A few misc notes from the Celtic saints

From my earlier notes from the Celtic anthology I read earlier this year:

What is best in the world? To do the will of it’s maker. What is this will? That we should do what he has ordered, that is, that we should live in righteousness and seek devotedly what is eternal. How do we arrive at this? By study. We must therefore study devotedly and righteously. What is our best help in maintaining this study? The Intellectus, which probes everything and, finding none of the world’s goods in which it can permanently rest, is converted by reason into the one good which is eternal.

-St. Colombanus, an Irish missionary who founded several Celtic rule monastaries in France and Italy in the 7th century

One day Maedoc and another disciple named Molaisse were sitting at the foot of two trees, and they loved each other very dearly. “Ah Jesus,” said they, “is it Thy will that we should part, or that we should remain together to the end?” Then one of the two trees fell to the south, and the other to the north. “By the fall of the trees,” said they, “it has been revealed that we must part.” Maedoc fared south, and built a monasery at Ferns, and Molaisse fared north, and built a monasery at Devenish.

(From the Lives of the Irish Saints)

Two stanzas from the Altus of Columba

Ancient of Days; enthroned on high!
The Father unbegotten He,
Whom space cantaineth not, nor time;
Who was, and is, and aye shall be:
And one-born Son, and Holy Ghost,
Who co-eternal glory share;
One only God of Persons Three,
We praise, acknowledge, and declare.

Day of the king most rightous,
The day is nigh at hand,
The day of wrath and vengeance,
And darkness on the land.
Day of thick clouds and voices,
Of mighty thundering,
A day of narrow anguish
And bitter sorrowing.
The love of women’s over,
And ended is desire,
Men’s strife with men is quit,
And the world lusts no more.

A different translation of the famous poem by St. Patrick here. This is a different version than the one I usually see (the one I am teaching my kids.) This one seems more literal and not quite as good overall, but certain lines are more potent.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate, or “The Deer’s Cry”

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgement of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of the Cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of the resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak to me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me,

From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From every one who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today,
Against poising, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So there come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye of every one who sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.