Celtic Spirituality is often spoken of as something ancient, remote and in need of re-discovery. John J Ó Ríordáin, however, speaks of it as a lived experience even in modern Ireland. Reading some of the literary legacy of Ireland leads one to ask ‘From where does all this spiritual richness spring?’ The question leads to an investigation of the Celtic world as it emerged on continental Europe around 1,000BC, to the Celts’ eventual absorption of the Christian message in the Ireland of the fifth century, the blossoming of what is now called ‘Celtic spirituality’ during the early middle ages, and its survival down to the present day. Fr Ó Ríordáin speaks of one of the key characteristics of both Christian and pre-Christian Celtic spirituality as being its communal emphasis. For Christians, this community life is further enhanced by a keen awareness of being part of a greater community of saints gathered around the throne of Goodness, ever united in praising and thanking the creator God who is revealed in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Against this background, living reflectively in the present moment makes sweet music of everything that happens.
John J Ó Ríordáin is a Redemptorist Missioner, born in Co Cork and educated in Galway, Limerick, Seattle and Montreal. As well as giving parish missions all over Ireland and Scotland, he lectures and gives short courses in history, spirituality, theology and developmental psychology.