Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality
Frederick Buechner is a nourisher of the soul. His first memoir, The Sacred Journey feels like a good friend. This book is honest, courageous, and full of the kind of heart that makes me want to walk in my journey instead of away from it.
Just finished rereading this book, and it struck me so much more this time around. Good picture of why intentional conversations about our heart, "telling our secrets" to at least one person is so important. Good words from Frederick:
“...I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition—that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about.”
Being spoken to by him, I feel emboldened to tell my secrets.
Ann Lamott is truly iconoclastic. She writes with the wisdom of an elder and the freedom of a child. Her memoir is not for the timid or easily offended. She is irreverent, passionate, joyful and hilarious. Many, including me, have found a friend in her style, wit and honest reflections on what it means to be human.
For those wanting a foundational understanding of why God created marriage in the first place, this is a good, quick read. A must read for those I work with in premarital counseling. There is also a study guide that goes with it providing thought provoking questions for use in a group setting, entitled, The Goal of Marriage. It can also be used individually with couples to engage their minds and hearts with one another.
A provocative work on what it means to richly and intently love those who do us harm with a love that is disruptive and enticing rather than simply accepting and tolerant.
Kreeft dares us to "ask our heart what it wants". This work on the longing of our hearts for our true home will deepen your faith and help you to understand why we are not yet happy. Highly recommended.
Larry's insight into our hearts and his ability to consider how the New Covenant can transform our lives is stunning and joyful. So many people are worn out from trying to live their lives so that things work out well. Move from the pressure to "get it right" to the freedom to love in light of God's overwhelming knowledge and passion.
C. S. Lewis wrote of an "inconsolable secret" in each one of us which we cannot hide and cannot tell. Good books help us to do both. We find words to tell what is otherwise difficult to describe and we unearth, painfully at times, that which we hide. Below are a few books which we have found helpful in deepening our lives and nourishing our souls.