By: Timothy J. Joyce
Celtic Christianity introduces a mysterious and extraordinary spiritual world, one which drew on pre-Christian beliefs and culture and took form in the church as it developed among the Celtic peoples sixteen centuries ago. As Timothy Joyce shows, Celtic spirituality appeals to mind, body, and spirit. Joyous and mystical, it affirms the goodness of creation and the gifts of women; it blossoms in poetry, myth, and song. While recounting the more familiar tales of heroic saints like Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille (Columba), Joyce also goes beyond other books, showing how and why this distinctive tradition was gradually subsumed by a more rigid and authoritarian style of Catholicism. Finally, he movingly reflects on the centuries of suffering that have left an indelible mark on Irish consciousness and spirit. Celtic Christianity offers a rediscovery of an ancient faith tradition that can sustain spiritual seekers and renew the church today.
From the book (p 71): "St Patrick's Breastplate. "For my shield this day I call: Heaven's might, Sun's brightness, Moon's whiteness, Fire's glory, Lightning's swiftness, Wind's wildness, Ocean's depth, Earth's solidity, Rock's immobility. This day I call to me: God's strength to direct me, God's power to sustain me, Go's wisdom to guide me, God's vision to light me . . . God's shield to protect me, God's legions to save me, from snares of the demons, from evil enticements, from failings of nature, from one man or many, that seek to destroy me, anear or afar.