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Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit (Ave Maria Press) Paperback – December 19, 2011
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Adam Hamilton Explores the Major Themes of The Gospel of John
Join Adam Hamilton this Lent and Easter, as he explains the context of some of the best-known verses in the New Testament while teaching abouth the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus through the Gospel of John. Learn more | See author page
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"This is the most moving, most appealing, and, at the same time, most practical book I have ever seen on Lenten practices."--Phyllis Tickle, Author of The Great Emergence
"Huston offers herself as a lively companion in a Lenten practice stripped of cliches. Join her--it might be the simplest and liveliest Lent you have ever kept."--Eugene Peterson, Author of Pastor: A Memoir
"When I read Huston's words I am galvanized and motivated toward greater simplicity." --Luci Shaw, Author of Water My Soul
About the Author
More About the Author
She began teaching at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after completing the Master's degree. While still matriculating, she took a class in ethics that spurred a return to Christianity and a shift to writing spiritual non-fiction. Along the way, she became a Camaldolese Benedictine oblate, a lay associate of a contemplative Catholic hermitage on the Big Sur coast. For many years, she and her husband Mike have lived on four acres in the country where, in the spirit of St. Benedict, they produce much of the food they eat, including fruits, vegetables, olive oil, eggs, honey, and wine. They have four young grandchildren.
Huston is the author of two novels and five books of spiritual nonfiction, plus co-editor and contributing essayist for another. Her essays and short stories have been honored by BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES and included in the annual BEST SPIRITUAL WRITING anthology. She is a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing, a member of the Chrysostom Society, and a founder and faculty member for a low-residency California State University Consortium Master of Fine Arts program. She currently mentors MFA students in creative nonfiction for Seattle Pacific University.
Top Customer Reviews
And then I read the whole book.
In my defense, I had a whole evening before me and I needed to get the review written for the Patheos Book Club. What I found with this book, though, was much different than what I expected.
I don't know what, exactly, I expected, but I'm sure it had to do with preaching and a feeling of insignificance at the end. I was excited at the premise and what the book jacket promised, but maybe a little sure that I would not be able to approach Lent using this book as an actual resource.
"It will be good for someone, though," I thought, "and I can surely read it and see what I have to look forward to."
I was gloriously, wonderfully WRONG. I found myself reading, shaking my head, and looking forward to Lent, when I can dig in.
Will I fail? Yeah, probably. I do every year. In the failure is the kernel I need from Lent, I think, and success isn't usually about what I plan, but about what graces I allow God to work.
Each day of Lent has a task, with a reflection by the author from her own experience, and then an brief description of the task or practice for the day.
Throughout the book, you get to know Paula Huston as your guide, someone walking beside you and encouraging you, even as she doesn't settle for less than what you can at least try to do. She's gentle, but tough. She weaves humor in with what I can only call teaching: she makes the Desert Fathers and Mothers an accessible crew, even for a busy mom in the Midwest.Read more ›
Now, as a Quaker (a sect that eschews Advent, Lent -- where every day is both ordinary time and extra-ordinary time), I am not normally drawn to materials that are liturgical seasonally based. But, since Paula wrote this, I knew I wanted to read it and would find it helpful. And I did. And I'll return to it again and again -- in Lent and other times.
Lent is quickly approaching. So if you're a liturgical type, pick it up soon. And if you're un-liturgical (like me) get it anyhow!
Another in a series of well-done books, which include, "By Way of Grace," and Following Jesus into Radical Loving," as another in her few number of books in the religious realm, one of the works received a starred review from "Publishers Weekly." That was the one she authored titled "The Holy Way," which is recommended for reading, too, by this Religion Writer.
Published by Ava Maria Press in Notre Dame, Indiana, my review copy arrived in time for the 2012 year, and a pretty paperback for Lent/Spirituality it is-- besides the readable and attractive type and design, it is a good size for carrying around. City people can even bring it with them on a bus or transit of any kind, if you don't mind others seeing you are reading something religious. Should those others even notice, let alone care--though someone might get curious. It is good enough for curiosity, too; for looking through it at a bookstore, online, or even when catching someone at an involved reading of the work, the curious will find gems of practice and observance like:
Today, consciously avoid looking at or listening to any advertising, whether it is on the Internet, in magazines, on the radio, or on TV. The easiest way to do this is to keep all these devices turned off, but if you have to use one of them, pray first for the ability to recognize, then avoid, any ads that pop up. Pray also for insight into your own susceptibility to constant advertising.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used this book post-Lent and found it just as useful for the 40 days I read it. Huston takes us through a six-week journey with devotionals for 6 days, allowing Sunday for... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ian Acheson
Really kept me in the Lenten midset to be having a daily Lenten practice. Although I think it could be used at any time of the yearPublished 9 months ago by John Briggs
What a wonderful way to start each morning. During Lent I was working a job that took a lot of hours daily. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Robert J. McCann
Reading this book has, for the first time in a long time, given me a wonderful way to start the day during Lent. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mary
Approach includes prayers and doing something to make life simpler. Helps to reflect on what is important. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dianne Cutshaw
Simply written, but such spiritual depth- takes you through a great purging of habits, thought patterns, and indulgences that keep you from experiencing God's presence.Published 22 months ago by Joel Peters
I found this book to be extremely helpful in understanding the significance of Lent in our lives. Would highly recommend it.Published 22 months ago by Linda Reisz