Stepping Stones on the Celtic Way
My name is Mark Condy, I don’t claim to have all the answers in the area of Celtic Christian Spirituality. I have had a fascination with the subject for years. I do feel more like a weary traveler on a quest. On a search for different facets of ancient truths. These I believe when discovered can enhance my life journey and others who care to join me.
There are times I believe or feel like I’m wandering lost and alone. Then a little sign comes that brings me a glimmer of hope that I’m not wandering aimlessly. These signs encourage me, to take another step forward. Yes, giving me another stepping stone to tread on, and giving one more step forward toward attaining the predetermined destination.
Walking creates momentum, giving a steady rhythm, step by step. Also listening, hoping to see signs, or hear that still, small voice giving guidance and encouraging me/you, saying this is the way, walk in it. At times the destination is unknown, but small signs give us hope that our life goal is unfolding, that which was given for us to accomplish. A pilgrimage I believe is a journey that will draw us closer toward further knowing and accomplishing our given destiny.
One little step can make a difference
When our lives don’t line up with a divine blueprint we begin to long for an escape from the monotony of life. When we are not taking slow steady footsteps in a sure direction toward fulfilling our destiny, we can slow down momentum, causing nothing to happen, becoming bored or disillusioned with the journey. There is a desire or a gut feeling to run away from the problems we encounter. This is because we don’t know where to go, or not sure how to face up to the issue we were confronted with. At times the problem has arisen because a destination has not been chosen, without an aim a destination cannot be accomplished, and without a vision, the bible says we can perish.
Keep on dreaming of the possibilities
I don’t know if this is only me, the desire to escape, possibly dreaming or imagining the greater possibilities for my life, at times my head in the clouds fantasizing about other possibilities. It is the dreaming and visions that keep me alive, entering this world of longing and anticipation. I begin looking, and searching, to know and understand my role, that which the Lord has for me to fulfill and begin to imagine the possibilities. I look for the surprises the Lord has in store for me, and how it will play out and I will be amazed because it has been fulfilled in ways beyond how I imagined.
There is an architect of life’s purpose
The Monarch of the Universe is the name I have given to my architect of life. The one who spoke the universe into being, who is God. I think there is a longing in all our hearts to take a Pilgrimage, we are all weary travelers, going through the pilgrimage of Life.
When we begin the searching having a longing to find the spiritual treasure, unearthing a forgotten truth, we discover a way that can possibly add meaning to our lives. We look for the ancient path, our spiritual heritage; and a path of least resistance. Having a longing to have an encounter with the divine. Having a hope to have a particular moment, that we experience the sacred, entering a thin place were the human could stick his or her head through into the heavenly realm, to be touching the sacred, and encountering the Divine.
We draw near to seek inspiration, and see the working of the Monarch of the Universe, (my God figure in my book) and know that this could not have unfolded without a Divine touch, seeing our unfulfilled longings being fulfilled in that very moment, not from the past or the future but in the present moment.
“To live as a Pilgrim, all you need to do is see your life as a Journey, and your role as a seeker of the sacred.” ~A Sacred Journey, Lacy Clark Ellman. This is her wonderful website: https://www.asacredjourney.net/begin/
A Journey of Discovery
This is when quest, holy longing, or pilgrimage, comes into play, and a wanderlust begins to surface. We enter the world of longing, looking, searching, to know and understand our role in the world, that sacred role for which the Monarch of the Universe has purposed for us to play out and fulfill. (The Monarch of the Universe is my God figure the Divine taken from my book that is a work in process).
I think there is a longing in all our hearts to take a Pilgrimage, we are all weary travelers. There is a need to go away if only for an hour, day, week, month, to be in silence, to be still before the Lord. Our model is Jesus, he withdrew on a regular basis to spend time with his heavenly father. We need to do likewise, draw near to God. To seek a word, and council, from the Lord, to seek the meaning of our life, seek the sacred. Many take a pilgrimage, to dig deep into the recesses of their soul, to come to terms with the inner longings, searching to find the spiritual treasure that will add meaning to their lives.
