The Wisdom of the Celts

Bradwell Chapel 1

Taken from the writings of Canon Martin Wallace, former Rector of Bradwell-on-Sea and chaplain of St Peter’s-by-the-Wall, the little chapel founded by St Cedd in 654.

Where you are determines the ‘feel’ of your faith: the urban and rural Christians each express their spirituality differently: Celtic Christians went with the ‘local flow’.

Our prayers are best when in time with our natural heartbeat and the heartbeat of God himself.

The Celtic Christians were people of vision and of visions.

We need to discard so much religious and organisational clutter that divert us from our two priorities - prayer and mission. ‘Spirituality not religion’ is the Celtic key we inherit.

It is the authenticity of our inner journey that gives credibility to our faith.

Christianity is not a piece of jewellery to wear but a life to wear.

The Celtic Christians were both combative and contemplative in prayer.

We all carry our own prayer cell within us - deep inside.

The Celtic Church was Bradwell crossmaterially poor but spiritually rich - an equation that refuses to go away.

Prayer without mission can be self-indulgence. Mission without prayer is merely human activism.

Prayer feeds mission and mission feeds prayer.

Prayer is work and work is prayer.

Life is purposeful pilgrimage, not an aimless meandering trail.

Jesus never said he was the destination, he said ‘I am the Way’.

The destination is, in fact, the journey itself, and the journey is, in fact, the destination.

We are called to travel light both to possessions and programmes.

Our life is a pilgrimage with and into the heart of God.

The Trinity is a love affair between three, each receiving the other in love and sending the other out in love, the continuous flowing action of a God of patterns.

We live as interconnected people - not isolated units.

As we travel along the patterns of life, we are called to be less obsessed with destination, and to enjoy more the journey itself.

True evangelism always happens from within the culture.
Bradwell Chapel 2
Whose world is this? God’s!

As the sky touches the land, and the sea touches the shore, so heaven touches earth and time touches eternity.

It is the same God, the master craftsman, who sculptured the mountains, drew the rivers, painted the stars, raised the wind, stirs the sea - and gives the pulse to my heartbeat.

Creation is so important, Jesus came to be part of it.

Humanity is called to show humility before the humus.

It is only our stubbornness which separates us from each other, from heaven, from creation, from God.

We are surrounded by God’s angels everyday, everywhere, and in everything we do. We are never alone.

The Christianity of the Celts is a spirituality of the hearth before it is a spirituality of the Church.

Celtic Christians discovered and celebrated God in the menial everyday tasks.
Celtic Cross
At the edge we see horizons denied to those who stay in the middle.

Walking along a cliff-top our bodies and souls face each other and that is how we grow.

The edge is always in fact always the centre of spiritual renewal.

Jesus was edged out of the synagogue, out of the temples, out of the city, out of society and out of life - yet remained totally in touch with the heart of life.

Any Christian movement that becomes respectable risks being brought from the edge to the centre - and so is given the kiss of death.

Bradwell Chapel 3Photos top to bottom:
  • St Peter's Chapel from the south
  • The Celtic Cross inside St Peter's
  • St Peter's Chapel from the north
  • A Celtic Cross in Bradwell Cemetery
  • St Peter's Chapel from across the fields near the Othona Community
For many more profound thoughts, see Celtic Reflections by Martin Wallace (Tim Lily Ltd.), available from St Peter’s Chapel, Bradwell.

Martin Wallace, 11/08/2012

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