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Jackie and Dick
What's Jackie Reading? I frequently review books on Amazon.Com
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Radical Optimism: Rooting Ourselves in Reality
1993 National Book Network ISBN# 0824512642
A deep and luminous vision.
It's not everyday that an author catches my attention. Beatrice Bruteau, Philosopher,Contemplative, Christian, shines a new light on the deepest truths about ourselves: each of us has at-one-ment with God, here and now and with each other.
The book has been praised by many well known and established authors in this field:
Dom Bede Griffiths, George Maloney SJ, Patrick Hart, OCSO, John Shea, Swami
Yogeshananda and Thomas Keating, OCSO.
Themes that the author touches upon:
1) Leisure: Relaxing Ego-Consciousness_Stop thinking of ourselves as past or future.
Concentrate on the present moment, reality. "Harden not your hearts, be still and be
2) Stillness: Relaxing the Body_Help from Jesus, the teacher. In John 16:33 Jesus says,
" I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
4) The Finite and the Infinite
5) Sin and Salvation
6) Heart of Jesus, Root of Reality
7) The Communion of Saints
8) Trinitarian Manifestation: This is the ultimate desire, to be one with God and with one
another. MT 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I
in the midst of them."
Born Only Once: The Miracle of Affirmation
2001-Franciscan ISBN# 0819906719
Affirmation by another leads to love of self.
Dr. Baars is excellent in explaning the meaning of being loved and affirmed by another which leads to acceptance of self and acceptance of one another.
Jesus asks us to "love one another as he has loved us". Married love mirrors these words as we affirm and love each other.
At times we stray from being for one another and get so wrapped up in the goings on of daily living that we lose our way. It is so important to stay focused so that we can be sacraments to one another.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to live a closer and intimate relationship with oneself, a significant other and God.
Ecstatic Confessions : The Heart of Mysticism
1996 Syracuse Univ Pr ISBN: 181560422X
Encounters with the Divine.
Martin Buber gives us collected writings of well known and unknown mystics.
First published in German in 1909 this wonderful work gives a good introduction for anyone who wants more knowledge and confirmation of the existence of the Divine in our finite lives.
LK 11:9 "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Other works that have passed the test of time are: The Interior Castle: St.Theresa of Avila, Dark Night of the Soul: St. John of the Cross, The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena and The Spiritual Life: Evelyn Underhill.
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
1982 Slack ISBN# 0943432898
The four seasons of life.
A thoughful look at death and dying through a child's eyes.
Living, Loving and Learning
1990 Fawcett ISBN: 0449901815
You can't get too many hugs.
When Leo Buscaglia died, the heading on his obituary in the newspaper read Hug doctor dies. Leo would have had a good laugh on that one.
Leo could sure make you laugh. I loved listening to him on PBS and have read most of his books. I remember on one show he was sharing how when he published his book Love, he check out the published books and their was not one book called Love. He was so amazed that he made this his lifes work, to love and be loved.
All teachers should be given his book Living, Loving & Learning. It would put everything in the right perspective. You cant teach students without first giving them respect. To get respect you have to give respect.
Thank you Leo Buscaglia for making this world a better place.
The Power of Myth - Vols. 1-6
God, give me the courage to live my life to it's fullest.
Joseph Campbell is a man that I often look to as one of my mentors and I have very few persons that I put in this category. A man of vision, unpretentious, strong in his convictions but compassionate in our journey into the unconscious.
In Joseph Campbell's association with George Lucas in the "Star Wars Trilogy", we can experience the plight of our humanity, birth, death and resurrection. We are all heroes if we can experience this transformation. This is not an easy journey and we can choose to go through these stages or at times we are forced to take these steps. It is more painful to be unprepared for a change in our lives and Joseph Campbell helps us to focus on the small things so that we can be prepared for the larger changes.
Sooner or later we have to face up to our unconscious. We have to detach ourselves from ourselves and not take things at face value. There is so much more that needs to be experienced and dealt with so that we can transcend to our next life. We have to die to our ego and look inward in our deepest self because this is where and what we are made of; not our successes in our jobs, not the way we look on the outside, not our money, our prestigious homes and cars, these things shall pass away but our soul/spirit shall live forever.
We need to find the courage to change the things we can and let go and accept the things that we cannot change and ask God to give us the wisdom to know the difference.
Canfield, Jack Editor
Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul : 101 Stories to Comfort Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones (Chicken Soup for the Soul Series (Paper))
Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love.
"Malignant", to hear this word when you or someone you love is diagnosed brings feelings of despair, fear and abandonment.
The "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series gives you bits of humanity and makes you feel hopeful, trusting and accepting. The stories, poems and essays are put together to give to us encouragement.
I myself am a 8 year survivor of stage 2 breast cancer and find the pages filled with new beginnings.
Ethics for the New Millennium
1999-Riverhead Books; ISBN: 1573220256
Are we not our brother's/sister's keeper?
The Dalai Lama challenges us to be loving and compassionate to all persons. To live life daily without judging one another.
To live simply, so that one does not need to feel anxious about many things. To let go of pettiness and look at the bigger picture.
In the movie Casablanca (set during WWII) in the last scene, Humphrey Bogart says to Ingrid Bergmans husband, Paul Henreid, I will paraphrase: Our lives that encompasses the three of us is small compared to the needs of the world.
St. Francis of Asissi also leaves us with his legacy, of love and peace. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Even though we are a small voice in a loud world, every one of us can make a difference by following these universal truths that the Dalai Lama and other prophets have practiced.
Gift of the Red Bird : A Spiritual Encounter
1996-Crossroad Pub Co; ISBN: 0824515900
Overcoming the fear of being alone with God
Paula's loss of husband and child brought her into a spiritual wilderness, a void deeper than can ever be explained.
Paula shares with us her inner struggles, her ability to let go and go so deep as to be given amazing grace.
This search is not easy, it seems when one is ready to give up on oneself, at that very second something/someone transcends us and grace is welcomed and received.
Another author who shares with us her insights is Kathleen Norris in her book Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith.
