I have about five books that I always say that I want buried with me – talk about a happy thought… But these are books that have changed my way of thinking and living. One of them is “The Essence of Prayer” by Ruth Burrows OCD. Here is a short passage from the beginning:
Any talk about prayer, if we are to stand in the clear, pure atmosphere of truth, must begin by reflecting in firm belief on what Jesus shows us of God. Let us push straight to the heart of the matter. What is the core, the central message of the revelation of Jesus? Surely it is of the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us: God, the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all life. And this means that divine Love desires to communicate Its Holy Self to us. Nothing Less! This is God’s irrevocable will and purpose; it is the reason why everything that is, is, and why each of us exists. We are here to receive this ineffable, all-transforming, all beatifying Love. Well-instructed Chritians know this notionally but, alas, few know it really. And here I must add an important reminder that knowing it ‘really’ does not imply ‘feelingly’.
Wow! How can I ever let that sink in? How can I truly believe this, and if (when) I do, how different will my life look? So, all of our methods, our techiniques, our ‘prayers’ are aids to help us to absorb this Truth. We are loved, loved beyond our understanding, our knowledge, our abilities. We are loved because we are…not because we ‘do’ or ‘say’. We are loved because we are….we were created by Love to receive love and to love in return (in our limited way).
You are loved – believe this and everything changes.
That’s part of the beauty of books and the written word … That capacity to move us in this way, to give us a deeper understanding of life itself. It sounds like your favorite books are treasures, indeed!
Your insights into the value of the beauty of books and the written word are what make you such a great author, I’m sure Joanne. Thanks for the comment.
That’s beautiful. I need to check her books out – thank you!
Yes, do check her out – she’s a treasure Fran.
Gorgeous! I love a book that makes me want to tuck deeper into Him. Those words did just that. Hmmm. I might have to look for that one! Just curious…what are the other four books?
Oh Laura, that’s a tough one because each time I read a great book, I put it on the ‘list’. Right now they are the Bible (of course), The Inner Voice (Nouwen), The Way of the Cross (Houselander), Essence of Prayer (Burrows), and something by Yancey….oh, I could go on….
I find so few people who know of the writings of Ruth Burrows! Guidelines to Mystical Prayer was the first book of hers that I read/meditated upon, and, yes, her insights opened up new vistas for me, too. Since then I have read and reread many of her other writings.
I know, Ruth Ann, she seems to be such a hidden treasure.
great comment. “You are loved. Believe that and everything changes.”
Yes, Rich…now, how do we do that???
This takes me back ! She was one of the first people recommended to me by a priest on a retreat when I was in my thirties and she gets right to the core !!
She is particularly good at helping us , not so much with intellectual assent but at the kind of faith which allows Jesus, and the Gospel of Jesus, to take a real hold of our lives.
Your post prompted me to have a look on my shelves and go doen memory lane for a while: I have Ascent to Love and Living Love and Our Father. Thanks Andie for reminding me . Yes we are loved !!
Oh, I wish that I could read Ascent to Love but it is so hard to find here…She’s great. Let me know what books you choose to reread
I guess I’m odd man out here. I do believe that God loves me, period. How can I not believe it. How can anyone find that hard to grasp? He tells us, time and time again in the Bible, that he loves us without judgment, without preconditions.
Just pure love.
And I accept that love. It’s being worthy of it that is the hard part.
Oh Kris, you are blessed indeed! The best part is that we aren’t worthy, never will be, he loves us as we are! What a gift, huh?
Sounds like a great book Andie. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome Bernadine! Thanks for stopping by.
I must know what the other four are, if you can share them, I am a book fanatic always looking for a new title! Love the post…Lori
It’s kind of a joke Lori because everytime I read a great book I tell everyone that it’s one of the ‘five’…I’m up to about 100 by now. But currently, I’d say….they are the Bible (of course), The Inner Voice (Nouwen), The Way of the Cross (Houselander), Essence of Prayer (Burrows), and anythink by Yancey…. especially What’s so Amazing About Grace or Disappoint with God, oh, I could go on…. Would you share some of yours?