Monday, 31 August 2009

50 Great Prayers

The last day of August must be favoured for new publications. Fifty of the best-loved prayers of the Iona Community, Scotland, have been gathered together by Neil Paynter under the title 50 Great Prayers. They have been published today and include five by Kate McIlhagga, entitled 'Circuit', 'Birth Blessing', 'Moontime of the Winter', 'Go Gently' and 'The Shadow of the Dove'. Kate (Catharine Anne McCrae), 1938-2002, married into the McIlhagga Clan, and was always very proud of the name. In the last ten years of her life she moved to Northumberland, north-east England, on the Scottish border, where she was inspired to write prayer-poems. A collection of most of her writings is published by Wild Goose Publications under the title The Green Heart of the Snowdrop. Here's one of her pieces that didn't make it into the new 50 Great Prayers anthology.

Touch of Love

As winter trees
stretch out bare arms
to a dark sky,
I stretch out
in the darkness
to find the touch of love.

As snowdrops
turn their gentle faces
to the sun,
I long to find
in that warmth
the promise of peace.

As the forest fire
breaks the shell of the seed,
so may my pain
break the shell of isolation
that protects me
from myself.

In the security of darkness,
the warmth of the sunshine,
the promise of fire,
may I blossom anew
in the miracle
of your saving love
O God.

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