Where Heaven meets us…..
The prayers of the Celtic Saints are filled with experiences of God’s presence in creation, simplicity of living in harmony with creation, and awareness of the sacredness of all things. The Psalms are full of praise for God’s handiwork in nature, and Celtic Christianity followed in that tradition, reflected in prayers and poems which spoke of God’s power and majesty revealed in creation. As it says in the first chapter of Genesis, all things originate in the Divine Source, and so all things are sacred. that Presence permeates all of creation. It is repeated five times in Genesis chapter 1 – ‘And God looked at the Creation, and said: ‘It is good.’ This speaks to us of ‘Original Goodness’. It reminds us of the Sacred Presence that is to be found in us and in the natural world. So when we walk in nature, everything is a visible reminder of the Invisible Presence. ‘The world is charged with the grandeur of God.’ (Gerald Manley Hopkins).
Columbanus said – ‘If you want to know God, first get to know His creation.’ If there is any one word that would sum up the essence of Celtic Spirituality, it’s the word ‘PRESENCE.’ Awareness of the Sacred Presence at every moment of life, in all places.
Our personal history and spirituality is like a deep well of accumulated values and experiences from which we can all draw wisdom and strength for the various tasks, decisions and relationships we face in everyday life. In the good times and bad times, the joy and the sorrow that make up the unfinished-ness of life.
I believe with all that is in me that we are able to say, “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and… put out my hand and touched the face of God.” That quote from John Gillespie’s sonnet “High Flight” was made famous by President Ronald Reagan in his speech following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. That is the type thin place I seek – a place where I can feel the presence of God.
Rolled into a sphere,
Packaged in sunshine,
Gift-wrapped in love,
Given to us,