Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Celtic Christianity

Puzzle Pieces

Words in my head are no good unless they find life on the page before you. Expressions, emotions, feelings and experiences. Wanting to empty my head is painful, because where do you start to write something coherent and readable?

The little Jesuit priest gave us all the same puzzle piece with the words “it all began here” now go out and find out why. I came after them, I think in fact I was the last puzzle piece recipient from that group of young men.

I moved from one big city a great concrete and glass paradise on the water to another big city of concrete and glass, somewhat inland from the sea, but how can you go wrong living in the city of lights? It was magical and unknown, it was trying and easy, it was the unknown that attracted me, the beauty that captivated me, the diversity that struck me.

What did we know from this little Jesuit priest who became for many a spiritual guide in a city steeped in religious tradition. I want to tell you what happened and what my puzzle looks like today. Is it finished, can you see an entire landscape, are you any closer to the BIG answer?

Within days of my arrival and reception of my puzzle piece I began to hunt for the others. I must say that I had no clue where to begin, nor where to look. He said “they will appear before you if you know how to see them!” He was good a clues but not at giving concrete answers.

I walked around the city of light looking for puzzle pieces, but you could not walk up to someone and ask about them, people would think you mad. So I started with the piece that I carried in my wallet, a scapular and that remark “this is where it all started.”

In medieval times the towns and centers were built around the main church of the location, the church being the hub of the community where religious observance took place, bartering and food distribution was done, as well as trade. Safe inside the city walls in some locations, the church was also the lookout from on high to make sure that invaders did not sack the city.

That is where I chose to start my journey. The religious center of the city. Notre Dame Cathedral in Old Montreal. You can’t go wrong when you start your journey with a little prayer. I was used to coming here to pray because I did it for months before I received my first puzzle piece, without knowing it I had been kneeling and praying at the starting point for a long while.

I would find my corner up the front of the church in the grotto, left of the altar, where hours candles were burning. Those are the big candles that burn before the blessed sacrament in most churches, because once lit they will burn for days and days until spent.

I lit one candle – sure in the knowledge that my prayers would be carried on high for as long as that candle burned. it was a guarantee that my prayers meant a great deal to me. I had knelt in that same spot week after week and never noticed her.

******

She had always followed me into that corner, standing silently next to me just beyond my peripheral vision from the spot I was kneeling in, until that fateful day that she called out to me from the darkness of the grotto. She was stolid and beautiful, she had grace and poise. Little did I know then, what she would do for me just by her presence in my life.

You see I carried a picture of her in my wallet for almost twenty years, and I never made the connection to her until that day she called out to me in the silence of my prayers. I had found the next puzzle piece, it was there all the time, and until I gazed upon her, did it become visible.

I took that as a sign from God to follow the lead to its logical conclusion. I walked a little ways down from the Cathedral to Saint Pierre and over to the Mother House not far away. I left my name and my number and waited for a call back, after which I returned home.

A few days later I was offered a visit to the Mother House in Old Montreal, I carried within me the lineage that went back centuries. For many years I have been the keeper of family heritage, I own the copies of the family tree, I carried them north with me.

I met the little nun on a particular day and she took me around the house and on the second floor, I was able to see the book of life that sat on the table that stood in the room where she had lived and died centuries before. Her name was Marguerite…

Upon completion of the visit, I had a name on a slip of paper that my mother had given me a few days earlier, she was still accepting my calls then. So I inquired about the little gray nun, named Georgette. I wasn’t sure if she was still alive or if I was about to hit a dead end in my puzzle piece quest.

The little nun told me that indeed she was still alive, and that I could contact her at the Mother House in the city, which turned out, sat a mere three blocks from the apartment I was living in at the time. I attained the next puzzle piece.

******

Besides myself with excitement I found the nearest pay phone to make the call to my great aunt Georgette. When the Spanish Flu killed hundreds of thousands in the twenties, my grand mothers parents had lost their lives to the flu, and my great aunt’s parents gave a home to my grandmother, they were raised in the same house.

