TO CALL MYSELF BELOVED

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?
I did.
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”

  1. Joyce Bock says: Reply

    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.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Thank you so much, Joyce–I feel the same way when I hear a word back from you all!…

  2. Teresa Kleber says: Reply

    So beautiful, Heather! I want to live there but with fewer people. Maybe just Jesus!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha, right, Teresa: Note it’s called The Hermit’s Prayer…we solitary types can relate!

  3. Molly McGee-Allen says: Reply

    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.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Beautiful…thanks Molly and Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation…

  4. Beautiful! Also, as per usual your knack for pairing art and story brings it all to life for us readers.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Aw, thank you!

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