I doubt whether the quest (for a vision of the world in a new wholeness and depth) can be fulfilled unless we can realise again the presence of a transcendent reality that is none the less that which is nearest of all; immanent in the world and in human life itself. It may be worth while recalling this vison of the world and sense of presence that were once common in the West and are still comon in parts of the world...The Celt was very much a God intoxicated man whose life was embraced on all sides by the divine Being. But this presence was always mediated through some finite, this-worldly reality...(Professor John Macquarrie)
What the professor is talking about is the Celtic concept of NEART which the great Celtic scholar Sean O'Duinn defines as "the presence of a transcendent reality pervading all things in the world, immanent in human life." Now don't leave! That sounds really hard to grasp, but actually, Hollywood did it well with the late '90's short-lived TV series ROAR. It starred an unknown named Heath Ledger as a Celtic prince, and the spirituality talked about in it and defined as the "roar of the universe" was none other than this concept of neart. Dumbed down a bit, I admit, but still the same idea. It worked for Hollywood so why can't it be applied to us?
In fact, it can. This idea of a divine presence filling everything isn't just a Celtic idea. Sean O'Duinn points out that St. Paul captures the same thought when he speaks about God to the Greek pagans, "In him we live and move and have our being." Another way of looking at neart is seeing it as "God's creative energy". The Celts saw it as flowing out from God in 6 directions--north, south, east, west, up and down. There is a great little method of prayer that incorporates this spirituality.
If you look at one of the previous posts called "THE LORICA" you will see that it was common for the Celtics to surround themselves with the power of God in a circular type of shielding. In fact it was common for the Celtic pagans to use the encircling motion as protection. When the Celts converted to Christianity, the Church let them keep those methods of prayer because they were incorporated iinto Christian theoilogy. So for instance, the Trinity, often represented as a tri-divided circle, was central to Celtic Christian prayer. When the encircling was made, prayer was addressed to God as Father, Son and Spirit. Here's a quote from a great book by Sean O'Duinn, OSB Where Threee Streams Meet: Celtic Spirituality (Dublin: The Columba Press, 2002).
The Culdees, a reform group from the 9th century in Ireland, used to do this type of prayer. It's called the Shrine of Piety. The Our Father and 'O God, come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me' are recited first facing the east with both hands raised to heaven and making the Sign of the Cross. This is then done for the other three points of the compasss; then downwards and finally upwards. This is called the 'Shrine of Piety'. This is a very impressive native ritual, easily performed either by an indiviaul or a group. Beginning towards the east one turns sunwise to the south, then to the west, ending at the north. The downward bowing might be done effectively towards the west where the sun sets and upward elevation of eyes and body towards the east, the area of the rising sun." (p. 80)
I'm sure you can see that this is one easy way of praying that involves one's whole body. I think it's fantastic and such an improvement over the the secular, magical, rather new-age nonsensical versions of Celtic spirituality that we so often encounter. This particular method is real, has been practiced for centuries, and remains a wonderful way to call to mind the all embracing love of God who is transcendent but immanently near to us.