Quote for the Day

The idea of memory was very important in Celtic spirituality. There are lovely prayers for different occasions. There are prayers for the hearth, for kindling the fire, and for smooring the  hearth. At night, the ashes were smoored over the burning coals, sealing off the air. The next morning the coals would still be alive and burning. There is also a lovely prayer for the hearth keepers that evokes St. Bridget, who was both a pagan Celtic goddess and a Christian saint. In herself, Bridget focuses the two worlds easily and naturally. The pagan world and the Christian world have no row with each other in the Irish psyche, rather they come close to each other in a lovely way.

— John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Shadwynn

    How I miss the wisdom of John O’Donohue! He was taken too soon…

  • http://brazenbird.wordpress.com brazenbird

    I was lucky enough to find Anam Cara in a used bookstore the other day. The book isn’t in great shape, but that just told me how lovingly used it was. I look forward to continuing to care for it and read it.

    Regarding this quote – it’s timely (as usual). Just last night a Pagan friend told me that she simply does not think of me as Christian. Though I know without a doubt that she deeply respects my beliefs and my practice. Reading this quote, I wonder if we’re practicing the kind of relationship O’Donohue speaks to in his book. How lovely.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    Yes, show your friend this quote. Remind her that you are indeed a Christian, and maybe it’s some other folks she knows who might not need to be thought of as Christians!

  • http://nitecaravan.blogspot.com/ Son of Wisdom

    What a great quote. Oddly enough I was book shopping yesterday and saw this book and almost got it. Now reading this, I think I may go pick it up after all.