Celtic Christianity introduces a mysterious and extraordinary spiritual world, one which drew on pre-Christian beliefs and culture and took form in the church as it developed among the Celtic peoples sixteen centuries ago. As Timothy Joyce shows, Celtic spirituality appeals to mind, body, and spirit. Joyous and mystical, it affirms the goodness of creation and the gifts of women; it blossoms in poetry, myth, and song. While recounting the more familiar tales of heroic saints like Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille (Columba), Joyce also goes beyond other books, showing how and why this distinctive tradition was gradually subsumed by a more rigid and authoritarian style of Catholicism. Finally, he movingly reflects on the centuries of suffering that have left an indelible mark on Irish consciousness and spirit.Celtic Christianity offers a rediscovery of an ancient faith tradition that can sustain spiritual seeks and renew the church today.From the book (p 71): ""St Patricks Breastplate""For my shield this day I call:Heavens might, Suns brightness,Moons whiteness, Fires glory,Lightnings swiftness, Winds wildness,Oceans depth, Earths solidity, Rocks immobility.This day I call to me:Gods strength to direct me, Gods power to sustain me,Gods wisdom to guide me, Gods vision to light me . . .Gods shield to protect me, Gods legions to save me,from snares of the demons, from evil enticements,from failings of nature, from one man or many,that seek to destroy me, anear or afar.