Dr. Kevin Vaughan directs the Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies at The College of St. Scholastica. At present he is writing a paper that re-examines the popular Catholic understanding of angels. On Monday evening, February 29, he presented an extract to the Sisters called Renewing an Ancient Friendship: Revisiting Angels with Noel Dermot O’Donoghue.
The Irish writer and mystic O’Donoghue delved deeply into his Celtic past, studying its folklore and religious traditions, and drawing from the collection Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael. O’Donohue believed that we experience the Divine before we can understand God. In the Celtic spiritual tradition, we develop a close relationshsip with God through opening ourselves to the celestial creation. Senses and intellect are unified through imagination, joining together in a metaphorical “dance” that opens us to this angelic life flowing around us and through everything. It is how we take part in the life of the Trinity, an eternal waterfall of love between the Father and the Son.
This life fills all of creation with higher meaning, so that our eyes are opened to the spirit of God shining out from everything; our imagination is stirred and finds its expression in poetry and art. We become companions, in a sense, of the angels, and our daily life is ordered through recognition of the Divine working in and through everything.
The Sisters thank Dr. Kevin Vaughan for sharing his thoughts with us in this very interesting talk that stirred our own imaginations. We look forward to reading his paper when published.