Celtic Society of St. James
The Spirituality of
Societal Celtic Living
To try to get in contact with God and ourselves in nature, believing that God reveals Himself in creation by His Devine Presence, especially at the so-called Thin Places we are aware that the otherworld is nearby. (Thin Places are all about connection - with God, with the Otherworld, and with all who have lived, are living, and will live in generations to come. The Pre-Christian and Celtic people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England had a keen sense of thin places. Today, we might think of this concept as the Communion with All Saints.)
To cultivate spiritual friendship following the ideal of the Anam Cara, the soul friend, which can be seen as a confessor or as we prefer today as a spiritual friend and religious companion. We reject rigid hierarchies and if possible the use of titles, other than brother and sister. Even Abbots are known as brothers.
To express our beliefs in poetry, music, and the arts and carry its beauty into life.
To understand life as a pilgrimage, symbolically, and practically. Learning and teaching belong to this path. We offer training programs and promote our society members to become Anam Cara guides themselves and we don´t differentiate by gender, race, sexual orientation, or nationality.
To regard creation and humanity to be fundamentally good and as Original Blessing. However, this in no way negated the Apostolic belief in Original Sin, which has been the theological understanding of the Christian Church for over 2,000 years. It is possible for both Original Sin and Original Blessing to co-exist within the framework of Biblical Christianity.
Regarding our prayer practice and our liturgy, we follow the tradition of the ancient Celtic Communities, as it was handed down through the ages by word and mouth, in early Celtic (Latin) writings, and now through contemporary collections found in our common life books and experiences.
To reserve time for silence and contemplation.
Understanding Our History
John’s authoritative position in the Church after the Resurrection is shown by his visit with Peter to Samaria to lay hands on the new converts there. It is to Peter, James, the brother of Jesus, and John that Paul successfully submitted his conversion and mission for recognition.
John and Joseph of Arimathea, maternal great uncle of Jesus, and his brother, James, were believed to be the cornerstones and early bishops of the churches at Ephesus, Galatia, and Antioch. James, the brother of Jesus, was the bishop at Jerusalem.
The Celts eventually fled these areas migrating to what was called Britannia and Ireland after the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325). Roman Emperor Constantine I, declared Christianity One of the Official State Religions. The Celts rejected this action and fled for safety outside the Empire's reach. In A.D. 313, the edict of Milan granted freedom of worship to the citizens of the Roman Empire. By the end of the century, Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of Rome and elevated the Roman Sea as the Supreme Patriarch of the newly institutionalized Roman Catholic Church.
It was when these early Celtic Christians settled in Britannia and Ireland that the ancient customs and rituals of the native celts (inhabitants) influenced Celtic Christianity. The Celtic tradition is a blend of that merging together in what we now know as Celtic Spirituality.