Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Book Corner

In my former life as a middle school librarian, I loved the "book talk" aspect of the work. My job was to make a selection of books so irresistable that they would immediately "walk off the shelves" in the hands of an eager students.

Here I would like to recommend two books which are more than worthy of walking off the shelf of your local book store or online provider. The first is The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind - A New Perspective on Christ and His Message. The second is The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. For some, this author, Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD, may be a new voice of spiritual guidance.  Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, she divides her time between solitude on Eagle Island, Maine, and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative path.

Cynthia Bourgeault is also author of:  Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Chanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger Than Death. She has also authored or contributed to numerous articles and courses on the Christian spiritual life. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California.

This author invites her readers to consider Jesus from the biblical and theological perspective that reminds how radical the essential teaching of Jesus was in his time on earth and how that radicality needs to be reconsidered today. Bourgeault engages us in an attractive conversational tone that is, nonetheless, rooted in sound theological and biblical teaching. The heart of the message is expressed in the first two of its three parts: The Teachings of Jesus and The Mysteries of Jesus. The last part covers Christian Wisdom Practices - centering meditation, lectio divina (sacred reading and meditation), chanting and psalmody (Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours) and the Eucharist. These are presented as the spiritual practices in which lives must be grounded in order to enter into and live out the radicality of Jesus' message in their everyday lives.

The second book concerning the figure of Mary Magdalene, much honored in Sacred Scripture and much maligned throughout the ages is a most welcome addition to general consideration of her importance in  Christian tradition. Here Mary Magdalene is presented not only as Apostle to the Apostles  but also as model of the spousal relationship of the Christian soul and Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Young Yoga Masters said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I will add these to my Christmas gift list.