2. Celtic Spirituality, the Immanent Presence of God
“Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you,
Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you.”
In Celtic Spirituality God’s presence was in and through the created world. There was no dualism. Nothing was seen as secular. All was holy. Nature was sacred. God was seen everywhere, but this was not pantheism. The hills, the sky, the sea, the forests were not God, but their spiritual qualities revealed God and were connected to God. This was similar to the artist’s connection to his painting. A painting or a statue, while bearing the identity of the artist’s hand, still has an existence separate from the work.
Gaelic Blessing was theJohn Rutter anthem our choir sang at my ordination. Since as early age, I have experienced what the words and music are saying. As I sit by my desk, even in front of a picture window, I become consumed with my world and its problems and become self-absorbed. I go outside, and it is as if I am in a different world. I suddenly experience a world larger than my own, sacred, one I did not create. My problems become small. I am connected to something greater than myself. Following the moon rise at night or the rising of the sun in the morning, or its setting in the evening or listening to the constant rhythm of the waves by the ocean brings a peace to my body and soul and mind that no drug or substance can duplicate. Nature helps us live in the present. This is where God meets us.
John Miriam Jones, With an Eagle’s Eye, 1998.
Phillip Newell, Celtic Benediction, 2000.
Phillip Newell, Christ of the Celts 2008.