We met for the first time in our lives, little did I know that my grandmother had been, for decades writing letters to this aunt of mine unbeknownst to me, she knew who I was – even if I didn’t know who she was.

She told me about her life and the life of the sainted grandmother that I idolized and sanctified. She gave me a tour of the house, and she took me to the crypt and she showed me the connection that I had to the rest of the order of gray nuns.

Puzzle pieces appeared, one in front of the other for years to come after that fateful meeting. We would share stories about life and death, of family and of betrayal. And on that odd occasion the vault would open in her head and she would gift me with a gem of a memory that filled in some of the past that I needed so badly to paint my picture, to build my hagiography.

******

Being a mystical intuit has its drawbacks. One day it happened that I was standing in a particular room off the chapel proper and she appeared for the first time. I smelled her before I realized she was standing there in the room with us. I had this gift of second sight and I was the spiritual medium for the family, they all came back to me for some strange reason. This was not unusual.

So she had followed me thousands of miles from where I had been to where I was now. Those spirits sure can travel long distances. Over the years she came and went from there and she even visited me at home. And her visits usually coincided with vault memories that my great aunt would give me on occasion.

For four years I traveled the religious path to enlightenment and I have found several key puzzle pieces on the way, albeit a few, the picture still remains unsolved. Tonight for the first time in as many weeks I received critical praise for a paper I wrote a few days ago.

My theological puzzle quest has begun. You may not find anything that I write to be interesting or worthy of traffic. But if you are on a puzzle quest, I think this is required reading.

There is something to say about life and death, the mystical and the unexplainable. The liminal and the physical. I am starting to sense that the city isn’t just a city of light, but just might be a liminal location as well, which means that puzzle pieces may come from other dimensions and locations if I attune me vision to see them.

This writing from a friend explains “Liminal.”

I’ve always thought of my soul in terms of dungeons and basement rooms. Full of cobwebs and damp, uninhabitable rooms. A space where, with God’s help, you carve out room to live and grow.

But one morning during prayer, I had a picture of my soul, and it was more like a huge open expanse. A place of hills and valleys, streams and forests. A place where God moves into, if we let him. And his presence in the space begins to turn it green and makes it come alive, producing all kinds of fruit.

He might be over in this area creating a shady green valley with a brook running through it. Or he might be over there creating a building structure in which we will house memories of close intimate times. He may be at work rooting out some nasty weeds or some underbrush that has taken over an area that He wants to turn into a lovely park.

I’ve limited the description I’ve included here for space considerations, but the picture is still so clear in my mind, and it’s an image I’ve come to see as a very Celtic way of understanding God and myself.

There have been two profound shifts in my thinking as a result of the self study on Celtic Spirituality, and though I am not yet settled in one camp or another, I have come to love the different expressions that the Celts have brought us.

The first is how they have come to decide what is at our core as human beings. For me and my training and personal experience, what’s deepest within in me is my sinful nature, -original sin. I have been living with a deep sense that at the heart of my being is a nature that is broken and sinful, a dungeon if you will that is vile and dirty, and well, just sinful.

As I read the books and prayed the Celtic Office day after day I began to notice that their approach to what was the core was different than mine. Celtic Spirituality is marked by a belief that the deepest part of us isn’t sinfulness, it’s the image of God. That deep in there,
deeper still than original sin, is this sense that we were created in the Image of the Holy One, God Himself. They refuse to define themselves by the ugliness of their failings, and choose rather to define themselves by the beauty of their origins.

It doesn’t necessarily disagree with scripture, but it is a different way of thinking of oneself. I like that it sets God back at the core of things, not my evil nature. I like how it doesn’t allow me to blame my evil nature when I fail and sin, and without wanting to shift
responsibility, I like how it shifts the story from my absolute weakness, to God’s absolute love.

