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Jesus: The Song of Love

This is the second of three addresses by Carol O’Connor given at a Quiet Day, directed by Carol and musician and spiritual director Cath Connelly, for the Institute for Spiritual Studies. The title of the Quiet Day comes from Psalm 72: ‘Put your ear to the ground and listen.’ The Day was held at St James Anglican Church, Point Lonsdale, on Saturday the 25th of March 2017.

A hedge of trees surrounds me, a blackbird’s lay sighs to me, praise I shall not conceal,

Above my lined book the trilling of the birds sings to me.

A clear-voiced cuckoo sings to me in a gray cloak from the tops of bushes,

May the Lord save me from Judgment; well do I write under the greenwood.

This is one of the earliest extant Irish poems. (Davies 259-60)

In this second address, I want to focus more on our being earthed in God, and on the action of stretching down. The large Celtic stone crosses of Ireland are held steadfast upon the land on stone plinths. This tells us something about being held secure in God. Likewise, God himself has come down to us on earth in the Incarnation and walked amongst us as a person. God knows what it’s like to be one of us. And, like the well the Samaritan woman stood beside when she met Jesus, ours is a faith that we can go down into, to draw up God’s life. This being earthed and being able to go down inside ourselves and draw up, requires a real listening out for God’s presence at work in our lives and in the world. And for the Celtic Christians it meant also a faith that wherever we are on this Earth the Trinity is there encircling us:

The path I walk, Christ walks it. May the land in which I am, be without sorrow.

May the Trinity protect me wherever I stay, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Bright angels walk with me - dear Presence - in every dealing.

From a Prayer Book in the late 8th century (Davies 300)