Sadhana : A Way to God
1984 Image Books; ISBN 0384196148
Listen with your heart
To let go of your anxiety, your negative thoughts, even your positive thoughts and to delve into the heart of God.
Anthony deMello leads us on this journey with exercises that transcend the sometimes dull, lifeless days. He helps us explore the possibilities of the inner life, the love of God that one finds here, in the contemplative moments.
Let go of stress, of fear, of what others may or may not think of you, freeing you to become who you were meant to become, a person in the image of God.
Learning to live one moment at a time in the presence of God. Jesus said to us his disciples: Pray without ceasing. This is the living God.
Doherty, Catherine edited by Mary Achterhoff
Grace in Every Season : Through the Year With Catherine Doherty
1995 Madonna House-ISBN #0921440316
A daily dose of Catherine's spirituality.
Catherine Doherty lived the core of a christian's life.
She was not afraid to speak out on behalf of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
These reflections keep you challenged to live out your baptism, to stand up and be counted, to become all that God asks you to become.
There is no lip service to this women's life, she walked the talk, like Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa and Gandhi she left us a great legacy of continuing the journey, the pilgrim's journey
Glimpse of Eternity
1994 Bantam ISBN# 0553565915
Let go and let God!
There comes a time in our lives when we have to let go of our every day duties and explore the depths of our being. Sometimes we go through what Betty experienced and are given a chance to make things better with the world. Beginning with ourselves we see our goodness and our self-centeredness.
The near-death experience that Betty went through was not only self-revelation but also very prophetic. There are many gifts of the spirit but the greatest is love. It sounds so simple, love one another as He first loved us but it is the hardest of all virtues to practice. To accept God's unconditional love for us and to give it to other's, one has to let go of the ego, go deeper into the soul and find one's ultimate being. "To be or not to be"?
Evans, Richard Paul
A Perfect Day
Dutton 2003, ISBN #0525947655
Perfect in every way
Richard Paul Evans in his book "A Perfect Day" gives us all food for thought.
What is the true meaning of life? What brings us to "A Perfect Day"?
This story brings to life all that matters to living a fruitful, peaceful existence but not without pain and suffering.
Our egoistic nature is very limited to what is "real" about ourselves and others. We need to let go of our own ego and look with different eyes at the world around us and the people we come in contact with but most especially our inner self.
Storytelling is a gift and Evans knows how to send out his message. He is one of God's messengers. Like Jesus, Evans gives us the true meaning of life in story form, it eases the pain as we look into ourselves and discover the truth of our being. His characters are human, vulnerable and most of all as real as anyone of us reading this story.
"A Perfect Day" is a book that can lead you to your deepest emotions. A must read for all of us who are searching for the truth and trying to live it "one day at a time".
If we are not in touch with our inner selves we cannot be in touch with each other.
In the end this is what makes or breaks us on the way to "A Perfect Day".
Foster, Richard J.
Freedom of Simplicity
Breaking free and finding peace
Its not an easy task to let go of the known and go into the unknown.
To let go of possessions, relationships and to live simply one day at a time. To let go of controlling people you live with, work with, play with, to be and to trust.
It is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and others, it brings peace and fulfillment not to rush and accomplish but to do one thing at a time, whether its eating, vacuuming, telephone calling, working at the office or being with the kids or grand kids.
One thing at a time done with simple awareness is worth doing many, many things without awareness.
Richard Foster shows us how to live this lifestyle in his books Freedom of Simplicity and Celebration of Discipline.
Once you let go, you dont have to prove anything to anyone, you lose that competition drive, status quo, you dont have to live on the edge, you become more compassionate, more centered, more intuitive, more alive to yourself and others. You worry less and love more, you fear less and trust more, you live for the moment, because thats all you have. You make less mistakes and better decisions. You need less and enjoy more.
Live simply so that others may simply live.
A Portrait of Jesus
1998 hardcover edition-Doubleday ISBN#0385484771
A simplistic way of bringing Jesus' presence to our humanity.
Joseph Girzone writes this portrait of Jesus with a knowledge of the person of Jesus. He walks the talk.
Because he knows Jesus personally, Joseph Girzone can make a difference in his writings. This is not an intellectual account of Jesus, it is not fiction, it is a walk with Our Lord, his friendship with Jesus.
This book does have a historical slant, you have to read in between the lines to discover Joseph Girzone's inner life with Jesus. This inner life is instilled in all of Joseph Girzones books but his first book Joshua is still my personal favorite.
At last someone writes about the person of Jesus in an intimate, simple way. So simple that you have a hard time believing that this is why Jesus came on earth. Like the famous song from the movie Alfie, Is That All There Is?.
I have heard the saying the hardest action to take is to see with the heart and not with the head. Joseph Girzone has a wonderful way of writing to make this happen. He does not force us to believe in his Jesus. This is not his way, nor is it Jesus' way, he simply and beautifully brings Jesus alive in his writings.
I have personally read many many books on the theology of Jesus but Joseph Girzone's books have taken the log out of my own eyes and left me with a more open heart to try to live my life more fully. To walk the path of the Gospel in a more straight forward way.
Goldsmith, Joel S.
The Art of Spiritual Healing
1992 Harper & Row ISBN# 0062503642
Be still and know that I AM
To become conscious of the Christ within, one has to be still and let go, only than can one become affective in spiritual ways.
In this book Joel Goldsmith makes one realize that God doesn't fulfill our needs and desires. Prayer is not asking for healing but becoming present to the Christ within. Only than will healing begin.
To practice The Infinite Way one must become Christ conscious, this happens when one lets go of pre-conceived ideas and lets grace enter and complete the process.
There is much work in this process but it is worth all the struggle to come into the presence of God within and than realize the presence in others.
Goldsmith, Joel S.
A Parenthesis in Eternity: Living the Mystical Life
1986 Harper & Row ISBN# 0060632313
The Truth will Set You Free .
Joel Goldsmith has been given a spiritual vision into living a life in Christ.
There are many steps to take in the spiritual life and sometimes we take one step forward and two steps backward.
There are days when all seems hopeless and your faith is waning and than you let go and let God and you reach the mountain top.