There is something to that, and as I’ve allowed myself to explore the effects this understanding may have on my belief system, I find a greater appreciation for Gods love, growing in me. It’s like, He didn’t create me evil, he created me after his own heart, his own image. That subtle shift is profound and it works itself out in hope filled ways.

The second shift in my thinking has come about as I’ve read of the Celtic tradition of the belief in the essential goodness of creation. Not only is creation viewed as a blessing from God, but an expression of God. It’s like a communication to us from God, and often in Celtic literature it’s referred to as the book of creation.

What this does in effect is to merge the sense of that which is spirit and that which is matter. For the Celts it was all one anyway. Whether I realized it or not, my training helped to establish within me an understanding that physical things, fleshly, earthly matter has a brokenness about it.

At it’s heart its evil and groaning under the weight of existence. While things of the spirit are holy and of God. In our desire to separate spirit and matter we have distanced the mystery of God from the matter of creation. Again it goes back to the fall of humankind. Something God created is now not to be trusted, because mankind sinned.

The Celtic understanding does away with the notion that the things that are Spirit are good and the things that are physical and made of matter are evil. This allows humanity to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of creation, and how beautifully it was created.

Again this subtle shift has far reaching effects. It makes me concerned with how this world is cared for, and how we treat it. It removes the sense that it’s evil and broken so who cares how it’s treated. It causes me to look closely at the delicate beauty of nature and the language of love God communicates to me through it, and I respond with praise and gratitude for His great love for me.

Even the fact that he allows tremendous beauty to exist where no one can see it just confirms to me again the greatness of God. I confess this approach is a much more wholesome one than I’ve seen in many western churches and Christians who consume without thought, feeling that the earth is damaged goods anyway. I don’t like how easy it is to say “This thing that God created was good, and this thing that God created isn’t good because we messed it up!”

These two small shifts are effecting how I and God relate, and how I care for his creation. From the guy across the street to the lawn I get to mow, I’m seeing with different eyes. It’s also begun to shift how I picture my own soul. The picture I shared earlier is for me an
image infused with the sense of Celtic faith. That new image of my Soul gives me a lot of hope. It will effect how I care for others in foundational ways.

________________________________

My conclusions about Iona are that it is indeed a thin place where heaven and earth nearly kiss. God was very “Hearable” there and in fact during one day of prayer there He brought up something that’s been bugging me about our relationship for years and years.

He spoke clearly into my spirit about it, and ever since that moment the struggle between us has disappeared, gone, not even a whisper of it.


Ethics …

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I do have them, and morals too…

Aside from the lessons given me by my family and those I trust over the years, I am just like anyone else. Taking a Christian Ethics course in Theology is bringing with it a lot of inner work, self reflection, thoughts and issues. Take today’s discussion about the experience of Moral Responsibility.

Moving through the lecture to Horizons and Conversions: Encountering the Other.

  • Horizons: the literal or visual meaning (what we can see and what we cannot)
  • Moral Horizons: awareness primarily in the experience of limits and contrast; the encounter of “difference,” “fitting or not fitting.”
  • Three Dimensions of Moral Horizons
    A. The Known
    B. The Known Unknown
    C. The Unknown Unknown
    D. Reordering our moral landscape: breakdowns and conversions

I know things. There are things I don’t know, and there are things I don’t know, I don’t know. For example: If you never knew a Gay person or a person with AIDS, in your life experience until you happened upon us, that would be an unknown unknown.

Firstly, Once something is known, it no longer is an Unknown. Secondly, the unknown unknown becomes a known unknown, until you investigate and assess and either accept or deny it. And once you become comfortable with the unknown you move to the Third level and that unknown becomes a known.

As of late I have experienced a list of emotions about a series of encounters over the past week, which have left me in a state of “what the fuck!” I am not one for confrontation, but I can move from angel to cast iron bitch in 60 seconds, which happened, recently to me, and hasn’t in a very long time. And I didn’t like it at all one bit. And that’s my right to feel.

