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Sunday, December 30, 2007

St. Teresa of Avila "The Interior Castle"


Teresa of Avila was a 16th Century nun who lived, wrote, and worked in Spain during the period called the Catholic Reformation (or the Counter-Reformation by most Protestants!). Her book is an extended treatise on quiet interior prayer for those with a religious vocation. It does not stress prayers of intercession or supplication but rather prayers that seek the company of Jesus Christ. The highlight for me personally was her explanations of the various ways God might communicate Himself to us in prayer. Teresa was also a person of great humility. She seemed to know God intimately but also was keenly aware of her own sinfulness and propensity for being mistaken about things. I have a tendency to respect people more when they not the infallible expert on a topic. This is not a book on prayer for beginners but a person with a measure of grounding in the Christian faith and experience in prayer would find many passages encouraging and speaking directly to them.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Soul Epigraph?

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions found on ancient ruins. From the hieroglyphs of Egypt and the legal decrees of the Rosetta stone to obscene graffiti scratched into the walls of Pompeii, people have made a lasting impression by carving "their message" in stone or metal. I believe the written word has great power in the shaping of a human soul. Many of the books I've read through the years have left a deep imprint on my soul affecting how I think and feel about many of life's most important issues. SoulEpigraph is a catalogue of the books I've been reading lately and my impressions of the material and the author. In my postings I hope to convey how my life is being shaped by a particular book and also to give personal recommendations concerning who might also find such a book beneficial. I will gladly post your comments positive or negative about any book I cover in this blog with the proviso that you actually have read the book you are commenting on. Thanks for stopping by!