This is an illustrated book by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Dennis Linn. They describe it as follows: ‘When we are hurt, we are tempted to either act as a passive doormat or to strike back and escalate the cycle of violence. We can avoid both of these temptations and find creative responses to hurts by moving through the five stages of forgiveness. In so doing, we discover the two hands of nonviolence: one hand that stops the person who hurts us and the other that reaches out, calms that person and offers new life. This book has healing processes so simple that children can use them.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the now famous theologian who was martyred by the Nazis in 1945, wrote this book on the eve of World War II. It resulted from his experience as head of a semiary of the German 'Confessing Church' at Finkenwalde near Stettin. Here many of the pastors who witnessed against Hitler received their inspiration. It was, as Professor John D. Godsey points out in his study of The Theology of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, 'a kind of theological education that was startlingly new in Germany: a communal life in which Jesus Christ's call to discipleship was taken seriously.' Professor Godsey calls Life Together 'simply written, powerfully convincing and unusually quotable...It is an attempt to give practical guidance to those who want to take their lives as Christians seriously.'
Praised by many as the most important contemporary book on Christian spirituality, this timeless classic has helped well over a million people discover a richer spiritual life infused with joy, peace and a deeper understanding of God.
This book explores the 'classic disciplines' of the Christian faith: the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting and study; the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission and service; and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance and celebration.
This selection of Thomas Merton's finest writing, first published over 30 years ago, remains as relevant as ever to those wishing to progress in the spiritual life. Here we find Merton discussing solitude, St John of the Cross, the primitive Carmelite idea, Christianity and totalitarianism, and the power and meaning of love:
'Love is the key to the meaning of life. It is at the same time transformation in Christ and the discovery of Christ. As we grow in love and in unity with those who are loved by Christ, we become more and more capable of apprehending and obscurely grasping something of the tremendous reality of Christ in the world, Christ in ourselves, and Christ in our fellow man.'
(from p. 27)
Spiritual formation, I have come to believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection. It’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other, and our truest selves.
Henri Nouwen, from the Introduction
Henri Nouwen, beloved author, priest and spiritual guide, counseled many people during his lifetime, but his principles of spiritual formation were never written down. Now, Michael Christensen, one of Nouwen’s longtime students, and Rebecca Laird have taken the famous course in spiritual formation and supplemented it with his unpublished writings to reveal Nouwen’s sage advice on how to live out the five classic stages of spiritual development.
I always knew I was in the presence of a spiritual master when I was with Henri Nouwen. Here are some simple, wise words that will allow the master to continue to teach.
Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of The Naked Now
One of the book’s many strengths is its integration of an area especially important to Nouwen, the contemplation of icons and other works of art – visio divina – in order ‘to behold the beauty of the Lord’.
Jim Forest, author of Praying with Icons and The Road to Emmaus