Though Ancestry.com testing might not indicate I’m Irish, the influence of the Irish culture lives within me. I will claim to be Irish by association.
On March 17 my “Spirit” circle will celebrate by sharing our insights from our study of Celtic spirituality. It’s my turn to choose our topic, offer resources, and facilitate our conversation. I’ve wanted to discover the essence of Celtic spirituality and I found it resonates with who I am.
Spirituality is a way of expressing who we are and how we live out what we believe. A central wisdom of the Celts is that all life is sacred and God is always with us, in us, all around us in the ordinariness of our lives.
The great discovery for me is how Celtic spirituality is so similar to Dominican spirituality. Celts have monastic roots. They pray always, not enclosed in a monastery but live in community wherever they are. Contemplation and study are elements of our Dominican life. So too with Celtic life. I discovered that the Celtic people are committed to Mission—to being sent. Itinerancy is a way of life for both Dominicans and Celts. Hospitality is a natural gift of this life. Love of nature and the reverence of creation are also alive in both. These are a few characteristics that are similar.
“Relationship is at the heart of everything!” our sisters proclaim often. Our understanding is that God is Trinity, one community of love. St. Patrick chose to “preach” this mystery with the ordinary.
How about you—are you open to the Dominican spirit?
Mary Therese Johnson, OP