The Vinedresser's Notebook: Spiritual Lessons in Pruining, Waiting, Harvesting & Abundance by Judith Sutera. Abingdon Press.
Written by a vinedresser, theologian, psychologist, and nun, this illustrated text centers on a visual meditation combined with short reflections about the spiritual life, extending the spiritual metaphor of the vineyard, the vinedresser, and Jesus’ teachings.
Readers will become familiar with the world in which Jesus lived, the cultural customs, the important geographic locations, the biblical terms familiar to first-century Christians but foreign to a contemporary audience. The Four Gospels: Catholic Personal Study Edition lends itself to both quick reference and more in-depth study or meditation. Indispensable for all who long to know Jesus better.
This book may be purchased from Amazon
Words of Grace from All Saints Press
Words of Grace is a new quarterly booklet of Daily Reflections and Prayers for Catholics that connects the daily Scripture readings from the Mass with the treasury of wisdom found in the Church’s rich spiritual tradition. Besides offering a brief daily reflection related to the Mass readings and a thought provoking prayer starter question, this handy and easy-to-use booklet also offers a variety of other engaging features such as Bible history, prayer from the day's saint, and brief explanations of various words related to Catholic liturgy, theology and spirituality.
Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation by Fr. Paul Farren
Over the summer I have had the time to read and re-read Freedom and Forgivenes. What a gift! It has enriched my understanding and experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and offered new insight.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is primarily the sacred place and moment when God confesses. The primary confessor in the sacrament is God. What does God confesses? God confesses his love, his forgiveness, his gratitude, his confiedence, his trust and his belief in us. It is God's confession that enables us to confess. (p.1)
The sacrament of Reconciliation, then, is an intense moment of prayer - an intense moment of awareness that God is looking at me lovingly and humbly. This is an incredible reality about our God. (p.13)
Forgiveness then brings us peace and frees us to love. This is at the heart of of the sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a celebration of our freedom to love. (p. 16)
Throughout the book, Fr. Farren relates how this prayerful experience of God as confessor enables us to confess our sins, experience forgiveness, empowers us to face ourselves, and to reach out to others in love and compassion.
Simply Merton: Wisdom from His Journals by Linus Munday. Franciscan Media.
In his search for God, Thomas Merton wrote on timeless themes and questions we still wrestle with today. Simplicity, nonviolence, honesty, mystery, and even death and eternity—these topics and more permeated Merton’s writings. This book distills the wisdom of Merton’s dozens of books and voluminous journals into the enduring themes most relevant to readers today.
Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary by Michael W. Higgins. Liturgical Press
About the Book:
From the People of God Series
Thomas Merton was the consummate postmodern holy one: flawed, anti-institutional, a voice for the voiceless. But he was also a classical traditionalist: centered, obedient, in search of stability. He was a religious thinker of remarkable insight, a social commentator of courage and conviction, and a writer of startling virtuosity.
Michael W. Higgins recounts the life of this insatiable wanderer. He explores the various layers of influence and evolution in Merton's thought and spirituality. This book tells the remarkable story of a life that remains to be understood from its beginnings and long after its premature ending.
By: Kellan Day, Editor of faith alive books. Kellan is a recent graduate of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, focusing on religion, gender studies and studio art.
Michael W. Higgins, a scholar and admirer of the renowned monk of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton, writes a clear and compelling tale of the monk’s faithful yet boundary-breaking life.
The brief 106-page account does not starve the reader for lack of detail, but instead artfully creates depth through its spot-on choice of autobiographical content.
Higgins maps out Merton’s faith journey, beginning in his younger years with the influence of his parents. His mother Ruth, in particular, taught Merton that there is an “extreme importance of place or environment in shaping our lives.” Higgins picks up on this theme as he follows Merton’s life through the places or environments that most influenced him. As Higgins sees it, Merton inhabited the vocation of pilgrim, for the monk never quite settles in the way one might expect him to.
“Merton regarded humanity as instinctive wanderers. He saw the spiritual journey or pilgrimage as a metaphorical peregrinatio, or ‘going forth into strange countries.’ He himself undertook the hardest of journeys, and as a consequence became by the time of his death the most spiritually fit of his age.”
Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen by Michael W. Higgins & Kevin Burns. Paulist Press.
About the Book:
This illustrated biography presents the life and legacy of Henri Nouwen through interviews with his friends and family, including his brother Laurent, l'Arche founder Jean Vanier, author Robert Ellsberg, and writer Ronald Rolheiser. The book was conceived as a companion volume to a CBC radio series airing in September 2012, to mark the anniversary of Nouwen's untimely death at the age of sixty-four. An extensive photo section is included.
This book is an exploration of ideas about spirituality, about vulnerable mental health, and about 'becoming' more fully what we are compelled to be. It's about parents and children of all ages, it's about asking for help and what you do with that help once it's offered. It's about discovering new strength in your weaknesses. And all of that within the context of Nouwen's overarching reminder about all creation's link to the
Review by Rabbi Albert Lewis
Genius Born of Anguish is a sensitive, well documented biography of my teacher and friend, Father Henri Nouwen.
Unlike some biographies of Henri, the writers have captured the heart and soul of this deeply loved spiritual mentor, and they have enabled us to understand his innermost talent and torment. I am protective of my mentor, Henri, whom I consider the most important influence in my adult life.
The book should be required reading for anyone who truly wants to understand the soul within the man whose 30+ books have influenced thousands of seminarians and Christians in search of a deeper spirituality and closeness to God. The authors chose to interview people in whom Henri placed his trust and heart; and we are gifted to share in a life journey, rather than a chronicle of events. Because of their diligence, we are able to understand who and what influenced the man/priest who gave so much to us.
Rabbi Albert M. Lewis spent his sabbatical (1995) living and studying with Henri in the L’Arche Daybreak Community. Lewis is the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Emanuel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Please visit the Henri Nouwen Society
It Rained in the Desert, One Woman’s Story of Spirit and Resilience
By Jocelyn Dettloff
Ó 2013, in association with faithAlivebooks.com
275 pages $20.00
Birth Facts: December 6, 1970 in Detroit, Michigan
Education: Graduate of the University of Michigan in 1993; English Literature major
Travels: Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, Mexico, Canada, domestic
Parents’ Divorce: January 1997
Date of the Accident: Sunday, April 13, 1997
Place of the Accident: Namibia, Africa
Diagnosis: T-5 (Thoracic 5) complete spinal cord injury resulting in “complete paraplegic.”
Current Job: Annual Fund Director at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
Special Achievements: 2005 Miss Wheelchair Michigan; 2012 West Michigan Wheelchair Tennis Player of the Year
Current Residence: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Interests: sky diving, traveling, tennis, waterskiing, snow skiing, all forms of adventure