BOOK REVIEW:

Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton

 

Thoughts in Solitude 
by
Thomas Merton

“There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.”

 
I became an immediate Thomas Merton fan when I read this first sentence of Thoughts in Solitude.  After living most of my life numbed out in a mind filled with fantasy, I was amazed to find a book written by a Trappist monk that could touch the core of my being with one sentence. 
 
Merton’s writing flows like beautiful poetry. You will want to soak in his nourishing words for hours on end. There is incredible healing in this precious book. I’ve read it twice and will read it time and again for the rest of my life.
 
If you are unfamiliar with Thomas Merton, I highly recommend starting with Thoughts in Solitude. It was my first book of his but it hasn’t been the last. Until I’ve read them all I can’t name a favorite, though this one is at the top of the list so far.
 
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The Return of The Prodigal Son (Doubleday, 1992)

 

The Return of The Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen is one of the first books I read after I renewed my relationship with God in 2004. At the time I was struggling with terrible consequences and the intense shame that living in my addiction had caused. I felt so unworthy of God’s love. Reading this beautiful book played a huge part in my spiritual healing process.

 

Reimagining the Ignatian Examen: Fresh Ways to Pray from Your Day (Loyola Press, 2015)

Following the example of St. Ignatius, we believe that praying the Examen will lead to a better life. The 500-year-old daily practice of honest self-assessment and reflection is a founding principle of Ignatian spirituality. What we don’t know is if St. Ignatius ever felt like changing it up a bit. Jesuit speaker and author Mark Thibodeaux, SJ, is confident that St. Ignatius wouldn’t mind a little flexibility in his prayer.

Join Thibodeaux as he guides you through new and unique versions of the Examen, totally flexible and adaptable to your life. In ten minutes, you can tailor your daily prayer practice to fit your personal and situational needs, further enhancing and deepening your meditation. Reimagining the Ignatian Examen—the only book of its kind—will lead you through a fresh and stimulating reflection on your past day, your present state of being, and your spiritual desires and needs for tomorrow.

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray

In Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray explains what surrender means and how to take this step, urging readers to yield themselves wholly, completely to God.

God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength or by the power of your will… God Himself will work it in you.

God works it in the secret of our heart, God urges us by the hidden power of His Holy Spirit to come and speak it out, and we have to bring and to yield to Him that absolute surrender.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was an prolific Christian author. He lived and ministered as both a pastor and a writer from the towns and villages of South Africa. His publications were originally written in Dutch and later translated into English. Murray was an alert and intense man who continued writing until his death at the age of 89.

(Excerpts from book)

 

Yesterday I previewed the classic book Waiting on God by Andrew Murray. The YouTube video below is actually an audio recording of the book. If you don’t have time to read, this is a great way to make your way through this wonderful book. I listen to books on audio almost every day while cleaning house or driving in the car. Happy listening! Blessings…

 

 

Waiting on God (1896)

Waiting on God  is Andrew Murray’s 31 Day series of prayers and mediation on the theme of waiting on the Lord. Each day offers a Scripture with an inspirational reflection on its meaning. I’ve been reading this book daily for many years. It never fails to help me make it through the toughest of times.