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Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life Paperback – August 1, 2000
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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This book of prayer exercises, inspired by "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola," seeks to "occasion a conversion of heart and mind so that a person may follow Jesus with greater faith, love and freedom." Each "moment" is intended to offer an intense experience that will bring the soul closer to God. At the same time, the authors are far from narrow scholastics; every exercise is designed to offer an opportunity for deep personal reflection.
The prayer exercises are structured in terms of a specific spiritual "desire," leading to an interrogation of Scripture, as well as of the self, about the best way to attain that desire (for example, the desire to "grow in the inner freedom needed to commit my life to God" or "to hear God's call when it comes and to be willing to respond generously.") What differentiates this lovely book from so many prayer guides is its attention to the difficulty of prayer, its understanding that to pray requires discipline and structure, that ecstatic communion only follows after long, hard concentration and labor, the readying of the soul for God.
(Beliefnet, Sept. 2000) --beliefnet
About the Author
Smith is Director of the Center for Ignation Spirituality at Marquette University.
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The book is divided into <u>Moments</u>, all 32 of them (equivalent to a 32-weeks retreat in daily life in Ignatian Spirituality), and for each Moment the authors give pointers to reflect and to pray with Scripture. Each Moment draws on a parallel of the notes as found in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Then the author suggests a <u>Desire</u> (or a Grace if you'd like to call it) for the Moment. Scripture passages provide the ground for reflection and then <u>Questions</u> posed by the authors help a pray-er to stay focus on God and God's presence in daily life.
The author further provide more pointers in <u>Suggestion</u> and the <u>Examen Prayer</u> for one to keep growing in his spiritual life outside of formal prayer time. The Examen is one exercise that St. Ignatius advocate strongly because it is in looking over the day, a week, a month or months, and years that one takes stock of what has happened and how one has responded to the things around him that in the first instance were God's creation. So during the Examen one gets a chance to review his relationship with God's other creatures, which often slips by because of inattention.
Each Moment opens with a photograph, albeit in mono-color. The authors' idea is that visual people might find a possibility to reflect on the pictures and see if the picture/s conjure up feelings and/or emotions. After all, Ignatian prayer is about using all our five senses.
The Moments in this book is do-able for anyone who is serious to grow spiritually in prayer life. Unlike the rigid 30-day Spiritual Exercises that is conducted in a stay-in retreat setting, the 32 Moments provide a way to meditate and to reflect on Scripture every day in the comfort and pace of one's daily living. According to the authors, "each Moment may be used for a day, for a week, or for a random hour of reflection when seeking perspective on your life." For example, if one is serious to use this book as a 32-weeks retreat in daily life, then he should use each Moment for a week before moving on (one Moment for one week). The authors give ample Scripture passages for a pray-er to stay with one Moment for a week.
In my opinion it would be ideal to get a spiritual friend to journey through these exercises. Share insights, thoughts and feelings about what come up during prayer with that spiritual companion. It pays to listen to ourselves and to get support as we allow God to touch our lives.
I recommend this book for busy people who cannot retreat formally to a silent place to pray and to listen to God. This book is definitely not bedtime reading material. It asks of you to DO and if you are ready to spend time daily in prayer as detailed in each Moment, then this book is a good resource to settle you into a habit of listening to God and finding self through Scripture.
I would recommend this book to ones who are looking for a way to examine themselves and searching for a deeper meaning to their lives.