Celtic christianity into our days

Celtic knot that symbolizes that everything is connected - both in heaven and on earth, light and dark.
 Behind is God - the Creator.

Jesus Christ
Pilgrim and a King

                  Celtic Christianity is what we many people of today are longing and looking for -
a spirituality with a strong presence of God in everyday life and how we perceive ourselves as part of Creation.

Texts are extracted both from Harald Olsen's book Celtic spirituality and the Per-Eive Berndtson's book The winds from the west, and hope to provide inspiration to read more. This spirituality also brings together contemporary two popular movements, namely the transition movement and the pilgrim movement, two practical approaches to live in peace and harmony with God, Creation, myself and others.

Christianity came to the Celts, (Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and Galicia in Spain), in the 400s. St: Patrick was the one who organized the Christian Church in Ireland in the 500s. The Celtic Christianity would last over 700 years. It it based on Apostle John's gospel in the New Testament and it´s symbolized by an eagle. It carries with it the love and power of the original congregation who gathered at Pentecost, and carries with it a charismatic tone of renewal and revival.

They saw Jesus as the risen, living and rightful Lord of life and death, crowned with a royal crown.

The Christian Celts had faith in the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They confirmed to Jesus by following his path and in his name do miracles and heal the sick. They praised goodness and when something bad occured they showered God with prayers to remove the evil.

God's presence in everyday life

They had a strong presence of God in everyday life and in life all events. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary, the angels and saints were not being who was in the distant sky, but present and active behavior in a person's life. They had a positive view of humanity, women were highly valued, there were many female leaders. They had great emphasis on love, forgiveness and empathy, how we take care and treat the outcasts of society.

The white dove is usually a symbol of the Holy Spirit but the Christian Celts had the wild goose as their symbol.
The fire of God

The fire was a symbol of God's presence. A fire has been burning for 1000 years in Saint Brigid's monastery in Kildare.
Prayer of the fire:
This morning, when I light up the fire on the hearth,
I pray that God's love flame will burn in my heart,
and in the hearts of all that I encounter today.

I pray that no envy or malice,
no hatred and no fear shall smothering.
I pray that no indifference and apathy,
no contempt and no pride
will wash over the fire that cold water.

Let instead of spark from God's love
kindle love in my heart,
so that it can burn clearly throughout the day.

Let me warm them alone,
those who are cold and lifeless hearts,
so that everyone can get to know
the consolations of God's love gives.


Presence of God in nature

There was a strong theology of nature, nature as a revelation of God's creative will and action. They sought the joy of meeting the Creator himselft in nature. Nature's beauty was as an expression of God's presence and goodness. Prayers, hymns and meditation texts are full of the most beautiful natural images and symbols. Here a beautiful nature poetry: 

The Tree of Life

You, king of the tree of life,
the flowers on the branches is your people.
The Singing birds are your angels,
the whispering wind is your spirit.
You, king of the tree of life,
let the flowers produce the sweetest fruits,
let the birds sing out the most powerful song of praise,
may your Spirit enclose all
with its gentle breeze.

Transition movement

In our time there is a popular movement that wants to change the way we exploit the earth and how we instead can live in balance and harmony. It is called the Transition Movement by the Swedes and has emerged in several locations in Sweden. It was started in England by Rob Hopkins in 2005, www.transitiontowntotnes.org

The Swedish national organization called All Sweden shall live, www.helasverige.se is the main organization inTransition Sweden, and collaborate with Transition Towns in the UK and support the adjustment process in Sweden, www.omställning.net
This text is taken from their book Sweden resets:

The realization that climate, energy, the environment and the economic crisis are interrelated and require a common solution, has created the Transition movement that is now spreading rapidly around the world. It is based on the shared commitment of all people to create a good life. It is necessary and realistic for everyone to prepare for a life without fossil fuels and a system of ecological and economic balance is necessary and realistic. This creates good will and action.
Pilgrim movement

The Christian Celts saw themselves as pilgrims on the path of life. It provides anchorage for today pilgrimages with new paths drawn and new pilgrim center that opened.

A nice book "Ingegerdsleden" published in 2014 by the Swedish Church shows how the pilgrim can find, in Apostle John's gospel, his description of Jesus' life as a pilgrimage. 

psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, nothin should be taken me.
He leads me in green pastures, he makes me lie down beside still waters.
He gives me new strength
and leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Not even in the darkest valley, I fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

Swedish St:a Birgitta prayer   (prayer frequently used for departure)
Lord, show me Your way
and make me willing to follwing it.

They walk in nature, God's creation, and meet yourself and other pilgrims, irrespective of religion.
In God's heaven are no Christian Celts, Jews or Muslims - we are all God's daughters and sons.

Concludes here with our famous pilgrimage hymn´s happy message. 

Glory, glorious is God's heaven,
beauties are souls pilgrimage.
Through the fair kingdoms of the earth
we go to paradise with vocals.

Era coming, the era disappear,
genera follow the family's time.
Never be put to silence the tone from the sky
in the soul happy pilgrims singing.
Angels sang the first to soil shepherds.
Phew from soul to soul, it sounded:
Man, rejoice, O Saviour is come,
peace upon the earth the Lord commanded.

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