Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Prayer for us from Madeleine L'Engle


    My grandmother, Madeleine L'Engle, was known to be a woman of great faith. This greatness of faith came from her own struggle with it.  Indeed, I believe that she wrote what she needed to hear, hope, believe. In A Wrinkle in Time, we all identify with fear of the threat of darkness, and wonder who or what is going to stand between us and IT.

    It is the same in the books following. This poem below is St. Patrick's Rune from A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which is itself an adaptation of The Lorica of St. Patrick. (Of which it is said that God turned St. Patrick and his followers into deer when they were pursued.)

    Who comes between you and the powers of darkness? I can't even begin to write about what happened on Friday morning, but I can share my struggle and my DESIRE for faith with you - indeed, maybe that is how we can help each other, and hug our own children tighter:  Children lean toward hope and away from cynicism. Let us be childlike, and place this prayer between us and despair.

    St. Patrick's Rune

    At Tara in this fateful hour
    I place all Heaven with its power
    And the sun with its brightness,
    And the snow with its whiteness,
    And the fire with all the strength it hath,
    And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
    And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
    And the sea with its deepness,
    And the rocks with their steepness,
    And the earth with its starkness:
    All these I place
    By God’s almighty help and grace
    Between myself and the powers of darkness!

10 comments:

  1. I have always loved this, from my very favorite of Madeleine's books. Thanks, Lena.

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  2. Your grandmother's writing have been tremendously important to me in my own faith journey, and I have quoted her a number of times in sermons. Thanks for posting this, and so glad to have found your blog.

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  3. This information about A Prayer for us from Madeleine L'Engle is extremely useful for me! appreciation for giving out. it’s all very new and clearly written!

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  5. "St Patrick's Rune" comes from a 19th-century English translation from the Gaelic. Here is a literary source: ISBN: 978-0716526001 The entire Lorica is here, under the title "St. Patrick's Hymn before Tara." This book is Volume Four of the complete Poems ( including translations of poetry in languages other than English, and by other authors) by the native Dubliner, James Clarence Mangan. To my knowledge, the excerpt known as "St Patrick's Rune" almost never appears with Mangan's name in the translator credits. But look at the "Hymn before Tara" and see for yourselves how exactly this English version was taken from the Mangan version for "A Swiftly Tilting Planet."
    This volume was not available in Madeleine L'Engle's lifetime as it has just been released in 1999 by Irish University Press. Mangan's poems, however, have been printed in various editions ever since his death in around 1850.

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