Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

End of Brendan's Voyage

3843. After that, then, they reached the land which they had been seeking for the space of sevenyears, even the Land of Promise: as it is in the proverb, Qui quærit inuenit. Now, after they had come nigh that land, and they desired to take harbour there, they beard the voice’ of a certain old man, and this he said to them: O ye toilsome men, O hallowed pilgrims, O folk that entreat the heavenly rewards, O ever-weary life expecting this land. stay a little now from your labour’ So after they had been for some time silent, yon old man said to them: ‘Dear brothers in Christ,’ saith he, ‘why do ye not take this noble, beautiful land, wherein a human being’s blood bath never been spilt, and wherein it is meet to bury sinners or evil men? So leave ye all in your vessel everything that ye have, except a little raiment round you, and come from below.’ Now after they had landed, each of them kissed the other, and the old man wept exceedingly with the greatness of the joy. ‘Search ye and see,’ saith he, ‘the plains of Paradise, and the delightful fields of the land radiant, famous, loveable, profitable, lofty, noble, beautiful, delightful. A land odorous, flower-smooth, blessed. A land many-melodied, musical, shouting for joy, unharmful. A place wherein Ye shall find,’ saith the old man, ‘health without sickness, delight without quarrelling, union without wrangling, princedom without dissolution, rest without idleness, freedom without labour, luminous unity of angels, delights of Paradise, service of angels, feasting without extinction, avoidance of pain, faces of the righteous, partaking of the Great Easter. A life blessed, just, protected, great, loveable, noble, restful, radiant, without gloom, without darkness without sin, without weakness, in shining incorruptible bodies. in stations of angels, on plains of the Land of Promise. vast is the light and the fruitfulness of that island, its rest, its lovableness, its dearness its stability, its security (?), its preciousness. its smoothness, its radiance, is purity. is lovesomeness, its whiteness, its melodiousness. its holiness. its bright purity, its nobleness, its restfulness. its beauty, its gentleness. its height. its brightness. its venerableness, its full peace, its full unity! Happy he who shall be with well-deservingness and with good deeds, and whom son of Finnlug shall call into union with him, on that side,’ saith the old man, ‘to inhabit for-ever and ever the island whereon we stand!’.

3873. Now after they had seen that paradise among the waves of the sea, they marvel, and wonder greatly at the miracles of God and His power and they honour and glorify the Lord after seeing those mighty miracles.

3876. Now thus was the holy old man: without any human raiment, but all his body was full of bright white feathers like a dove or a sea-mew. and it was almost the speech of an angel that he had. After the striking of his bell the Tierce is celebrated by them. They sin. thanks to God with their mind fixed on Him. They durst not ask anything, and they receive their spiritual instruction of him at the uplifting of the gospel.

3882. This then was the preaching that Peter and Paul and the other holy apostles most often used to make, as preaching of the punishments and of the rewards, for they were displayed to them in the same manner. This, then, is the preaching that Sylvester, Abbot of Rome, made to Constantine, son of Helena, to the over-king of the world, in the great assembly when Constantine catered Rome to Peter and to Paul. This is the preaching that Fabian, Peter’s successor, made to Philip, son of Gordian, King of the Romans, when he believed in the Lord, and when many thousand others believed there, and he was the first king, of the Romans who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. This, then, is the preaching which Elijah is wont to make to the souls of the righteous under the Tree of Life in Paradise. Now, when Elijah opens the book for the preaching, then come the souls of the righteous in shapes of bright white birds to him from every point. Then he first declares to them the rewards of the righteous, the happiness and delights of the kingdom of heaven, and at that time they are exceedingly rejoiced. Then he declares to them the pains and punishments of hell and the banes of Doomsday. Manifest exceedingly is a countenance of sorrow upon themselves then, to wit, on Elijah and on Enoch: wherefore those are called the Two Sorrows of Heaven’s Kingdom. Then Elijah shuts his preaching-book. The birds then make an exceeding great wailing, and beat their wings against their bodies till streams of blood come out of them for dread of the pains of hell and of Doomsday.

3899. Now since it is the souls of the saints, whose lot it is to inhabit for ever the kingdom of heaven, that make that lamentation, it were meet for the men of the world, though they should shed tears of blood expecting Doomsday, in quo die mala erunt. Now there will be many evils and tribulations on that day, that is, on the Day of judgement, in quo die Judex justus sua suis reddet: impiis pænas, præmia justis. Then will the Lord pay to every human being in the world his own wage. Punishment He hath for the sinful, reward for the righteous. Then the sinful will be cast into the depth of the eternal pain. and the lock of God’s word will shut them up under hatred of tile Judge of Doom. Then the saints and the righteous the folk of charity and of be carried to the right hand of God the Father, to inhabit the kingdom of heaven for ever. Then they will abide in that great glory. in the unity of the Godhead and the Manhood of the Son of God: in the unity that is nobler than any unity, the unity of the holy, noble, almighty Trinity, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.

3912. I beseech the high, almighty God, through saint Brenainn’s intercession, may we all deserve that unity, may we reach it, may we dwell therein for ever and ever!

Betha Brénnain (Life of Brenainn)
Source: Book of Lismore
Translator: Whitley Stokes
Date of Translation: 1890



Post a Comment

<< Home

Hit Counter
Internet Service Provider