Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ireland: Faith, Family, Kinship and Hospitality by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

I have many happy memories of my childhood when our family (my mother, Bridie, my Dad, Jack, brothers, Patrick and Sean) lived  in a cozy gray cottage in Coolkerry, County Laois, Ireland. We emigrated to the United States in 1956.

Here I am at the bog in Clonmeen, County Laois
Standing with the stacked turf. Turf or peat, 
is the fuel used in fire places. 
I enjoy sitting in front of a turf fire.

Each night before retiring, our family knelt around the hearth to pray the rosary. My mother, Bridie, who was devoted to the Blessed Mother and and a member of the  "Child of Mary" League, always finished our prayer with the "trimmings" -also known as- the Litany of Loreto. 

 Before I left for Ireland this summer, I started reading When Mary Becomes Cosmic by David Richo. In this wonderful book Dr. Richo makes connections between Mary and the deepest archetypes of the psyche, relating the mystical titles of Mary in the Litany of Loreto to our soul journey. I took the book with me to Ireland, and made the connections between my Irish heritage and the deep mystical spirituality that is embedded in Irish psyche. 
 I have come full circle. I experienced Irish hospitality and kinship everywhere I went- with relatives and friends, with Catholics who celebrated liturgy in Dublin, and with strangers who were gentle and kind including members of the media who interviewed me for an article in the Irish Times, the Ray D' Arcy Show and Midlands Radio. 

 The cows in the emerald green fields, the vibrant, wild flowers, and the rugged seas reflect the beauty of the Creator and nurture my soul. Just being there is a spiritual tonic for my soul that affirms my oneness with  the cosmos.

As I reflect on the Litany of Loreto, this familiar prayer sparks a new interest in Mary of the Cosmos and in my call to be a vessel of the divine presence in our world. Some of the titles are: Mirror of Justice, Cause of our Joy, Vessel of Spirit, Mystical Rose, Tower of David, Tower of Ivory, Gate of Heaven, Ark of the Covenant, Comforter of the Troubled etc.)

David Richo writes: "The Litany of Loreto is a map of the far flung

and inner territories of ourselves in the cosmos. We are those who pass through the gate, and we are the gate through which revelation passes through the world...

Mary is the gate through which Jesus-Divine Consciousness- entered the world. Mary is the middle world gate through which we enter the sacred world of spiritual consciousness. ..

By your grace, may I be the gate of heaven on earth."( pp. 104-107)

As we live joyously, love tenderly and serve generously, we will be the gate of heaven on earth. 

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, 

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