Sources of Grace for Scary Times

This is a break from my series, because so many of us are struggling right now with fear and depression:

So, I am being redundant – again. (That’s a lot of redundancy.)

My two hands-down favorite authors of a spirituality rooted in Jesus, but not religion, are Henri Nouwen and Anne Lamott.

Henri Nouwen writes incredibly healing and understandable theology saturated with the love of God. He chose to spend the latter years of his life living in a community for the mentally handicapped. For an introduction and short overview of his writing, I recommend,” A Spirituality of Living.” Also another short book: Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, which changed some of my deeply rooted prejudices.  He was a Catholic priest, but wasn’t limited by it. 🙂

For our nitty-gritty stuggle to live a grace filled life, I don’t think there’s a better author than Anne Lamott. Anne’s spiritual journey has been through alcoholism, abortion, single motherhood, great losses, and a terrible bitterness toward her mother on to the freedom of self- honesty, the grace of humor, and an always growing acceptance of others. She finds this amazing grace from a personal relationship with a risen Jesus, who is still calling us, healing us, walking with us, forgiving us, and suffering for and with us. I think she belongs to a small Presbyterian church with a woman minister. Or it might be non-denominational or both. She’s definitely eclectic in her spirituality. She has written novels, but I much prefer her autobiographical books. She is the most personally honest writer I’ve ever read. Here are several of her books: Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Grace (Eventually). She also has a marvelous face-book page that will share to your own page her day to day struggles with discouragement over our current political situation.

I realize that we are all very different and these authors might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I am by personality focused on relationship, but not everyone is. These authors’ writings are what help sustain me in my journey by always reminding me of my greatest (though not, only) source of grace, the Love of God expressed in Jesus.

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About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on April 10, 2017, in Addictions, blessings, disillusionment, faith, fear, fear for the future, hope, Humor, Jesus, Love, Mental Health, Necessary Losses, Prayer, relationships, Saved by grace and not by law, self-doubt, spiritual growth, Writers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I too love Nouwen. We heard him speak many years ago when he was at Yale, way before L’Arche. In fact I did my senior thesis at Manhattanville on “Reaching Out”, tying it to psychology. He died way too young. I also loved “The Prodigal Son”. We had seen the painting at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, before I read the book and I remember being struck by the colors and the humanness of the painting. Someday perhaps we can stay up all night and talk about faith and God, though if I stayed up all night, I’d probably be brain dead in the morning!

    Love you and miss you. Have a blessed Easter. Sending prayers,

    Myra

  2. Henri Nouwen and Anne Lamotte are two of my favorites as well. Thanks for your encouraging post. Happy Easter.

  3. I have read some Anne Lamott but didn’t know she has a Fb page. I am off to check it out.

    • Yes, she is really struggling with our political situation. But even in this, you can see her wanting to understand
      and trying to curb vicious responses. Being a process person in the public eye is humbling, but also a beautiful witness.

      • Yes, curbing that vicious response is hard. I thought I was a calm reasonable person; I am shocked at what enters my brain (and sometimes comes out of my mouth) about your political situation.

        • I keep trying to stick to the issues. Calling people names really doesn’t accomplish anything.
          But there are times I want to ask friends and even relatives that voted for Trump, “Have you lost your mind?”
          Some say that Hilary is crooked, so they couldn’t vote for her. My reply is, “So, Jimmy Carter is the only person
          you’ve ever voted for?” My Father was a newspaperman and my father-in-law was a “backroom” political figure. Between
          them, I’ve heard enough to be fairly sure pretty much anyone who gets elected has compromised some principles. A sad reality.

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