A Celtic moment
In the milking of cows and tending the hearth,
in threading the loom and gathering the peat,
the breath of prayer blessing each movement,
a naming of Creator upon each mindful deed.
Not in our kingdom of busyness,
not in our land of lost simplicity,
yet the Celtic grace of looking deeply
and the Celtic faith of believing fully
lives on enduringly within each of us,
beseeching our beholding.
Like the unceasing prayer of Celts,
an ancient call to gather the ordinary,
savor the sacrament that lies within,
bless whatever life offers to us
in the routine, the mindless, the duty,
the cherished, the surprising, the serene.
Let our open gaze fall faithfully
over a stretch of hurried days,
see among their swiftly moving pieces
a story threaded with touch of Divine.
Celtic moment, Soul moment, Sacred moment,
in simple task or thin veil of mystery,
whatever our day brings we can bless,
whatever our lives hold we can reverence.
Gather all to our soul:
the silent sparkle of untamed moments,
the hurried haze of endless duty,
the silky joy of surprising experience,
the shadowed grasp of unwanted pain.
Recover the lost cloak
of Celtic rhyme and Celtic rhythm,
put on the rich garment
of intentional communion,
embrace the commonness of life
woven on the endless loom of the Holy
. -Joyce Rupp
awe at these memoirs of history as I saw how each cross told a story of a certain aspect of creation and redemption, or the life of a saint, through interlacing designs and drawings carved on the stones. I thought of these high crosses recently as I spoke with a newly widowed 85-year-old man. I had called to see how he was coping with his grief. After he expressed his loneliness and sadness, he told me numerous details of how he'd first met his wife, proposed to her, and about their ups and downs as they lived together through the years. As he spoke, I pictured his life with its many descriptions of joy and sorrow as etchings on one of the Celtic high crosses.
Lenten Practice: Each of us has our own high cross. During Lent take time to draw a high cross. Place the story of your life, with its joys and sorrows, on the cross. Do this through words or by drawing symbols. Hold this cross in your hands as you behold your life. Unite with the life of Jesus as you do so. If you prefer not to draw or write, simply hold a crucifix in your hands and reflect on your life's story as you unite with Jesus.
Non-cloistered monasticism flourished during the Celtic Christian era and influenced the common folk, especially with itsregular schedule of chanted prayer and its love of learning. This attentiveness to learning was first fostered by the wise druids in pre-Christian times. Celtic monasteries were intent on furthering knowledge. The monks took study and deeper ways of knowing very seriously. Surprisingly, this learning and wisdom developed even amid the Dark Ages.
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