Thursday, December 21, 2006

On the bedside table: Prayer: Living with God

I have been reading a book that Fr. P gave me:

Prayer: Living with God, by Simon Tugwell.

Actually, when he handed it to me, Fr. P said

"If you like it, I am giving it to you. If you don't like it, I am lending it."

I hate to tell you, Fr. P, but I hope you have another copy kicking around somewhere, because I am loving it.

Since I was still in the midst of the Imitation of Christ, I didnt' start it until last week, but now that I am into it, I am having a hard time putting it down. I am finding it rich enough that I need to put it down, though, so I can digest what I am reading.

Tugwell's book is about building a relationship with God. It is not a how-to manual, as the title implies, but more of a description of the action of God in our lives and the ways that we can open ourselves to that action. He talks about the pitfalls we sometimes experience when we 'Live with God', as well as ways to help avoid them.

He also talks quite a bit about God's nature as it is revealed in scripture, especially as it relates to man's spiritual development. For example, in talking about God's mercy with regard to our fallen state, Tugwell believes that God's act of kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden was an act of mercy and love. What would be worse than eating of the tree of eternal life after they had already experienced spiritual death? By sending them out, God offers the possibility of redemption. It was an act of mercy. This particular passage caught my attention because I had come to that very conclusion a couple of years ago when reading Genesis with my bible study group. (This, of course, convinces me that Tugwell is a genius! LOL)

I haven't finished the book yet, but can say that it is one that I will go back to again and again. It is great Advent reading.

Thanks, Fr. P!

What's on your bedside table these days?


Nancy said...

On my bedside table....Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris. Read it a long time ago so this will be a re-read. I was reading a library copy of this book the first time during a vacation in S. Dakota. I liked it so much that I bought my own copy there. She lives in N. Dakota so her books were all over out there.

Widening Circles said...

Been next to my bed for a while, since it's not something you read through quickly once and put away on a shelf: "Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality," by Margaret Silf. She invents some terms that I found a little annoying, but beyond that she offers a lot of deep, interesting, and helpful insights.