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Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Sprirtuality Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809137593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809137596
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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160 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Michael Foret on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This excellent little book makes a good first foray into the subject of Celtic spirituality. It does this taking a generally chronological approach, giving insights about Celtic spirituality through consideration of several individuals and literary works. It begins with Pelagius, who presented a different view of the world than his contemporary Augustine of Hippo, who first articulated the spirituality that so many are rediscovering today. Then comes John Scotus Eriugena, born in the early ninth century, whom the author characterizes as possibly the greatest teacher ever produced by the Celtic branch of the church, but who none the less influenced the entire church. Then he looks at the Carmina Gaedelica, the collection of Celtic prayers and songs from the highlands and islands of Scotland in the nineteenth century. The next two chapters look at the work of George MacDonald and George MacLeod. Finally, he looks at "Two Ways of Listening: John and Peter," in which he presents a way of reconciling the two sundered traditions of European spirituality. Celtic Spirituality is a vast and deep topic, but this is an excellent introduction anyone can understand and enjoy.
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I begin my review and comments on this book by quoting its last sentence: "If the Church's symbols and rituals pointed more clearly to the world as God's dwelling-place, we might then more fully rediscover that God's heartbeat can be heard in the whole of life and at the heart of our own lives, if we will only listen." No matter how one views God, I think that this idea - that God's dwelling-place is in the world - is one of the cornerstones of Celtic spirituality.

I personally found this concept both thought provoking and inspiring. Too often I think in the rush of the modern world that we forget to take time to stop and listen to the voice of God. God is not in some far off place, but is to be found in the still, small things around us on a daily basis.

The idea of God being close at hand is one that if reflected in Celtic spirituality from at least the forth century and continues even into today. In "Listening For The Heartbeat Of God" we read of:

* Pelagius

* Eriugena

* Camina Gadelica (The Songs and Prayers of the Gaels)

* George MacDonald

* George MacLeod

* St. John & St. Peter

In Celtic prayers we see the goodness or creation and an oneness with the earth, sky and sea. It comes as no surprise that the people of the Western Isles have a strong awareness and attachment to nature and the elements, for their livelihood is tied to these elements.

We also see Celtic spirituality being something that is a part of the people themselves; prayers sung or chanted during the people's daily routines. This spirituality goes beyond the four walls of the Church and is seen in the daily life of the people.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Foret on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This excellent little book makes a good first foray into the subject of Celtic spirituality. It does this taking a generally chronological approach, giving insights about Celtic spirituality through consideration of several individuals and literary works. It begins with Pelagius, who presented a different view of the world than his contemporary Augustine of Hippo, who first articulated the spirituality that so many are rediscovering today. Then comes John Scotus Eriugena, born in the early ninth century, whom the author characterizes as possibly the greatest teacher ever produced by the Celtic branch of the church, but who none the less influenced the entire church. Then he looks at the Carmina Gaedelica, the collection of Celtic prayers and songs from the highlands and islands of Scotland in the nineteenth century. The next two chapters look at the work of George MacDonald and George MacLeod. Finally, he looks at "Two Ways of Listening: John and Peter," in which he presents a way of reconciling the two sundered traditions of European spirituality. Celtic Spirituality is a vast and deep topic, but this is an excellent introduction anyone can understand and enjoy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Breann on May 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has brought me into a closer relationship with God and fostered healing in my life. I am very grateful to Newell for his beautiful weaving of the glorious mysteries of God and the wholesome balance of Celtic Theology. If you are more interested in the institutionalized church, you may have problems with this book. But for those of us who are seeking a deeper meaning to life than the traditional church has to offer, this is the book for you. It will provide everyone with an avenue for deeper worship and possibly enable you to bring this back into your own individual church.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
A very informative book. Dr. Newell gives a lovely overview of Celtic Christianity. I especially loved the notion of Celtic concentration on St. John because he was believed to be listening to the heartbeat of God. The collection of prayers in the book gives a clear glimpse at what the Celtic Church was before Western Church domination. I read the book with a mixture of dismay at the loss of many Celtic traditions, and joy at having the opportunity to see some traditions that survived. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring a deeper relationship with God.
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