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A bevy of classic Celtic wisdom that reveals the authentic core of Celtic spirituality is gathered in this inspirational anthology. A background on the history of Ireland as well as St. Patrick, Brigid, and the Twelve Apostles of Erin is provided along with sayings, stories, prayers, and proverbs that reveal the traditions and customs of Celtic prayer and learning. Beautifully illustrated with evocative images of Ireland, this is an intimate guide to putting the ancient wisdom ...
A bevy of classic Celtic wisdom that reveals the authentic core of Celtic spirituality is gathered in this inspirational anthology. A background on the history of Ireland as well as St. Patrick, Brigid, and the Twelve Apostles of Erin is provided along with sayings, stories, prayers, and proverbs that reveal the traditions and customs of Celtic prayer and learning. Beautifully illustrated with evocative images of Ireland, this is an intimate guide to putting the ancient wisdom of the Celts into practice.
Posted May 23, 2010
This is a very fine little book. Not only does it provide a useful and careful introduction to the most important Celtic Saints and others less well known, but it is also a pleasure to read and the photography, general layout, size and coloring are all very well done. Beyond that, it is also an important book because it brings us again to the Celtic Saints and their way of life and the ancient Church and acts as a handy summary of some of the best from them and their world and is an inspiration to follow Christ along their path. This makes it doubly worthwhile. So, thank you for such a fine little book on such an important topic. It is itself a small Celtic Christian treasure!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2010
Celtic Wisdom is a spiritual journey that explores the popular Irish lore that has engaged me since childhood. Teeming with the stuff (treasures) that legends are made of, Cindy Thomson's beautifully illustrated book unveils the heart of Celtic wisdom; and the true folk behind the Isle of Erin's most ancient of tales, and their Christian faith.
With the finesse of a diplomatic scholar, Cindy Thomson addresses the often preconceived notion that most Irish lore is pagan rooted. She unfolds how some legends were sown from the experiences of early Christian martyrs and devote Christ followers. By the time I finished Celtic Wisdom, I felt I had shared a cup of tea with St. Patrick, Brigid St. Bright, and the Twelve Apostles of Erin. Along with her exhaustive research Thomson encourages the reader to make his/her own conclusion as to what falls under the realms of truth, myth or mayhap. . .a wee bit o' both.
Rest assured I'll revisit Celtic Wisdom often!
PS: Celtic Wisdom will make for a treasured gift on St. Patrick's Day.
Truth inspires legends. Legends Inspire--Linda Wichman
Posted January 26, 2010
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There are many quotes, sayings, and traditional blessings scattered throughout the book, but those are just a small portion of it. And they are an important part, as are the wonderful photographs of Ireland that appear on nearly every other page. More properly, though, this is a brief history of Early Christianity in Ireland, a history that I was far more ignorant about than I realized. It begins with the three most important figures in Irish Christianity: Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille (also known as Columba). I thought I knew a fair amount about Patrick, but I was astounded at how much more is actually known about him. After covering the top three, Cindy introduces us to several other people who were notable in the early Irish church. She also gives great insight to the culture of the time, a culture ready to accept true Christianity at a time when the Roman world was being overrun by pagan ideas in the Dark Ages.
What did I learn from this brief, 95 page package stuffed full of treasures? Plenty. I didn't realize the role Ireland played in preserving scripture and true Christianity during the Dark Ages; it was further isolated from the rest of Europe, even England, than I had considered. I learned that the monastic life in Ireland was a far cry from anywhere else, and that the Roman rules didn't apply. Did you know that there were married priests in Ireland? And women clergy? Neither did I. Many of us knew that Patrick was a missionary from England, but maybe others are as ignorant as I was of how Ireland then returned the favor, sending out missionaries to other countries to re-introduce the fundamentals and truths of the Bible. Patrick's Confession was a far larger and more important document than I knew before, and after reading the translated excerpts in Celtic Wisdom, I am determined to seek a translated copy of the whole thing. The whole culture of the early Irish Christians appears to be much closer to the New Testament church than I ever imagined. It was reassuring to know, yet it left a feeling of sadness as I wondered at the changes over time. But this can be said of the state of the church everywhere today.
