Breton Fisherman’s Prayer

I had previously heard of the Breton Fisherman’s prayer, which goes along these lines: “O God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.”

I wasn’t aware until very recently that these words come from a poem. I found the poem to be very appropriate for the times we find ourselves in with the metaphor of the overwhelming waves and wind of the sea aptly capturing the fearful nature of the present days.

Here’s the poem in full:

“Thy sea, O God, so great
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
Save as Thy goodness opens paths for me
Through the consuming vastness of the sea.


Thy winds, O God, so strong,
So slight my sail.
How could I curb and bit them on the long
And saltry trail,
Unless Thy love were mightier than the wrath
Of all the tempests that beset my path?

Thy world, O God, so fierce,
And I so frail.
Yet, though its arrows threaten oft to pierce
My fragile mail,
Cities of refuge rise where dangers cease,
Sweet silences abound, and all is peace” (Winfred Ernest Garrison).

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