I am excited to share about a new page I’ve recently added to this website called, “Spiritual Formation”. This newly developed section of my site is filled with my recommendations from the treasure trove of material I’m discovering about contemplative faith. Here’s why this new content is so important to me:
The increased polarization of our society and divisions (of many sorts) within the faith-based community have led me down a path of finding my faith and connection with God again from the practices of early church fathers and mystics from the contemplative fashion. This has not been in replacement of the faith I’ve always embraced but rather in addition to and in a greater fullness of what I’ve practiced to this point in my life. Some have called this process deconstruction, but I prefer to think of this process more as further evidence of transformation, which is the journey I’ve been on in my faith for many years and the theme of much of my writing.
This journey began as I embarked on Sabbath-keeping in 2020 right before the pandemic arrived. Over the past several years of leaning into this practice, I’ve discovered an entirely new vein of Christianity that was previously unknown to me. I’ve learned about silence and solitude, meditative prayers, daily surrender, and a broader attentiveness to the presence of God at work in every moment of life. Whether learning from Teresa of Avila from the medieval period or Richard Rohr from the modern era, I am finding there is a deeper path of trust, love, and connection to my God, as well as more compassion and kindness for my neighbor.
You can find a list of recommended books & podcasts that have been a blessing to me in discovering a contemplative aspect to faith, including some favorite Advent devotionals I’ve found here: https://dawnamsdenstark.com/spiritual-formation
I would love to include your applicable recommendations to this site and my personal must-read list. Please share any titles or podcasts you recommend I check out in the comments below.