Lectio divina is letting our Divine Friend speak to us through his inspired and inspiring Word, according to M. Basil Pennington, the late priest, retreat master, and prominent lecturer in the Centering Prayer movement. This ancient Christian practice requires faith, humility, openness, and fidelity. Father Pennington sets the process of praying the Scriptures in the context of meditation, contemplation, compassion, and action. He calls it a way of friendship wherein we pay attention to the love letters from the Lord. Lectio, as a satisfying mental and emotional experience, can be enhanced by reading different translations of the Bible, using commentaries, participating in Bible study groups, and using the resources of Scripture-oriented websites.
This powerful book of passages from Martin Luther's Easter sermons portrays the reformer's lasting thoughts on faith, human imperfection, salvation through grace, and the wonder of God. The sermons explore events from Holy Week through the Resurrection. They combine marvelous insights with inspiring calls to action that are so characteristic of the great reformer: "The resurrection consists not in words, but in life and power."
"What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the church?" (Tertullian, 3rd century). Such skepticism about the place of philosophy in the life of Christians persists down through the ages. As a student, author Steve Wilkens had deep reservations about studying the works of "pagans" or even "questionable Christians." Now a teacher at a Christian university, Wilkens has developed a deep appreciation for teaching and studying philosophy. In fact, he believes that the life of faith can be enriched by good philosophical reflection. In this book Wilkens helps you begin the same journey. Using generous quotations from the original sources, Wilkens provides an introduction to the study of philosophy by exploring a single key issue from each of the following philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche and Sartre. The questions considered include
- Why ask why?
- Is a just society possible?
- Is God responsible for evil?
- Can you be certain of anything?
- Is morality all about power?
- Do you really want to be free?
In this bold theoretical work, Bruce Lincoln explores the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification hold human societies together--and how, in times of crisis, they can be used to take a society apart and reconstruct it. Without overlooking the role of coercive force in the maintenance (or overthrow) of social structures, Lincoln argues his thesis with compelling illustrations drawn from such diverse areas as Platonic philosophy, the Upanishads of India, ancient Celtic banquets, professional wrestling, and the Spanish Civil War. This wide-ranging interdisciplinary study--which draws on works in history, semiotics, anthropology, sociology, classics, and indology--offers challenging new insights into the complex dynamics of social cohesion and change.
The winners of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting tell the astonishing story of Mary Clarke. At the age of fifty, Clarke left her comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles to follow a spiritual calling to care for the prisoners in one of Mexico's most notorious jails. She actually moved into a cell to live among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. Donning a nun's habit, she became Mother Antonia, renowned as "the prison angel," and has now organized a new community of sisters-the Servants of the Eleventh Hour--widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."
Born in Beverly Hills, Clarke was raised around the glamour of Hollywood and looked like a star herself, a beautiful blonde reminiscent of Grace Kelly. The choreographer Busby Berkeley spotted her at a restaurant and offered her a job, but Mary's dream was to be a happy wife and mother. She raised seven children, but her two unfulfilling marriages ended in divorce. Then in the late 1960s, in midlife, she began devoting herself to charity work, realizing she had an extraordinary talent for drumming up donations for the sick and poor.
On one charity mission across the Mexican border to the drug-trafficking capitol of Tijuana, she visited La Mesa prison and experienced an intense feeling that she had found her true life's work. As she recalls, "I felt like I had come home." Receiving the blessings of the Catholic Church for her mission, on March 19, 1977, at the age of fifty, she moved into a cell in La Mesa, sleeping on a bunk with female prisoners above and below her. Nearly twenty-eight years later she is still living in that cell, and the remarkable power of her spiritual counseling to the prisoners has become legendary.
The story of both one woman's profound journey of discovery and growth and of the deep spiritual awakenings she has called forth in so many lost souls, The Prison Angel is an astonishing testament to the powers of personal transformation.
We live in a culture that doubts everything as a matter of principle. In such an environment, how can even faith be immune to doubt? Can I really trust in the gospel? Does God really love me? Can I really be of any use to God? We are taught to doubt but commanded to believe. Somehow we think that admitting to doubt is tantamount to insulting God. But doubt is not a sign of spiritual weakness--rather it's an indication of spiritual growing pains. Alister McGrath, no stranger to a faith born of doubt, here offers good news to doubters: your faith can grow, and strengthen as it grows. It needs to take root in your experience of God, it needs to take in the nourishment of instruction in the words and ways of God, it needs to be stretched into greater obedience to the commands and calling of God--but it can grow beyond doubt into a thriving relationship.
The Brightest Lights of the Christian Tradition
St. Augustine, Thomas Merton, Fredrick Buechner, Evelyn Underhill, A.W. Tozer, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas More, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amy Carmichael, Simone Weil, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hildegard of Bingen, John Milton, Dorothy Day, Leo Tolstoy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and more. . .
From nearly two thousand years of Christian writing comes Spiritual Classcs, fifty-two selections complete with a profile of each author, guided meditations for group and individual use, and reflections containing questions and exercises. Editors Richard Foster and Emilie Griffith offer their expertise by selecting inspirational writings and including their own commentary and recommendations for further guided reading and exploration.
Tells the dramatic stories of those who took a stand for Christ against the culture of their day, while challenging readers to pray for the persecuted church around the world and openly stand for Jesus.
With over a million copies sold, this classic work is essential reading for all who ask, "Where has my struggle led me?"A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell. As Nouwen reflects on Rembrandt's painting in light of his own life journey, he evokes a powerful drama of the classic parable in a rich, captivating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's resentfulness, and the father's compassion. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as God loves, and to be loved as God's beloved, will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and is here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.