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The Sacrament of the Present Moment Paperback – December 8, 2009
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From the Back Cover
In this superb new translation of the celebrated spiritual classic of wisdom, hope, and inspiration, Jean-Pierre de Caussade offers guidance for daily living in communion with God. This exemplary devotional work summons readers to holiness, reveals ways to conquer self-love and pride, and points the way for experiencing each moment as a sacrament.
The author shows how God speaks to us through every moment of every day. He encourages a joyous, affirming, selfless abandonment to God. By entering into such active contemplation and facing ourselves honestly and openly, the author assures us, we can achieve the comfort and fulfillment of a life suffused with grace.
These timeless spiritual reflections probe the mystery of faith, illuminate the nature of authentic contemplation, and help us recognize and carry out God's purpose in our own lives. They stand as powerful testimony to de Caussade's conviction "that there is nothing easier, more ordinary, more available to all than saintliness."
About the Author
Jean-Pierre de Caussade was born in Toulouse, France, and was ordained a member of the Society of Jesus in 1708. In 1731, he was appointed spiritual director of the Jesuit retreat house in Nancy, where he undertook the spiritual direction of the Nuns of the Visitation. It is the notes of his addresses to the nuns that form this book.
Kitty Muggeridge, the wife of author and journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, is well-known as a translator.
Top customer reviews
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The author, Jesuit priest Jean Pierre de Caussade, did not mean to write this book. It is a compilation of letters and talks written to French nuns under his direction. They cherished his words until they were published a 100 years later.
Having been raised Catholic and lived in a convent, de Caussade's style was not difficult for me to understand. Those experiences may help to be able to contextualize his words. But so many phrases and thoughts are universal, applying today as well as 1700 France. This thought amazed me: "We only truly learn when God Speaks directly to us". He was speaking of the kinds of education, even on spiritual matters, we can pursue which is often used for inflating our egos. With words like this he encouraged the sisters to see the Divine in everything, all circumstances, constantly listening for the direction of God in all their activities, prayers, silences, sufferings moment by moment, knowing, like the psalmists, that there is nowhere we can go where God is not..
In post- modern Protestant Christianity, as well as much modern medicine, it seems that suffering is not dealt with well as millions seek either the miracle or a pill to take away their pain. We relentlessly pursue our physical well-being hoping for a pain free life. The thought that God works through suffering for the good of people may repulse many, despite the reality no one has been born or lived without pain. De Caussade's thoughts about how God uses both physical and spiritual suffering to mature faith, are what I enjoy the most....
Truth be told, though I cannot explain the beauty and power of this little mystical book. I hope you read it.
Don't be discouraged if it seems hard to understand. This book was written for the heart, and can be beyond the limited human intellect. It is a great
service to read it and allow the text to do the work of expanding the heart. Bewilderment is the hallmark of spiritual progress and a sign of opening past what was previously known, into the great unknown. The mind cannot understand that which transcends it.
-Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)
I found Kitty Muggeridge's translation to be better than others I have sampled. I found the entire book to be extremely powerful, more than what is translated for us as "Abandonment to Divine Providence." I know the translation had something to do with it, but the book also seemed to touch many of the areas which I needed to address in the spiritual life.
I have recommended this countless times to people who want to live a spiritual life. It's one of those that must be digested line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph, with no hurry whatsoever!
It's also a great book to come back to time after time!
Richard Foster wrote the introduction - his chapter alone is worth the price of the book.