Thursday, November 15, 2012

Celtic Reflections

Being Orthodox and coming constantly in contact with Western Christianity, I am intrigued by the ancient Church and traditions which existed in past eras in the West, which thankfully are still kept by some. Here we show a small abstract of Celtic Reflections, giving us specific cultural beliefs but also pan-Christian ideas and theology.

Our prayers are best when in time with our natural heartbeat and the heartbeat of God himself.
Do not be afraid to “waste time with God”.
The Celtic Christians were people of vision and of visions.
With which disciple of Jesus do I identify most naturally? The Celtic Christians took their lead not from St. Peter, but from St. John, the “beloved disciple” of Jesus, the disciple of love.
Christianity is not a piece of jewellery to wear but a life to wear.
The Celtic monks measured their prayers in hours, not minutes.
We all carry our own prayer cell within us – deep inside.
The Celtic Church was materially poor but spiritually rich – an equation that refuses to go away.
Prayer is work and work is prayer.
Jesus never said he was the destination, he said “I am the Way”.
The Celtic monks travelled for the love of God, for the name of Christ and for the salvation of souls (Three Irish Monks, 891 AD).
Our life is a pilgrimage with and into the heart of God.
The Celtic cross was never intended to be a dead monument or even an interesting ornament, but an encouragement to deep spiritual life.
The Celtic cross carved with Biblical Scenes was an early visual aid in Christian teaching.
The round sun at the end of the cross suggests the road of Calvary where we all meet.
The Celtic crosses mark holy sites, made significant by deep prayer: it is the spiritual depth of our prayers today which determine tomorrow’s holy sites.
We are part of nature, not set against it.
Creation is so important Jesus came to be part of it.
Let God speak to you through creation, and so carry you with the tides and the season, the current and the waves.
Our concern for the environment is based on our theology, as well as our tears.
God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is three in one. God is community. We are made in God’s image. We find our fulfilment in Community, not in isolation.
It is only our stubbornness which separates us from each other, from heaven, from creation, from God.
We moved constantly within the community of saints, past, present, future.
We are surrounded by God’s angels everyday, everywhere, and in everything we do. We are never alone.
The Christian community was intended to be a reflection of the community of heaven itself.
The Celtic Christians lived as the church and went to the world – not vice versa. The simple monasteries were their strength.
Celtic Christians trained children unashamedly in Christian ways; today even bedside night prayers and bible stories are rare.
Source of reflections: Wallace, Martin, “Celtic Reflections”, (St. Peter’s Chapel Bradwell-on-Sea)

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