Daily Reflection
April 19th, 2004
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain of Allied Health and Occupational and Physical Therapy
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During the last ten years, I’ve had the privilege of two Celtic retreats in Glendalough, Ireland and Iona, Scotland.  The Celts, of old and today, pray to “God of the Elements.”  You can see why in these holy places.

In Glendalough, standing by the upper or lower lakes, habitat of St. Kevin, in pouring rain with clouds obscuring the nearby Wicklow Mountains, one feels the elements.  You can see the wind whip waves in the lake and hear trees quake.

On Iona, monastery island of St. Columba, standing on a farmer’s hilltop with sheep baying nearby, looking below at waves crashing against the rocky shore, one feels the elements.  Again, it’s stormy and the wind whips its gales.  In both places I prayed to our “God of the Elements” to give me the strength and courage to be best self in my world.

Celts pray to our “God of the Elements” because they are so close to the earth, sea and sky, and feel at one with the universe.  Don’t you feel this oneness sometimes too?  It’s awesome, a rootedness and a challenge.  It’s a oneness with God and the Universe.

This is part of what John speaks of, as we must “be begotten of water and the spirit.”  We are the presence of the Messiah, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our world.  Today our world is full of many stormy elements.  We, who are baptized and confirmed as members of the Christian community, are called to proclaim Jesus’ presence now.  For some of us, this means calling for peace in our troubled political era.  Some are called to be healers of emotionally, or physically, or spiritually hurting people.  Some are called to be leaders of integrity and positive ethical behaviors in businesses and in churches.  Some are called to minister as Moms and Dads and teach their children how to be mature, loving and serving people.

Whatever our call, we often need strength and courage to live our beliefs and values.  Who better to ask for the strength than our “God of the Elements”?  This God who loves each of us deeply and wants us to be Jesus’ ward to our world.  This God’s love for us is magnificent and so, so powerful.


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