by Marjorie J. Thompson
WJK, Louisville, Ky. 177 pages
Since its original publication in 1995, this classic work on Christian spiritual formation has been an influential guide for individuals and congregations. One could describe it, as Barbara Brown Taylor does, as an essential map for the journey to living water. One doesn’t enter into the wilderness without a map and proper equipment. Thompson understands that she is leading people into the deep wilderness whose final destination is an experience of the living God. That is why she provides a clear guide for the practices that will are necessary for the journey. This is a new edition that adds to the depth of the original without taking away what has been so helpful to so many. This book remains a reliable resource for congregations seeking a format for conversation about the practices of prayer, Sabbath-keeping, fasting, spiritual reading, hospitality and a rule of life. One notes that this is not a general guide to something called spirituality. It is intentionally a map for Christians that draws upon a wide ecumenical community of saints that spans generations. She is aware of the challenges to a vibrant life with God. “We have become masters in the art of distracting ourselves from life’s depth. If we hope to penetrate the riches of our interiority, we will need a strong intention to resist the clamoring demands of instant communication.” There may be no better guide this one.