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St. Kevin & the cow

October 13, 2012

These last few posts I know have been pretty autobiographical. Sorry ’bout that. I hope to be on to more interesting topics soon but there’s just a few that I had to get out. This is another one.

St. Kevin as the story goes was an Irish monastic who set up a hermitage on a farm. Every day one of the farmer’s cows would come to Kevin and lick his feet while he was praying. Gross right? Well, turns out that acted as some sort of blessing and the cow produced more milk than any other cow the farmer had. As any good businessman would the farmer followed this cow around to try to figure out what had increased the production to this unusual but very pleasing level. So he followed the cow for a day and the cow led him to St. Kevin. The farmer was so pleased he asked Kevin to instruct his family in the ways of Christ. Kevin agreed to this and before long others came and a monastery with a church was established on this farmer’s land. Over time and under Kevin’s influence the site became so popular that it became a city, the city of Glendalough in Ireland. It remains a city to this day (1500 years later!) and has been a popular destination for Christian pilgrimage for hundreds of years.

Ray Simson, a prolific author and expert in Celtic spirituality, told me this story near the end of our recent pilgrimage to Ireland and Scotland. One of the core ideas I wrestled with on that trip was integrating my calling as a minister and my calling as an entrepreneur. I’m sure he sensed this as we talked and he told me this story about St. Kevin’s special ability to make things more productive – the very definition of an entrepreneur!

And it took on special significance when I remembered that I had written  about my business being a cow over 5 years ago!

+++ Lord, I ask for the gifting of St. Kevin – to help things produce well beyond their normal capacity and out of the overflow may your kingdom come more fully and Christ’s name be known and praised more broadly. Amen. +++

St Kevin, pray for me as I pray for my business, neighborhood and this city. Amen.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. larrybourgeois permalink
    October 13, 2012 2:56 pm


    I awoke this morning and while still partly asleep I read your St Kevin and the Cow thoughts. I attempted to comment on my iphone and I think ended up with my comments being sent before I finished and edited my comments… I am not sure how to retrieve or modify those comments I made. Could you send that back to me (cut and paste to email>) so I can use a desktop PC to re-edit and re-send what I wrote? Thanks. I would be very interested in getting together with you and exploring the spiritual entrepreneurial track… it is deep and wide within the social-spiritual enterprises of many of the Saints that chose to “sustain and missio” in ways that weren’t “reactionary” and “anti-matter….” The great architecture, music and arts, cuisines and medicine and spiritual practices and theological and liturgical beauty we have inherited did not come from the “anti-business, anti-matter, anti-intellectual, anti-beauty domains…”

    Blessings Larry Bourgeois 513.604.1542 cell and

    • October 13, 2012 3:07 pm

      Hey Larry, I’d love to get together!! I didn’t see anything of an earlier comment coming from your iPhone… I’ll look around but so far nothing has posted… hope your insights were not lost and if they were that you can re-create them. Talk soon.

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