Wednesday, July 14, 2010

O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?

I've been meditating on various scriptures relating to water recently, including Noah building the Arc and Peter walking on water. Trusting God can sometimes seem as scary as walking on water or sailing across the ocean in a flimsy coracle! Saint Brendan the Navigator is famous for his courage at sea - his trust, determination and obedience were so strong, that he is said to have been the first person to sail across the Atlantic! I love the faith and humility expressed in this emotive prayer which is attributed to St Brendan:

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? 
Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?
Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honor? 
Shall I throw myself wholly upon You, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? 
Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?
Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks? 
Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land?
Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? 
Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? 
O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea? 
O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?
(Ascribed to Saint Brendan the Navigator before sailing across the Atlantic.)