It’s been my honor to participate in two different classes at the Frederick School of Religion this spring. One of the classes has been an introduction to Celtic spirituality taught by Dr. Ray Moreland.
I learned that Celtic spirituality was born in the 4th century in what is now Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, on the edge of the Roman Empire. This particular strain of Christianity placed an emphasis on seeing God in the natural world. Something of God can be found in God’s creation as well as in scripture and the sacraments of the church.
Here are a few other characteristic principles found in Celtic spirituality
- The Christian life is less dependent on ordained clergy and church structure since everyone carries the divine spark within them.
- God can be made known through spiritual friendships, called Anam Cama. The conversations and sharing can help us experience the presence of God.
- God can be found by visiting certain places where the barrier that separates earth and heaven, the secular and the divine. These are called “thin places”.
- Holds that men and women are equally able to inspire, lead, and participate in all aspects of community and spiritual
- There is a deep love and respect for other people, including people from other faith traditions.
- There is also a way in which ordinary bits of life are recognized as having spiritual significance, such as rising in the morning, seeing the sun rise and set, going to work, and cooking a meal. In other words, spirituality is not something we have to go to church to find or something limited to one hour on a Sunday morning. Rather, it is a way of living each day and each moment.
Although these things are not unique to Celtic spirituality, I found the way these characteristics are brought together and expressed to be quite helpful as think about my own spiritual life.
Grace and peace,