…on Life

“Today I am giving you a choice of life or death: choose life.”

I just listened to a fantastic talk by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Brian McLaren said about the talk that he “gets it right… on life. An amazing article and speech on the ecological crisis and more. In this address, Archbishop Rowan Williams exemplifies the kind of theological mind and heart that I believe are central to ‘a new kind of Christianity.'”

The talk is available to listen to or read here. If you’re short on time, save it for later: the whole thing runs about an hour.

Something he said at the end resonated with some of the reading I’ve been doing on Celtic Christianity and reminded me of some epic storms on Offshore. He talked about restoring a sense of association with our environment and nature so as not to be so disconnected with it and loose any sense of responsibility for it and to do this by going for a walk in the rain and wander through gardens and parks. It is like the poem by St Columba:

Delightful it is to stand on the peak of a rock, in the bosom of the isle, gazing on the face of the sea.

I hear the heaving waves chanting a tune to God in heaven; I see their glittering surf.

I see the golden beaches, their sands sparkling; I hear the joyous shrieks of the swooping gulls.

I hear the waves breaking, crashing on rocks, like thunder in heaven. I see the mighty whales.

I watch the ebb and flow of the ocean tide; it holds my secret, my mournful flight from Eire.

Contrition fills my heart as I hear the see; it chants my sins, sins too numerous to confess.

Let me bless the almighty God, whose power extends over sea and land, whose angels watch over all.

Let me study sacred books to calm my soul; I pray for peace, kneeling at heaven’s gates.

Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fish, giving food to the poor.

Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet, always thanking God.

Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell, serving the King of kings.

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