To stay at peace in your journey takes work and yet this is a paradox because grace will see you through.
1966 Random House; ISBN: 039443532X
A man for others.
Although a man of worldly success, Dag Hammarskjold gives to us in his own words, his in-depth search for the meaning of life.
Upon his death in 1961, his request is to have his diary published if it proves to others to be worthy of publishing. This diary is rich with the struggle to live his life without the benefit of thanksgiving from his peers.
His deep conviction, which comes after much search and struggle, is to lay down his life for others, no matter the consequence, the praise, the outcome. To live each day by giving up the self and rising above to meet the other on his/her journey.
Although Dag Hammarskjold did indeed receive much praise and gratitude as Secretary General for the United Nations, he realized deep down that this was not the true focus of his life but to give without the idea of getting anything in return, this is the real self rising, the spirit of God.
Many have given to us this road less traveled by their exemplary life: Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Francis of Assisi, Simone Weil, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and many others whose lives are lived in this way but with no recognition.
Meister Eckhart, who is quoted in the introduction to Markings: Only the hand which erases can write the true thing".
It is a humble way to live with sometimes having to turn the other cheek but the letting go of the ego and the releasing of Gods spirit is a gift worthy of the sacrifice.
Who Moved My Cheese? UNABRIDGED Audio
1998-Simon & Schuster-ISBN#067104334x
See the handwriting on the wall!
Dont hold on too tight because change is always on its way. Whether we like it or not life is always in process and we have to move with it or die.
How easy it is to be complacent about our life and not realize that yes, we can move on from our stage in life.
We can be at a point in our life where things are going fantastic or lousy but one thing is for sure this too shall pass.
We can become responsible for bringing about the change or we can wait to just let things happen. I certainly dont want to let someone else move my cheese, Im too much of a control type to have someone decide my fate.
Spencer Johnson in his audio Who Moved My Cheese, tells the parable of 4 characters who are caught in unexpected change, this experience forces them to deal with their outlook on themselves and on life.
No one can make us change. How we would love to change others instead of looking within. This would be the easy way out. To thy own self be true.
Letters to Contemplatives
1992-Orbis ISBN# 0883447843
Dialogue the key to peace, love and understanding.
Letters written to his friends on the inner journey. Fr. Johnston gives us several letters depicting his trips to Asia, Europe and America.
He sheds some light on his travels but most importantly gives us many lessons on Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and the importance of dialogue. Dialogue is the key for all nations to grow in love, peace and understanding. Dialogue among all people's, religious or non-religious.
"To be or not to be", that is the essence of Fr. Johnston's message. Mysticism is for everyone, all one has to do is let go and be in God's presence or another's presence and than we experience oneness.
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
1989-Vintage Books ISBN#0679723951
Wisdom from the inner life in Jung's own words.
These writings come straight from Jung's own inner experience and it is his last book before his death in 1961.
I have read and reread this work because at different times in my life I needed to reevaluate where I was and where I was going. Other books by Jung are more intellectual and scientific, whereas, this autobiography has the wisdom of a person in the later part of life and it was written not so much to teach but to leave with us his legacy.
Having myself had a near death experience, I was especially reaffirmed by Jung's own near death experience and his dealings with this phenomenon. His acceptance of his own humanity and his returning from this state to share with us his knowledge and vision is a gift to all of us.
It is not easy to return to our humanity and deal with the sufferings we encounter but growth is the only evidence of life. We have to come down from the mountain top and work in the valley.
This brings to mind two books written by Hannah Hurnard called Mountains of Spices and Hinds Feet in High Places. Allegories about living our lives with others and not in solitude.
Solitude is a wonderful place but if we stay too long we become self-centered, afraid to reach out to others.
Another author who gives a good perspective on life is Henri Nouwen and his books Out of Solitude and Reaching Out.
Kavanaugh, Kieran O.C.D. translator
Institute Carmelite Studies
The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life Volume One
The Collected Works Of St. Teresa Of Avila, Volume Two
The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume Three
Spiritual testimonies from the first woman doctor of the Church Teresa de Ahumada born in Spain on March 28, 1515, died October 4, 1582 at the age of 67.
A woman of warmth, generosity and spiritual awareness. As a young child Teresa was made aware of Gods presence and throughout her lifetime made it her mission to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to as many as she encountered.
She journeyed throughout Spain and laid many Foundations to do Gods work.
St. John of the Cross was one of her spiritual directors as she went forth to build Gods kingdom.
Volume One " The Book of Her Life", Volume Two are The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle" and in Volume Three The Book of Her Foundations and Minor Works.
Kavanaugh, Kieran OCD translator
The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross
1991- Institute of Carmelite Studies ISBN: 0935216146
The aim of the spiritual life is perfect union with God through love.
The collected works of St. John of the Cross are: The Ascent of Mount Carmel ; The Dark Night; The Spiritual Canticle; The Living Flame ofLove; The Minor Works; Poetry.
This collection gives to us all the writings of St.John of the Cross at a cost which is considerably less than buying them individually.
St.John of the Cross was a Doctor of the Church and spiritual director to St. Teresa of Avila. All of his works were written in the last 14 years of his life between the age of 36-49 in the years 1578-1591.
Kirvan, John Editor
Living in the Presence of God : The Everyday Spirituality of Brother Lawrence (30 Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher)
1997-Ave Maria Press #087-793-6013
Be close to the heart of God.
This simple book from a simple man gives us 30 days with a spiritual master who has shown us the way to a more simple life.
These meditations may be simple to the mind but one has to assimilate and take it one step further to the heart.
St. Paul teaches us to pray without ceasing and Brother Lawrence gives to us simple words to enter the heart of the Lord.
Kelsey, Morton T.
God, Dreams, and Revelation; A Christian Interpretation of Dreams
1991-Ausburg; ISBN: 0806625430
Dreams are gifts from God.
A broad look at the biblical reality of God speaking through dreams.
I started reading Morton Kelsey in the mid 70s after experiencing very potent dreams on the after life.
