John Philip Newell is a poet, scholar, and teacher. The former warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he is now companion theologian for the American Spirituality Center of Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in the high desert of New Mexico. He is known globally for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, his pursuit of peace, and his hopes for harmony among all the world's wisdom traditions.
In this visionary work, Newell calls Christians to a fresh sense of their connections with the Earth and her destiny and the oneness which binds us all together as brothers and sisters. He wants believers to "listen for the heartbeat of God . . . both within the vastness of the universe and within the intimacy of our own hearts."
For Newell, the new holiness is wholeness. He recounts a few of the life-transforming insights he gleaned during a trip to India where God is the life within all life. One extraordinary event is a meeting with Bede Griffiths just after this bridge builder between Christianity and Hindus had a massive stroke. Later in a dream Griffiths tells Newell, "Keep on reading Sleeping Beauty." The author takes it to be a wake-up call to the beauty within us all that we have let slumber for far too long. The author shares some of his other dreams and makes it quite clear that he sees them as vehicles whereby the Spirit speaks to and through us.
Whereas many prophets of doom are spreading their views, here you will hear another perspective: "A new Pentecost is stirring in the human soul." As evidence of this happening Newell writes about making the most of sacred places; the art of looking suffering straight in the face as Etty Hillesum did; adhering in our actions to the way of love, peace, and humility; reverencing the Earth in the spirit of Teilhard de Chardin; and taking seriously the presence of grace in our lives as a healing balm.