To know and be known by God is a life-long endeavor. I find it require’s the efforts of one’s intuition, heart and intellect. Life in all of its heartbreaks and glories has turned me for good or bad into a spiritual curio; biblical scholarship, spiritual memoir, hagiography, poetry, nature and intimacy with my fellow human beings enables me a peek into the heart and creative mind of God. During Lent, I stack my bedside table with voices that stimulate my soul. One day, my children will inherit a library of ear-marked and red-lined texts, literary maps if you will, that have helped me find my way, endeavor a greater intimacy with my Creator and nourish that mustard seed of faith within. Following are a couple of books that continue to inspire and nourish me deep… and creatively!
Christian Mystics, 365 Readings and Meditations by Matthew Fox: A colleague of mine recently recommended this book as a daily meditation during Lent. Each day you are gifted with the illumined words of Christian mystics such as Thomas Aquinas, the historical Jesus, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich and Thomas Merton. The spiritual experiences of those who have come before me provide a beacon for my own spiritual journey. In the first week, there was a quote that I had never heard by Jesus but that I have committed to soul memory: “Split the wood—–I am there; lift the stone and you will find me there.”
Broken Open, How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser: I hope one day that I will be blessed to meet Elizabeth Lesser in person. Both her memoir, Broken Open and The Seeker’s Guide have challenged the way that I understand how life’s struggles and setbacks are an alchemical blessing to my evolving. Lesser is both empathic to the difficulties of being human, but also convinced they are the secret to the evolution of who we are and the open door to deeper connection to that which is larger than ourselves. She is a voice of hope.
The Pursuit of God by A.W Tozer: God leaps off the pages of this book. This is a must read for the spiritual seeker. There are so many quotes from this book that have become part of my soul vocabulary. “If we truly want to follow God, we must seek to be otherworldly.” “A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves.”
Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr: Rohr speaks on God and faith in a vernacular that speaks volumes to my spirit. He believes in a benevolent, redemptive and loving God that is at work in this world through and all around me. I appreciate his theology and his hope for our world.
Bread And Wine, Readings for Lent and Easter: This is a collection of meditations by well-known theologians such as C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buchner and Mother Theresa focused on the Easter journey. I break this out every year.
An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor: I have every single one of her books. I sat on the front row like an unapologetic “groupie” when she came to Nashville several years ago. This particular book is an invitation to wake up to God in your midst. It’s a winner!
Here’s to loving God with our mind!
Live in Hope,