An Irish monk's prayer for John 4
In 590, Columban (543-615) left the monastery in Bangor, Ireland and established a community of missionary monks at Luxeuil, France where he served for twenty years. Though he initially found favor with the local king and was given the freedom to preach, he was later expelled by the king of Burgundy for preaching against the king’s immorality. After leaving Luxeuil, he and his monks continued evangelizing other parts of France and Northern Italy.
While meditating on John 4--Jesus' famous encounter with the woman at the well--I ran across this prayer of Columban in Oden and Elowskys' Lenten devotional, On the Way to the Cross: 40 Days with the Church Fathers (Kindle Locations 244-250). He writes:
I beseech you, merciful God, to allow me to drink from the stream which flows from your fountain of life. May I taste the sweet beauty of its waters, which sprang from the very depths of your truth. 0 Lord, you are that fountain from which I desire with all my heart to drink. Give me, Lord Jesus, this water, that it may quench the burning spiritual thirst within my soul, and purify me from all sin. I know, King of Glory, that I am asking from you a great gift. But you give to your faithful people without counting the cost, and you promise even greater things in the future. Indeed, nothing is greater than yourself, and you have given yourself to mankind on the cross. Therefore, in praying for the waters of life, I am praying that you, the source of those waters, will give yourself to me. You are my light, my salvation, my food, my drink, my God.
Columban's meditations on John 4, which include an application of prayer, worship, and renewed perspective are quite worthy of imitation today.
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