Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Time in Celtic Spirituality
In the past year I picked up a small book called "Wisdom of the Celtic Saints" by Edward C. Sellner. As someone who considers himself to be very Anglo-Catholic, and a mother who is Irish in heritage, I have always had a deep sense of celtic tradition in my life. When I think of the damp and green country of Ireland all lined with stone walls and ancient ruins, I feel a deep sense of connectedness to the past.
In this little volume, Sellner lists a "fifth characteristic" of celtic spirituality is their concept of time and the linear nature of time. They don't seem to be bothered by it. They seemed to have lived in a world where the present contains the past events that live on in our stories and memories and the future seeds yet to be planted. This notion greatly affected the way in which they viewed the history of the church itself. So it's not surprising that in their stories and tales they have Saints of the church co-existing together when in fact they lived hundreds of years apart. But, in the communion of Saints, we are living together. God is not a God of the dead, but a God of the living! What great news!
I think in this context we can view the communion of saints in an even deeper way and appreciate it's beauty even more. After all, I would like to think that Saint Francis or Saint Ambrose and I could be friends in some great story of the faith.