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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Remembering and honouring Saint Patrick

Words: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, 1889.
Music: St. Pat­rick (Stan­ford), CharlesV. Stan­ford, 1902

The lyr­ics are a trans­la­tion of a Gael­ic po­em called “St. Pat­rick’s Lor­i­ca,” or breast­plate. (A “lorica” was a mys­tic­al gar­ment that was sup­posed to pro­tect the wear­er from dan­ger and ill­ness, and guar­an­tee ent­ry in­to Hea­ven.) Ce­cil Alex­an­der penned these words at the re­quest of H. H. Dick­in­son, Dean of the Cha­pel Roy­al at Dub­lin Cas­tle:
I wrote to her sug­gest­ing that she should fill a gap in our Irish Church Hymn­al by giv­ing us a me­tric­al ver­sion of St. Patrick’s “Lor­i­ca” and I sent her a care­ful­ly col­lat­ed co­py of the best prose trans­la­tions of it. With­in a week she sent me that ex­qui­site­ly beau­ti­ful as well as faith­ful ver­sion which ap­pears in the ap­pend­ix to our Church Hymn­al.
This hymn can be a chall­enge to sing with­out see­ing the words matched to the notes, but it is a mas­ter­piece ne­ver­the­less.

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Seasons - of life, of body, of soul, of spirit.


How important are the Seasons and how important it is to be aware of them.  

Within our spiritual walk, we greet the seasons.  However, for those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere, it can be very difficult to draw every bit of spiritual juice from a season when its heritage is located firmly and historically in the Northern Hemisphere.  In fact, some of my favourite feasts could benefit from a rethinking in a southern or country specific context.

As well as the spiritual calendar, we have the dominant calendar.  This can be regarded as scientific or as a legacy of a dominant European empire.  

Then, as many of us know, but not all of us realise there are the indigenous, place specific seasons.  

The picture above relates to The Gooniyandi Seasons Calendar.  Please follow the link to find out more.

It should be emphasised that this calendar relates to a specific place or country.  This cannot be applied in every part of Australia - or even every part of tropical Australia.  I think those of us who are gardeners, particularly those who garden for food, realise that even suburb to suburb a few kilometres apart in a city can have different micro-climates.  When frost ceases, when winds come, when vegetables mature. 

As we draw close to the awareness and practicum of the seasons, we are enabled and encouraged to draw closer to our Creator, the Designer of our world.  We can partner with this aspect of Creation to our own benefit.  Let us learn from our Creator, from the original inhabitants, let us listen to the experience of the old hands. 

As much of the world evidences changes in established climate patterns, we still need to learn from the past as new avenues of learning come upon us.  Isn't that like our spiritual journey? We learn, we change, we learn again. Through this we expand our knowledge of ourselves and others.  We learn more of the Creator we worship and the personality who designed all this with us - and other species - in mind.  We experience the seasons of our lives.


Saturday, March 02, 2013

Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, Bungendore, NSW - Upcoming programs

David and Trish Johonson from the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre advise:

There are spaces still available in the following courses:
  • 8-11 March First Nation Peoples Workshop $330 single
The second annual workshop to build on the valuable work of 2012 and develop a strong Quaker witness.

  • 13-16 March Living Life Based on Discernment $355 single
Nadine Hoover and John Michaelis will lead you in the testimony of living in and from the Spirit day-to-day, moment-to-moment.

  • 17-23 March Quaker Ministry of Healing $695 single
We build on the Healing work started with Elaine Emily in 2012, in naming and nurturing our healing gifts among Friends, drawing also on the Earth energy at Silver Wattle.


Much peace
David and Trish Johnson, Centre Co-Directors
Silver Wattle Quaker Centre Ltd ACN 146 723 202
PO Box 337 Bungendore NSW 2621 Phone: 02 62380588


Silver Wattle Quaker Centre hosts a Silent Retreat led by Brendan Caulfield-James 19-25 May 2013