The Ancient Paths
This begins by looking for those ancient paths, or taking a voyage of discovery on a Coracle. That feeling of being adrift, having been set out to sea, and at the mercy of the ocean currents, but more than this at the mercy of the Lord who is bigger than the ocean. Trusting that this flimsy vessel will be lead by the God of the Universe. We go in faith trusting the leading of the Trinity, we are invited into community with the triune one and we are just along for the ride.
The saints of old did likewise went along for the ride, trusting they will land where the Lord desires then be. To then start a community where they had washed ashore. With next to nothing, they trusted the Lord for all that they needed, believing that the Lord would not leave them without support. Application build a Coracle as a craft and let it float away taking with it our prayer, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Or those sorrows that prevent us taking the needed step of faith to enter into the next season of your life.
Looking at our spiritual heritage; these saint of old can inspire us to have the faith as they had. We want to entering a path of least resistance, and ease, but there is more momentum if we are in the flow of the Holy Spirit’s leading. To function in our gifting and strengths, to be brought to a place of fulfillment, and finding meaning for life, and having a faith purpose.
It is about being brought to a place of finding our worth, finding our place of service, having a love of the world and life, a love of God, and a love of self and other fellow pilgrims on the journey. Our Life journey is like being on an actual Pilgrimage of being alongside ordinary people, and finding joy in the moment in our ordinary everyday life.
To wrestle with the mysteries of life and understand the Monarch of the Universes role for us in the world, that which the Divine has a blueprint we should follow, to be building our life from this master plan. We will enter our role if we choose to cooperate.
It is about mixing the faith and the belief, and having a confidence that the Monarch of the Universe knows the end result and was the one who wrote or drew up the blueprint for our lives, to begin with; this being custom designed for our life.
There are times I feel like running away, but why? Where can you go, and who more can be trusted with our life that the creator of the Universe. It is the quest of a deeper of discovery of what I’m trying to avoid or run away from rather than face up to what the Lord is trying to accomplish and complete in and through my life. So if the thought of going abroad is daunting go on a Pilgrimage that incorporates going to places where holy figures have been, or where an event took place, local or abroad. Local sites make it easier to visit and this could be a copy of a well-known site and will make more attainable, allowing for those of fewer means to also go and experience a journey on a smaller scale, however, have a rich experience.
The opportunity to search the heart, have an expectation of an encounter in a sacred space or place, seek guidance, seek forgiveness, or a blessing from a saint, or directly from having an encounter with the divine. A spiritual presence is believed to be felt and a means of bringing the person to a place of transformation.
A Pilgrimage is a faith journey, a searching, a giving of time, to have an open mind so as to receive the gift of inspired faith, to come to terms with entering my role / your role in life. Have you and I even entered or touched upon it yet, that divine purpose? When will you and I know when we have entered that place of belonging and to no longer have the longing for more?
To fulfilling my hearts longing that which was placed there by the Monarch of the Universe, to begin with, who keeps nudging us forward into its fulfillment, where our hearts join as one heartbeat and the wanderlust has been fulfilled. Not all who wander are lost as a screenwriter for the Lord of the rings states it. I think it is more of a wanderhope, that will bring joy and worth, fulfillment and rest.
My character Tobar in my book that I’m writing is on a Pilgrimage with his Anam Cara. The Anam Cara Having a companion to journey with is so important as we cannot do life on our own, likewise, we cannot do a Pilgrimage on our own, you may say that you can. I agree, but it will be a less rich experience. Without company in the journey, is, of course, possible, but can make the steps more heavy and lonely if plodding along on our own.
The Pilgrimage is to discover the heartbeat of God through the process of the journey. We live in a fast-paced society, fixated on information and quick fix solutions. The Pilgrimage is a given time to choose to slow down and find yourself again. To live, and sing the Lords song in a strange land and be attentive to hear what the Spirit has to say to us. “This is what the LORD says: “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. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.'” Jeremiah 6: 16. We have to say to our-self we will walk in the ancient paths, discover afresh new ways that have been treasures lost from the past. Once we have discovered them, share these treasures and richly bless any we may encounter on our path in life.
