Sit in the Sun And Other Lessons in the Spiritual Wisdom of Cats 

What can we learn from cats?

Jon M. Sweeney
Broadleaf Books, 216 pages | Published April 11, 2023

As a minister predominately focused on the faith formation of children, youth and their parents, I’m convinced that our greatest challenge is to help others encounter, know, and ultimately fall deeply in love with God. I’ve found this is most likely to occur when we first meet people where they are — and then invite them to seek the Divine in the rhythms of daily life.

“Spiritual pilgrim” Jon Sweeney does this as well, starting at his feet, where Martin and Rosa purr, snack, frolic and, of course, nap. With its whimsical title and adorable illustrations, Sit in the Sun is a gentle reminder to enjoy holy moments that arise when we follow our feline teachers, since “(w)e learn more from accompanying a spiritual teacher than from taking notes as she lectures.”

Most spiritual practices tend to be tried and true, but Sweeney suggests that we play, purr and pounce!  While these may sound silly, they give busy people “permission” to delight in God’s presence. Sit in the Sun also offers a pet’s take on more contemplative practices, such as luxuriating in the sun as a path to mindfulness and compassion.

This is a book to be savored, a chapter at a time – perhaps while rubbing a soft belly or scratching an ear – as you try on a more relaxed way of being open to God’s presence.

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