Since the end of the last century there’s been a lively interest in all things Celtic, especially in the USA. You probably don’t need to be told that there’s no lack of fantasy and wishful thinking in some “reconstructions” of Celtic traditions. At times you may scratch your head and wonder, “Should I believe any of this?” Here are a few trustworthy titles that could constitute solid Lenten reading.
George MacDonald (1824-1905) would not have thought of himself as part of the Celtic revival but he was a Scotsman through and through even after living in London and Northern Italy. C.S. Lewis wrote of him, “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer or more continually close to the Spirit of Christ Himself.”
George MacDonald: Life Essential:The Hope of the Gospel, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1974, 102 pp
George MacDonald: The Miracles of Our Lord, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1980, 166 pp
Geroge MacDonald: Creation in Christ, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1976, 342 pp
J. Philp Newell (born 1953) is Warden of Spirituality for the Anglican Diocese of Portsmouth, England. His book is a meditation on The Division of Nature by the ancient Celtic monk and scholar, John Scotus Eriugena.
J. Philp Newell, The Book of Creation: An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality, Paulist Press, 1999, 112 pp
Christopher Bamford & William Parker Marsh, Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness–an Anthology, Lindisfarne Press, 1987, 138 pp
In addition to her studies in history at Cambridge, Esther de Waal brings the resources and talents of her faith and being mother and grandmother to her writings.
Esther de Waal: The Celtic Vision: Prayers and Blessings from the Outer Hebrides, St. Bede’s Publications, 1988, 255 pp
Esther de Waal: Every Earthly Blessing: Rediscovering the Celtic Tradition, Servant Publications, 1992, 137 pp
Should you wish to combine short, daily reflections with a regular schedule of prayer, you may find this prayerbook from the Northumbrian Community useful. Short readings assigned to each calendar day are taken from ancient and modern Celtic authors; they are paired with appropriate scripture readings.
Andy Raine and John T. Skinner: Celtic Daily Prayer: A Northumbrian Office, Marshall Pickering, 1994, 447 pp