Today I am pleased to introduce Liz Babbs, an authority on Celtic Christianity, author, spiritual director, and performer living in Nottingham, England.
I recently interviewed Liz about her new book, Celtic Treasure, and her personal journey along the paths of Celtic spirituality. The first segment of that interview is today’s post with additional segments planned for Wednesday and Friday. Welcome to Holy in the Daily and thank you, Liz, for doing this three part interview.
How did you become interested in Celtic Christianity? What draws you to this type of spirituality?
Eight years ago I spent some time traveling across Britain visiting Scotland, Northumbria and Ireland while writing my first Celtic gift book The Celtic Heart (Lion 2003) . Originally, this book did not have a Celtic theme, but during my trip across Britain, I found myself increasingly drawn to, and inspired by, the radical faith and lifestyle of the Celtic saints. They have left a lasting impression on the landscape, and have touched the hearts of countless people across the centuries.
When I sailed with friends by yacht to Iona, I felt an incredible sense of connection with these saints and their passion to make Jesus known. Even the difficulty we had anchoring, reminded me of the incredible dangers these monastic missionaries faced on the open seas—many dying sharing their faith.
But it was when I visited the stunningly beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne (or Holy Island), that I realized I was no longer a tourist, but a pilgrim in search of ‘the ancient paths’. An inner transformation had taken place that deepened my faith and began to change the course of my writing.
What motivated you to write Celtic Treasure and what do you hope people learn from the book?
To be honest, I was not looking to write another Celtic book, but God had other ideas! He stopped me in my tracks and gave me a ‘picture’ of an ancient monastic archway, like the remains of Lindisfarne Priory on Lindisfarne. Through this archway, all kinds of people, who weren’t Christians, were coming to God. Some were even dancing and celebrating. And so Celtic Treasure (Lion Hudson 2009) was born and I’m delighted that it is being distributed in the US as well as the UK.
I hope people will be inspired by my book and that their faith will be strengthened through it, as mine was in writing it. Without these amazing passionate, monastic, Celtic missionaries risking their lives to share the Gospel, we would not have been a Christian country. I believe that those who have gone before us in the faith have much to teach us about becoming more devoted Christ-followers.
Something that captures my attention about the Celtic Christians is the simplicity of their faith. What can we learn from them as we face busy lives and complicated schedules?
I think we have much to learn from their love of life and passion for Jesus. Their joy was not based on achievement or material possessions, but in loving and caring for each other and in being grateful for all that God had created for them and blessed them with. I think we need to rediscover that sense of simplicity, thankfulness and wonder, perhaps by fasting from the things that shackle us or get in the way of our relationship with God.
Join me on Wednesday and Friday for the rest of this interview.To find out more visit: http://www.lizbabbs.com/ http://www.celtictreasure.blogspot.com/
In Him together, Susan Gaddis