Spiritual Formation

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 began keeping Sabbath 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. 

 

Resources

Here’s a list of recommended books & podcasts broken down by category that have been a blessing to me in discovering a contemplative aspect to faith. Please let me know any titles you think should be added to this list by emailing me your suggestions.  

Sabbath & Spiritual Formation:

  • 100 Days in the Secret Place: Classic Writings from Madame Guyon, Francois Fenelon, and Michael Molinos on the Deeper Christian Life
  • Blue Ocean Faith: The vibrant connection to Jesus that opens up insanely great possibilities in a secularizing world and might kick off a new Jesus movement – Dave Schmelzer and Brian D. McLaren
  • Breathing Under Water:  Spirituality and the Twelve Steps – Richard Rohr
  • The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiarist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth – Gerald G. May
  • The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus – Rich Villodas
  • Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life – Richard Rohr
  • God is Closer Than You Think: If God is Always With Us, Why is He So Hard to Find? – John Ortberg
  • The Inner Voice of Love – Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation – M. Robert Mulholland Jr. and Ruth Haley Barton
  • Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society – Eugene Peterson
  • The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
  • Practically Divine – Becca Stevens
  • Praying Through Psalms: A Guide for Contemplative Prayer Using Anglican Prayer Beads – Cindy Hamilton
  • Renovations of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ – Dallas Willard
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spritiually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World – John Mark Comer
  • Sabbath: Restoring Rhythm of Rest and Delight – Wayne Muller
  • Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation – Ruth Haley Barton
  • Sacred Thirst: Meeting God in the Desert of our Longings – Craig M. Barnes
  • Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Parts of You – John Ortberg
  • Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World – A.J. Swobada 
  • What is Ignatian Spirituality – David L. Fleming
  • Sabbath – Dan B. Allender

 Advent:

  •  Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen’s Own Words
  •  Celebrating Abundance – Walter Brueggemann
  • Preparing for Christmas Daily Devotions for Advent –Richard Rohr
  • God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 Podcasts:

  • Another Name for Everything with Richard Rohr
  • Fight Hustle End Hurry
  • Justice and the Inner Life
  • The Pocket Contemplative
  • Rule of Life – Practicing the Way
  • Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership