A Spiritual Curio
In my dreams I would have a dinner party, an Otherworldly one. The guest list—-my spiritual heroes. I would pull out all the stops, even mastering the perfect chocolate soufflé to thank these illumined figures for opening my eyes, stretching my faith and inspiring my spiritual curiosity. Where would I be today without the spiritual insights of Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis, King David and his Psalter, Flannery O’Connor, A.W. Tozer, Thich Nhat Hahn, Barbara Brown Taylor, Becca Stevens, Rumi, Rilke, St. Paul, Mother Theresa, St. Teresa D’Avila and Jesus? And that’s just scratching the surface.
The Bible says love God with your heart, soul, and mind! A huge part of my spiritual life is reading, reflection and study. What better time spent than as a student of the Divine?
I reflect over my life and it’s almost startling how these spiritual teachers and their theological reflections have opened so many doors for my seeking heart. I’ll never forget reading Psalm 139 for the first time. It has since become the lighted skeleton of my faith. I have Thomas Merton to thank for his revelations on the soul (and my week at the monastery!) His beautiful words, “Something of the heavens is planted inside each of us,” continues to light me up from the inside out. And then there is C.S. Lewis. Could there be a cooler spiritual grandfather with a British accent? How many times have I read Mere Christianity and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
Mother Theresa gave me permission to not be afraid of doubt and dark nights of the soul. This may surprise you, but Flannery O’Connor has taught me much about grace. The mystical poetry of Rumi has provided me with some of the most beautiful descriptions of God. Leslie Weatherhead taught me that evil and suffering are absolutely NOT the will of God, and yet, if we hold steadfast in faith, God has this miraculous way of redeeming even the most despairing situation into something for good. Barbara Brown Taylor and Henri Nouwen are modern-day Christian apologists who I credit immensely for inspiring my own humble efforts at spiritual writing. And the Bible, well, the words of Jesus, Mary, Paul, David, James, and so many others are literally etched into the flesh of my soul.
Following is a short list of spiritual books that have laid claim to my heart. I promise to do another list in the coming months! And, it would be a true gift if you would share a book that has been especially meaningful in your own faith journey.
Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
The Inner Experience by Thomas Merton
Show Me the Way by Henri Nouwen
Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God by Rainer Maria Rilke
An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
the practice of the presence of God by brother Lawrence