Saturday, 1 September 2012

Lindisfarne Days - the Sabbath Day

Ita - Heart Mother

Genesis 2:3
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, 

Information on the life of St Ita here

Another early saint and a mother of the church a generation later than Brigid but equally honoured as a 'wetnurse of Christ'. 

Unlike Brigid who appears to have managed to be a 'wanderer of Christ' despite her gender, Ita brings a particularly rooted and maternal influence to the faith,  yet Ita was known to spend much time in contemplative prayer - it is what she brings out of that prayer that 'mothers' her charges. 

As a foster mother of many early saints including Brendan, these young souls benefitted not only from her pastoral care but from her gifts as mystic, healer and soul-friend. 

Her symbol of the celtic heart shaped knot speaks of a rhythm of faith that moves into the heart of the cross and spirals outwards to the heart of the world. 
A rhythm of Love between the Sacred Three - Father, Son and Spirit- that reached out to others in invitation. 
A rhythm of courage and humility that fed the vocations of those that moved out across the land. 

The gift of 'nursing' the Christ child is not given to many  - it is not asked for by many. Once we have given ourselves over to God; we imagine that God needs to be the one in charge; we are His children. 

We are not Jesus' children - our relationship is relational - Jesus enters our time zone so that, at times , we are brother and sister; at other times mother and father. The incarnation brings God into our lives as a newborn; utterly helpless; as we have been. 

How hard is that to comprehend?

Who, finding a baby on their doorstep, would willingly take the responsibility of nursing it; of caring for it; of bringing the child up as their own; of being father or mother? 

Who wants to be responsible for the wellbeing of God?

But isn't that what being a disciple is all about?

The desire to say 'yes'.

it may not be seasonal yet it seems appropriate to remind myself of this one word that opens the heart to all that our faith asks of us: 

Blessed be

For Northumbria Community's Sunday Compline see here


  1. Who wants to be responsible for the well being of God?
    I just love the question and stay with it in delight.
    Thank you.

  2. This post really made me think. I've never thought of God in this way, always saw myself as only His helpless child. The question Claire mentioned remains with me as well.

  3. Thank you for this prayer provoking post. I shall ponder what it means to respond to grace in faith, to act in line with what I believe. We sin when we break relationship with one another, or with God. Yet what does it mean to be in relationship with such a God?

  4. Practice.practice. practice I suppose - and lots of Love.