Saturday, February 2, 2019

Brigid of Kildare

Yesterday, February 1, was her feast day.  Here are some interesting words and pictures, taken mostly from the website of the Brigidine nuns in Australia.

Sr. Aloysius McVeigh rsm
I am haunted by this icon of Brigid, and rightly so,since  "an icon seeks to reveal spiritual messages and meaning that lie beneath the surface reality."
Sr. Aloysius explains some of the symbols she chose to include in the icon:  "   The sword reminds us of Brigid giving away her father’s precious sword to a poor person so that he could barter it for food for his family. Brigid’s foot on the sword signifies her renunciation of wealth and her abhorrence of violence.
A perpetual flame burned in Kildare in pre-Christian times and was kept alight by Brigid and her nuns until the 16th century. In the Christian tradition the flame is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Brigid had a deep respect for all creation. Animals played a significant role in many of her legends, cows and sheep being particularly associated with her. Perhaps most encouraging for us among all the legends, is the parable of her cloak spreading over the Curragh of Kildare. "

Brigid's Cloak       - painting by Barry Maguire

In honour of St. Brigid (composed by Rev. Liam Lawton for the Brigidine Bicentenary Mass, 1st February, 2007.)
In hearts we wonder where love is found.
We keep on searching, our quest abounds.
From darkest valleys to brightest skies,
Through all of creation we are inspired.
For God is near us, and never far,
God’s place of resting is every heart.
So let us journey to the end,
With hands now open to foe and friend.
To light the darkness and seek for hope,
To fight for justice as prophets spoke,
And in creation your wisdom know,
Your sign and symbol,
The acorn and the oak
In places darkened by fear and war.
We speak forgiveness to every heart.
The poor, the lonely, the ones who mourn,
Will find us waiting with open doors,
For God is near us and all who weep,
Our Lord and Shepherd who never sleeps
There is no future that we can build,
Without love’s presence and be fulfilled
To build a new world where hope is born
Where lives once broken will watch the dawn,
For God is with us to hold and heal,
No longer strangers, our God is near.
The God of history calls us to be
The voice of freedom so all can see
The flame of Brigid to light the way,
The words of Daniel echo in prayer,
So may they guide us as Saint and Friend,
Our own companions till journey’s end

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