THE HERMIT’S PRAYER
Grant me, sweet Christ, the grace to find–
Son of the living God!–
A small hut in a lonesome spot,
To make it my abode.
A little pool but very clear
To stand beside the place
Where all men’s sins are washed away
By sanctifying grace.
A pleasant woodland all about
o shield it from the wind,
And make a home for singing birds
Before it and behind;
A southern aspect for the heat
A stream along its foot,
A smooth green lawn with rich topsoil
Propitious to all fruit.
My choice of men to live with me
And pray to God as well;
Quiet men of humble mind—
Their number I shall tell.
Four files of three or three of four
To give the psalter forth;
Six to pray by the south church wall
And six along the north.
Two by two my dozen friends—
To tell the number right—
Praying with me to move the King
Who gives the sun its light.
A lovely church, a home for God,
Bedecked with linen fine,
Where over the white Gospel page
The Gospel candles shine;
A little house where all may dwell
And body’s care be sought,
Where none shows lust or arrogance,
None thinks an evil thought.
And all I ask for housekeeping
I get and pay no fees,
Leeks from the garden, poultry, game,
Salmon and trout and bees.
My share of clothing and of food
From the King of fairest face,
And I to sit at times alone,
And pray in every place.
–St. Manchan of Offaly, 5th-6th centuries AD (stanzas from a possibly longer poem)
LOOK! I beg you, don’t ever stop looking
because what makes the world so lovely
is that somewhere
it hides a WELL,
a WELL that hasn’t been found yet
–and if you don’t find it, maybe nobody will…
–Antine de Saitn Exupery, The Little Prince
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
Beloved on this earth.
–Raymond Carver, Late Fragment
Blesssed Third Sunday of Lent. Praying for peace, for everyone…
8 Replies to “TO CALL MYSELF BELOVED”
Beautiful thoughts on this first day of Spring. I think there dwells in many of us a little dwelling by water with soulful friends. When I read your writings I feel like I am there.
Thank you so much, Joyce–I feel the same way when I hear a word back from you all!…
So beautiful, Heather! I want to live there but with fewer people. Maybe just Jesus!
Ha, right, Teresa: Note it’s called The Hermit’s Prayer…we solitary types can relate!
Thanks for the share of the Hermit’s Prayer. My mind goes to many happy times, but I am at my happiest in spontaneous prayer.
Beautiful…thanks Molly and Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation…
Beautiful! Also, as per usual your knack for pairing art and story brings it all to life for us readers.
Aw, thank you!