I am not ready to commit to anyone or any project until I am ready.

It came as no surprise that Pandora’s Box was opened in class tonight, and we placed several hot button issues on the table, which left me a little frazzled to say the least because Fr. Ray addressed them directly and heated discussion ensued. All I wanted to do at the end of class was run as fast and as far away from that room as I could.

It was all too much for me to handle. Lord only knows that I am the only queer in the class! But that is my observation. I am always on guard in a room full of others, when talking about morals and ethics in Christianity and I am sitting in the room amid the discussion.

I have to censor or shall I better say, tune my reading machine a little tighter. People with AIDS are great listeners, we listen to what you say in company, and we watch your body language. My radar was way off tonight and I was at dis-ease…

I don’t know what to think about coming out to a classroom full of people at my age, I am fragile when it comes to my feelings and emotions, which was only exacerbated by a recent verbal altercation which left me feeling numb, indifferent and stolid.

I am going to take the rest of the week and weekend off from commitments and take care of my feelings and my emotions and I need to think and pray about my priorities and what those priorities are. This is my short list:

  • Sobriety – Emotional and Mental
  • My Own Person
  • My Husband
  • My School Work
  • And that’s about it for right now…

I am hoping that connections made, may turn fruitful and multiply. But I surely am not holding my breath – I took the first step – the rest is up to everyone else. It was a good week school wise. I am committed to my education even more now because I am focused and spiritually sound, for the most part, aside from the oft spat. I am more sound with the reflection of Celtic Christianity that Randall sent me today. I need to sit with that meditation for the weekend while I pray about what I am going to do next.

This is my blog and I write whatever the hell I please. And if someone has a problem, then kindly click the “next blog” button in the upper right hand corner of the page. [Indicated by the little arrow] The opinions and items written here are solely the opinions of its writer and I remind you that “If You have a problem with me, then there must be something wrong with You!” And I also remember in sobriety, “What You think about me is None of my business.”

I am morally and ethically conflicted about some issues and until I iron out how I am going to either allow myself to deal with and incorporate them or eradicate them from my life, please give me the space I require.

I have values, and they have been compromised. So now I am asking “Value” or “Act” questions, What should I do? and Is this the right thing to do? and What else might I do?

From our notes it reads:

From Moral knowledge to moral action, from judgment to decision, from intellectual conversion to moral conversion: Will I do it – or not? “When we decide, we transform moral knowledge into reality by taking the answers to the ‘act’ questions and doing them. When we do thus, we are responding to an inner demand that our doing be consistent with our knowing, testing the integrity of our convictions.

On the importance of “educating” our feelings: developing a mind that feels and a heart that thinks. “If we cultivate virtues, we must cultivate morally excellent feelings.”

I reflect on Randall’s words:

“As I read the books and prayed the Celtic Office day after day I began to notice that their approach to what was the core was different than mine.

Celtic Spirituality is marked by a belief that the deepest part of us isn’t sinfulness, it’s the image of God. That deep in there, deeper still than original sin, is this sense that we were created in the Image of the Holy One, God Himself. They refuse to define themselves by the ugliness of their failings, and choose rather to define themselves by the beauty of their origins.

It doesn’t necessarily disagree with scripture, but it is a different way of thinking of oneself. I like that it sets God back at the core of things, not my evil nature. I like how it doesn’t allow me to blame my evil nature when I fail and sin, and without wanting to shift responsibility, I like how it shifts the story from my absolute weakness, to God’s absolute love. There is something to that, and as I’ve allowed myself to explore the effects this understanding may have on my belief system, I find a greater appreciation for Gods love,
growing in me.

It’s like, He didn’t create me evil, he created me after his own heart, his own image. That subtle shift is profound and it works itself out in hope filled ways. The second shift in my thinking has come about as I’ve read of the Celtic tradition of the belief in the essential goodness of creation.

