Faith in a Time of Pandemic – Encircled with Love

Faith in a Time of Pandemic – Encircled with Love March 18, 2020

V.
A CIRCLE OF LOVE AND PROTECTION

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7-12)

Yesterday, we focused on St. Patrick’s Prayer of Protection. Today, we experience another gift of the Celtic tradition. The “caim” or “encircling prayer.” This Celtic prayer can be done in your imagination by drawing a circle around yourself or a loved one. The prayer is a reminder that God’s circle surrounds us wherever we are. We always walk within God’s circle of love and protection. Wherever we are, God is with us.

Traditionally, it is done standing up with your right arm and pointer finger extended. Placing yourself in the center of God’s circle, you rotate slowly three times, saying a prayer of affirmation, such as one of the following:
You surround me with your love and protection, O God.
Nothing can separate me from the love of God.
I am always in the circle of God’s love.

With family and friends visualize this circle of love surrounding them, protecting them from all harm and connecting them with you spiritually regardless of distance.

God is, as St. Bonaventure and Nicolas of Cusa affirmed, a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. In life and death, we are in God’s circle of love.

Circle of Love, remind me that I am always in your circle. Your love guides, protects, inspires, and embraces me in every season of life. Amen.

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Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor, and author of over 50 books including “Piglet’s Process: Process Theology for All God’s Children,” “Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job,” and “You are a Mystic: Discovering a God-filled World.”

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