The other week I received an offer to review the book Water from an Ancient Well: Celtic Spirituality for Modern Life by Ken McIntosh through the blogging program Speakeasy that I am a member of. As someone who has some Irish heritage and roots, I jumped at the chance. I have always felt a connection to Ireland and since I have been a follower of Jesus, a connection with Celtic Christianity and people like Saint Patrick and Saint Brendan (I sometimes joke that I have 3 patron saints from Ireland...the 2 previously mentioned, and then for a good laugh I throw in Saint Guinness)
It took me a while to work through this e-book not because it was tough reading or hard to understand. It took awhile because of a combination of my families schedule and my desire to go chapter by chapter savoring each chapter and the jewels contained within them.
There are 15 chapters in the book and each chapter seeks to tie together ancient Celtic Christianity and modern day life of following Jesus and how they can intertwine and impact us today. Some of the chapters cover the themes of God in the everyday, the meaning of the cross, solitude, spiritual friends, community, nature, Scripture, arts, and hospitality.
I found many chapters encouraging and challenging as well as thought provoking. Many of the themes in the 15 chapters I strongly resonated with and many of these themes I have been seeking to embed them within the life and ministry of Veritas and in my own personal life of following Jesus.
The one downfall that I experienced while reading the book, really had nothing to do with the book at all. It had to do with my longing to have a spiritual pilgrimage to Ireland. To walk where Saint Patrick walked. To see the Book of Kells firsthand. To climb Croagh Patrick (maybe not barefoot like people do on Reek Sunday). To visit St. James Gate and take a tour of the Guinness Factory as well as consume a pint. To see the beauty of the Island and immerse myself in the land of some of my forefathers (both in the sense of my actual descendants and those who followed Christ before me).
If you feel a strong connection to Ireland and also to Celtic Christianity, and have ever wondered what it might look like to live out some of the same values that the Celtic Christians lived out, only in our time, than grab a copy of this book and drink the Water from this ancient well.