To know God is the deepest human desire. And to get closer to him, we need the guidance of the women and men who have already found the way. The Journey Toward God serves us by bringing together in one book inspiring and instructive selections from the great writers who have mastered the spiritual life. Uniquely, the book draws from Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox writers, opening for us the diverse and rich treasures of Christian spirituality. A Servant Book.
Let Your Deepest Soul Rejoice
You are the Beloved of the Divine Lover. You are loved with a love beyond that which human words can express, which song and pen seek in some way to convey or at least hint at. Let go. Let the currents of love invade you. Let your deepest soul rejoice....
--from the Preface
In the tradition of Christian mysticism, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan, M. Basil Pennington shares his reflections on the Bible's most challenging mystical text, the ancient love poem that is the Song of Songs. In this extraordinary volume, Pennington is joined by the profound Jewish artist Phillip Ratner, whose inspired works call forth from Pennington not only transcendent prayer and rich analogy but also the deepest sentiments that are common to every human mind and heart.
Pennington reflects on the ways you can use the Song of Songs to fulfill your own unutterable aspirations. Enriched by Jewish and Christian faith, the drawings and meditations speak to you and every person who desires to connect with their deepest, most human longings. Allow yourself to let go and delve into the poetry of Song of Songs, to find joy in the boundless love of God for you, the beloved child. Allow yourself to experience this story of love--human love yearning for the Divine.
A gifted writer's inquiry into one of the most profound yet least discussed issues of contemporary American life: the individual's search for faith. It tells of Hampl's quest to escape the indelible brand of a Catholic upbringing, following her to the "old world" of Catholocism in Spain and France, where she meets other pilgrims, back home again, and finally to a monastery in northern California, where she is able to settle into the real goal of her search: the silence of prayer.
A clear-eyed and personal examination of the Catholic faith, its leaders, and its complicated history by National Book Award-winner James Carroll
James Carroll turns to the notion of practice--both as a way to learn and a means of improvement--as a lens for this thoughtful and frank look at what it means to be Catholic. He acknowledges the slow and steady transformation of the Church from its darker, medieval roots to a more pluralist and inclusive institution, charting along the way stories of powerful Catholic leaders (Pope John XXIII, Thomas Merton, John F. Kennedy) and historical milestones like Vatican II. These individuals and events represent progress for Carroll, a former priest, and as he considers the new meaning of belief in a world that is increasingly as secular as it is fundamentalist, he shows why the world needs a Church that is committed to faith and renewal.
I was lost and radically confused. Young? Yes. Happy and full of hope? Not even.
--From Chapter One
Eusebius's account is the only surviving historical record of the Church during its crucial first 300 years. Bishop Eusebius, a learned scholar who lived most of his life in Caesarea in Palestine, broke new ground in writing the History and provided a model for all later ecclesiastical historians. In tracing the history of the Church from the time of Christ to the Great Persecution at the beginning of the fourth century, and ending with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, his aim was to show the purity and continuity of the doctrinal tradition of Christianity and its struggle against persecutors and heretics.
In a bold and moving book that is sure to spark heated debate, the novelist and cultural critic James Carroll maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-year course of the Church's battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle of religion, this dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture.
The Church's failure to protest the Holocaust -- the infamous "silence" of Pius XII -- is only part of the story: the death camps, Carroll shows, are the culmination of a long, entrenched tradition of anti-Judaism. From Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus on the cross, to Constantine's transformation of the cross into a sword, to the rise of blood libels, scapegoating, and modern anti-Semitism, Carroll reconstructs the dramatic story of the Church's conflict not only with Jews but with itself. Yet in tracing the arc of this narrative, he implicitly affirms that it did not necessarily have to be so. There were roads not taken, heroes forgotten; new roads can be taken yet. Demanding that the Church finally face this past in full, Carroll calls for a fundamental rethinking of the deepest questions of Christian faith. Only then can Christians, Jews, and all who carry the burden of this history begin to forge a new future.
Drawing on his well-known talents as a storyteller and memoirist, and weaving historical research through an intensely personal examination of conscience, Carroll has created a work of singular power and urgency. CONSTANTINE'S SWORD is a brave and affecting reckoning with difficult truths that will touch every reader.
The Lectionary is made up of selected passages from the Bible, placed within a literary and liturgical context. This new context calls for a consideration of the liturgical character and setting of the Lectionary readings. Preaching the New Lectionary: Year C, offers readers that interpretation.
Preaching the New Lectionary is unique. First, it employs a literary-liturgical way of interpreting all the readings of each Sunday and major feast of the liturgical year, including the often overlooked responsorial psalm. Second, it explicitly situates the interpretation of each day within the theology of its respective liturgical season. This theology is drawn from the specific themes of the readings that comprise that particular year rather than from more general themes associated with the season. The meaning of the entire season becomes the context for understanding the individual parts of it. Third, the lections are also read in sequential order from the first Sunday of that season to the last. This reading interprets the function of the literary forms, thus providing yet another way of interpreting the riches of the readings.
This way of reading and understanding the Lectionary has potential for liturgical ministry. It can quicken the religious imagination of homilists, thus providing fresh new possibilities for liturgical preaching. It offers creative insights for those involved in the liturgical preparation for the celebration of feasts and seasons. It can also act as a valuable resource for liturgical catechesis. The insights included in Preaching the New Lectionary contribute toward enhancing the liturgical lives of the faithful.
"We always have a choice to live the moment as a cause of resentment or as a cause for joy."--Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)The insights of Henri Nouwen have shown millions of people how to choose joy in any moment--even moments full of pain and brokenness. Few spiritual writers have ever spoken so powerfully and directly to the heart as he did, in part because he compassionately bared his own soul and struggles to his readers, but also because he deeply understood that God can be discovered in every aspect of ourselves, even--almost especially--in the parts we find difficult to acknowledge. This anthology of Nouwen's teaching covers all his major themes--God, love, life, death, psychology, woundedness, healing, and social action--and is drawn from among his more than forty books. It's the perfect, compact introduction to this brilliant and humble Catholic priest whom Christianity Today called "one of the world's great spiritual writers."