27th November

Welcome From The All-Teeming Sea

You welcome those who find joy in doing what is right, those who remember how you want them to live. Isaiah 64: 5

About 580 Columba’s friend Cormac-of-the-Sea, afterwards Bishop of Durrow, had a dreadful experiences adrift on the sea after visiting the Orkney and Shetland isles which he evangelised. They were attacked by dangerous sea creatures. Columba became aware of these attacks while he was praying and called the Iona brothers to intercede for a change of wind. There is a long dialogue in Old Irish which is said to have passed between Columba and Cormac when they safely arrived in Iona.

Columba:
You are welcome, O comely Cormac
From over the all-teeming sea.
What sent you forth, where have you been
Since the time we were on the same path?
Two years and a month to this night
Is the time you have been wandering from port to port
From wave to wave. Resolute the energy
To traverse the wide ocean!
Since the sea has sent you here
You shall have friendship and counsel.
Were it not for Christ’s sake, Lord of the fair world
You had merited satire and reproach!
You are welcome, since you have come
From the waves of the mighty sea
Though you travel the world over …
It is in Durrow your resurrection shall be.

Cormac:
O Columcille of a hundred graces…
We shall abide in the West if you desire it.
Christ will unfold his mysterious intentions!

God, eternally awake
may your energies flow through me
God of the rising sap
May I be your sap today

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