This weekend, thousands of pilgrims will climb Croagh Patrick, a mountain which was considered sacred as far back as 3000 years BC and associated with St Patrick from the time he fasted there. Ireland today is bombarded today with lots of examples of what will lead to a happy life, such as wearing certain types of clothes, such and such a diet, success in achieving goals, quick-fix self-help slogans and imitating celebrities. However, in the wisdom developed in Celtic spirituality around the time of Patrick – over 1500 years ago – a fulfilled life had three elements: being close to nature, having concern for those less fortunate and being grateful. Let’s see which will lead to greater contentment….
Let me bless almighty God, whose power extends over sea and land, whose angels watch over all.
Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fish, giving food to the poor.
Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet, always thanking God.
Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell, serving the King of kings.
The Prayer of St. Columba, 521-597 A.D.