Artis Divina - Where Artists find ways to follow God

Monday, March 20, 2006

Some Thoughts on Communion

I couldn't begin to know what your experiences are with your Church life, in the celebration of Communion.

If you are Catholic or Orthodox or the like, you likely take communion every Sunday.

I grew up, and have attended churches that take the elements once a month --- until the Church I attend now, that does it every week. (and in some instances, like a monastery, you may take communion daily.)

Of course, daily or weekly communion can in time, fall into routine, and even contempt, or just the numbness of nothingness. And until my experience with my current Church, I would have preferred once a month, to keep it fresh and full of importance and meaning.

My new church is far from being a liturgically based church, it just takes the elements weekly. And I truly have appreciated this new and more frequently celebrated opportunity. Here’s my thoughts on why that is:

First, the man who speaks and leads this moment in the service, intentionally helps us to slow down, reflect and pray, and re-relate to God in that moment, helping put the Commune in communion. He really helps us to ‘be’ in that moment, instead of it being something to ‘do’, and get over with, so we can leave. It is this granting of unhurried grace to us in the chairs, that this man helps us to simply ‘be’ in those moments in time.

I am truly grateful for this leadership.

Second, this weekly remembrance puts me in a place of communing with my Creator God that is the duality of action and contemplation; ingestion of the elements, combined with mental and spiritual engagement with God in adoration, thankfulness, contrition, and confession. If your heart engages with God, even if it this once a week, it helps to make that connection with God.

And Third, it is this confessional aspect that also is helpful, in that it helps me to keep short accounts with God. Keeping short accounts means that coming to God in confession, helps to keep you from wandering far afield from God’s mind and intentions in your life path. I appreciate that keeping short accounts with God cultivates your communication and intimacy of relationship, and it is especially good for the maintenance of this most precious privilege of relationship.

Lastly, the Church also puts up on the Projection screen an image that acts as a focal point for your mind and medtational thoughts during this time. And Having a visual element in this time is very nice to dwell upon the richness of these significant moments. Sometimes it is a Stained glass image of Christ, sometimes it is a Cross image. But I appreciate this visual component immensely.

I pray that you can think of new ways to keep the celebration of communion fresh and vibrant.

Only by His Marvelous Grace,

Paul Kiler

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick's Breast-Plate prayer

Many many people have thought how beautiful this prayer is, you may as well... And this I post in his honor today.

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate",
is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism.

The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today

The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,

The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,

The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,

The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today

The virtue of the love of seraphim,

In the obedience of angels,

In the hope of resurrection unto reward,

In prayers of Patriarchs,

In predictions of Prophets,

In preaching of Apostles,

In faith of Confessors,

In purity of holy Virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today

The power of Heaven,

The light of the sun,

The brightness of the moon,

The splendour of fire,

The flashing of lightning,

The swiftness of wind,

The depth of sea,

The stability of earth,

The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today

God's Power to guide me,

God's Might to uphold me,

God's Wisdom to teach me,

God's Eye to watch over me,

God's Ear to hear me,

God's Word to give me speech,

God's Hand to guide me,

God's Way to lie before me,

God's Shield to shelter me,

God's Host to secure me,

Against the snares of demons,

Against the seductions of vices,

Against the lusts of nature,

Against everyone who meditates injury to me,

Whether far or near,

Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues

Against every hostile merciless power

Which may assail my body and my soul,

Against the incantations of false prophets,

Against the black laws of heathenism,

Against the false laws of heresy,

Against the deceits of idolatry,

Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,

Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today

Against every poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against death-wound,

That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the fort,

Christ in the chariot seat,

Christ in the ship,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ecce Homo

This is a favorite engraving of mine, although I yet to have a copy of it... (it's not really too expensive), and I'm not even sure why it is that I am so drawn to it, but it speaks to me.

Since this is Lent, it's an appropriate time to have this image in our minds... and it's a good image to meditate upon. Click on the image for a little larger copy to view.

Grace and Peace to you, Paul

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