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November 2011 - A Peaceful Journey

In these modern times journeying to foreign climates is, by and large, safe and enjoyable, refreshing and renewing. It was not always so, for in ancient times it was both dangerous and often deadly. Indeed travellers would make out their wills before departure so that their estate could be dealt with in the event of them not returning.

In the early Christian Celtic conversion of Britain journeying was particularly dangerous. Their treasure was the Gospel of Jesus and their audiences were often hostile. So they would begin their journey and each day thereafter using prayers such as St Patrick’s breastplate: “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in heart of all who meet me”, to ensure that they always travelled in the security of God.

In these modern days the journey of life remains precarious and uncertain for none of us can guarantee our safety beyond the moment we live in. So perhaps it might be a good thing to do as I do by beginning each day with a prayer based on St Patrick’s. It goes like this. “God be on my right to council me, God be on my left to console me, God be behind to defend me and God go before to lead me. God be beneath me to uphold me and above me to bless me in the journey of this day. Amen”

Travel in the peace of God

Jack Booth

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