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A multi-faceted reflection

by
24 March 2016

David Adam studies a jewel of a book

Fragile Mystics: Reclaiming a prayerful life

Magdalen Smith

SPCK £10.99

(978-0-281-07384-9)

Church Times Bookshop £9.90

 

FRAGILE MYSTICS is a jewel of a book, reflecting light, love, and life. Like all jewels, it needs to be looked at and enjoyed. It seeks to help us to renew our vision and prayer life, but also to be more fully alive. Prayer is viewed not in isolation, but as a way of life.

There are ten sparkling facets to this jewel. “Stillness” is not only about silence, but about not being caught up in the frantic pace and noise of life. We are in danger of being run by technology that is supposed to make life easier. Churches are often no more free from sound than our daily lives.

“Gaze” is concerned with the art of adoration, and learning to give our undivided attention to others, and God.

“Flux” is the acknowledgement that life and the world are in constant movement and change: nothing is fixed, and all is a gift. It is about living in the now.

“Dark” concerns the narrowness of the borders of our existence, which we need to face and not deny. We need to be able to confront and try to deal with difficulty.

“Stretch” means moving out of our comfort zone and reaching out. Churches, as well as people, need to learn this anew.

“Thank” is about the attitude of gratitude. We all take too much for granted. We need to learn to give as we have received — not only material things, but also love and compassion.

“Deep” is about moving out of the shallows and into a life of wisdom and depth.

“Link” explores the interconnection of creation, and finds that no one is self-sufficient.

“Shed” asks readers to let go and let grow. It is about decluttering, and not being possessed by our possessions.

“Dream” wants us to believe in our future with passion, inspiration, and hope. Then work to bring it into being.

Each chapter ends with ideas for both individuals and groups on how to put it all into practice.

 

Canon David Adam is a former Vicar of Holy Island.

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