Anam Cara

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:12-15

During this time of isolation, I find myself thinking about people… loved ones, family, friends… the chancel choir, the bell choir (we’re called the Shore Ringers now!), the congregation of St. Alban’s… the list goes on. I feel both joy and sadness when I think of these people. Joy because of how much they brighten my life, and sadness because I cannot be with them. However, I’m also filled with a feeling of good, excited anticipation! We’re getting through this.
This past week I’ve been reflecting on a specific aspect of Celtic spirituality, and that is the concept of Anam Cara, or Soul Friend. The term was popularized by the Irish author John O’Donohue, and the term is thought by some to have originated in Irish Monasticism where it applied to a monk’s teacher, companion, or spiritual guide. Others attribute the idea of Anam Cara back to the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers of Egypt.
Do you have a soul friend or spiritual guide in your life? Have they helped you through this trying time? Today, I will reflect on and pray for my own Anam Cara, and I invite you to do the same.

 

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St. Alban's Episcopal Church
885 Shore Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Phone: (207) 799-4014
stalbans@stalbansmaine.org