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Reviews

Stations of the Cross: The Journey of Death and Resurrection

by James Lawlor

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,

To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy…

In order to possess what you do not possess

You must go by the way of dispossession.

          - TS Elliot, Four Quartets, East Coker (1940)

 

In following Jesus' way, we pick up our cross every day. We seek freedom from what burdens or hampers us from being better people, more faithful Christians, authentic disciples. And we make this pilgrimage hand in hand together, in the footsteps of the One who trod this path before us, alone.

The illustrations in this book are eloquent in their simplicity. These “drawings of light” almost resemble Xray photographs! That is not an unimportant insight, for just as an Xray probes beneath the surface and highlights what lies beneath, so the pilgrimage journey to Calvary invites us to delve deeper into our own story, our own hearts to recognise our own personal crosses.

- From the Introduction by the author, Fr Jim Lawlor, Parish Priest of the Immaculate Conception in Maryhill, Glasgow.

 

This year (2020) is exceptionally different due to the pandemic. With the community lockdown and other restrictions, I joined the celebration of the Triduum online. As I was reflecting and praying on the Stations of the Cross, there was a movement in my heart and scenes were forming in my head. Moments later, I found myself sketching those scenes and images…I joyfully share these images as a hallmark of my faith – raw and imperfect, but done with everything that I could, should and would.

     - From the Artist, Adnelle M. Valeza

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A stunning pocket-size booklet that offers a fresh

and captivating reflection for each Station of the Cross, coupled with remarkably unique "X-ray" images.

"Anam Cara" by John O'Donohue

..."May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

    may the clarity of light be yours,

    may the fluency of the ocean be yours,

    may the protection of the ancestors be yours"....

This book is a beautifully written book which transcends you into

the world of Celtic Spirituality.

 

Anam Cara focuses on the "inner soul", and how we should listen and nourish our own inner soul, and how we are connected to the land that we walk, the same land that our ancestors once walked.

 

O'Donohue, speaks of the lack of silence in our daily life. This really resonated with me.  Many of us during lock down, experienced silence; our world had almost stopped.  We experienced the beauty of the singing birds, the unpolluted magnificent sky and the purity

of the air around us.   No traffic. We almost had forgotten what silence in your life could bring.

The peace and tranquility allowed us to think a bit deeper about ourselves and the beauty of the earth that God created.

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"...A fruitful solitude without silence and space is inconceivable"

As our lives start to unfold from our time in isolation, Anam Cara reminds us of the beauty of the world around us, and,

"the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you". The importance of nourishing our inner soul and having

the silence to do so. He speaks of friendship and love.   The beauty of this land that we share, and must look after, things perhaps we have all thought a lot more about, during these unprecedented times. The realisation of  what is important

in our lives and who is important in our lives, and the appreciation of  the simple things that we once took for granted.  O'Donohue also writes about the "Unknown Companion"  that travels by our side, one which we barely recognise or often speak about.

...''There is a presence who walks the road of life with you. This presence accompanies your every moment."

 

John O'Donohue's poetic style of writing links you to the human and the divine.  

This book is so relevant in our world today.

Review by Veronica

The Shack by William P. Young

This is an uplifting book which encourages us to think about who God truly is and challenges many of the stereotypes that may have taken hold in our imaginations. Throughout the book the reader will come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be in relationship with God.

Some of my favourite quotes are:

"Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to hold power over another is to choose to limit oneself - to serve."

"Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda."

"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colours."

"Jesus?" he whispered as his voice choked. "I feel so lost". A hand reached out and squeezed his, and didn't let go. "I know, Mack. But it's not true. I am with you and I'm not lost. I'm sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly. You are not lost."

Review by Lucy

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Pauline Books & Media  Middle Green, Slough. UK. SL3 6BS