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Already There: Letting God Find You Paperback – July 7, 2010
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"'Already there' is the seemingly casual phrase he uses—insists on—to tell us how he eventually learned (and has to keep relearning) that the Lord was with him through every dilemma, every pratfall. How does he convey this highly personal experience? Partly through one of his genuine passions, the movies. Do not scoff. Movies for him and a few generations before him capture the sharp pain of existence, of being on the planet without knowing why, Hamlet's cry about a world out of joint and feeling totally inadequate to the task—also, about the Lord being already there and then, when he has lavished his love, expecting us to move out to others. I took the author's advice and read each chapter slowly, as a meditation. I laughed at the recognition factors, the punch lines: 'I coulda been a contenda.' Mossa leads, but does not push too far ahead, constantly assuring us of the heartache and the heart's ache for a Lord whose love is ours already and who, despite our confusion, will never fail us."—Emilie Griffin, America Magazine
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Fr. Mark's approach to spirituality is rather unique. He uses bits of pop culture to show us how we can deepen our faith lives. He makes some connections that I'm not sure I'd have made on my own and others that I've noticed in the past. Some of his pop culture references will have me looking at a few books and movies a little differently. Of all the pop culture references he makes in this book, I think there was only one that I was not familiar with. I suspect this book will resonate best with people in the 20-40 year old age range (I know, it seems like a big gap, but when you're smack in the middle of it, it doesn't seem that way.).
I liked how incredibly readable the book was. While reading Already There I just got the feeling that I was hanging out with a good friend. It's engaging, it's interesting, it's humorous and it has the ability to be life changing.
This book is not one that you just read for a couple of days and pop on the shelf. Ideally, one would want to take their time with this book in order to reflect on a certain aspect of letting God find you, or rather letting yourself become open to a deeper relationship with God. For the purpose of writing this review, I read this book over the course of a week which is a shorter time span than I anticipate needing to read this book a second time around. It's truly a book that you'll want to mull over. Ordinarily I would zip through an easily read book such as this in the span of a day or two, but I took it easy because of the warning in the introduction not to rush through the book. Having made myself the victim of spiritual indigestion in the past, I now take caution when there are warnings about rapid consumption. And really, how can I push through to the next chapter when I come face to face with a chapter that tells me at the conclusion that "this would be a good moment to close the book and just pray in silence. The book's not going anywhere and neither is God."? Since it was evening when I read that particular chapter I couldn't argue. As long as the kids were in bed the statement held some truth. The book wasn't going to walk away (They have in the past, it's a problem that goes with the territory of having kids--things disappear and mysteriously no one is to blame.). Having read through the book at a moderate pace, I have to say that I truly believe that this book will reward those who read it slowly.
I was provided with a complimentary review copy of Already There by the publisher, Saint Anthony Messenger Press in exchange for my honest review.
"So get to it! Stop moving around so much, and let him (Jesus) find you. He's already there. Just start talking."
All the cultural links were very helpful because those made the reading feel like a conversation I would have with a friend.
On a personal note, this book has been eye opening. As an engineering student and a guy, being in control and asking 'Why' has become second nature, at this point of time. Making things work is what I like to do. However, the book has helped me realize that if one truly believes in God's love, one should also let things happen to themselves in life. Of course, putting your best efforts is important. But, if it gets to a point where it hurts you, it is time to realize that you are ALREADY THERE and let God be God.