Celtic Christians lived an intertwined life of work and prayer, knitting the two together in such a way that the work of the day became the prayer of life.
In her book, The Celtic Way of Prayer, Esther De Waal explains the Celtic practice of work and prayer. “… there was no separation of praying and living; praying and working flow into each other, so that life is to be punctuated by prayer, become prayer.”
Morning hygiene happened slowly and in the name of the Trinity as each palm of water was splashed upon the face.
The palmful of the God of Life,
The palmful of the Christ of Love,
The palmful of the Spirit of Peace,
The task of making the bed became a time of prayer as seen in this Irish prayer, one of many collected in 1906 by Douglas Hyde.
I make this bed
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
In the name of the night we were conceived,
In the name of the night we were born,
In the name of the day we were baptized,
In the name of each night, each day,
Each angel that is in the heavens.
Alistair MacLean recorded this prayer in Hebridean Altars for days when our workload seems overwhelming or dull.
Even though the day be laden
and my task dreary
and my strength small,
a song keeps singing
in my heart.
For I know that I am Thine.
I am part of Thee.
Thou art kin to me,
and all my times
are in Thy hand.
And finally, this prayer from Hebridean Altars:
Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm, I say to Thee, “Lord, why am I here? What is there here to stir my gifts to growth? What great things can I do for others—I who am captive to this dreary toil?” And seven times a day Thou answerest, “I cannot do without thee. Once did My Son live thy life, and by His faithfulness did show My mind, My kindness, and My truth to men. But now He is come to My side, and thou must take His place.”
What comes out of your heart and mouth as you work your way through your day?
In Him Together, Susan Gaddis