This week I am interviewing Liz Babbs, author of Celtic Treasure and an authority on Celtic spirituality. Thank you, Liz, for joining us again today and sharing your insights with us.
The Celts believed that whatever the task or time of day, there was a special prayer to be said. How can Christians today practice this same devotion? Can you share with us one of the prayers you have written?
I’ve described prayer as “heart to heart communication with God” and relationships are all about communication. So I love the way the Celtic Christians naturally weaved prayer into the fabric of their daily lives, thanking God and remembering Him throughout their day.
The Celts believed that God was with them in every aspect of their lives. So whatever the task or time of day, there was a special prayer to be said. They didn’t just pray at meal times as we might today, but they had prayers for everyday tasks like baking bread, milking the cow or kindling the fire. As a housewife cut a cross in the dough she would bless it in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Christians can practice that same devotion today by becoming prayerfully aware of the presence of God in the ordinariness of everyday life. By being thankful for the simple things we normally take for granted like our health, warmth, light, water, shelter etc. As well as thanking God for the advances in technology and using computers and cell phones in appropriate ways that serve God rather than exclude him. There are computer programs and phone applications that help you connect with God and study the Bible.
Lord, make me an island set apart for you. Where the rock of ages rings out with praise. Where the waters of your spirit saturate my soul And the fire of your presence burns deep within. Liz Babbs (p.40 Celtic Treasure)
Community and hospitality were key elements in how the Celts practiced their faith. Can you elaborate on this for us? How might we embrace this spirit of hospitality in our everyday lives?
Invite people round for meals to your house, especially people who live on their own. It means such a lot to be welcomed into someone’s house. It’s a precious gift we can give each other and it helps create community and a sense of belonging. Having a meal together and the sharing of food and drink was central to Jesus’ ministry. The monastic tradition continues to practice hospitality even today, welcoming strangers and guests as though they were Christ. Now there’s a challenge!
Join me on Friday for the last segment of my interview with Liz.
To find out more visit:
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
This Post Has 9 Comments
What a beautiful prayer. These posts bring a sense of peace to my mornings. Thank you.
Beautiful! It makes my heart feel at such peace! I love the prayer from her book.
Just want to say that I had a first-hand experience with monastic hospitality last year at a convent in Russia. Every meal served there was available to whomever happened to be staying or even visiting at the time. Somehow the food stretched to feed all. Their trust in the Lord’s provision was evident, and humbling. Russians are typically this way. Hospitality is part of their culture, and an expectation rather than an exception to their daily routine. I am so drawn to these “ancient paths” and really appreciate your exposing us to the Celtic Christian lifestyle. The explanation of the reason for the various prayers throughout the day make a lot of sense–recognition and affirmation by words and deeds of the holy in the daily.
Great reminder Susan. I think that though I really WANT to value “hospitality” and “community”… it is another thing to live like it. Someone once told me that “in the end, how we live IS what we believe.” This really convicted me and challenges me. I want “hospitality” and “community” to truly be my heart’s value.
But it is so easy to live in my own little world… even with people around. Even when I invite people over for a meal, there is still this disconnect with me… I don’t know about others. I am still inviting people over to “my house” with “my stuff” to share “my food”. I wonder if hospitality and community… true hospitality and community is deeper than that?
I wonder if the point of hospitality and community is to erase those lines of “mine” and “yours”… to ours… or rather: “God’s”? After all… isn’t it all God’s… and we are merely stewards? I wonder if that may be a large puzzle piece to community and hospitality… I wonder if God gives us hospitality and community for us… and we think it is for others. Like what C.S. Lewis says about prayer: “prayer changes us, not God.” Prayer is a gift to us that changes us and reminds us of truth and reality. And then we learn to let go of all that hold us… “our stuff”.
Okay… I am rambling. But I think you can see my thought process. God is definitely calling me out of an “objective story”/ walk with Jesus at arms distance… to a “subjective story”/ a walk with Jesus and others that more resembles an embrace.
Thank you for sharing your post… as you can see it is messing with me.;-)
Very good word Jeremy. That’s alot to think about in addition to what Susan has already given us.
Good imput, Jeremy. You are right in so many ways. Hospitality is more then just sharing “my” stuff, it is about sharing in way that moves from “my” to “ours.” Thanks for pointing that out. Now, as you and Liz have pointed out, we just have to live it out. Ouch!
Bless you all for your lovely comments. That prayer was conceived on St Cuthbert’s Island, alongside Lindisfarne. I was so moved by this stunning location where Cuthbert used to ‘escape’ to spend more time with God in prayer. The remains of his prayer cell is still there. Such devotion to God is inspiring.
That prayer is one that I plan to voice on the Celtic Treasure album I’m working on. I also plan to have it filmed on the island so that I can share this with others.
God bless you in your journey deeper into Him,
Beautiful thoughts. Love the prayer that is beside the picture of sheep. Liz’s books are a peaceful stream in our wild and crazy world. We need to seek the peace and drink deeply so that the Presence of the Lord rises in our thoughts and words in all we do.
I just got home from an awesome women’s retreat to find your many comments. Liz, I’m so glad you are using that prayer as the one to “voice” on the new album. Filming it on St. Cuthbert’s Island by Lindisfarne is a wonderful idea. I’ll look forward to the album’s release.
I agree with with Patricia that your books are a stream of peace in our crazy world, Liz. Thank you for your input, Patricia. I took the photo of the sheep on a hillside on the Isle of Mull when we were on a trip to Iona four years ago and hope to return there one day. The prayer is one of my favorites that have come from Liz and her meditations. I appreciate her sharing it.