It is ascribed to St. Columba and it speaks about the blessedness of journey. It is essentially a prayer for protection against the unknown -the unknown places where Columba would rest his head and the unknown people he would encounter as he travelled. Some would oppose him, but others would welcome him in -offering their home as his home.
Columba’s prayer so closely mirrors my experience of the journey at the moment, having made the difficult decision to shut the church buildings (see previous posts).
I have encountered opposition (not from within my own congregation) – “poison” has poured from people who really should know better. But more importantly I have encountered great hospitality and grace from my neighbouring congregations in the parish (one Roman Catholic and the other Episcopalian) who have offered their hospitality and support to a congregation without a home… who have made sacrifices to welcome us in.
So this Advent – I hope you encounter “favourable company” on your particular journey of faith and I hope that no one’s poison reaches you
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.
In every dealing I pray them that no one’s poison may reach me.
The ninefold people of heaven of holy cloud,
the tenth force of the stone earth.
Favourable company, they come with me,
so that the Lord may not be angry with me.
May I arrive at every place, may I return home;
may the way in which I spend be a way without loss.
May every path before me be smooth, man, woman and child welcome me.
A truly good journey!
Well does the fair Lord show us a course, a path.
Picture is : tate stairs by Jonny Baker on Flickr