The Celtic tradition reflects this integration of mind, body and soul. Whether it be the kneading of bread, the weaving of cloth, the shearing of sheep or the plowing of fields, there is a mind and body synergy that allows the worker to engage the craft in such a way that their work becomes a prayer.
And so, among other things I’m giving up for Lent, I’m trying to give up the search to find some other hidden meaning. Perhaps I won’t get anything out of it. We don’t enter into the Lenten season practicing disciplines in order to achieve a particular return. It’s not an investment. Fasting and praying are not disciplines that we engage in in order to “cash in” on some prize later.
It is in this silent space that I re-realize that God is here. His holy in my every day.
The plea and blessing she sought from God wasn’t just hers alone. Guests and visitors who arrived to a home in which the daily chores were being tended greeted their hosts with the Gaelic blessing Bail o Dhia which translates to, ‘God’s blessing on the work!’ The declaration of such a blessing expressed the implicit knowledge that the monotonous backbreaking work was not simply the laborer’s alone but a joint effort blessed by God upon which all of society depended.
No matter where we are, no matter where we may be, no matter what is going on, we keep our mind on Jesus.
If we pay attention to the Celtic woman’s kindling prayer, we realize what she prays for is more than a comfortable home. She asks God to kindle a flame of love within her heart that will reach out beyond herself to include her neighbors. As she attends to the basic needs of her home, she is also looking beyond her family to take care of the needs of others. Her kindling prayer reflects the nature of the Triune Godhead who is whole, complete and integrated as its own self, yet bothers to invite humanity to share in the gift of divine love.