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Thu 20 Sep 2018 @ 8:05
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Author(s): Christopher Chapman
Life is joyful, beautiful and a rich blessing, but also difficult, painful and mysterious. This profound and practical book looks at how the Christian spiritual tradition has tried to understand the part suffering plays within human growth and our experience of God.
Suffering can ask questions of us and impel us to live for what is really important - it can also diminish us and stunt our growth. What makes the difference? This book helps all engaged in pastoral care or spiritual direction explore that question for themselves and with others.
From Julian of Norwich gazing at Christ entering the depths of our difficulty, to the terrors of the `dark night of the soul' experienced by St John of the Cross, to the poets George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins who, like Jacob, wrestled with God, this rich book helps us see that even in a desolate and trackless wasteland, we are in the company of pilgrims across time and can glimpse a hidden Promised Land.
Through these different windows we are encouraged not to cling to suffering, nor to flee from its threat, but to discover within it the work of a resourceful, creative and compassionate God.
Chapman was Spirituality Adviser for the Anglican Diocese of Southwark between
2009 and 2016. He is a former Catholic priest, and has an extensive background
in Christian education, including co-ordinating authorised pastoral care
training for the Diocese of Southwark for many years.
has been involved in retreat giving and spiritual direction since the later
1980’s following training at St. Beuno’s Spiritual Exercises Centre and
Heythrop College. He is a regular guest director for individually guided
retreats at St. Beuno’s. Christopher is also an Associate Tutor for St.
Augustine’s College of Theology
now lives in Blean, near Canterbury with his wife June. In his spare time he
enjoys walking, writing and gardening. He describes the thread running through
his work over time as ‘Supporting people in their journey with God, in their
movement towards self-acceptance and towards the more free and generous sharing
of who they are and what they have to give’.
'This book will find a welcome place on my bookshelf.' -- Mollie Robinson * Retreats *