Practice makes the cat and monk skillful illuminators

Thinking about preaching on the story of the Magi… who themselves were turned from darkness to light. This is an old Irish poem written in the margins of an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels by a monk (or student) who was a bit bored. It artfully explains the patient work of a cat hunting mice… and a monk searching the word… to (as the final words say) “turn darkness into light”. Here’s a shortened version…

Pangur Ban

I and Pangur Ban, my cat, ‘Tis a like task we are at;

Hunting mice is his delight, Hunting words I sit all night.

So in peace our tasks we ply, Pangur Ban, my cat and I;

In our arts we find our bliss, I have mine, and he has his.

Practice every day has made Pangur perfect in his trade ;

I get wisdom day and night, Turning Darkness into light.’

via Pangur Ban Poetry Irish culture and customs – World Cultures European.

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