In doing some genealogy work for a family reunion, I discovered that I have some Irish, English and even Scottish heritage besides all of the Danish and Swedish. What a relief because I am so entranced with the history and spirituality of the area that now I have a reason. Not only do I love the castles and gardens, the greenery and the storytelling of the Celts, I also love their focus on creation, oneness and presence of Christ in everything.
I’ve never understood why their “spirituality” seemed so different than that of the other part of Western Christianity until I read more about it in J. Philip Newell’s Christ of the Celts.
“When Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the church moved from having a plethora of writings about Christ to a tightly defined canon of scripture that came to be known as the New Testament. The empire exerted pressure on the church to limit religious orthodoxy to what was acceptable to the state. The tragedy is that many writings were destroyed or lost. Fragments have survived, and hidden manuscripts such as The Gospel of Thomas have come to light to disclose to the modern world other ways of seeing Christ.” (p. 1x of the Prelude)
While I am fascinated by these older texts, I also recognized that the Roman Church labeled most fo the authors and theologians that are from these earlier writings as heretics. Teilhard de Chardin, Pelagius, Eriugena and Columanus – all called heretics. Yet, I really love some of what they wrote and focused on. Why were they so judged?
This Lent, I invite you to join me as we take a deeper look into Celtic Wisdom and Spirituality to decide for ourselves which disciplines to apply to our faith life as to come closer and closer to God.