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Sacred Spaces Hardcover – May 6, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


. . . a fascinating guide for looking within and living an engaged life. -- Napra Review

One of the most interesting books on Celtic notions of intersections of the visible and invisible worlds. -- The Living Church

About the Author

Margaret Silf is a writer and retreat leader. She has been trained by the Jesuits in accompanying people in prayer and is author of the highly acclaimed Landmarks: An Ignatian Journey and Taste and See: Adventuring into Prayer (both DLT) and editor of The Wisdom of St Ignatius of Loyola (Lion). She has been described by the Tablet as 'one of the most talented spiritual writers'. She is married with one daughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press (MA) (May 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557252785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557252784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 12, 2003
Seven is a magic number in many ways. In this book, 'Sacred Spaces: Stations on a Celtic Way', the author Margaret Silf walks the reader through seven traditional sacred spaces:
- the infinite knot
- the Celtic cross
- hilltops
- wells
- groves and springs
- thresholds and crossing places
- boundaries
Each of these spaces has a unique spiritual dimension in various Celtic ways of thinking and being. Silf devotes a chapter to each, reflecting on ways that this Celtic understanding can shed deeper meaning on our own lives. Drawing from scripture, Celtic legend and lore, and simple storytelling, Silf helps us chart our own journey through these sacred spaces.
This book is visually stunning as well as interesting to read, which helps the reader draw upon other senses as well as the imagination in pursuing this kind of sacredness. 'With our minds we know our lives are a mass of complication. If you think back to yesterday, or forward to tomorrow, you will surely become aware of a whole catalogue of problems, dilemmas, choices and compromises, beaten into some kind of shape on the anvil of your circumstances. A far cry from the perfect balance of the infinite knot. Yet in your deeper reaches there are whispers of simplicity, harmony, a joining of opposites, a reconciliation of irreconcilables.'
Silf uses personal reflections from her own life (a person who works at home, a person who has been trained by Jesuits in prayer and spiritual direction, a married person, etc.) to illustrate how these connections can be made for those of us in 'real life' situations.
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Noted spiritual writer Margaret Silf takes her readers on a Celtic journey in her book SACRED SPACES. Combining Ignatian spirituality with traditional Celtic spirituality and the beauty that is Ireland and Scotland, Silf looks at the natural beauty and some ancient human made artifacts to help readers take a good look at their own lives. Silf looks at moments in our own lives: times we may be facing challenges, times we need to grow, and times we need to simply appreciate God's creation, and the like, and pairs them with ancient landmarks and the natural beauty of Celtic places. She does this to enable the reader to see how these places revealed God's role in human life to the Celts and can do the same for us today.
The different artifacts and natural places focus on one area of a person's life and a chapter is devoted to the individual places or things. The chapters include:
The Infinite Knot which Silf sees as God's weaving in our lives.
The High Cross which were used to mark Churches and libraries can be seen as signs that point toward eternity
Hilltops which help us see the whole picture
Wells which challenge us to live our possibilities
Groves and springs which are signs of hospitality and generosity
Crossing places which challenge us to grow
One chapter flows into the other and the book can almost be used as a mini retreat, but more than likely readers will find themselves returning to this book to reread Silf's insighst as we face the different situations talked about in the book in our own lives. The book also contains lush photographs which will delight people who have visited either Scotland or Ireland and entice others to make a trip to either of these beautiful places.
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Margaret Silf is gifted with the ability to create a comtempletive attitude in Sacred Spaces. She invites the reader to appreciate with her the integration of the outer landscape and the inner dynamics we experience on our life journeys. I return to this book often, allowing myself to choose which chapter I will read according to where I am in my own journey. I have also used this book in a similar manner with others during guided retreats.
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