What a blessing to realize that I wasnt alone, that since the beginning of time God has spoken and visited many in this way. This book does give many answers to the questions of God speaking through dreams. Morton Kelsey not only gives you details on scripture but also gives us a history of lives that have been transformed by paying attention to dreams.
Other authors to explore on the gift of dreams are John Sanford and Carl Jung.
Kelsey, Morton T.
The Other Side of Silence : Meditation for the Twenty-First Century
1997-Paulist Press; ISBN: 0809137003
Bridges to cross, peaks to explore.
I was first introduced to Morton Kelsey and his wonderful books in 1975. All of his books have come at a time when I was looking for confirmation of my lived experiences, especially the inner life.
What a blessing to have this author give of himself in this way. I will be eternally grateful for his passion for the spiritual.
In his book The Other Side, one very important point has stayed with me all these years and that would be the focus on dreams. Morton Kelsey does justice to dreams in the Christian life when so many other Christian authors avoid this means of communicating with God. Morton Kelsey explains that dreams are the safest and least threatening way to visit the other side.
God only goes where he is wanted, He will not intrude. MT 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you
Death : The Final Stage of Growth
1975-Simon & Schuster-ISBN#0684-83941-5
Everyday one is questioned by life; choose to live the moment.
Kubler-Ross shares with us her lifes work experiences with death and dying persons and how dealing with our own death parallels with our everyday life choices.
Death comes to us in small ways everyday. There are many things in life that we have to die to, inner growth depends on this. Dying to small things prepares us for the moment of bodily death. Our ego for one thing is the hardest to die to, how we love to be right and not give in to someone elses opinion, how we love to be recognized for our work, our successes, our education, our money, our home, cars etc. To let go of our ego takes a lifetime but it is well worth the effort and gives you acceptance and peace of soul.
The practice of letting go in small things prepares you for the bigger decisions of life. Your life becomes less petty and more human, less superficial and more realized, less important and more compassionate. It is not an easy lesson but one worth working through the stages of death and dying.
Victor Frankl in his book Mans Search for Meaning also show how finite is our existence. Anthony DeMello in his book Sadhana: Way to God reveals how important it is to detach ourselves from desire and also the Dalai Lama lives a life full of compassion although he has been exiled from his own country for over 35 years. To be or not to be that is the question.
The Wheel of Life : A Memoir of Living and Dying
1998-S & S ISBN 068-484-6314
Conquer your fears and live for today.
Kubler-Ross is a role model to be looked upon for faith, courage and love, and the greatest of her gifts is love.
In the footsteps of her mentor Dr. Albert Schweitzer she vowed to live and give her life for those less fortunate then herself.
In her memoirs she give us an account of her life from her years as living her childhood as a triplet and not having an identity to her years as a young woman finding her identity and her golden years lived out with the same force, determination and courage as in her youth. She never deterred from her goals and focused herself beyond what life and circumstances were sent her way.
She could have stopped in mid-stream, saying that she had done enough for humanity but at the age of 63, after many disasters, went to Virginia to set up a home for children dying of AIDS. She met with much disapproval but managed to get beyond the dissent of the people and found foster homes for these children.
Since 1972, I have been interested in the issues of death and dying and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has confirmed many of my ideas and beliefs. Thank you Elisabeth for taking a stand and making this world a better place.
How Good Do We Have to Be? A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness
1997 Back Bay Books ISBN# 0316519332
Accept yourself and the love of God will flow through you.
Wonderful interpretation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
How we all evolved from the animal kingdom to the human kingdom.
Our eyes were opened and we were made aware of right from wrong, of evil vs. good. We have choices, we are not programmed by God to be a certain way, we can choose to be or not to be.
Another book by Rabbi Kushner that has been life changing is the wonderful little book "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People".
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
1983 Avon ISBN# 0380603926
The truth will set you free.
I read this life changing book in the early 1980's after experiencing many setbacks in my own life, our family business was very stressful and on the decline and most importantly my husband's 2 heart attacks at the age of 41 and by-pass surgery thereafter.
This book changed my perception of God from a controlling God to a compassionate God.
Written after the death of his 13 year old son who had a disease called "progeria" rapid aging, Rabbi Kushner shares with us his insights and his relationship with God. This transformation came after much pain, anger, blame and feelings of despair. The familiar words of Job: " Why me Lord," came to him often and after much scrutiny, Rabbi Kushner is convinced that this is not the God that he believed in, God would not take his son from him, God would not punish in such a cruel way. God was and is a compassionate and merciful God.
This is Rabbi Kushner's gift to us, the conviction, belief and knowledge that God is a loving God.
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow
Gift from the Sea
1983-Random House ISBN# 0679732411
Leading a peaceful and centered life through solitude.
The inner life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh is lived out on these pages.
Having lost her first child to kidnapping and murder, it must have been very difficult for her to find a purpose to start over and bear other children.
One reads between the lines and realizes that only in going deep within in solitude can ones soul be healed. One must give herself/himself time and not rush into busyness, looking for new relationships, new books to read, movies to see, or hiding your emotions, you have to play the whole thing out or you will perish.
There are many situations we have to die to, to lose control of, and not try to possess. We have to detach ourselves, not by becoming indifferent but compassionate. Only then will we find peace of mind and soul.
Anthony De Mello in his book: Sadhanna: Way to God also explores with us the joy that comes from detaching ourselves from any preconceived endings. To let go and let others become who they were meant to become not what we want for them to become.
John S. Dunne is his book: Reasons of the Heart: A Journey into Solitude and Back Again into the Human Circle is one of the best books I have read and reread on solitude.
I will be giving a copy of Gift from the Sea to my 3 grown daughters for Christmas. It is my hope that it will give them support to live out their lives in the grace of the moment.
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book
1995-Perseus Books ISBN: 020140835X
Comprehensive look at breast cancer and its 4 stages.
It is rather ironic that this paperback edition was published in May of 1995, the exact time that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, actually 3 days after my 53rd birthday on May 27th.
