9th January

The Journey To True Contentment

At any time I am content, whether I am full or hungry.
Philippians 4: 12

Not every one could leave home or job for God’s sake in Celtic times, nor is everyone called to do so now. But many people long to experience what life is like as a pilgrim who goes into exile from life’s comforts. If we share this longing, we, too, can walk to holy places in the simplicity of God’s creation, or undertake an inner journey of vigil, fasting and prayer.

The point of this journey is that life’s excess baggage, which we cannot take with us into eternity, might be discarded, and that the inner compass by which we can be guided might be uncovered.

We often spend our lives running away from this call, in the fear that if we are stripped of worldly securities there would be nothing left, or we would not know contentment. Be assured that, if we are truly open to whatever is God’s best for us, we will find deep contentment.

In this poem the warrior king asks his brother Marvan why he has given up his top job and feather quilt in order to live as a hermit. This is Marvan’s answer:

Beautiful are the pines which make music for me unhindered.
Through Christ I am no worse off at any time than you.
Though you relish that which you enjoy exceeding all wealth
I am content with that which is given me by my gentle Christ.
With no moment of strife, no din of combat such as disturbs you,
thankful to the Prince who gives every good to me in my hut.
Early Irish Poem

All that I have I offer to you
All that you wish, I leave behind for you
Wherever you lead, I will follow you
So help me God.
Lead us on our journey
To places of resurrection
To dwellings of peace
To healings of wounds
To joys of discovery.