13th June

Intent On Heaven

Jesus was indicating the way Peter would die and bring glory to God. John 21: 19

Here is an example of the hermit poetry which the Culdee renewal inspired. It takes as its theme Death, one of the ‘four last things’ which Christians reflect upon during Advent:

Alone in my little oratory
without a single human being in my company
dear to me would such a pilgrimage be
before going to meet death.
A hidden secret little hut
for the forgiveness of every fault
a conscience upright
and untroubled intent on holy heaven.
Let the place which shelters me
amid the monastic enclosures
be a beautiful spot hallowed by holy stones
and I all alone therein.

Few of us have the opportunity to reach our end in such an untrammeled, untroubled fashion. Peter the apostle had no such opportunity; tradition says that he was crucified upside down. Yet he teaches us that, whatever the circumstances of our death, we may die intent on heaven alone. Here is a prayer that we may say over our friends, or pray, in advance, for ourselves:

In the name of the all-powerful Father
In the name of the all-loving Son
In the name of the pervading Spirit
I command all spirit of fear to leave you
I break the power of unforgiven sin in you
I set you free from dependence upon human ties
That you may be free as the wind
As soft as sheep’s wool
As straight as an arrow
And that you may journey into the heart of God.