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SPIRITUALITY POETRY

OLD ORIGINS
By John O'Donohue

Nothing between us, so near 
I hear your skin whisper 
what you could never tell 
or remember of the longing 
in the clay beneath the oak 
when through the branches 
a lace of light came down 
each day to watch and wait. 
Or the secrecy of the breeze 
dying down over the murmer 
in the earth, hovering there 
to blend its voice to breath. 
Or how, even then, the rain  
through the brow of grasses 
could foreshadow tears 
or a glance of light a smile.
You turn towards me, your eyes 
smile into the silence of these thoughts. 
The wold of your mind is foreign 
Who knows where you are from! 


THINK I’LL THE MYSTERY BE
By Iris de Ment 

Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from 
Everybody is worried about where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done 
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me 
I think I’ll just let the mystery be. 
Some say once gone, you’re gone forever and some say you’re gonna come back 
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour, if in sinful ways you lack  
Some say that they’re coming back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas 
I think I’ll just let the mystery be 
Everybody is wondering what and where they all came from 
Everybody is worried about where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done 
Well, no one knows for certain so it’s all the same to me 
I think I’ll just let the mystery be. 
Think I’ll just let the mystery be.   


BRIDGET CHARM FOR SMOORING THE FIRE (Version I) 

I rake this fire like everyone else Bridgit below it with Mary on top Twelve angels of the angels of the ages Protecting my house till dawn 


BRIDGET CHARM FOR SMOORING THE FIRE (Version II)

May Bridgit give blessing to the house that is here; 
Bridgit, the fair and tender, 
Her hue like the cotton-grass, 
Rich-gressed maiden of ringlets of gold. 

  

BRIDGET HOUSE BLESSING 

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us, 
Lady of the Lambs, protect us, 
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us, 
Beneath your mantle gather us, 
And restore us to memory. 
I am Brigit, the ancient goddess of this Island, breo-saigit, the fiery arrow. 
I am the goddess of fire.  
My breath breaks the icy grasp of winter and brings forth new life. 
My cattle graze in these fields and my milk nourishes generations. 
My fire is the fire of imagination and the fire of poetry. 
Oh yes, I am the goddess of poetry, and where I go, before me is the golden bough and the tinkling bell. 
Yeats and his like all forged their stanzas and burnished their lines in my fire. 
And these wild women 
I am the mother of them all. They are all my daughters. 
It is my fire that burns within their breast. 
It is my fire that warms their hearth and gives them courage. 
This fire that cannot be extinguished is the fire of longing for their destiny. 
I am Brigit, aid-woman of Mary and godmother of Christ himself. 
When there was no room or food, I took great pity on the helpless mother, providing sustenance and helping forth the blessed child. 
Love of family and love of neighbor are my legacy. 
And I am Brigid, abbess of Kildare. 
There is a fire that burns within me, a fire of love - love for the risen Christ. 
I devote myself to the perfection of this love. 
I kept the fire at Kildare, symbol of the ancient, renewed by the love of Christ. 
Though it was desecrated. it could not be extinguished. 
The fire still burns, the light still glows within the soul of Irish women. 
These women are my sisters in Christ. 
Let the ancient prayers of the hearth be raised in the morning. 
God, kindle thou in our hearts a flame of love to neighbor, to foe, to friend, to kindred all. 
And so to the evening, keep the embers alive and protect this house and its people Until the dawn of day.


GABHAIM MOLTA BRÍGHDE (WE PRAISE BRIDGIT) 

Gabhaim molta Bríghde,  
Iníon í le hÉireann 
Iníon le gach tír í,  
molaimís go léir í! 
Lóchrann geal na Laighneach,  
soils’ ar feadh na tíre, 
Ceann ar óigheacht Éireann,  
ceann na mban ar míne. 
Tig an geimhreadh dian dubh,  
gearra lena géire, 
Ach ar lá le Brighde,  
gar duinn Earrach Éireann. 
Molaimís go léir í! 


ENGLISH TRANSLATION (WE PRAISE BRIDGET) 

I sing loudly the praises of Bridget 
She it is who is daughter,  
not just of Ireland,  
but of all the countries of the world. 
A shining lantern of Leinster,  
a flame throughout the land, 
Leader of the women of Ireland,  
one of the finest women ever. 
The hard, dark winter comes,  
short and sharp 
But once Bridget’s Day appears,  
Ireland’s spring is not far behind. 


