Sermon preached September 22nd, 2019.
Audio only. Includes scripture texts, sermon, and “Aria” by Michael Helman by the Bell Choir.
“Anam Cara means “Soul Friend.” Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and Cara is the word for friend. In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide. With the Anam Cara you can share your innermost self to reveal the hidden intimacies of your life, your mind and your heart. This friendship cuts across all convention to create an act of recognition and belonging that joins souls in an ancient and eternal way.
In everyone’s life, there is a great need for an Anam Cara, a soul friend. In this relationship, you are understood as you are, without mask or pretention. When you are understood, you are at home.
Qur’an 107 al-Ma’un “Small Kindnesses”
Hast thou seen the one who denies religion?
That is the one who drives away the orphan,
and does not urge feeding the indigent.
So woe unto the praying who are heedless of their prayers,
those who strive to be seen,
yet refuse small kindnesses.
My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people
from far and wide in the land:
‘Is the Lord not in Zion?
Is her King not in her?’
(‘Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
with their foreign idols?’)
‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
and we are not saved.’
For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
not been restored?
O that my head were a spring of water,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
for the slain of my poor people!
Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.” So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.” And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’
Blessing: John O’Donohue
May you be blessed with good friends,
And learn to be a good friend to yourself,
Journeying to that place in your soul where
There is love, warmth and feeling.
May this change you.
May it transfigure what is negative, distant,
Or cold within your heart.
May you be brought into real passion, kindness,
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them, be there for them
And receive all the challenges, truth, and light you need.
May you never be isolated but know the embrace
Of your anam cara.