Finding our Grassroots Spirituality to
Combat the Darkness by Ray Simpson

A tsunami of "me first and damn the consequences" populism sweeps western electorates. Commentators liken this to the millions who elected Hitler in the 1930s or to the hordes who destroyed the Roman Empire in the previous millennium. They fear that a new Dark Age may threaten us.

Carl Jung predicted Nazi Germany’s fate before others. He identified that the form Christianity took in Germany was top-down and imposed, "nothing but man's own inner demons projected into the outside world." They had been kept down by the politically correct establishments, but—un-listened to and unredeemed—these primal drives would make a catastrophic come-back.

In stark contrast, Christianity in Celtic lands breathed through the pores of the people. It was grassroots, and it permeated every part of life, transforming it. The prophet Isaiah says "Look to the quarry from which you were hewn" (Isaiah 51:1). We—Africans, Hispanics, White-Americans, and Europeans—need to discover these neglected archetypal roots as never before.

That is why I wrote Celtic Christianity. The Hodder and Stoughton editor of the original UK edition said "This is a once in a life-time book" and gave it the sub-title Historic Roots for Our Future. In chapter 11, I write about how Europe’s Dark Age was replaced by a Golden age, quoting these words of Noel O’Donoghue: 

"There is a sense in which Europe is the creation of the monks who journeyed into the darkness with this Celtic way of seeing, for the light that troubled their dreams had to shine into  the darkness; it was a Christian light, incarnate, sacrificial. It was a light and a vision that had been tested and purified and deepened in the darkness of Gethsemane and Calvary, a light breaking forth from the Cross, an Easter light, a vision of the Risen Lord who was 'the Son of the gentle Mary.'"

I also quote an Orthodox icon painter who was then known as Brother Aidan:

"The imagination is a faculty for seeing, rather than for inventing... But purity of heart is required for such a healthy functioning of the imagination. Without this purity, the ever active mind and imagination construct disjointed thoughts and representations that bear little resemblance to reality. Such images debase rather than dignify; they vandalise rather than draw people closer to the spiritual logoi within creation."

St. Aidan. 

St. Aidan. 

On the day I write this, my daily prayer tweet @praycelticdaily is "After the tsunami of prejudice and belittlement may our eyes be continually washed in your ocean of pure mercy." The challenge to us is clear.

Ray Simpson is the author of several books on Celtic spirituality, including Celtic Christianity: Deep Roots for a Modern Faith and The Celtic Book of Days: Ancient Wisdom for Each Day of the Year from the Celtic Followers of Christ