I think, lives well the Celtic Blessing atop this article. Like Boniface, there are many here who know how important it is to stay focused on seeking and serving Christ in all persons. ‘The priesthood of all believers’ in this church knows well the benefits of striving for peace and unity among all people. The charge here remains, ‘respect for every human being,’ Boniface wrote in one of his letters "In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a ship pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on course". There are times when we look at the church and wonder if it is all ‘hopeless’ (credit to S.A.S. for that word). But while the church seems battered from time to time by indifference and apathy, and dare I say, even poor leadership, at the same time there are place like St. Mark’s by-the-Lake where the disciples have not abandoned ship but work to keep the church focused on mission not membership, love not judgment, respect for all instead of the respectability of the few, outreach instead of self-preservation, and proclamation instead of silence. I am so fortunate to be part of this place. This place is full of those who minister and who reflect light and hope and goodness. It makes priesthood a great gift indeed. I know it would make Boniface proud. I finish with a prayer attributed to him.
Eternal God, the refuge and help of all your children, we praise you for all you have given us, for all you have done for us, for all that you are to us. In our weakness, you are our strength, in our darkness, you are light, in our sorrow you are comfort and peace. We cannot number your blessings, we cannot declare your love: For all your blessings we bless you. May we live as in your presence, and love the things that you love, and serve you in our daily lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN