Posts Tagged ‘Books’

untitledI love to cook!  For me, cooking is a form of relaxation…and it doesn’t matter if I am doing it alone or with company, for a special occasion, or just spur of the moment.  I really like playing with the ingredients, adding something new to a traditional recipe, or experimenting with whatever is in the refrigerator.  Unlike most people, I love to have leftovers, and I consider it a challenge to create something different and surprising.  I attribute my love for cooking to my mom, and it is still a link between us even though she suffers from memory issues.  Watching the cooking channel together is always a positive experience!  So what does all this have to do with anything?  You might ask if there is a spiritual twist to this…yes, there is!

The following excerpt from Praying in the Messiness of Life, by Linda Douty, echoes my thoughts, and so I share it with you, whether you are a cook or a fast food aficionado!

Since I was already in a stew, I decided to literally make a stew. Upset by some sort of squabble, I was soon chopping, dicing, sniffing, mixing, simmering, stirring my way back to sanity. Losing myself in the colors, aromas, taste, feel, and the chop-chop of the knife became a kind of sensate prayer that brought me to my senses.

Cooking is often a vehicle of prayer for me. As I sort out flavors, adding leftover vegetables from the refrigerator, I try to blend them into some sort of tasty combination, using what I already have. In a surprising alchemy of attention, my thoughts are led to explore how my life can be better blended into balance and harmony, what belongs and what doesn’t belong, what adds spice, what ingredients bring a balance of flavors. The kitchen becomes my place of creative personal prayer.”

-Sr. Marie Paul Grech, SND


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Book Corner

The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer by Joan Chittister, OSB

This new book attends to what we humans are most inclined to forget: preparing for and engaging in prayer. It is an examination of what we ourselves must bring to the discipline of prayer–whatever form it takes–in order to make prayer authentic and real, a deep and profound part of our lives.
Available at the Twenty-third Publications Book Store. As reviewed in Transformation a publication of the Religious Formation Conference.

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13_rays_fog_trees_rmbFrom time to time I pick up a volume that never ceases to challenge me. The book “Abandonment to God” by Jean-Pierre De Caussade, S.J., (d.1751) calls the reader to give each moment of the day to God, trusting that His Providence has ordered everything for our good. “The present moment is an ever-flowing source of holiness,” Caussade says, “and all will be well if we abandon ourselves to the will of God.” Of course, suffering from “spiritual amnesia”, I eventually fall back into feeling that I alone am responsible for the proper running of the world. Still, his advice is a powerful antidote for habits of worry and control: dwelling on the past, fearing for the future, gnawing on regrets, and anticipating the worst.

What if, as curators of our own contentment, we followed Caussade’s advice and cultivated habits of recollection, of a loving awareness of God’s presence and providence? Nothing in our day would lack meaning or peace, for we would discover that the peace we seek is already within us.

“The well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small.” Mary Webb

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