Shared a loaf of rosemary bread with a homeless man who attends our church…
In the spirit Saint Brigid and her love for those in distress, I’m asking your prayers for the man I shared my last loaf of bread with, and for my hesitancy to give him more than bread. He could use a new sweater (his has gaping holes in the elbows) and a good shave, and probably a good meal in a warm home. Though giving bread to neighbors and strangers isn’t always easy–it also is a very small commitment on my part. I’m feeling prodded to move a bit deeper–and what a perfect time to do that as the feast day of Saint Brigid draws near!
The wheat is on its way and I’m beginning to look toward the eve of January 31st when our family will be weaving Saint Brigid crosses. If you’re interested in weaving a cross at home, I’ve found the wheat from Dale Scott to be extremely easy to work with. I’m not a wheat weaver by ANY stretch of the imagination, but her instructions are simple, and the wheat is clean and smooth and ready to work with… She is currently in the middle of a move from Idaho to Arizona, so shipping may be a tiny bit slower than usual, but there’s still plenty of time to order before the 31st rolls around!
Also there are many tutorials for learning to weave. Last year I posted a video, and along with that post are some written instructions that I found helpful.
Dale also weaves her own Saint Brigid crosses, and I purchased one last year; it is stunning.
If you want to know more about Saint Brigid and her wonderful life, here are some musings about her on my website, and you can also find out more about my children’s book The Life of Saint Brigid: Abbess of Kildare here. She’s worth getting to know.
If you’d like to weave a cross from another material than wheat–it can be done!
So, will you be weaving with me on the eve of 31st?
My patron saint is Brigid of Kildare 🙂 I have a St. Brigid’s cross (made of straw) over my front door. Along with weaving a cross, the other half of the activity is what she was doing while she wove it: sharing the love of Christ by sharing the gospel. Hard to do in this day and age, when competing sects and pseudo-Christian “churches” are much louder and glitzier than such a mundane act. But I’d encourage your readers to help someone weave a new life in Christ, as well as weaving a cross, in order to honor St. Brigid.
Beautifully put, Janet…
It is good to figure out how to help others; I often fail; once I get a job again, I hope to know more of how to do this…
We must not let the time be wasted; Lord have mercy.
Great crosses. One of my daughters is ‘Brigid’. Her real name is Iona so she’s loaded with Saintly vibes. By the way, there’s a great flic out called ‘The Secret of Kells’ that I think you might like if you haven’t already seen it. Technically it’s for children, but it has a few parts that are a bit scary.
And, as for homeless people. Tread lightly. I worked at a homeless shelter for 4 years (actually, it’s the SA on Chapala in SB) and learned MANY a lesson in terms of letting innocent compassion get away with you. Giving homeless people things is great, but listen carefully to your hesitancies. At this point, prayer, bread, and potentially a new sweater are perfect.
I’ll look for that movie… Thanks!
Regarding my desire to help this one homeless gentleman on a deeper level… I’ve already told myself that before I jump in–that I’ll talk with the folks at our church who run the homeless ministry and be open-eared regarding their council. I wouldn’t want my efforts to end up making a tough situation worse… What’s really difficult about this situation is that this man is fervent about his faith, at every service, and has never asked me for anything. When you speak with him, it’s obvious that he’s a bit broken, but aren’t we all? I feel his dedication to our church community warrants my acceptance of him as a fellow member of the parish… Anyway, thanks for your wise, wise words, especially regarding prayer…
Just wanted to pop back over here and finish up the story. The friend I wanted to help-found help indeed! I spoke with him directly about a new sweater and he replied that he loved that “holy” sweater, that it was his church sweater and a beloved part of his wardrobe. So, I asked him if he needed anything else? Clothing? Anything? He quickly said, “I need an apartment.”
Well, I didn’t have an apartment to offer… I said I’d pray…
And, good news! A single man in our parish, whom we had for dinner two days ago, said that he had cleared out a room in his home, and that this man would no longer be homeless–he’s moving in February 1st. God is good…
Yeah, isn’t it funny how little we (well, at least me) focus on prayer? And if I do ‘pray’ about something, it’s usually a short, unfocused, pathetically emaciated prayer. Geesh.
What do you do on the actual feast of St Brigid?
Typically, I usually visit schools on February 1st and talk to the kids about Saint Brigid.
In Ancient Ireland they believed that Saint Brigid visited their homes on her feast day–so they would bake oat cakes and leave them and some butter on their window sills for her… I’ll be doing that this year 🙂 They also would leave ribbons or silks tied to trees, believing that she would come by and touch them and they would then have healing powers given to her from God…
It’s also the day to burn last year’s cross and put up the new one. If she were more celebrated in the Orthodox church, then I would imagine that there would be a liturgy and some Irish food to follow… We’ll be eating Irish that day for sure (I’m a redhead, you know).
Jane, I appreciate your desire to give deeper. My focus for 2011 is to Love. So much of my life is filled with me, and so many of my actions and efforts have to do with getting instead of giving. I am humbled by your “simple” acts of giving bread that you have spent hours laboring over. I wish I were doing that “little.” But maybe this year, through the prayers of others and the grace of God, I can begin giving and loving more. Pray for me.