Friday, August 1, 2008

A new type of prayer

I'm reading all sorts of things in preparation for classes this fall. One of the books is Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue.

Celtic spirituality is quite different from much of the history of western Christian spirituality. A striking difference is the unity of body and soul. Western theology is so hampered by dualism - whether we like it or not, this way of thinking has invaded Christianity.

O'Donohue speaks of how our body is not separate from our soul in any way, but he says that our body resides in our soul. I'm still working that one out, but it is a beautiful image.

He offers a way to pray:

Your body is in the soul, and the soul suffuses you completely. Therefore, all around you there is a secret and beautiful soul-light. This recognition suggests a new art of prayer: Close your eyes and relax into your body. Imagine a light all around you, the light of your soul. Then with your breath, draw that light into your body and bring it with your breath through every area of your body.

(p. 49)


Jan said...

I love this book!!

Sophie's Daughter said...

Me too! Though I find some of the ideas really challenging. They are somewhat foreign to so much of Christian (particularly American Christian) ideas.

EmJayDee said...

I love Celtic too. Thin places are so easily missed.