SAINT BRIGID’S PRAYER 
(10th century Poem attributed to Bridget herself) 

I’d like to give a lake of beer to God. 
I’d love the heavenly  
Host to be tippling there 
For all eternity. 
I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me, 
To dance and sing. 
If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal 
Vats of suffering. 
White cups of love I’d give them 
With a heart and a half; 
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer 
To every man. 
I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot 
Because the happy heart is true. 
I’d make the men contented for their own sake. 
I’d like Jesus to love me too. 
I’d like the people of heaven to gather 
From all the parishes around. 
I’d give a special welcome to the women, 
The three Marys of great renown. 
I’d sit with the men, the women and God 
There by the lake of beer. 
We’d be drinking good health forever 
And every drop would be a prayer. 


1735 POEM FOR BRIDGID'S PROTECTION 

St. Brigid’s cross hung over door 
Which did the house from fire secure 
As Gillo thought, O powerful charm 
To keep a house from taking harm; 
And tho’ the dogs and servants slept, 
By Brigid’s care the house was kept. 


SAINT BRIDE'S CHARM 

The charm put by Bride the beneficient  
On her goats, on her sheep, on her kine  
On her horses, on her chargers, on her herds  
Early and late going home, and from home. 
To keep them from rocks and ridges  
From the heels and the horns of one another 
From the birds of the Red Rock  
And from Luath of the Feinne. 
From the blue peregrine hawk of Creag Duillion  
From the brindled eagle of Ben-Ard  
From the swift hawk of Tordun  
From the surly raven of Bard's Creag. 
From the fox of the wiles  
From the wolf of the Mam  
From the foul-smelling fumart  
And from the restless great-hipped bear. 
From every hoofed of four feet  
And from every hatched of two wings. 


BLESSING OF BRIGIT 

Each day and each night  
That I say the Descent of Brigit 
I shall not be slain  
I shall not be sworded  
I shall not be put in cell  
I shall not be hewn  
I shall not be riven  
I shall not be anguished  
I shall not be wounded  
I shall not be ravaged  
I shall not be blinded  
I shall not be made naked  
I shall not be left bare  
Nor will Dagda  
Leave me forgotten. 
Nor fire shall burn me 
Nor sun shall burn me  
Nor moon shall blanch me 
Nor water shall drown me  
Nor flood shall drown me  
Nor brine shall drown me 
Nor seed of faerie shall lift me  
Nor seed of airy host shall lift me  
Nor earthly beig destroy me 
I am under the shielding  
Of good Brigit each day  
I am under the shielding  
Of good Brigit each night. 
I am under the keeping  
of the Child of Dagda  
Each early and late,  
Every dark, every light. 
Brigit is my comrade-woman 
Brigit is my maker of song  
Brigit is my helping-woman  
My choicest of women, my guide. 


The Mysts of Time

Áine Minogue

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In a concept album as large and the Island of Saints and Scholars itself, Áine Minogue explores the history of Celtic spirituality through music. The Mysts of Time: Chants and Melodies of the Ageless Celtic Lands is the result of her intense personal quest to discover the essence of the Irish spirit, with its rich and varied relationship to the divine.

"There is a large gap between Enya albums, and Áine Minogue fills it capably. She has a fragile, lilting voice that wraps around the mostly Gaelic lyrics like a gently windblown satin sheet. Lushly arranged, this mix of traditional tunes and originals is performed by some of the best players on the new acoustic music scene." BILLBOARD MAGAZINE

“This delicate and "mysty" album, subtitled Chants and Melodies of the Ageless Celtic Lands, intertwines the foggy heath with a church alcove. Aine (pronounced On-ya) interprets plainsong, traditional Celtic religious and secular as well as originals honoring Brigit.

Accompanied by guitar, cello, tabla, fiddle, oboe, bodrhan, mandolin, Irish pipes and a wonderfully rich chorus, her harp and vocal music is lush yet airy, a very lovely feast.” CD UNIVERSE

ALBUM CREDITS Áine Minogue: Vocals, harp, harmonies, percussion William Coulter: Guitar Alasdair Halliday: Vocals and harmony vocals Barry Phillips: Cello, tabla (drum), keyboards Steve Schuch: Fiddle and fiddle arrangements Patrick Hutchinson: Irish pipes, Mance Grady: Bodhrán Shelley Phillips: Oboe, English Horn Paul Machlis: Keyboards Gerry Putnam: Mandolin Klila: Unison vocal (Puer Natus and Christe Redemptor) Scott Trible: Unison vocal (Puer Natus) John Hazen: Unison vocal (Puer Natus)

All music published by Little Miller Music (BMI) for Aine Minogue.