I still remember how after my biopsy, at the doctors office, the nurse ushered me into the doctors private office, closed the door and sat next to me. I had come alone and was not prepared to hear this bad news. My surgeon had almost assured me that he would find nothing wrong, since my exams hardly showed any signs of a tumor. He proceeded to say I have good news and I have bad news, the bad news is that you have breast cancer, the good news is that it is at an early stage and we can treat it with either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, maybe radiation and possibly chemo but we need to do some more surgery as soon as possible and remove some lymph nodes to see if it has spread.
I was in for quite a shock when a few weeks later the doctor did a lumpectomy and also removed 19 lymph nodes and 2 of the lymph nodes were cancerous, this put me into stage 2 cancer. I started reading a few books and Dr. Susan Loves book was the one most suggested by the hospital staff. One thing I discovered about this book is not to get to far ahead of things, it should be read on a need to know basis, it is a bit overwhelming to go through all the stages, statistics, possible recurrences, reconstruction surgery etc...
One book that I found to be more inspirational is Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul: 101 Healing Stories of Courage and Inspiration. Also having already read all of Bernie Seigels books, I was familiar with the importance of keeping a balance in my life and living for the moment. I was able to see Bernie Siegel, he came to NH and I was given a ticket by Bishop Leo ONeil, who I was fortunate to have worked with in the Diocese of Manchester. Bishop Leo also had cancer and passed away in November of 1997. He was a source of inspiration to all of us in the Diocese. Almost 9 years have passed since my diagnose.
After 3 more lumpectomies and numerous tests I am cancer free and a breast cancer survivor. My chances of recurrence are about 30% according to my oncologist. I try to live one day at a time; Yesterday is long gone, tomorrow is really today.
My Glimpse of Eternity
1983 Revell ISBN# 0800783638
The greatest gift of the Lord is love. Betty shares her faith journey with us and how to overcome our selfish desires and let God be God in and through us. The Lord is the best teacher that we can follow and He so wants to love us into being. "Do not be afraid, I am with you always". Jesus.
We Don't Die: George Anderson's Conversations With the Other Side
Yes, there is life after death .
George Anderson is a medium who has helped many people reach their departed loved ones.
Coming from a Catholic background having gone through the Catholic school system, George was given the prophetic gift at an early age. Since the Catholic Church didn't re-confirm his gifts, George moved on in his spiritual life with encouragement from others and in particular Joel Martin.
He was introduced to the public through radio programs that Mr. Martin produced and also television. Although George was not particularly excited about the television spot he understood that this was a way to reach many who had questions about the afterlife.
This book does give the reader food for thought.
Other authors worth reading on this subject would be Dr. Raymond Moody, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and Betty Eadie. See my book reviews on these authors.
What Dreams May Come
1998-Tor Books ISBN: 0812570944
Open your heart and find comfort.
Before entering the movie theater to see What Dreams May Come, I bought the book so that I could read every detail.
In 1974 having experienced this phenomenon, survival of the bodily death, I am always on the lookout for experiences of this nature. In reading What Dreams one could come to the realization that this story could very well be nonfiction. Read it and you will understand.
My Christian background has led me to believe in the resurrection of the body but having experienced this transition to the other side, my faith has led me from belief to knowledge. Life is eternal, the life in the spirit and the physical is real. This new life form is like a floating sensation, very light but able to think, receive knowledge, feel, and foremost listen with the heart.
One of the first books that I read on this subject was Raymond Moodys: Life After Life and Elizabeth Kubler
May, Gerald G. M.D.
Simply Sane: The Spirituality of Mental Health
1993-Crossroad ISBN# 0824513665
Be gentle with yourself.
Most of us are "addicted to perfection". Always trying to become whom we imagine others want us to become. This leads to much anxiety, depression and loneliness.
"To thy own self be true", we have to care and be gentle with our inner being if we want to go out into the world and love and be loved.
Dr. May gives us direction on how to "let go and let be", to get out of our ego, our own way and become the person we were meant to become. At times this might be seen as "selfish" but one has to understand that you can't give to others what you are denying to give yourself, so "charity begins at home"
Physicians of the Soul
1991 reissue-Amity House-#ISBN: 0916349535
Seek and you will find.
Robert May shares with us his search for the authentic self, the self realized. He sets before us some spiritual teachings of the world. From Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam he takes us through these teachings and also gives us his own spiritual history.
Other authors that I consider worth reading in the quest of the spiritual life are Henri Nouwen, Morton Kelsey, John Sanford (both Jungian) and M. Scott Peck.
One finds their true home through caring and being cared for.
Caring is something we can strive to do every day. Many opportunities will open up as we interconnect with others on a day to day basis.
I always try to live by these sayings, do unto others as you would have others do unto you and, what you reap is what you sow. To receive love you must give love. It is our life's cycle.
At times in our life we are the doers, the givers, at other times takers, receivers. To be the taker is not selfish but self actualization. It requires humility to accept love, especially when you are not feeling lovable.
In these pages Milton Mayeroff gives us a philosophy of life in a nutshell. It is a small book but nevertheless brings great comfort and peace to the soul.
Other powerful authors are Victor Frankl who wrote Man's Search for Meaning, Abraham Maslow, Religion, Values & Peak Experiences and Rabbi Harold Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. All powerful words filled with wisdom, life experiences and reality.
Moody, Jr., Raymond A.
Life After Life : The Investigation of a Phenomenon--Survival of Bodily Death
Bantam 1988 ISBN#0553274848
One of the pioneer writers on life beyond death.
In 1974 after experiencing a very powerful marriage encounter weekend, I had a spiritual encounter with my deceased step dad who had passed away in October of 1973. I also experienced a great love from my step dad, Marcel , followed by the same great love from my father Alfred (died in 1944) and than a tremendous overwhelming love from God, our Father. Arms enveloping me all three together as one being.
Having been terribly afraid of death and not believing that I was good enough to receive eternal life, this experience gave me the answer to the question of life after life.
At that same moment I was lifted above the couch, saw my nonmoving body on the couch, saw my funeral procession with my children, husband and tried to get up from the couch and could not until I truly believed that if I let go of my self-centeredness I would be free. I immediately remembered that my 2 year old daughter, Lisa was napping and told myself that I needed to come back to take care of her.
