A Prayer of Brendan


“I thank you for this, my God,
I am a traveller and stranger
in the world,
like so many of Your people
before me.

There is a sense of adventure,
of openness to possibilities,
abandonment to God
and expectation
of fulfilling his will.

I accept the responsibility,
I’ll hear and obey,
and trust it is Your voice I hear,
the call of the Spirit,
the cry of the Bird of Heaven.

It is a Yes to risky living…

The sea takes me;
where I do not know,
but I gladly go.
And I can only trust
every word You say,
and obey.”

– Celtic Daily Prayer
Northumbria Community


7 Responses

  1. I confess that I struggle with the sentiment implicit in the phrase ‘a stranger in the world’. The ‘aliens and exiles passing through the world’ theme seems to me to be so very counter to all that the Incarnation seems to affirm and celebrate. So….I don’t feel a stranger and see this life as simply a prelude to ‘real’ existence or as an ante room to the real world.

    But I do love the rest of the imagery – a couple of years ago, for various reasons, I stopped wearing a cross. Now I wear a small sailing galley because It reminds me of a phrase from an Ursula Le Guin novel which, for me, sums up the spiritual journey as

    ‘an unsafe voyage to an unknown end’

    This prayer has the same feel 🙂

    • Brendan was writing out of his journeying. I think it is more a statement of his position as a traveller than his overarching theology of creation.

      I, like you would struggle with that. However, I think Brendan’s prayer is more about his transient position as a traveller leaving one place and heading to another.

  2. Ah – ok, I hadn’t thought of it like that and yes, maybe that does fit better with the feel of the rest of it. I love the way he couches his aquiescence to the lifestyle in terms of ‘accept[ing] the responsibility‘ We have an obligation to cast off and lose sight of the shore, the known, the familiar, the comfortable and safe. And yes

    The sea takes me;
    where I do not know,

    • In the first piece of writing he has this wonderful phrase echoing the disoriented psalms (cf Bruggemann).

      “Christ of the mysteries, can I trust you on the sea?”

      Here he is about to give up everything known and step into the great unknown. The frank honesty is there in plain sight.

  3. Reminiscent also of Gide

    One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time

    I love ‘Christ of the mysteries…’

  4. […] Loved this prayer over on the Changing Worship blog: […]

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