Monday 7 April 2008

Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest! - An Essay.

Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest!

What is my ontological self-understanding, what is my religious background, and why am I taking this course; are all very interesting questions. I will begin with the first and work my way through some of the others. The first is a question I am constantly asking myself, and journaling on, or mulling over in my ruminations. The best answer I have come up with is a poem I wrote a few years ago, here at school, a poem of ontological musings:

Poetry In Being

i am holding on
Sometimes by the thinnest thread
Sometimes upheld in prayers and love

i am loved
and trying to accept that love
And to love in return

i am a child of God's
precious, dearly loved,
but always challenged to climb above

i am a man
once a boy, with dreams aplenty
now learning to dream again

i am a celt
with a warrior's passion, a poet's heart
wisdom, knowledge and discernment do I seek, to temper them

i am a soldier
called to serve the King of Kings
called to fight upon my knees

i am creative
with the Spirit of God within me
a poet's pen, an artists brush and the cooks pots

i am a dreamer
and the dream,
hope, pray, care, plan, love

i am who i am
i am who God is shaping me to be
clay to the potter, i surrender all to thee

i am the words
that i speak, and the silences that i keep
of praise and prayers, anguish and tears

i am
Steven R. McEvoy Mar. 1999

With t
hat poem as the starting point, I can now endeavour to amplify that answer and some of the other questions asked. Who am I? I see myself in many different lights. Most often though as a quester, a religious quester who is searching for his role and place in the universe. I have studied and even practiced many different religions before returning to the Christianity of my youth. Donald Nicholl in the essay Scientia Cordis states: "Certainly a striking feature of many of the great spiritual adventurers of this century has been the way in which, having lost their bearings within their own traditions, they have sought them in some other - and have almost gone over to that tradition, only to discover their bearings once more within their own." Though I do not consider myself a great spiritual adventurer, I do see myself on a lifelong journey of seeking knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. I have lived in many other traditions but always felt pulled back to Christianity.

I am 33 years old, and have been a part-time student at the University of Waterloo, for
the past 17 terms. I am a Caucasian male who works fulltime and attends school part time with the hopes and dreams of one day being either a pastor or a professor. School for me is both a means and an end. It is the journey and the destination. I can not imagine my life without some form of academic pursuit, some quest for knowledge, and understanding.

I was raised in a mixed religious home. My father is now nominally Roman Catholic, though in my youth he was very active in the Church and the Knights of Columbus. Also I was raised through the Catholic school system and the sacraments. My Mother is a practicing pagan and has many strange ideas about religion.
The hardest thing I have had to overcome is the dual-form Learning disability of Dyslexia. It has caused me to see the world through different eyes. I did not learn to read until later in life, I discovered a world I previously never knew existed. I was addicted to words, and their power, their story and their enchantment. I am of Celtic origins, and resonate with Celtic spirituality. Since becoming a practicing Christian of my own volition late in high-school, I have held membership in the Roman Catholic Church, The Presbyterian Church of Canada, The Mennonite Brethren, Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, and have even attended a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada church for nearly a year. Robert A. Heinlein in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long once stated "One Man's Theology is another Man's Belly Laugh" I have been both laughed at, and occasionally the one laughing.I now struggle to develop balance, between "Body - Mind - Spirit"; to work to become whole. So my objective in taking this course is to have fun, to learn, and to study the history of "Christian Thought" from an academic perspective. It is also an opportunity to open up my eyes and broaden my perspective. I also hope to be challenged and strengthened through this course.

I hope that from this course, I will come to understand in greater depth my religious tradition. Peter Frick in a course a few years ago said, school should teach us to ask the right questions, not know all the answers. I hope in studying the questions of the past, to understand the struggles of the church today, and even my own personal struggles. I hope that I will have a broader understanding of the Christian tradition and how to personally interact with it. Thus I believe this course with aide me in my endeavour to be a religious quester, in my quest for knowledge, understanding and wisdom.


  1. Scientia Cordis in The Beatitudes of Truth: Darton, Longman & Todd, New York 1998, p.150
  2. Notebooks of Lazarus Long; Heinlein, Robert A, New York, 1978, Putnam, p.? (I do not have the page number I memorized this quote a long time ago and the book is now out of print)
(First Written for RS231 History of Christian Thought Fall term 2003)
You can see more of my poetry here.)

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