One summer when I was a child, we stopped by a summer church camp where a cousin of mine was working in the kitchen. We found her peeling potatoes for the evening meal and singing to herself. She told us that this was one of her prayer times, which had previously been a less attractive chore while working in the kitchen. She said that one of the staff had introduced her to a new way of thinking of praying, and that she would never look at prayer life the same. She gave me a copy of the prayer that started her on her new path, which I wish to share with you now:
O my God, since Thou are with me, and it is Thy will that I must now apply myself to these outward duties, I beseech Thee, assist me with Thy grace that I may continue in Thy presence; and to this end, O Lord, be with me in this my work, accept the labor of my hands, and dwell within my heart with all Thy fullness. (Saint Lawrence of the Resurrection)
The early Celts saw God's presence in all things, and I believe that our mental health-as well as spiritual strength-is improved by praying continually throughout our day. In future articles, I will explore how the Celtic way of prayer opens us to talk to God as our "Anam Cara" or Soul Friend, conversing about everything that his happening in us or around us.