Sometimes it can feel as though we are living in the worst of times – a world of chaos, uncertainty and breakdown. But could this also be the best of times – a crucible of change in which a wiser and more spiritually mature future is being forged? The stars are most clearly visible in the deepest darkness. The butterfly emerges out of the worst meltdown of the chrysalis.
In Born to Fly, Margaret Silf helps us to explore what it would mean for each of us to be such an emerging butterfly – to be an agent of spiritual transformation in our own lives and in the world around us. What kind of future do we desire for ourselves, for those who follow after us, and for the whole of creation? And if the choices we make today are shaping that future, how might we learn to make those choices more wisely?
The second part of the book takes us on a gentle journey in five stages through the process of transformation mapped out for us by the caterpillar as it changes from a pesky garden grub, taking what it wants without regard for the rest of creation, to a butterfly, giving life wherever it lands?
Born to Fly is designed to be read for personal reflection and inspiration, or alongside fellow readers, with suggestions for further discussion. It is a companion book to Margaret Silf’s Hidden Wings.
Spiritual identity is the quest to know who we are, to find meaning in life and to overcome that sense of "is that all there is?"
At the heart of this quest are found Thomas Meron's illuminating insights leading from an awareness of the false and illusory self as the way to a realization of the true self.
For twenty-five years, Merton's Palace of Nowhere has been the standard for exploring, reflecting on, and understanding this rich vein of Merton's thought.
The isles in the title of this book are the Hebrides which lie between the west of Scotland and the north of Ireland, and the songs are the prayers an blessings which originated there between the sixth and ninth centuries. They remained a purely oral tradition until a hundred years ago when Alexander Carmichael collected and published them as Carmina Gadelica, the source book that led to the revival of Celtic spirituality today. These prayers and songs capture the remarkable spiritual vision of a people keeping faith through good and ill, ekeing out an existence in a world that was often harsh and inhospitable. They rejoice at the birth of a child o a good harvest, glory in natural beauty, lament in suffering, cry out for help or protection, and invoke God's blessing on even the most humble tasks. Until now we have only known them in the Victorian language of Carmichael's collection, bu in Kathleen Jones' fresh translation, thir poetic simplicity and power is fully revealed and we hear authentic Celtci voices speaking with conviction about life and death, hearth and home, land and sea, and the journey of the soul beneath the protecting power of heaven.
Carmina Gadelica is an anthology of poems and prayers from the Gaelic oral tradition, the most comprehensive ever collected. They came from communities all over the Highlands and Islands of Scotlad, were often shared or performed in the evening ceilidh and therby passed on from generation to generation. Alexander Carmichael complied the collection in the second half of the nineteenth century, and in doing so created a lasting record of a culture and way of life that has now largely disappeared. In the Introduction, Carmichael recounts with great warmth and evident pleasure the hospitality which he received from the people whose songs and stories he was anxious to record "I have three regrets -" he says, "that I had not been earlier collecting, that I have not been more diligent in collecting, and that I am not better qualified to treat what I have collected." Nevertheless, Carmina Gadelica quickly became an invaluable resource for those wanting to study and understand Gaelic culture and for those wanting to experience the beauty and wisdom of its oral literature.
Living the Hours explores what makes the monastic tradition so appealing to ordinary people today who may be discovering a world if spirituality previously hidden from them, or perhaps questioning the balance, priorities and focal points of their lives.
Since its beginnings in the fourth century, monasticism's alternative vision for living has, in different ways, always inspired men and women in the secular world to step outside the routine of everyday life and to give time to reflection and exploration. The monastic day is measured in 'hours' with times for prayer, physical work, study and rest all contributing to a balances, holistic life. This book looks at different expressions of monastic life through the history and at the new monastic movements emerging today and asks how they can teach us in today's consumerist world to live more fully, more consciously aware of how we choose to fill our hours and days.
What insights can monastic wisdom offer for our relationships, our work, our lifestyles, our place in the wider world, our often neglected inner lives? Living the Hours explores these questions with many illuminating examples and stories of individuals, groups and families who are finding in monastic spirituality fresh purpose and a renewed energy for living.