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Paths of Celtic Christianity on Iona, Scotland photo by Susan Gaddis on Holy in the Daily post

Exploring the Paths of Celtic Christianity

Many who desire to explore ancient Christianity have discovered the paths of Celtic Christianity. The faith of these early saints has inspired my spiritual journey by their ability to find the Holy in the daily in every aspect of their lives. This post is the second in a two-week series on these early Christians.

Celtic Christianity flourished during the years between 400 A.D. and 1100 A.D.

Eleven facts about the paths of Celtic Christianity

Celtic Christians developed a deep sense of mission and are credited with evangelizing the British Isles and Europe in a very short amount of time.

They honored the Trinity and each Person of the Trinity.

Important elements of their life were reflection, contemplation, silence, and solitude—where one could listen for the “heartbeat of Jesus.”

There was an enjoyment and honoring of creation. God was often addressed as Lord of the Elements.

Celtic Christians valued creativity—a love of art, storytelling, dance, music, poetry, and humor. All of these can be seen in the Book of Kells and other surviving manuscripts.

Prayer was practiced throughout the day as folks went about their daily chores and business. These Celtic prayers were often in the form of songs or poems. Fixed hour prayer was practiced alone and as a community.

Celtic Christians celebrated the seasons as a sacred rhythm. God was to be experienced in the “now,” not just after death, so the daily routine of life was viewed as holy.

Friendships, mentoring, and accountability were regarded as eternal relationships. Having a “soul friend” was considered vital to a person’s development.

Hospitality was practiced in every home.

Celtic Christians honored and preserved the Scriptures during the dark ages when the Roman Empire was falling. Most of the known Christian world was in disarray. Their love of learning led to many monastic schools and the education of the common people, many of whom became missionaries.

The value of emotional health was reflected in the saying, “Unless we learn to live with ourselves, we cannot live with others.”

This is just a taste of what you will find as you explore the ancient paths of Celtic Christianity.

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV).

Check in on Friday when I will be sharing my thoughts on Celtic Treasure, a book by Liz Babbs. Then next week I will be doing a three part interview with Liz about the paths of Celtic Christianity and her writings. You will enjoy reading this English woman as she shares her experiences and insights.

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Tom Wymore

    What a great summary of Celtic “core beliefs,” Susan. Thank you. Reading them made me smile because it all resonates so much with what I sense Father is up to in those of His people who have ears to hear!

  2. Susan Gaddis

    It does seem like the Lord is drawing us back to ancient ways. There is nothing new under the sun, someone wise once said, and he was right. What do you think causes folks to close their ears to the Father?

  3. Tom Wymore

    Hi, Susan,

    I don’t think it’s so much that they closed their ears as that our culture (church culture, too) has stolen the vocabulary needed for us to hear His loving overtures. If our vocabulary is built around performance and duty and obligation it is almost impossible to hear affirmation, encouragement and unconditional love–even when those words are in our “theological paradigm.” Just a thought!

  4. Susan Gaddis

    Good point. Our culture (and the “church”) does value “doing” over “being” which does influence our language and our perspectives. Learning to define ourselves and others by the perspective of the Father is very hard in our century with all of the media saturating our lives and our own yankee independence and drive. I would agree with you–I think many of us suffer “loss of hearing” because of the overwhelming need to be defined by what we do and what we accomplish.

    The Celtic Christians knew what it meant just to “be” and had no need to live up to anyone’s expectations but God’s.

    Where have you seen change happening in our culture toward “being” more then “doing” and how are people facilitating that change?

  5. Mary

    Very interesting. Looking forward to this series you’re doing… 🙂

  6. Tom Wymore

    Wow, Susan! Big questions! There is definitely a revolution of sorts that is happening in our culture, fed partly by cultural changes in the generations that are succeeding us, but even boomers are pausing and looking at “all that we have done” and realizing that “doing” hasn’t filled the void of living loved by the One who is Love. Beyond that, your blog doesn’t have room for a suitable answer, methinks! Again, thank you for doing this blog and especially for this intriguing and inviting focus!

  7. Susan Gaddis

    You are welcome, Tom. Thanks for your comments and input. I’ve enjoyed your insights and they do deserve more consideration. Perhaps you should write a book after you have thought through it all. I’d love to read it.

  8. Tom Wymore

    I smiled, Susan. I will add that to my list of books to write! Once my dear bride is declared fully whole I will indeed start listening to Papa about writing. Thanks for the encouragement.

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