A path through the trees

Slì (pronounced slee) means “the way” in Irish.


Christ present in daily life became the bedrock of the Celtic Christian spiritual path with no separation between the spiritual and the secular life.  Prayer was not a formal exercise; it was a state of mind. Because of the way they saw their world they were ready to accept, enjoy, transform whatever lay at hand.  The pattern of the day and of the year was lived in God’s presence.

  I will kindle my fire this morning

  In the presence of the holy angels of heaven,

  God, kindle thou in my heart within

  A flame of love to my neighbor.

Of course, to be able to pray, always we must set aside time—moreso in our own frenetic cultural atmosphere—to be alone with God in prayer.  The heart of the Carmelite Community of Apostolic Hermits’ (CCAH) life is the desert experience.  “I will espouse you, lead you into the desert, and there I will speak to your heart,” Hos. 2:14.  Both the Carmelite and the Celtic monk strove to withdraw into this interior solitude so as to hold oneself in the presence of the living God.  Our overall effort at Holy Hill is to create a lively human atmosphere of prayer so that we become God-conscious as were the early Irish people. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” Jn. 10:10.

Children playing ball on the beach at sunset

In the natural world, we confront darkness, violence, and a need for complete redemption.  The darkness and the emptiness, the pain and the grief, sometimes boredom and loneliness, are all part of being human; we have to face them in ourselves and in the world.  Celtic monks sought out desert places to face them more directly.  But despite its darkness, the world is still good.  Humanity is essentially good.  And our God is extremely good. (Celtic Christianity by Timothy Joyce, p. 155 and onwards).

A dark sunset

Celtic Christianity is not creation-centered, rather it is creation-filled.Rocky Irish coastline