Posts Tagged ‘megalithic tombs’

On Visiting Aghaboe Abbey – and some Spiritual Analogies

September 24, 2013

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During the late summer, when driving in the Durrow/Abbeyleix area, we encountered the ancient “Aghaboe Abbey,” in the tiny hamlet of Agahaboe in County Laois. Founded in around 577AD, the abbey was plundered by Norsemen in AD913 and has seen many other historical dramas over the years.

The blue sky turned a depressing shade of grey over the grey stones of the ruins, the graveyard and the church, but something told me that we should stop there to walk through that graveyard and for some reason I felt that I should bring some tracts with me…

As we walked along the path which led through the graveyard to the church, we noted with interest that all the names on the graves to the left hand side were of Anglo Saxon/Protestant origin, while those on the right were of traditional Irish/Roman Catholic origin.

Then I noticed a lady stooped over, vigorously cleaning the marble surrounds on her deceased relatives’ graves until they shone. No one else was in that graveyard but that lady and my husband and I and soon we were engaged in conversation with her. She was a friendly soul and as we talked for just a short time, she thankfully received the literature that I gave her. We talked of the names on the graves and she told us that she was the last person alive to bear her unusual surname in the area in which she lived. I thought of that lady later and I still pray for her.

Sauntering through a narrow entry which led into the ruins of the abbey, I thought, too, on those verses in Matthew 7, verses 13&14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

On entering the grounds of the ruins, I discovered that many famous people had visited the abbey and their names had been inscribed there to celebrate those special visits… Jakob Mayr, Bishop of Salzburg, 1984; President Mary McAleese, 1998; the Austrian ambassador, Dr. Paul Leifer, 2001…

I thought, too, of its founder, ‘St. Canice’ and the many other famous people who had associations with the abbey and then I thought on that verse in Revelation 20v12… “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” God is no respecter of persons.

He has no interest in how well known you or I may be in this world, or in the origins of our names… His only concern is that those names of ours be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  

I looked again at the graves and the great tombs, some of them hundreds of years old and as I walked, I knew that I was most likely walking on graves which had been hidden and buried over time, for this was a very old graveyard. But as I looked across, beyond the graveyard I saw what looked like an even older burial ground – that mound which is typical of megalithic tombs.

Yes, “one day is with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” (2Peter 3v8) but one thing is for sure… my Lord is returning soon. Those graves and those tombstones will be opened and “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4v16&17

I saw, too, the graves of very young children who would not have reached the age of understanding.

But what of those who do not know the Lord? The terrifying thought that those souls would be condemned to such an unspeakable eternity…

But it is not the Lord’s will that any should perish and it is His will that those who know Him should reach others as long as the Lord gives them life and breath. Even if we have no stamina left and our bodies worn out – we can pray, which is a most essential element of soul winning.

 As we drove away from that ancient place, I noticed huge transformers bearing electricity across the countryside. If one of those transformers were to fail – it would cause enormous problems for the rest and a blackout may ensue. As Christians, we bear the Word of God to hungry souls and like each transformer we have a fearful responsibility to the souls we encounter in each of our unique paths through life.

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Halloween and the Spirit of Evil

November 1, 2010

In this part of Ireland where I live there are numerous megalithic tombs on the landscape. Tonight my daughter and I were driving along when, out of curiosity, we stopped at one of these places where Neolithic people buried their cremated dead. I was curious to know whether some activity was going on around the place, given that it was Halloween night – a night when many animals suffer on account of satanic rituals. I was uneasy about walking up the narrow little path towards the tomb, which stands like a dome against the skyline. However, if anything was going on, I was determined that it should be interrupted. Anyway, we parked the car and by the light of a torch we made our way over to steps which we had to climb to get onto this winding path leading to the tomb. My daughter climbed up first but then she hesitated and screamed at what she saw. I joined her at the top of the steps and looked towards the dome where to my horror I saw a shadowy figure (wearing what looked like a cloak) standing right on top of it against the skyline! To be honest I didn’t feel so brave anymore and just wanted to get away from the place as soon as possible. We jumped from the steps and ran over to the car, which I started up – with difficulty. My daughter was worried that we were going to be stranded there, as the clutch seemed to be giving trouble. An isolated road in rural Ireland, close to a megalithic tomb where some shadowy figure in a cloak is standing – not an ideal place to be stranded, especially on Halloween night! Thankfully, I eventually got the car into gear and we were driving towards home. Unfortunately authorities turn a blind eye to such activities in Ireland, as elsewhere. As a child I enjoyed the normal activities which were traditionally associated with Halloween: the fireworks, the food, the pranks and knocking on doors. However, today as a Christian I feel totally estranged from this traditional festival which I feel has underlying satanic influences.

Never has Halloween been as popular and commercialised as it is today, and never have those who worship the devil had such freedom to exercise their ‘crafts.’ While the witches in bygone days were clandestine in their operations, because of the fear of being put to death, witches nowadays do television interviews and are open about their ‘craft.’ In Galatians 5v19-21, we read: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Our world, our neighbourhood, is currently full of superstitious rites, magic, spiritualist practices and ‘therapies’ of dubious origin, all of which are condemned in God’s Word. At some otherwise harmless events, such as craft fairs one will more than likely find a fortune teller, someone selling ‘Angel Cards,’ or some ‘New Age’ related articles or literature for sale. “Psychics” advertising in newspapers claim to offer “peace of mind, and assurance.” Surely we should be aware, as Christians, that there is a great turning away to the evil things of darkness, in the age in which we live? Let us therefore, as Christians, not celebrate the works of darkness – even if they are cloaked in seemingly harmless well-known traditions.

It was on 31st October, 1517, on the eve of a “traditional religious celebration,” that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the church door. Perhaps a celebration of the great truths of the Reformation would be more appropriate on this date? The following verses are surely at variance with many of those pranks (and much more evil practices) on Halloween night… “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”  (Romans 13v10-12) Perhaps you feel that you do abhor those “works of darkness,” but have never trusted the Living Saviour. Why not trust Him now? God forbid that you should spend eternity with those who are described in Rev. 21v8… “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” The Saviour’s will is that you would be numbered with those who have overcome the evil one “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev. 12v11).Then with the redeemed you can say: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption, through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col. 1v12-14)  Oh that all who read would claim these promises, cast off the works of darkness (in His strength) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Eph.6v12)