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Kinship with Creation

One of the elements of Celtic spirituality that most attracts me is its sense of kinship with all of creation.  I have written here many times about the connections between animals and spirituality.  While I was in Ireland I read several books on Irish history and Celtic spirituality.   In Thomas Cahill’s book How the Irish Saved Civilization, he describes the prayer of  St. Patrick’s breastplate as conveying this simple message: “The universe itself is the Great Sacrament.”  The French Jesuit and scientist Teilhard de Chardin described our interconnection as the “breathing together of all things.” All God’s creatures are theophanies

The world is holy and luminous, the primary scripture.  What does it reveal to you this day of the sacredness of all things?  How do you experience the breathing together of all creation?

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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7 Responses

  1. Thanks Wendy, it really is a wonderful phrase that keeps ringing within me.

    Thank you Suz, I loved taking this photo and being in touch with the gentle soul of this cow.

  2. Christine,
    What a wonderful picture! I am totally drawn to this and the look of meaning in the eyes.
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us. This is truly special to me.

  3. Hi Christine,

    Oh i really loved that, “”The universe itself is the Great Sacrament.” One thing ive been realizing more and more is that at the root of occultism is a denial of the sacredness and purpose-filled-ness of our natural ordinary world. So makes sense the opposite there would be true too, that for a truly spiritual person instead “The universe itself is the Great Sacrament.”…



  4. Kievas, I agree wholeheartedly about the abuse of factory farms. Lately I have come to believe that the industrialization of our food and disconnection from its sources and blanket abuse of the animals is the root of a great spiritual crisis.

    Elaine, thanks for reminding me of that lovely word, biophilia. I do like the intimacy that kinship evokes. You are most welcome.

    Jan, thanks for sharing that beautiful image of receiving the gift of breath each moment. A lovely amplification of the Chardin quote.

  5. When you ended with “the breathing together of all creation,” I was reminded of an experience with lectio I had today with the gospel lectionary passage for this week, where Jesus talks about asking and receiving from God. It came to me that we are asking God for life each time we take a breath and are immediately given the gift of life. It is an unbroken sequence in life, with a gift each moment. All of creation breathes with the glory of God, and even more with God’s love.

  6. Hello, Christine.

    “Kinship with creation” expresses my developing consciousness and feelings of deep connection with the natural world much better than the new word I add to my vocabulary just yesterday: biophilia. (Such synchronicity! Could we be reading some of the same blogs?) Thank you for this.


  7. The universe definitely speaks to me about God’s creative power. As for the connection between animals and spirituality, that’s a strong one too, but it’s in striking contrast to the abuse perpetuated by factory farming and the meat industry.