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  1. 1 Breton Song 03:48 Lyrics
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  2. 2 Christe Redemptor 03:20 Info
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  3. 3 Brigit's Feast 02:46 Info
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  4. 4 Kyrie Eleison, An Ghloir, An Phaidir 03:01 Info
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  5. 5 Mal Bhan Ni Chuilionain 03:38 Info
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  6. 6 Keening Song 02:09 Info
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  7. 7 The Mysts of Time 02:32 Info
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  8. 8 McLeans Lamentation 02:55 Info
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  9. 9 Ailiu Eanai 02:40 Info
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  10. 10 Puer Natus in Bethlehem 03:22 Info
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  11. 11 Anach Cuan 06:24 Info
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  12. 12 Doves Return 02:35 Info
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

  

BIBLIOGRAPHY FROM JOHN O DONOHUE (pre-Retreat readings)  

Embers by Sandor Maria 

The Way of Paradox by Meister Eckhart 

Sermons and Treatises by Meister Eckhart 

The Revelation of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich 

The Foundations of the Christian Faith by Karl Rahner 

The Prophetic Imagination by Waleter Bruggemann 
 

CELTIC SPIRITUALITY 

QUESTIONS AND READING LIST FROM JOHN O’DONOHUE 

1. Moment of illumination 

2. What would you like to see from your death bed? What is there that you don’t want? What is not there that you do? 

3. Write a letter to your heart. 

4. What are the seven thoughts that shape your world? 

5. What are the other seven I never even thought of? 

6. What have my chosen seven kept me from thinking? 

7. What are the seven feelings that these seven thoughts are dancing to? 

8. What do I want from my life? 

9. What is the significance of what my soul tells me? 

10. What am I at now that I should stop? 

11. What is the new thing my heart would love? 

12. How can I become truly aware of my great beauty? 

13. List of words you always revert to. 

14. At least ten words which never come near you. 

15. What is my concept of God? 

16. Which tradition do I belong to spiritually? 

17. How much of me is in it? 

18. What can I reawaken in or retrieve from it to address the complexity of my present longing? 

19. Who are the inner friends of your heart? 

20. Whom do you shelter? For whom are you a friend to the heart? 


REVIEWS

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE 
by John Diliaberto 

There is a large gap between Enya albums, and Áine Minogue fills it capably. She has a fragile, lilting voice that wraps around the mostly Gaelic lyrics like a gently windblown satin sheet. Lushly arranged, this mix of traditional tunes and originals is performed by some of the best players on the new acoustic music scene. 

CD UNIVERSE 

This delicate and "mysty" 1996 album, subtitled Chants and Melodies of the Ageless Celtic Lands, intertwines the foggy heath with a church alcove. Aine (pronounced On-ya) interprets plainsong (Christe Redemptor), traditional Celtic religious (both the Christian I nGaol De and the pagan Keening Song) and secular music (Anach Cuan)... as well as originals honoring the goddess Brigit. 

Accompanied by guitar, cello, tabla, fiddle, oboe, bodrhan, mandolin, Irish pipes and a wonderfully rich chorus, her harp and vocal music is lush yet airy, a very lovely feast. 

Aine Minogue has played Irish harp since childhood and sings primarily in Gaelic, her native tongue. Her songs are mythic laments full of cascading harp and gorgeous string orchestration. MYSTS OF TIME is her third album and occupies much more of a traditional realm than other releases. Minogue's inspired reworking of the Celtic vernacular recall an ancient druid past. "Christe Redemptor" and the mass "Kyrie Eleison, An Ghloir, An Phaidir" both draw on her ability to create lushly layered arrangements, sharing many of the same sounds as Enya. "Anach Cuan"'s ominous cello lines cradle Minogue's shimmering vocals. " "I nGaol De" is a repetitious type of invocation, common to the early monks who saw God in everything, especially in nature. Aine Minogue's voice is enchanting and radiant, making MYSTS OF TIME a transcendent experience.