‘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 recognising 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.’
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.
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.
This enduring classic of devotion consists of the letters and recorded conversations of a simple seventeenth-century lay brother who, through the most ordinary of activities, was able to achieve a profound intimacy with God. At any moment and in any circumstance, he taught, we can 'practice the presence of God' – by thinking on Him, loving Him, and offering up our daily tasks as acts of worship. This volume also includes Brother Lawrence's Spiritual Maxims, a summary of his teachings in the form of short aphorisms and sayings.
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (c1611-1691) born Nicholas Herman, spent most of his life serving as a kitchen hand and errand boy at the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in Paris.
In the Celtic way of prayer, the divine glory was intertwined with the ordinariness of everyday events like the patterns on carvings and in illuminated Gospels.
The modern prayers in this book beautifully recapture that tradition. They were composed in a small parish in the north of England to help individuals and groups rediscover the use of life's simple rhythms in their worship of the Eternal Presence.
Here are prayers for individual devotions and for corporate worship, as well as for quiet days and retreats.