Monday, February 21, 2011

How I became interested in Celtic Christianity

Ten years ago I spent some time travelling across Britain visiting Scotland, Northumbria and Ireland while writing my first Celtic gift book The Celtic Heart (Lion, 2003). Originally, this book did not have a Celtic theme, but during my trip across Britain, I found myself increasingly drawn to, and inspired by, the radical faith and lifestyle of the Celtic saints. They have left a lasting impression on the landscape, and have touched the hearts of countless people across the centuries.

When I sailed with friends by yacht to Iona, I felt an incredible sense of connection with these saints and their passion to make Jesus known. Even the difficulty we had anchoring, reminded me of the incredible dangers these monastic missionaries faced on the open seas—many dying sharing their faith.

But it was when I visited the stunningly beautiful tidal island of Lindisfarne (or Holy Island), that I realized I was no longer a tourist, but a pilgrim in search of ‘the ancient paths’. An inner transformation had taken place that deepened my faith and began to change the course of my writing.

Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is,
and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
(Jeremiah 6:16)

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