Friday, June 25, 2010

God Alone is Enough

I'm reading God Alone is Enough - a Spirited Journey with St. Teresa of Avila by Claudia Mair Burney.
Most of you know that I grew up very not Catholic. In fact I've heard my share of anti-Catholic teaching in my time. Mrs. Burney is a Catholic. *

But at the beginning of the book she explains her Protestant upbringing and gives permission to see things differently than a Catholic might. So right away I was able to get past the whole Saint thing to look at Teresa as a believer who has gone before and who has shared from her experiences, like C.S. Lewis or Amy Carmichael.

This book is about Teresa's experiences with prayer. The core of the book is learning to pray without distractions. It's an introduction to Contemplative prayer.

Teresa is deep. To be honest, sometimes I'm not sure exactly what she's talking about. Mrs. Burney guides us and offers explanations, but it's a new concept for me. Still, I like thinking about things in new ways. I like learning about another person's walk with the Lord.

I'm part of a blog tour and was asked to blog on chapter 11. I think I'm also supposed to clarify that the book was given to me for promotional purposes. Just so you know...

Anyway, Chapter 11 is called Dwellings One, Two, and Three. In this chapter we learn about an analogy Teresa makes of the soul. She sees it as a gigantic castle in which the King dwells. In order to reach the inner room where He abides, we must pass through other dwellings. These dwellings are where we battle the enemy. Sins try to follow us, but we can't have intimacy with the King with sin hanging off us.
The lure of the world draws us and even our spiritual attachments can get in the way of seeing the King. These are the things we deal with in these first three rooms. I have to read on to chapter 12 to see what happens in the fourth dwelling.

If you are interested in learning more about Teresa of Avila, or how to deal with the distractions we face during prayer, I recommend this book. It is written in a friendly, conversational style that makes it a joy to read. I'm looking forward to seeing where the next few chapters take me!

*I need to add that my views of Catholics have changed greatly over the years. I have many friends who are Catholic and are strong believers. I think we need to be more open minded to the variety in Christ's body.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up Catholic - altar boy and all. And I can tell you that the Catholic laypeople and the Catholic heiarchy are very different. I've known some true believers who were Catholic and they are not going to hell because they make bow and make the sign of the cross in front of a statue of Jesus.

    I do have a problem with Catholicism in general and it does confuse me when well biblicly read protestants convert to Catholicism.

    There are some great Catholic scholars who have contributed greatly to Christian theological study. I also think that alot of preachers can learn the idea of servanthood from priests. "It's not supposed to be about you."


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