finding our way again

I recently [and slowly] made my way through Brian McLaren’s latest book Finding Our Way Again. When I first saw it, I wasn’t too interested because there are countless numbers of books on spiritual practices and disciplines out these days, and I wasn’t too eager to read another one. However, as I began to read it, I was struck by some old [read: new to me] ideas that I had never really heard about before, and was challenged to embrace some of these ancient practices. I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of the via purgativa, via illuminativa and the via unitiva. What struck me about these ancient practices is they are just that – something to be practiced. I always thought of being spiritual in terms of self-denial and sin control, what I should not do. McLaren outlines some helpful and practical ways to become a person that is free from the burden and power of pride, greed and lust.

Purgation has everything to do with practice, not penance: practicing humility and service rather than pride and power, practicing generosity and simplicity rather than greed, practicing self-control and a willingness to suffer pain for a good cause rather than a lust for pleasure and comfort

Through these pursuits, we are free to let the light and goodness of God take hold of us so that we can be more tightly united to God and neighbor.

That’s just a bit of what this book has to offer – a fresh yet ancient take on spiritual practices. I can see how some people might not be down with all of McLaren’s ideas [and I myself am not necessarily prepared to embrace all of his ideas on spirituality], but this was a worthwhile read and it was certainly a benefit to me at this time in my life. I have to read through some parts again to see how I can incorporate some of these things in to my day to day life, and I anticipate that I will be better off for it.

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