Not only is creation viewed as a blessing from God, but an expression of God. It’s like a communication to us from God, and often in Celtic literature it’s referred to as the book of creation. What this does in effect is to merge the sense of that which is spirit and that which is matter. For the Celts it was all one anyway.

Whether I realized it or not, my training helped to establish within me an understanding that physical things, fleshly, earthly matter has brokenness about it. At it’s heart its evil and groaning under the weight of existence. While things of the spirit are holy and of God.

In our desire to separate spirit and matter we have distanced the mystery of God from the matter of creation. Again it goes back to the fall of humankind. Something God created is now not to be trusted, because mankind sinned.

The Celtic understanding does away with the notion that the things that are Spirit are good and the things that are physical and made of matter are evil. This allows humanity to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of creation, and how beautifully it was created. Again this subtle shift has far reaching effects.

boreal-2.gif

It makes me concerned with how this world is cared for, and how we treat it. It removes the sense that it’s evil and broken so who cares how it’s treated. It causes me to look closely at the delicate beauty of nature and the language of love God communicates to me through it, and I respond with praise and gratitude for His great love for me.

Even the fact that he allows tremendous beauty to exist where no one can see it just confirms to me again the greatness of God. I confess this approach is a much more wholesome one than I’ve seen in many western churches and Christians who consume without thought, feeling that the earth is damaged goods anyway. I don’t like how easy it is to say “This thing that God created was good, and this thing that God created isn’t good because we messed it up!”

These two small shifts are effecting how I and God relate, and how I care for his creation. From the guy across the street to the lawn I get to mow, I’m seeing with different eyes. It’s also begun to shift how I picture my own soul. The picture I shared earlier is for me an image infused with the sense of Celtic faith. That new image of my Soul gives me a lot of hope. It will effect how I care for others in foundational ways.

My conclusions about Iona are that it is indeed a thin place where heaven and earth nearly kiss. God was very “Hearable” there and in fact during one day of prayer there He brought up something that’s been bugging me about our relationship for years and years.

He spoke clearly into my spirit about it, and ever since that moment the struggle between us has disappeared, gone, not even a whisper of it.

Turned out to be the best part of the trip. A holy healing moment.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8


The Isle of Iona (A meditation from Randall)

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I wrote to my friend Randall, a Pastor from my read list. He has particular insight on this topic since he visited Iona on his sabbatical. I wanted to know what he found there that would shed light on my study of Celtic Christianity. Here is the answer he sent me this morning. I wanted to share it with my readers.

***************************

I’ve always thought of my soul in terms of dungeons and basement rooms. Full of cobwebs and damp, uninhabitable rooms. A space where, with God’s help, you carve out room to live and grow.

But one morning during prayer, I had a picture of my soul, and it was more like a huge open expanse. A place of hills and valleys, streams and forests. A place where God moves into, if we let him. And his presence in the space begins to turn it green and makes it come alive, producing all kinds of fruit.

He might be over in this area creating a shady green valley with a brook running through it. Or he might be over there creating a building structure in which we will house memories of close intimate times. He may be at work rooting out some nasty weeds or some underbrush that has taken over an area that He wants to turn into a
lovely park.

I’ve limited the description I’ve included here for space considerations, but the picture is still so clear in my mind, and it’s an image I’ve come to see as a very Celtic way of understanding God and myself.

There have been two profound shifts in my thinking as a result of the self study on Celtic Spirituality, and though I am not yet settled in one camp or another, I have come to love the different expressions that the Celts have brought us.

The first is how they have come to decide what is at our core as human beings. For me and my training and personal experience, what’s deepest within in me is my sinful nature, -original sin. I have been living with a deep sense that at the heart of my being is a nature
that is broken and sinful, a dungeon if you will that is vile and dirty, and well, just sinful.

st-louis4.jpg

As I read the books and prayed the Celtic Office day after day I began to notice that their approach to what was the core was different than mine. Celtic Spirituality is marked by a belief that the deepest part of us isn’t sinfulness, it’s the image of God. That deep in there, deeper still than original sin, is this sense that we were created in the Image of the Holy One, God Himself. They refuse to define themselves by the ugliness of their failings, and choose rather to define themselves by the beauty of their origins.

It doesn’t necessarily disagree with scripture, but it is a different way of thinking of oneself. I like that it sets God back at the core of things, not my evil nature. I like how it doesn’t allow me to blame my evil nature when I fail and sin, and without wanting to shift
responsibility, I like how it shifts the story from my absolute weakness, to God’s absolute love. There is something to that, and as I’ve allowed myself to explore the effects this understanding may have on my belief system, I find  a greater appreciation for Gods love,
growing in me.

It’s like, He didn’t create me evil, he created me after his own heart, his own image. That subtle shift is profound and it works itself out in hope filled ways. The second shift in my thinking has come about as I’ve read of the Celtic tradition of the belief in the essential goodness of creation.

Not only is creation viewed as a blessing from God, but an expression of God. It’s like a communication to us from God, and often in Celtic literature it’s referred to as the book of creation. What this does in effect is to merge the sense of that which is spirit and that which is matter. For the Celts it was all one anyway.

Whether I realized it or not, my training helped to establish within me an understanding that physical things, fleshly, earthly matter has brokenness about it. At it’s heart its evil and groaning under the weight of existence. While things of the spirit are holy and of God.
In our desire to separate spirit and matter we have distanced the mystery of God from the matter of creation. Again it goes back to the fall of humankind. Something God created is now not to be trusted, because mankind sinned.

The Celtic understanding does away with the notion that the things that are Spirit are good and the things that are physical and made of matter are evil. This allows humanity to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of creation, and how beautifully it was created.
Again this subtle shift has far reaching effects.

boreal-2.gif

It makes me concerned with how this world is cared for, and how we treat it. It removes the sense that it’s evil and broken so who cares how it’s treated. It causes me to look closely at the delicate beauty of nature and the language of love God communicates to me through it, and I respond with praise and gratitude for His great love for me.

Even the fact that he allows tremendous beauty to exist where no one can see it just confirms to me again the greatness of God. I confess this approach is a much more wholesome one than I’ve seen in many western churches and Christians who consume without thought, feeling that the earth is damaged goods anyway. I don’t like how easy
it is to say “This thing that God created was good, and this thing that God created isn’t good because we messed it up!”

These two small shifts are effecting how I and God relate, and how I care for his creation. From the guy across the street to the lawn I get to mow, I’m seeing with different eyes. It’s also begun to shift how I picture my own soul. The picture I shared earlier is for me an
image infused with the sense of Celtic faith. That new image of my Soul gives me a lot of hope. It will effect how I care for others in foundational ways.

________________________________

My conclusions about Iona are that it is indeed a thin place where heaven and earth nearly kiss. God was very “Hearable” there and in fact during one day of prayer there He brought up something that’s been bugging me about our relationship for years and years.

He spoke clearly into my spirit about it, and ever since that moment the struggle between us has disappeared, gone, not even a whisper of it.

Turned out to be the best part of the trip. A holy healing moment.

the-nevern-celtic-cross-poster-c12250644.jpeg


Tuesday …

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Ms. Nikki asked me this afternoon – “To what end are you studying Theology? My answer to her was simple, Holy Orders!”

Last night I did my readings for my paper due next week in Celtic Christianity. I finished the reading around 3 a.m. this morning. After completing the reading I was struck by the details of the orders that the two writers are part of, Timothy Joyce as a Benedictine Monk and Gilbert Markus as a Dominican Friar.

