Ireland Prayer Garden Opens

This week my Ireland tour took me to a prayer garden, nine relatives, an eco-hermitage and two music bands.

What a privilege to dedicate a new Prayer Garden in Ireland’s County Carlow. Stella Durant wrote this article about it for The Aidan Way

Our Founding Guardian Revd Ray Simpson has a lovely gift of being able to inspire people with seed thoughts and creative suggestions. Years ago I showed him a little park with a Holy Well in it, near a river and a church. He said: ”That would make a good prayer-walk”. I never forgot those words over the years and now the idea has come to fruition although it has evolved somewhat differently as a prayer-garden rather than a walk owing to the need for insurance and wheelchair accessibility. Twenty local people of all churches and none joined the three work parties I held; some trees were cut down, gravel paths laid and thinned, water-lilies planted in the pond and lots of perennial plants. Four polished granite benches were cemented in place and nine stands with plaques. The plaques had. -on a background of sky and clouds - wording to cause reflection. One quoted Jung “Bidden or not bidden God is present”, and the other eight reflected on the various objects nearby. The wording for these reflections were inspired by the example set by Ray in his early booklet "Give Yourself a Retreat on Holy Island”. The Gate: A gate can let people in or keep them out. Do we open the gate of our heart to God willingly? Or do we keep it shut against him? What is the blockage here? The Tree: Based on the strength of being strongly rooted the tree reaches up for heaven.Where are your roots? Are you reaching for heaven? The Ground: The ground on which Moses stood at the Burning Bush was holy ground and he had to take off his shoes. Could all ground be holy now that the feet of the Son of God have trod on it?. How will this change our attitude to the planet we live on? The Seats: These seats are places for you to pause and reflect; to keep silent and still and to experience the peace that is in this place; they are places to allow God to speak to us in the deepest part of ourselves The Holy Well; St Mogue’s Holy Well cures warts. What inner wounds or scars do we bring to Jesus to be healed? The River: Water satisfies our thirsts. What deep thirsts has the world failed to satisfy in us, and have we turned to the living water that is Jesus? The Bridge: A bridge connects what is divided. What bits of us are still unconnected and needing a bridge? Who or what will be a bridge for us? The Celtic Cross: Here have a reminder that the cross of Christ, representing the total love of God for us all, intersects the whole circle of our lives. How does this affect our daily living?

Then there were visits to two more God developments. The first was the visit by my sister Sally and I (after wonderful private days with relatives) to our brother’s new church complex in Union Quay, Cork City. It is called The Upper Room, and has been developed with the compensation money paid to them after their former premises suffered compulsory purchase for a new shopping centre. The Upper Room has a banner that says ‘Jesus heals broken hearts’. Next door a doctor’s surgery put up this notice: ‘We heal everything else’!

The second God development was a visit to Solas Bhride at Kildare. Two valiant sisters have opened a new eco-friendly hermitage and centre. It is heated and lit entirely from sun and earth heat. There they keep Saint Brigid’s ‘eternal flame’ lit and celebrate the festivals of the Celtic Year. They asked us to pray for health, donations and recruits. Please add your prayers for this.

Now I am at Gorey with Beki and Randy Kerkman who are preparing a New CD to accompany their forthcoming USA tour. Tonight Kylie and Sam Horner join us for a meal.

Posted at 06:20am on 20th May 2017
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