Wednesday, October 16, 2013
"Prayer of the Heart in Christian & Sufi Mysticism" by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. Published by
The Golden Sufi Center, 2012. It is a small book but I think the Chapter Heading will tell you about it and it seems to be a good resource to have. After a Foreword by Cynthia Bourgeault, there is an Introduction and then these Chapters: Prayer and Listening; Stages of Prayer; The Jesus Prayer and the DHIKR; The Circle of Love; The Heart Prays; Prayer for the Earth; Personal Prayer followed by Notes, Index, and an excellent Bibliography.
The next book that I am using and rather skipping around in to get the feel for the book is The First Spiritual Exercises: Four Guided Retreats. As Originally Conceived by St. Ignatius Loyola and Adapted by Michael Hansen, S.J. It is a book that contains more than the four, four-week retreats of Ignatius adapted by Father Hansen. There is a section on Spiritual Progress and then Guides and Helps make up the second part of the book. It is a useful book as it gives so many helps in one place; there are different ways to make an examen, ways to pray, helps for spiritual journaling, and, of course, the Ignatian guide to the Discernment of Spirits.
A third book is not yet in my hands but the sample pages made me order it. Years ago I had read something by David M. Knight on the Sacrament of Reconciliation; this new book of his is called A Fresh Look at Confession: why it really is good for the soul. Here are his Chapter titles: The Sacrament of Self-Identity; The Sacrament of the Examined Life; The Sacrament of the Spirit; The Sacrament of the Flesh; The Sacrament of Stewardship; A Birdseye Review; The Empty Tomb; and an Appendix and Endnotes.
I f you are looking for good spiritual reading and have finished Jesus: An Historical Approximation, these seem to be good books to have around. I am also reading two other books about Jesus and going back to the above mentioned one that I love.