To Be Hospitable
We are invited and welcomed to take the journey of change and transformation. To bring about a restoration, this is a process that can be messy and very emotion filled. This is why we need fellow pilgrims to walk with us, to come by our side. We are touched and influenced by many things, but people are the catalyst for many areas of spiritual formation in our lives. We need a touchstone, a person to listen, walk with us, and be a comfort and support in the roller-coaster of emotions that we possibly will encounter.
We get excited and motivated by many sources, books, blogs, videos, people, inspiring us, and filling us with aim and focus. Then there are times of disappointment and disillusionment that rise and stand strong like guards at the door of our dreams, not allowing us to pass, not allowing entry. We don’t understand why we are not allowed entry and question what is God doing, but we know it is for our good. The closed-door or the way not passable, is a sign for us to read, it may not be no, but not at this time. It may not be the right season, and these barriers are signs that ultimately change and transformation us. They inform us that we are being prepared, and entry into our dream is nearer than we thought and we are standing at the threshold in anticipation.
The Step of fulfilling dreams
The fulfillment of dreams begins with your pursuit of God. There is a wanderlust in us all, driven to find a place of fulfillment. We begin our quest to fill the void with travel, but it has to be more than a travel experience, it is more of a pilgrimage to God. This is birthed out of hunger that only God can satisfy. We discover God when we decide to take the journey back home, come to our senses, and go to God the Father.
We at times are people who like the prodigal son in a story Jesus told, there is a son who goes on a journey to find himself. He returns from his wandering and is embraced, the father is waiting to give acceptance, a robe, a ring, shoes, and a party with more than enough food. Everything a good pilgrimage should consist of, a wandering to God the Father, to be embraced, as the Lord has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, to be loved and accepted, and desires to lavishly provide everything that is needed, this comes with the hospitality that is desired to be given.
It is a journey the spiritual life, it is either toward God or away from the Lord. At times, we accept or resist God’s love and open invitation. It is the relationship that loving relationship that fuels the journey, gives meaning, and tension, this tension is experienced when we do not experience Jesus for ourselves.
We fight against the God-given desires placed within our hearts. We then enter the journey of those dark, desolate, desert times, when we don’t feel the Lord’s presence, that it doesn’t feel like that God is with and even our family or friends are distant. We feel alone, this is when we must dig deep, not run away, but run toward the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We run from experiences, and run from ourselves, this prevents us from finding the treasure that is sown within us, the will and desire of God, allow the seed planted to be nurtured to grow, to become the best version of yourself.
This is where I hope to fit into your life, to be a conduit of God, to be a guide or the Anam Cara, in your life. The person that comes alongside you in the struggles of life, when you face up to those spiritual needs in your life. Don’t suppress, deny, or seek to escape from the things in your life that you have been running away from theses inner demons, or the dry times in our lives. The need to reflect on theses seasons to learn what God has been trying to teach you. It’s telling your story of your struggles, in the telling helping people who hear, see that we are not alone. That God is and has been with us all along.
My goal is that people:
- Trust God more deeply.
- See God more clearly.
- Love people more dearly.
- Believe God more, and believe in yourself more!
- L.A.W. not as we know it, but be to all people, Loving, accepting, and welcoming.
To be courageous in the pursuit of your dreams begins with knowing your vision or goal, and if it is dormant, fan it back into flame, restore those desires that have lay dormant too long, due to a lack of use or faith, or even belief.
Anticipate all the good the Lord wants to do and accomplish through you! Let us pull down the barriers, fears, the doubts together, having confidence that you and I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, not just when we die and go to heaven, but now, this very moment.
Any journey, destination, needs a location of intention, a travel plan!
- Where are you going, the destination?
- What are you doing there?
- When are you going a time and date?
- Who is going with you, as it is not much fun traveling alone? (Tribe)
This is the beginning stages of my thinking about the Pilgrimage I desire to facilitate, there are further steps and more to process and further discussions to be had with the group who have expressed a desire to go. I will continue to add to this blog as further progress is made.
The following is my website of my discoveries that I have come across as I have journeyed the path to unearth this way of life.