loren Eric Swanson: A Small Hut in a Lonesome Spot

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Small Hut in a Lonesome Spot

Yesterday I drove up to Estes Park for a four-day study retreat where I hope to make some serious progress on my dissertation. Through the kindness and generosity of a dear friend, I'm staying in a one room cabin with a Murphy bed --and its a great environment for concentrated study. The setting is beautiful. I look at the window to see the mountains and trees and step out on the deck to smell the pine trees and feel and take in the fresh, clean air. Being here reminds me a bit of St. Manchan's prayer. He asks for a simple hut but then keeps adding to his request. Like Manchan, I have requested Internet access, Starbucks coffee, etc. It's worth the read...

St. Manchan of Offaly's Poem
(Composed Circa 450-550 A.D.)

Grant me sweet Christ the grace to find---
Son of the Living God!---
A small hut in a lonesome spot
To make it my abode.

A little pool but very clear
To stand beside the place
Where all men's sins are washed away
By sanctifying grace.

A pleasant woodland all about
To shield it from the wind
And make a home for singing birds
Before it and behind.

A southern aspect for the heat
A stream along its foot,
A smooth green lawn with rich topsoil
Propitious to all fruit.

My choice of men to live with me
And pray to God as well;
Quiet men of humble mind---
Their number I shall tell.

Four files of three or three of four
To give the psalter forth;
Six to pray by the south church wall
And six along the north.

Two by two my dozen friends---
To tell the number right---
Praying with me to move the King
Who gives the sun its light.

A lovely church, a home for God
Bedecked with linen fine,
Where over the white Gospel page
The Gospel candles shine.

A little house where all may dwell
And body's care be sought,
Where none shows lust or arrogance,
None thinks an evil thought.

And all I ask for housekeeping
I get and pay no fees,
Leeks from the garden, poultry, game,
Salmon and trout and bees.

My share of clothing and of food,
From the King of fairest face,
And I to sit at times alone,
And pray in every place.


At Saturday, April 14, 2007 7:09:00 PM, Blogger Jeff Hetschel said...

that is a pretty amazing view of God, where did you find that eric?


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