Avoiding the obvious this month of course, a new book on the shelf, Jerry Doherty on ‘A celtic model of ministry’ might be useful in the new parish when things get going – on that note we are slowly ‘house organising’ I’m certainly looking forward to the apples from the garden, it has a lovely old apple tree! Well OK just a little on the obvious then, on the 23rd we are walking around the village in Greenfield telling the old stories in the midst of the community – well the church is closed so we had to do something different! Hopefully there will be a donkey (for no other reason than they attract attention 😉 ) and perhaps the ‘inn keeper’ will tell us there is no room, we might even have a ‘stable’ at the back!! Hopefully there will be room at the inn later on, as we are going there for refreshments…
I have avoided that word for a long time, it has almost become a nothing word to some, speaking of fanciful longings and notions without any depth or heart or soul. ‘Celtic Christianity never really existed’ some say, and to an extent I would agree. The trouble is, it goes deeper than this. “And Celtic Spirituality is only the heart ruling the head” They might go on to say. When I hear some poetry and music quoted as being ‘celtic’ or of celtic influence I always wonder who was the influence to these quaint ditties, some long forgotten saint speaking from beyond the grave perhaps?
Reading Alastair’s book Soil and Soul is illuminating because for once he usurps the general convention of, is there, isn’t there, celtic arguments and says this:
“The issue, I think, is not whether Celtic spirituality ever existed, but the fact that a living spirituality connecting soil, soul and society manifestly can and does exist. This is community in that word’s most holistic sense. … Celticity therefore takes on a meaning that can be bigger than ethnographic and linguistic definitions alone: it becomes code for reconnection with human community, with the natural world and with God. It expresses what I call a ‘metaculture’: a connection at a level of the soul that goes deeper than superficial cultural differences; a connection simply by virtue of our underlying humanity. Such a bedrock of commonality is desperately needed in today’s fragmented world. It arises not from globalisation as a business concept, but from the fact of being ‘one world’ “