“God’s heartbeat can be heard in the whole of life and at the heart of our own lives, if we will only listen.” – J. Philip Newell
This week was rather lovely in reading. I read Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell. I prayed with Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Philip Newell. As an added bonus I found myself laughing as I read bits from The Celtic Vision by Esther de Waal. Truthfully I haven’t finished this book yet but the ‘Prayer of the Teats’ had this breastfeeding mother in stitches as she thought about prayer through each part of the day and what that might entail. Embracing Celtic Spirituality this week was really rather wonderful. Centering one’s life around God and looking for the revelation of God in all things is a challenging exercise in this busy world but it’s very in line with my world view so I enjoyed it. I’ve picked up a few Celtic prayer books and will continue to explore this side of prayer and meditation as I move forward.
As interesting as this week’s book in it’s entirety was, the chapter I found to be most engaging was the final chapter entitled ‘Two ways of Listening: John and Peter”. The author’s reflections on the different ways of viewing the Gospel and the world through the eyes of faith was quite engaging. He argues that there is room for both voices, the way of Peter (seeing God in a particular way as related to particular people) and the way of John (seeing God in relation to the whole of creation). I agree there needs to be room for a variety of views in the church. We all have different strengths and different gifts which open our eyes to God in unique ways. Have different views and visions of things only enhances our worship experience and mission overall. It was interesting to reflect on that and think how different things might be if we celebrated our differences and tried to understand one another better.
It’s hard to articulate everything I felt this week because it was such a holistic experience. When once embraces an all encompassing path it really takes over everything. While I failed miserably in some regards and there is no way one can become practiced in a particular path or practice overnight it is interesting to try out new things and discover different ways of doing things. I have to confess that one of the things I’ve loved about this project is the individual aspect of faith I’m engaged in. These books are about me and my journey. It feels odd even selfish sometimes. I’m not reflecting and breaking it down to share. Instead I’m reflecting and breaking it down. Then reflecting on the breakdown and it just keeps growing and pushing and moving me around in all kinds of interesting ways. While some weeks it’s been hard to complete the book, I am glad I committed to this journey. It’s been good for my head and my heart.
This week’s selection is Being Christian by Rowan Williams.