I came across Raymond Moodys book and was relieved to realize that others had had the same experience as I and it gave me great comfort.
Other books to lightened up the journey are Death: The Final Stage of Growth by Dr. Kubler-Ross and Carl Jungs Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
No Man Is an Island (A Harvest/Hbj Book)
Without solitude there can be no communion.
Thomas Merton is full of wisdom as he shares his spiritual insights. Merton exemplifies a life lived in the spirit of God.
There are many enemies of the spirit but the first enemy is our own self ( our ego). We love to be in control, to share our opinions, we are so afraid to let go, to go within and listen to the silence.
Only when we listen with an open heart can we start living our real self with no mask. Our busyness turns to a more peaceful existence, we become more creative and less stressed, more grateful and less in need of stimulus . Less powerful but more compassionate. We are less fearful and more trusting of ourselves and others. Less depressed and more self accepting.
The inner soul created in the image of God. This is our true being. To be or not to be that is the question.
Having just returned from Italy, I was very interested in seeing this program. I wish I had been exposed to it before my trip, I would have better appreciated Michelangelo, the person.
When I visited the Sistine Chapel, it was a hot day in August and the first thing I remember was that it was air-conditioned, what a blessing. There were hundreds of people standing but I managed to get a seat in the middle and meditated for 1/2 hour on the beautiful ceiling and in particular Michelangelos Last Judgment. It was quite noisy and the loud speakers in various languages continued to tell us not to speak, take pictures etc. These announcements were worst than the people around us.
In viewing this marvelous video, I realized that Michelangelo was about 32 when he was commissioned by the Pope to paint the Sistine Chapel . It took 7 years and afterwards, Michelangelo writes in his letters that he felt and looked like an old man. He was 21 when he sculptured The Pieta. At the age of 60 he thought he had lived a long hard life. He lived until the age of 87.
This program took 10 years to complete and you realize that this effort will be received with tremendous gratitude. You not only get a wonderful avenue for his paintings and most importantly, Michelangelos sculptures but the letters that he wrote have been preserved and are delivered orally to us in a very believable manner. Having experienced this wonderful program, I am so much more appreciative of this man, Michelangelo.
Anatomy of the Spirit : The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
1997-paperback edition-Random House ISBN: 0609800140
Into whose hands have you commended your spirit?
There are so many obstacles to keep us from fully living our lives. Carolyn Myss helps us to evaluate exactly where we are heading, whether in a downward, negative path or a more straight forward peaceful path.
Our emotions play a big part and will let us know something has gone array. When we start feeling negative towards ourselves and others, we need to go inward and ask ourselves what's going on. Our bodies also react or respond to the ways we treat it, if we over abuse it, it will get dis ease.
Anatomy of the Spirit is a good tool to help us evaluate ourselves. By using the seven stages that she is offering, one is given a head start. We do not change ourselves overnight, it takes years and years of going into the depths of our being, this is an ongoing journey. So it's one step at a time and sometimes two or three steps backward.
Andrew Weil is another wonderful and knowledgeable author and his book Spontaneous Healing is well worth the effort in changing some of our destructive tendencies.
Amazing Grace : A Vocabulary of Faith
1999 Riverhead paperback ISBN#1573227218
From one pilgrim to another thank you for journeying.
After reading Kathleen Norris, "The Cloister Walk", I was delighted to see the sequel "Amazing Grace". I am always searching for those persons who are willing to trust and take the risk of sharing their faith with others.
It is not easy to go into the depths and find the simplicity of the heart and hope that others can recognize that this simplicity, this place of vulnerability is God communicating with us. You have to leave the cerebral for awhile to get to the heart of Christianity. There is far too much intellectualizing in this day and age. "Amazing Grace", comes not so much from the head as from "listening with the heart". I believe, this is where Kathleen Norris is taking us, on her journey. To the depths, sometimes of despair but with faith and trust that this is temporary and we will overcome the temptation to enter into the darkness.
We have choices, Christianity is not a place of euphoria. We cannot box God into our way of thinking or feeling. There is a hymn with the refrain: "Give me only your love and your grace, that's enough for me". If only I could believe and live these words each and every moment, I would be at peace forever and ever. Amen. --
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom : Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
1998-Bantam Books ISBN 0553379534
A must reading for every woman, a holistic guide to living.
After seeing Christiane Northrup on PBS I immediately ordered my first copy from Amazon.
This book is not to be read in one or two sittings. It should be read one chapter at a time, to digest every morsel of her expertise and knowledge. Keep this one close by, so you can pick it up on those bleak days.
This book is remarkably low priced to make it affordable for everyone. It's the best gift you can give to any woman in your life. My three daughters will be getting each one at Christmas along with a weekend retreat at a lovely place that I found in Maine by the ocean. This will be my gift to them, so that they can take some time out of their very busy lives and get centered on the importance of taking care of spirit, body and soul.
You can't be for others if you don't take care of yourself. You can't give what you don't have, if you push yourself beyond your limitations you get very negative, burnt out, depressed and overwhelmed. It's not easy to stay focused and centered but it is a must, if we are all going to survive in this sometimes very "noisy" world.
Christiane Northrup, I salute you for taking the time in your busy life and giving of yourself in seeing this book published.
Other books that have helped me become more centered are: Care of the Soul-Guide to every day by Thomas Moore and Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss.
Beyond the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life
2002 Crossroad ISBN# 0824519671
Be Still and Know that I AM .
Henri Nouwen examines his life after a near death accident in which he encounters the Living God.
Facing the possibililty of dying he is able to let go and let God's unconditional love come to him and accept himself as God sees him.
His recovery from the accident brings about many changes in his attitude towards his family, friends, acquaintances and yes even his enemies. The experience brought resolve and forgiveness for his sins and the sins of others.
To come back to the living and take his daily cross was very difficult, since he had already prepared himself for the next life with Christ. To return to the former routine seemed impossible at that time but before long he had gone back to his former ways and was constantly trying to keep the peace that he had found during his illness.
Another book that touches on going to the mountain top and coming back would be "Hind's Feet on High Places" an allegory by Hannah Hurnard.
Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age
1987- Harper & Row ISBN 0060664843
Ask and you shall receive.
Robert Peel gives a wonderful background understanding of Christian Science and spiritual healing.
Many testimonies including his own personal family's add to the authenticity of his writing.
Well worth the read.
The Secret of Staying in Love
1995 Thomas More Press; ISBN: 0883472996
Keeping a relationship alive is a continuous challenge.
This is one of the better books on communication and building and keeping relationships alive.
In this busy world we have created we need to be more creative in our relationships. John Powell has put together steps that lead to a more accepting and nonjudgmental way of life.
First and foremost we need to spend time in solitude and silence and listen to our own inner world. We cannot reach out to others to form a relationship if we are not in touch with ourselves. We will have nothing important to offer one another unless we become aware of our feelings, our thoughts, our spirit. We will offer nothing to a relationship except opinions, beliefs etc. Listening with an open mind and heart is the way to the secret of staying in love.
Another exceptional author on this subject is John A. Sanford and his books: Between People: Communicating One on One and The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in Each of Us Affects Our Relationships.
Through Seasons of the Heart
1996-Thomas More Press; ISBN: 0883473437
Please be patient; God is not finished with me yet.
Daily reflections from John Powells writings gives encouragement in a sometimes hostile world.
John Powell helps us see how we can become a better person, more loving and most of all more compassionate.
As we reflect where we are and where we are going we realize that the journey has just begun but we can be more accepting of ourselves and others, therefore creating a better environment to grow in the person we are meant to be.
Other meditative books that I have been reading are God Calling and Grace in Every Season.
Rice, Anne Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt
Return from Tomorrow
1988 Revell ISBN# 080078412X
Open your mind and heart and explore the possibilities.
I am very grateful that I came across this book and your story. It gives me great joy to hear of someone who has also encountered Jesus and has gone through the emotional, spiritual and mental journey that this experience made us travel. I wouldn't give up the experience even though it did cause much anxiety to my family and myself.
I experienced a near death experience in May of 1974 at the age of 32. Like yourself, I was a little fearful to share this experience because nobody that I knew had ever shared this type of experience. In 1975 our family was fortunate to be able to buy a Christian Book Shop and this is where I was able to come across some literature on my experience. Of course the great mystical saints like St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross wrote many books on their mystical experiences with Jesus but coming across Dr. Raymond Moody's book "Life after Life" was the greatest comfort for me at that time.
In reading your story, what is the most helpful is that with all the turmoil you experienced you realized that love is the greatest of the gifts and it seems the message is the same in many cases, including my own experience. It is a "tall" order, it sounds so simple and the message is simple but the "ego" gets in the way and at times our self-centerdness comes forward. To let go and let God . At times we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the acceptance of being loved and in return loving others.
Like yourself, I started reading the bible with a different perspective. Before this "re-born" experience, I read with only an intellectual, study mind attitude, now I read the bible with my heart open wide.
Rose, Seraphim Fr.
The Soul After Death: Contemporary "After-Death" Experiences in the Light of the Orthodox Teaching on the Afterlife
1994-St. Xenia Skete Pr; ISBN: 093863514X
Good overview of the afterlife.
Although I do not agree with Fr. Rose's "afterlife" conclusions, he has nevertheless done a very comprehensive writing on the many "religious" and "occult" views of the afterlife.
This is a very orthodox book which does not support the "near death experience" as a total experience of the afterlife. One has to read Dr. Raymond Moody's books and Elizabeth Kubler Ross to explore the details of the "near death experience".
Fr. Rose believes that one can only experience the "other side" after one dies physically.
Having had a personal near death experience I am always looking for writer's who have done research on this meaningful subject.
Authors you might want to consider reading on the spiritual life and the "other side" are Carl Jung, Emanuel Swedenborg, Morton Kelsey. "Growth is the only evidence of life".
The Diet Cure: The 8-Step Program to Rebalance Your Body Chemistry and End Food Cravings, Weight Problems, and Mood-Swings--Now
1999-Viking Press ISBN: 0670885932
Living spontaneous and guilt free.
If you have been living a seesaw diet versus non-diet existence and know deep down that what you see is not what you get, Julia Ross book will give you a clear understanding on the difficulties of living this way.
Having myself played this game of losing and gaining weight since I was 16 in the late 1950s, I have made a vow to myself not to let society control who I am. I will not give up on myself and use everyone elses idea of who I should be and how I should look. This book helps but this into perspective and allows you to choose freely what and who you are becoming.
Most of us, know what and how to manage our weight, weve done it so many times. Julia Ross allows you to think for ourselves and to decide how and when it will happen.
The book also explains how food supplementation and amino acids taken regularly will help not to have food cravings. Having been a firm believer in this approach, our family has been taking supplements since 1983. Yes, this does work but some of the cravings are in your head, your memory plays tricks and you start to want foods that are unhealthy.
Diets dont work period.....If you are not ready to give something up and try another way, that is your choice and responsibility. Sometimes one has to pay a dear price for this freedom but one must have the freedom to choose ones way. No one has the right to control or be controlled.
Another book following this train of thought is Tao of Eating by Linda Harper . Youll be pleasantly surprised to hear that many are on your side in choosing this non-diet approach to living. Good luck! God bless!
Russell, A. J.
1996- Barbour & Co ISBN: 1557487774
Lo, I am with you always.
In 1935, two women who remain anonymous and wanted to be know simply as Two Listeners, have been given these messages from the living Christ.
These messages give hope, comfort, wisdom, challenges and most of all love to its readers.
In the midst of poverty, disillusionment these two women were able to find comfort from words spoken in the depths of their hearts.
We too can find wisdom if we listen with an open mind and heart, Christ will speak to us and lead us on our way to becoming our other self, with hearts renewed by Christ himself.
God Calling and God at Eventide are daily meditations that can be read each day. I also like to read excerpts from Through Seasons of the Heart by John Powell and Grace in Every Season: Through the Year with Catherine Doherty.
Sanford, John A.