Celtic Wisdom is a rather scholarly work, complete with bibliography (as it should be). Since much of what is known of that time is based on oral tradition and legends, those are included. Often Cindy Thomson recounts traditional stories and legends without any comment as to their veracity, leaving it to the reader to decide what to accept and what to take with a grain of salt. On occasion she offers plausible alternatives, as in the true origin of the legend that Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. She also provides insight into the shamrock legend and the importance of Three in Old Ireland (I noted to myself that three has great significance throughout the Bible as well). Some of the legends I found amusing, but all of them lead to a better understanding to that early group of Christians.
Make Celtic Wisdom a part of your library, but leave it on the coffee table for others to pick up and enjoy as well. Only 95 pages--small, but that actually makes it more accessible for those of us who are always too hurried to sit down to a longer scholarl
Posted January 26, 2010
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Leprechauns! Rainbows arching to pots of gold! Ireland has always been a land of mystery and wonder. Now explore Irish legends of the saints with Cindy Thomson. St. Brigid, St. Patrick, St. Columcille--Thomson follows the slender golden thread of truth woven among the legends: that true wisdom comes from God alone through Jesus Christ, and He alone is worthy of our praise.
One very interesting legend about St. Patrick is that he used the shamrock to illustrate the Trinity. "One plant, three leaves; one God, three persons." This is a wonderful concept that we can easily share today, whether it was first used by St. Patrick or some unknown person.
I found food for thought in a legend about St. Kevin (Coemhghein in Irish). St. Kevin's foster son was ill and asked for an apple, though there were no nearby apple trees. Legend has it that Kevin blessed a willow tree and then found some apples. His foster son ate one and recovered. I wondered whether C. S. Lewis had grown up hearing this particular legend of the British Isles. Perhaps St. Kevin's story inspired The Magician's Nephew, where Aslan gives Digory an apple to make his ill mother well again.
If you want to learn the lore of Ireland, you can't do better than this beautifully illustrated book by the author of Brigid of Ireland: A Historical Novel.
Posted December 16, 2009
Celtic Wisdom by Cindy Thompson truly is a treasure of Eire. Thompson gives background information on the saints well known from Ireland: Patrick, Brigid, and Columba, as well as several others who helped encourage Christianity to grow across the country. The Celts had a very unusual form of Christianity that challenged Rome but was loved by its people. It focused on seeing God in nature and worshiping Him on a very personal level. The book is filled with glorious photographs that will make the reader want to catch the next flight on Aer Lingus. I filled several pages in my journal with the beautiful prayers and quotations from Celtic saints and monks. The famed Book of Kells is also discussed along with other ancient tomes of the faith. It's a perfect sampler for anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith of the Celts and how it has influenced generations.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 16, 2009
If covers sell books, this one should be a best seller! The appealing hardcover, giftbook style, written by a former teacher promises to provide a rich collection of Celtic history, stories, poems, and prayers. Inside are beautiful full color photos deserving to be framed.
Ever wonder how the anciety Irish found the Christian path? It's in the book! Ever wonder what the Celtic thought on prayer was? P. 84 explains which position they were urged to pray in. Liturgy was important for these ancient people, yet they nurtured a personal, continuous conversation with God. From Patrick and Brigid to Celtic learning and art, readers will find insights into Celtic Christianity.
Thomson writes as if she's teaching a class about this culture. "Erin (Eire), the Irish word for the Island of Ireland, was the mother of life to the ancient Irish." She teaches us about the ancient Irish phrase Sli na firinne and how it is relevant today. I love the educative aspect of this inspiring book, which is rich and applicable today. We gave a copy as a Christmas gift to someone who loves everything Irish. Whether a lover of Irish history or petite coffee table books, I recommend Celtic Wisdom.
Posted March 14, 2010
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