As the leader of the World Community for Christian Meditation, Laurence Freeman’s calling takes him all over the world to teach and lead groups who want to practice contemplative prayer. In this spiritual travel memoir, he recounts timeless, memorable and moving stories of people, places and events in which he has encountered God ‘s transformative presence. The title of the book comes from a Shakespeare sonnet and the book explores how the life of God can be found in the most unlikely places, not only in the world’s beauty but even in its tragedy.
Slum priests quietly bringing hope to the favelas of Brazil, the gloriously fat stone ladies of Malta which are the world’s oldest depictions of God, the different effects of a mountain-top retreat on an investment banker, a tired social worker and a cancer patient, the impact of a child’s death on a whole community – these and many more stories movingly reveal how the sacred strains to find expression in every life, every place, every day.
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Against the prevailing Western models, influenced by the values and principles of international commerce, presented here are five “signs of life,” showcased by a network of movements best known by many as “new friars.”
· Jose Penate-Aceves, Darren Prince and John B. Hayes of InnerCHANGE
· Phileena Heuertz, David Chronic and Christopher Heuertz of Word Made Flesh
· Derek Engdahl and Jean-Luc Krieg of Servant Partners
· Craig and Nayhouy Greenfield of Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor
· Ash Barker of Urban Neighbours of Hope.
God’s kingdom in the hands of the people of God, the contributors show us, is first and foremost incarnational, which leads necessarily to gospel witness that is devotional, communal, missional and marginal. With a survey of the history of new friar movements and commentary by forerunner Viv Grigg, this seminal book paints a picture of mission that is new only because it has been neglected for so long, a mission that is truly good news to the people in its path.