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.
What does it mean to be made 'in the image and likeness of God'? This is the first and defining characteristic of our humanity celebrated in the opening pages of the Bible. Its subsequent record is of the struggle between good and evil in human life, a tension that we face daily within ourselves and in the relationships of our lives.
Western Christian tradition has often given the impression, and sometimes explicitly taught that this tension is primarily between the soul and the body. The result has been a denigration of the human body and distrust of our deepest physical desires. We no longer recognise within ourselves the characteristics of the divine image. Yet written into the vey fabric of our being in the mystery, wisdom, strength, beauty, creativity, eternity and presence of God.
This profound and challenging book clears away centuries of misunderstanding, confusion and shame that have damaged our self-perception. Drawing on both Jewish and Celtic Christian sources of spirituality, Philip Newell leads us to discover the sacredness of our souls and our bodies. Our present day assumptions about love, beauty, sexuality and worth are transformed by this truly ground-breaking book.
This is an illustrated book by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Dennis Linn. They describe it as follows: 'When we are hurt, we are tempted to either act as a passive doormat or to strike back and escalate the cycle of violence. We can avoid both of these temptations and find creative responses to hurts by moving through the five stages of forgiveness. In so doing, we discover the two hands of nonviolence: one hand that stops the person who hurts us and the other that reaches out, calms that person and offers new life. This book has healing processes so simple that children can use them."
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.