The Kingdom Within : The Inner Meaning of Jesus' Sayings
1987-H & R ISBN: 0060670541
The answer to the meaning of life is within you.
Within Heaven's Gates (Formerly titled "Intra Muros")
1984 Whitaker ISBN# 0883681250
Knock and it will be opened. Heaven in the purist sense
One of the first accounts of near death experience written by Rebecca Springer and published by David C. Cook in 1898.
I was fortunate to find this book at a yard sale and almost didn't take the time to look inside, since I couldn't translate the title. What a gem and so well written with wonderful detail of Ms Springer's visions on the other side of the veil.
During a very severe illness, Rebecca found herself alone with no one at her side and needing comfort turned to Jesus. Jesus was at her side and led her to the "promised land" where she was taken to visit relatives and friends who had passed over.
Her description of several "mansions" that have been prepared for the newly departed is very comforting and one realizes that we are just a "heartbeat" away from the other side.
The "refreshing water" from the lake where one is renewed and refreshed after passing over is very illuminating.
The various duties that one is given like helping those who are coming over and the "reunion" scenes are very enlightening.
Having had a near death experience in 1974, I can testify that this is "real" and very much in harmony with my own experiences.
I no longer fear death and was able to review my life and come to the understanding that "love" is the answer to living. Giving and receiving love and Jesus is here to love us unconditionally and to accept us in all our humanity.
Swedenborg's Journal of Dreams: 1743-1744
1986- Rudolph Steiner Pr ISBN:0877851336
Explore the possibilities .
I came across Emanuel Swedenborg's name while reading: "The Soul After Death: Contemporary "After-Death" Experiences in the Light of the Orthodox Teaching on the Afterlife by Fr. Seraphim Rose". See my book review.
Swedenborg is one of the first writer's to write about dreams and visions and the afterlife. Dr. Carl Jung was an avid reader of Swedenborg as where, Raplh Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Browning and Emmanuel Kant.
Swedenborg spent the last 27 seven years of his life writing his spiritual journey. He is honest, articulate and unafraid to befriend the unconscious.
I am very grateful that Swendenborg's books have been translated to English, they are gems ready to be discovered.
Another book that I highly recommend is Carl Jung's "Memories, Dreams and Reflections." See my book review.
Taylor, Ruth Mattson
Witness from beyond: New cosmic concepts on death and survival received from the late A. D. Mattson, S.T.D., through the clairvoyant, Margaret Flavell Tweddell
Chicago Review Press (February 1980)
Death is not the end of life; it is a new beginning. Kubler-Ross
A.D. Mattson passed on to the next life in October of 1970 and less than a year after his passing, communicated to his daughter through a clairvoyant.
This former Lutheran minister reveals to all of humanity his coming and going through the Astral dimension to reach out to us here on earth. He brings us a loving understanding of his mission and those of us on earth. To love one another and serve one another as Christ taught us.
He teaches that passing over to the next dimension is not a free for all. We will still grow from where we are coming from. If we don't deal with our issues here on earth we will bring with us all our baggage. He reveals to us that we will grow from where we are when we transcend to the next level.
There are many mansions and many places to learn and many teachers ready to help us move on.
There is nothing to fear but fear itself, one passes to the next level at one's on pace, nothing is forced and there is no one to judge us. We are our own judge and maybe our own worst enemy.
Live in the "NOW", do good, love one another and one will go peacefully into that good night.
Thorold, Algar- Translator
The Dialogue of st Catherine of Siena
Catherine's dialogues with God the Father.
Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.
Catherine had no formal education but yet was able to dialogue with the Pope, Bishops and many of the ecclesiastic members of the Church through the grace of God.
I will quote from her treatise of prayer: When the soul has arrived at the attainment of the general light, of which I have spoken, she should not remain contented, because, as long as you are pilgrims in this life, you are capable of growth, and he who does not go forward, by that very fact, is turning back.
Powerful words in the context of living and growing in our spiritual life. No matter what stage we are in our spiritual growth, we can always test ourselves on our capacity to love and be loved. Faith, hope and love but the greatest is love. Jesus left us a new commandment to love one another as He loves us.
Pursuit of God
1982 Christian Pub. ISBN# 0875093663
Gaze into the heart of God.
This classic written in the 1940's speaks to us today more than ever before. In the midst of our busy, hurried lives, A.W. Tozer helps us to realize that all of us, whatever our station in life, all can hear the Word of the Lord, in the silence of our own heart.
Spontaneous Healing : How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself
1995 Knopf ISBN#0679436073
Physician heal thyself.
Andrew Weil a graduate of Harvard Medical School, after many years of practicing medicine, found that the medical professionals did not cure or heal ailments but took care of the problem either by surgery, drugs.
In the 1970s he met Dr. Fulford,an osteopath who helped and cured people with many different types of ailments. Dr. Weil explains that our bodies have a natural ability to heal themselves. If we are in touch with our body, mind and spirit we can be on our way to a better, healthier person. We have to take on the responsibilities of our own care, we are the captain of our own destiny.
At times we do need the medical community because we are sometimes caught in emergency situations and we need to be discerning in our choices of care but we should not depend on this treatment. We need to practice preventive ways of keeping ourselves healthy and not depend on quick fixes when we get into trouble.
Thank you Dr. Weil for taking a stand and making a difference.
Waiting for God
1992-Harper; ISBN: 0060902957
A life lived for others.
This remarkable story of Simone Weil, a well-schooled, well-bred woman, who left all this behind to live an ordinary life.
The road she followed is similar to St.Francis of Asissi, Mother Teresa and Gandhi.
Simone Weil chose to live a dull, hardworking, life of poverty. In sickness unto death, she never remised from her choice of being where she believed she could do the most with her life.
One realizes that Simone must have had something missing in her life to go searching in this manner, to leave her well ordered, social life behind and go into the depths of humanity.
She literally allowed herself to be Christ to all she met, to bring Gods heart to His people. Simone knew the true meaning of love and compassion, sometimes maybe to extremes. She gave with her whole heart, soul and body, not asking for anything in return. That is the true test of love. To love one another as He loved us.