by Pat Robson
This beautiful collection of Celtic writings celebrates the seasons of life: the wonder of creation, New Year, Easter, Harvest, the daily toil, being alone with God, baptism, marriage, family, reconciliation and peace.
The Celtic Heart skillfully brings alive the language and images of the Celtic tradition. It also outlines the history of Celtic Christianity, and gives short biographies of those who influenced the growth of Celtic spirituality, from St Anthony to King Arthur.
In the Celtic tradition, God speaks through two books: the Bible and creation. Influenced by the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament and the mysticism of John’s Gospel, Celtic spirituality sees creation not simply as a gift, but as a self-giving of God. His image is to be found deep within all living things: sin might bury his living presence, but never erases it. His voice can be heard speaking through all created things.
For centuries, the view that the world is alienated from God has damaged our understanding of creation, but today, as many are rediscovering their Celtic heritage, we are again learning to reverence creation as the dwelling place of God. This original and exciting book takes us on an exploration of each of the days of creation as recorded in Genesis and introduces us to a very practical Celtic spirituality, which will open our eyes to recognize the presence of God all around.
Listening for the Heartbeat of God presents a spirituality for today, modelled on the vital characteristics of Celtic spirituality through the centuries. there is an emphasis on the essential goodness of creation and of humanity, made in the image of God. The book traces the lines of Celtic spirituality from the British Church in the fourth century through to the twentieth century, in the founder of the Iona community, George MacLeod.
Philip Newell finds Celtic spiritual roots in the New Testament, in the mysticism of St John the Evangelist. John was especially remembered as the one who lay against Jesus at the Last Supper and heard the heartbeat of God. So he becomes a Celtic image of listening to God in all of life. This fresh angle on Celtic spirituality - linking figures in the Bible and in the British Christian history - will be warmly welcomed by all who are concerned to refresh the roots of their faith.
The Revd Dr J Philip Newell is a poet, scholar and teacher. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey, he is now Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Centre of Casa del Sol in the high desert of New Mexico. Newell has won international acclaim for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality.
Never mock what others say. Perhaps their words are full of nonsense.Perhaps they are trying to puff themselves up.Perhaps they like hearing the sound of their voices.Perhaps they are trying to deceive their hearers.Perhaps they are foolish and dim.Perhaps they are more clever than wise.Yet amidst the useless clayYou ay find jewels beyond price.The word of God is in every heart,And can speak through every voice.
Never mock (p.104)
This collection of stories, meditations, poems and prayers evokes the authentic spirit of Celtic Christianity. Capturing the atmosphere of parables passed down through generations, it shows the human warmth, respect for the natural world and robust, down-to-earth qualities for which Celtic spirituality is so greatly valued.
With its rich treasury of material – most of it previously unavailable in modern editions – Celtic Parables offers a fresh lively introduction to the Celtic world. It will appeal to all those fascinated by our Celtic heritage and the way it speaks directly to us today.