Chapter 2: Image and Song
We explored this chapter about everyday ritual and prayer in the home. The de Waal book focuses on praying throughout the day and for every-day events, while the Painter book (which I’m using as a resource) focuses on blessing – the practice of blessing each moment. Blessing is a type of prayer, so they’re not so very different. I invite you to try the spiritual practice below (no pressure – only if you feel called to it!) and reflect on it in the comment section or at the next meeting.
Spiritual Practice of Blessing Each Moment (inspired from the book The Soul’s Slow Ripening)
In both Celtic and other traditions (such as Judaism) it is a practice to bless all sorts of encounters and times of day, such as when waking, crossing a threshold, eating a meal, or lighting a candle. This isn’t a foreign concept in our tradition, either. Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawerence describes a similar practice in a monastic setting. What if every task, small or large, were consecrated as we move throughout the day – waking, making coffee, getting in the car to leave the driveway, arriving at our destination safely, errands, jobs, tasks, meals, even things we do not want to do like laundry or dishes! This constant blessing is really a form of mindfulness, it’s a noticing, paying attention.
Try moving through your day noticing things to bless from moment to moment. Like in meditation when we have to constantly come back to the breath or let a thought go, we will go hours without remembering to bless the moment. But how special will those moments be when we Do remember! I plan to make a habit of blessing certain things – not everything- so that those things become a routine, a habit for me. I do not plan to beat myself up when I forget. I’ll just try to remember the next time. How might you try to incorporate blessing or prayer into the fabric of your daily life?
I look forward to your stories and insights! I will be back with you on June 22. In the meantime, Katherine will lead the group.
More on The Practice of Perigrinatio
Yesterday we read the short story of St. Brendan from the book Praying with the Celtic Saints by Mary Earle and Sylvia Maddox. Of course a lovely and lively conversation followed.
HOMEWORK: Re-read pages 18-27. We will discuss the prayer of St. Patrick next time. Read chapter 2 Image and Song. It’s short! Katherine will send a link for the class next week and facilitate. I will not be there next week.
Wandering Walk: I invite you to go on a wandering walk this week if you didn’t get a chance last week due to rain. Follow the instructions in last week’s post.
Abe’s question about if Celtic Christianity is still practiced as something separate from the Christianity we know, and when/where did that start and end spurred a lot of interest. We should continue to talk about this here on this page and in our group. Here are two resources that Lynda and Deborah sent to me. Enjoy and comment below!
Deborah’s Link from Wikipedia
Lynda’s Link to the chapter that Nancy mentioned yesterday from Listening to the Heartbeat of God. The chapter is called Two Ways of Listening, John and Peter,
The Practice of Perigrinatio or Wandering
Hello! This is our Tuesday 5-6 pm group conversation page. This is where I will post reflection questions, writing prompts, and spiritual exercises associated with our exploration of Celtic spirituality. I like thinking of this as a journey. And as this is the Celtic way, we don’t really know where our wanderings will lead us. But we are on this path for the love of God seeking our place of resurrection. Christine Valters Painter in her book The Soul’s Slow Ripening describes perigrinatio, or wandering, like this:
“For the Celtic monastic tradition, wandering was a powerful practice, shaping much of their vision of Christian spiritual life. There is a unique term for this Celtic wandering – peregrinatio pro christo – the call to wander for the love of Christ….The impulse for the journeys was always love. in this profound practice, God becomes both destination and way, companion and guiding force. God is in the call to the journey and the unfolding of the journey and God greets us at the journey’s end. The goal of this wandering is always to find the place of our resurrection, the place where our gifts can be brought fully to life for the rest of our days.”
Optional Journaling Exercise
I invite you to reflect here on the passage above. What does it look like in your life to seek your place of resurrection? When in your life have you been on a peregrinatio – you may not have thought of it like that at the time, but looking back you can see that you were wondering. You can add comments in the comment section. This page is private. No one can see it without the link that I sent you.
Optional Spiritual Practice This Week (from The Soul’s Slow Ripening)
Follow the Thread Through Photography: Follow the Thread means to listen to the synchronicities and patterns being revealed in our daily lives. It is a practice that increases our self-awareness and helps us tend to our inner impulses and aliveness. It helps us become aware of where we are being led on this wandering journey.
Instructions: Go for a contemplative walk this week (could just be around your yard or in a park or around your neighborhood) with your camera in hand. Center yourself at the beginning. Let your walk be an experience of peregrinatio. As you walk, look for signs that move you forward and signs that ask you to rest, photographing along the way. See if you can experience the spirit leading you on your wandering. Pay attention to images that call out to you. Ponder these images for a time. Let your camera be a window into deeper seeing. When you get home, select 3-4 images. In a journal write from the perspective of the image using first person language. “I am…” Then, as you look at your images in sequence, what story do they want to tell? How is this walking and storytelling a form of peregrinatio for you?
I encourage you to share your observations on this page in the comment section so that people who cannot attend the Zoom meeting can participate in the discussion. We will also discuss our walks at next Tuesday’s meeting. Happy wandering!!