Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Irish monks and pilgrims

I have always been fascinated with Irish monasticism. I read somewhere the Irish monks and nuns rivaled the Desert Fathers in austerity and penance. They had an early form of the rosary, using pebbles to keep track of all 150 psalms, often recited standing in icy water. I found some links about Irish monasticism, pilgrimages, and holy wells. Dr Deborah Vess has done a great deal of research about Celtic monasticism and devotional pratice. She says this about Irish pilgrimages:

Thousands and thousands of pilgrims past and present trod these and many other roads. These pilgrims and their journeys need not be things of the past; they continue to live in all of us. We are all peregrini in this world, and the Celtic saints and their journeys remind us that each place we are in calls us to be transformed, while each journey we make takes us deeper into that one special place where we are most at home. Although it seems that the Celtic saints wandered in an aimless way, they believed that in the end their goal would be found -- finding their place of resurrection, that place where they would cross from this world to the next.

This is a good way to view Lent, as a pilgrimage from this world to the next, believing that on Easter day we will have one foot in Heaven.

I also found this controversial article. Share


Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for your insights to this season. I hope you don't mind but I copied these articles off to be reproduced, in a small way, for the Catholic inmates here under my charge.

De Brantigny

elena maria vidal said...

Monsieur, I am delighted.