Depression is a painful reality, an illness that we cannot treat by ourselves. We need help to recover from it, and a friend to walk with us through the difficult times. Jean Vanier, one of the great spiritual writers of our time, has written this simple and clear book about depression. The writing is inspirational and sympathetic as he explores how we can move beyond depression – out of the darkness and into the light.
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.
The poem 'Walking with grief' (from the 'In the shadow of death' section of Celtic Daily Prayer) was written by Andy Raine, one of the founders of the Northumbria Community. It has proved to be of enormous help to countless people all over the world who are struggling with loss, particularly bereavement. This presents the words in the form of a bookmark that can easily be given to somebody in these circumstances, so that they may often remind themselves of the words.
Thomas Merton's life, especially once he had become a writer, was to a great extent one of dialogue with people who were distant, both geographically and historically. In these probing and perceptive studies, Rowan Williams looks closely at the key intellectual and spiritual relationships that emerge in Merton's writings, exploring the impact on him of thinkers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Karl Barth, William Blake, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Olivier Clement, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Paul Evdokimov, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Vladimir Lossky, John Henry Newman, Boris Pasternak and St John of the Cross.