This will make for some great writing…

Today was spent taking care of me. I spent the afternoon reading for class and then set off for my Tuesday ritual. The story never changes, just the cast of characters. It was a beautiful afternoon and as we set off for the church the sun was falling quickly. Taking my topic from the share I heard last night, we discussed

“Half Measures availed us nothing!”

We had a lively discussion and all was well in the world.

Tomorrow is a full day of class. I have a doctors appointment, then class in the evening with Fr. Ray. I am sure that we will have a lively discussion again.

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Compare and Contrast …

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What do you get when you cross a Benedictine Monk and a Dominican Priest/Friar when writing about Celtic Christianity? Compare and Contrast!!

Reading from: Celtic Christianity: A Sacred Tradition a Vision of Hope from Timothy J. Joyce O.S.B was amazing. Then moving forwards into Fr. Gilbert Markus’, Christian History, 1998, Vol. 17, Issue 4: Rooted in Tradition, was short, trite and to the point a piece of religious treatise.


All is Right in the World

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I slept in today, UGH! But I did get to my evening class with Sara, my Celtic Christianity class, which I totally enjoyed. Sara’s classes are comfy and warm and cozy that you come in and you sit and allow the feeling to wash over you that “all is well in the world.”

That doesn’t speak of an easy ride mind you, but one of conscious thought and work. I have been reading the course pack and through tonight’s discussion we have learned a few things. That there is more to Celtic life than we may have known. That each reading in the book is set in its place for a reason.

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Imagine standing before a forest, you boys out West can better understand this than I can paint a picture, but Sara used the forest imagery tonight. And I remarked how each reading, if laid upon the one prior paints a picture in successive layers of reading, and information. And the readings tease you to walk into the forest and turn leaves over looking for further clues to the real truth of the Celtic.

We are invited to start exploring the forest for clues to our study for this term. It is not all so easy, and reading about the past – we must use our lenses of hermeneutic suspicion, to read each text and article with a critical eye. I used that term tonight, and Sara giggled to the rest of the class, “oh Jeremy, you are so clever, aren’t you!” I had to explain this strategy with my fellows.

It’s all good…

And my young warrior from the West came to visit! You can check out his blog, The Life of Robert Wesley, he is a very special friend that I have known for some time.  Joy of joys he has decided to continue writing!! YAY!!

On the way home I hit “Came to Believe” in time for the second speaker, just so I had some time to sit with myself and be quiet and listen to another speak about his trials and tribulations about recovery. I just wanted to sit and listen, which is always a good thing to do when possible.

Over all is was a great night. Now I am gonna hit some dinner and chill out…

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A photograph from the Portfolio of Robert Wesley from B.C.


Celtic Christianity …

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Celtic society was hierarchical and class based. According to both Roman and Irish sources, Celtic society was divided into three groups:  a warrior aristocracy, an intellectual class that included druids, poets, and jurists, and everyone else.

Celtic economy was probably based on the economic principle of most tribal economies: reciprocity. In a reciprocal economy, goods and other services are not exchanged for other goods, but they are given by individuals to individuals based on mutual kinship relationships and obligations.

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The Celts were polytheistic: We do know that Celtic gods tended to come in threes; the Celtic logic of divinity always centered on triads. This triadic logic no doubt had tremendous significance in the translation of Christianity into northern European cultural models.

“In short, what the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world. The soul dwells in the body but is not of the body; Christians dwell in the world, but they are not of the world. The soul is invisible and is confined in a visible body; so Christians are recognized in the world, but their religious life remains invisible.”

Many of the early British Christians known as the Celtic saints were monks and nuns. Monks lived in caves or huts, often grouped around a more experienced leader. Bishop Martin Tours (c316-97) was the best known of the early Western figures who pursued the monastic life. The monasteries of Gaul developed a strong intellectual tradition, and from 400 ce their influence spread to Ireland and Wales.

Columba established a community on the island of Iona, off the Scottish west coast, which became a centre of monastic life and learning throughout Celtic times.