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When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press; Revised edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594711372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594711374
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas H Green SJ is the author of nine books on the spiritual life. He is an internationally recognised writer, teacher and mentor. He lives in the Philippines.

Customer Reviews

The book itself is very enlightening and positive.
mitfordc
Green explains St. John of the Cross' writings, as well as Teresa of Avila, who were friends, I believe.
GrandmaG
The sequel to this book,Drinking from the Dry Well, is almost as good and also rates 5 stars.
Duncan A. Macfarlan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
Tom Green really knows God.
"When the Well Runs Dry" is a

book on advanced prayer, based

on a lucid and accessible

exposition of the works of Ss.

Teresa of Avila and John of the

Cross, the great 15th century

Carmelite mystics. Green

reassures us that when we go

through the "dark night", and

God seems distant and cold, He

is really there with us, closer

than ever; He's teaching us by

withdrawing His hand, just the

way we teach children to ride a

bike by running along beside,

ready to catch them.
If you're a Christian

believer (Catholic or

Protestant) and want to get

beyond the beginnings of prayer

in your walk with God, Green's

book is a great place to start.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Duncan A. Macfarlan on March 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly practical, encouraging, powerful ,yet friendly companion to the faithful Christian seeking a more intimate union with Christ in the midst of the dark shadows and hardships of life. Rev. Green is a master at saying hard words from God in a loving way. He knows the work and experience of the great saints St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and his Jesuit mentor, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and puts their work into easy to understand (but hard to embrace!) terms. Above all, We are pointed to union with Christ, through Green's personal spiritual directorship based on the wisdom of the Saints.
For me, this is much more than a book on prayer; it is about how God uses refning fire to help us (some times almost force us ) to let go and float in the sea of his will. The sequel to this book,Drinking from the Dry Well, is almost as good and also rates 5 stars.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book on prayer. This is NOT a book on prayer for those who have never learned to pray! Rather there is a stage in the spiritual journey when the person that has enjoyed prayer for a long period of time, gradually loses the comfort and satisfaction that came with prayer. This comes despite that fact there is no new sin in the person's life! Despite having the desire to stay close to God... Many of us experience this from time to time but in some this is a persistent state that can last for years or for the rest of their lives. This is a stage of the journey that some have called the 'dark night'. The dark night is simply a stage of the spiritual journey where there are no consolations/comfortable feelings from/toward God and one just goes on with FAITH alone. What Fr Green does is give an explanation of what is happening and how to deal with it, based on the works of 2 well know saints: Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. The answers are surprising but comforting and will lead you into new ways of relating to the Lord.

This book is very well written considering the subject matter and especially in comparision to the style in which Teresa and John have written. If you are experiencing the dark night as noted above this is the best book you will find. If the description of the dark night is something you have never experienced, this book may well lead you to confusion and it is probably best to wait till you experience such a state before trying to read this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on July 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY, now nearly thirty years old, has become a favorite for many readers. It's easy to understand why. The author, Jesuit priest Thomas Green writes about a reality of the spiritual life. At times we do experience dryness in our spiritual lives. When we first develop a relationship with God, it excites us, but like anything, it can become mundane. The temptation is to drop it and think of it as just a pleasant experience but now it's over. Green believes that the true challenge is to use these moments of "dryness as opportunities to grow and even posits that it at times of dryness that people often grow most as far as the spiritual life is concerned.

Readers will see Green's Ignatian training and spirituality in the pages of this book, but he doesn't rely solely on the writings of St. Ignatius but also uses the writings of two of St. Ignatius' compatriots and contemporaries St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila as well as a twentieth century Protestant missionary Hannah Hurnard. He also shares some of his own personal life which helps the reader see he has experiences much of what he writes about in the book.

My copy of the book is well worn. I find myself going back to it again and again, reading chapters or sections that have moved me and continue to do so. At time is use the book when I feel dry but also when I need something to reflect on in prayer or something as an example I can use in a homily. It can be read by anyone who takes prayer and spirituality seriously. I would think it would also be a great book to be used in an adult education class or spirituality discussion group. It could lead to great discussions and we'd see that when it comes to the spiritual lives, we all have more in common than we realize.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Clear, concise and down to earth treatment of difficulties in prayer whilst encouraging and helping the reader to recognise God's presence in some of the darker or drier moments of our prayer life. Not only does the author carefully translate John of the Cross' teaching on what consitutes this purifying action in prayer but he also makes the brave attempt to bridge this with the day to day difficulties and seemingly insurmountable character flaws. Above all, the reader gives the impression of someone who has experienced joyful perseverence during these periods. All in all, quite uplifting.
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