Recently a friend loaned me The Velveteen Principles which is based on the much loved children’s (really adult) book The Velveteen Rabbit. It was a delight to read such a clear exposition of the process of becoming “real”. You might want to treat yourself or a friend with these books which can also come in a gift package.
If you want to explore the impact of those events that are highly improbable but have tremendous effects on our lives and culture I recommend Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan. The author only mentions one passage in Matthew’s gospel, but anyone studying scripture can identify many examples of a black swan event that forever changed history. The book left me with a stronger affinity for what I have been calling Sneaky Spirit events for many years.
William P. Young has written a best selling book that invites you to open your mind and heart to a totally innovative way of relating to God and the Trinity in The Shack. A father, whose image of God was distorted by an abusive father, comes to a revelation by way of a tragedy. The miracle of transformation is brought about by his suffering and being brought to freedom through forgiveness. Be prepared to come away from this book with new and exciting questions.
A book that is a timely read by Benjamin Barber, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole. NY. W. W. Norton & Co. 2007, could point to what “change” might be all about: changes that creates services and things that we really need, not just a different/newer/bigger version of what we already have. Barber highlights how we have become confused by the marketing media to believing more is better when what we really need is quality.
If you want to get another perspective on the situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban you need to read Three Cups of Tea by Gret Mortenson. He is trying to promote peace one school at a time. The book written in 2006 still promotes much soul searching. Would that our leaders have consulted with him so many years ago before setting out on the course they did.
Another work that examines the issue of nonviolence in a gospel is Fr. Beck’s Nonviolent Story: Narrative Conflict Resolution in the Gospel of Mark. Fr. Beck builds upon the important contributions of Walter Wink and Gil Bailie by examining more closely how narratives legitimate and perpetuate myths of redemptive violence.
A friend of Fr. Nouwen, Jurjen Beumer, in his: Henri Nouwen: A Restless Seeking for God, explors the life and growth of this restless seeker of God whose many books have drawn countless people with him in their own searches. I remember a conference I attended where Henri introduced all of us to Adam, and witnessed his devotion to this beloved handicapped person he lovingly cared for.
In 1976 I took a course on Teilhard de Chardin taught by Fr. Don Goergen, O.P. at Aquinas Institute of Theology. This began a quest that has evolved into what many of you now know as my encounter with the Sneaky Spirit. In Fr. Goergen’s latest book, Fire of Love we plunge into this mysterious reality in earnest. I wonder if today’s world will someday be seen as the age of the Spirit by those who ponder the many changes we are wrestling with assist guided by this same Spirit?