Why not approach this period of isolation as a period to reflect on how we lead our lives, and what changes we might like to make when we return to ‘normal’? Here is a suggested list of books that may be helpful:
Brother Lawrence: The Practice of the Presence of God -would be suitable for those who would like to go deeper with God in a mindfulness way -The practice of mindfulness is a well practiced Christian meditation on God’s Presence.
Sue Monk-Kidd: When the Heart waits -this would be ideal for someone wanting to explore the meaning of their own life, to help appraise the things we have felt to be important, and to assess how we take the lessons we have learned forward into our new life -The analogy used is like that of a chrysalis…during this period there is a lot of inner working going on before the beautiful butterfly emerges perhaps a bit like us through this isolation period.
Richard Rohr: Immortal Diamond -The search for our true self This reminds of the experience of Daniel’s friends in the furnace as Rohr helps us to disover our true sense of self and understand the different things (attached to our egos) that have helped shape us and form us into who we are -the challenge is are we willing to let go of some of those things so that we can more fully live the life God has given us?
Ruth Valerio: Saying yes to life This book has been heartily recomended by Bishop Nicholas, challenging us to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint and to think more carefully about how we use the world’s resources -understanding that they are not just for those living in the most affluent countries but the resources are there for everyone. As a church we will be studying this book after Easter as We say YES to the resurrection, and say YES to life for all.
SAYING YES TO LIFE by Ruth Valerio
Saying Yes to Life is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book for 2020. It was recommended for use during Lent by our Bishop Nicholas, who is the lead Bishop on environmental issues in the Church of England.
I have been reading this over Lent and would warmly recommend it. Ruth Valerio is passionate about God’s creation, and takes the opening chapter of Genesis as the foundation for this book. Each chapter takes a theme from God’s creation and develops it, looking at light, water, land, sun/moon/stars, creatures and birds, and human beings. She develops each theme by tracing it through the whole of Scripture, and also by looking at each one in context in our world and how they are being affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental damage. She also offers suggestions for how we may, as individuals, groups and churches, address some of the damage being done to our environment so that we can leave the planet in good state for the future.
At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions for groups and links to video recordings on the internet.
This would be a good resource for a group discussion as well as for individuals to deepen their understanding of these important issues for our time. We shall be developing these ideas during our reflections in the Easter season, which seems appropriate, given the title of the book.
The book is published by SPCK and is available from Amazon.
All books are available from a range of online resources. Do consider asking your friends if they would like a copy as free postage and packaging is available from some sellers for orders over £5