Words: Help me Dear Lord,
to care too much,
to love too freely,
to pray unceasingly,
to forgive endlessly,
to laugh fearlessly,
to be who I am,
to be where I am,
to be what I am,
to reach out my hand.
Background: The ‘Help Me’ poem was written as a response to a piece of art I created called The Name of the Lord and was published in my Life in Christ book. Somehow it needed to become more than just another poem and be allowed to grow into a piece of art in its own right. Much of the artwork around the words takes the form of decoration or illumination and serves as a vehicle for meditating on the words, try following the weaving lines with your finger or eye.
The rest of the artwork illustrates the words of the poem with additional ways of thinking about them, so a hand resting on a head with the words ‘seventy times seven’ represents ‘To forgive endlessly’ and a blooming colourful flower with the phrase ‘water often’ is the image for ‘To live’ – suggesting that we aim for a full, vivid life regularly ‘watered’ with the presence of God.
Printing and Sizing: This item is 210mm x 297mm and is printed on 300gsm card stock using our in-house printer. Each print is individually signed by Mary Fleeson and is packaged in a cellophane wrapper with a descriptive backing sheet explaining more about the piece and the Scriptorium.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within which God has chosen to dwell.
In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt’s depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son’s return, the father’s restoration of sonship, the elder son’s vengefulness, and the father’s compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes the powerful drama of the parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians through time, and here represented with a vigour and power fresh for our times.
Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life by Henri Nouwen
In these short reflections Herne Nouwen explores the theme of downward mobility as the way of Christ, and the things that tempt us away from it, namely, the lure of success, of power, of being needed and important. Originally serialized in the magazine Sojourners, Nouwen wrote the articles during his years as a professor at Yale Divinity School. There he enjoyed academic success and found fame as a spiritual writer, but was struggling to find his true vocation. Here he seeks to explain for himself and his readers how choosing the downwardly mobile path can, conversely, be the means of growth and new life in Christ.
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.
‘For anyone wrestling with the much used and little defined concept of spirituality this book is a must. By setting spiritualities in their historical context Philip Sheldrake helps us to grasp the intensity of past religious lives while recognizing their distance from our own. He therefore enables us to dust off and demystify the term, drawing inspiration from the past without being enslaved by it’
Shap Working Party on World Religions
‘Philip Sheldrake is a master of lucid exposition …. I cannot remember when I last read through so much serious and carefully nuanced material, so digestibly arranged in so short a space.’
‘This study challenges traditional approaches, creates an alternative perspective, introduces readers to relevant contemporary literature, and begins to recover some of the hitherto neglected strands of spirituality…. The methodology is what makes the book so attractive, but the challenge to long-accepted assumptions is what makes it required reading for all theological students everywhere.’