How Big Is Your God? The Freedom to Experience the Divine [NOOK Book]

Overview

A bold faith requires a big God.

How big is your God? In other words, what limits have you placed upon God in your life? If your experience of the Divine has become static and predictable, or if you have a relationship with God that is small and confined, Paul Coutinho invites you to believe that God is bigger-much bigger! How Big Is Your God? is Coutinho's challenge to every person to grow deeper and ...
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How Big Is Your God? The Freedom to Experience the Divine

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Overview

A bold faith requires a big God.

How big is your God? In other words, what limits have you placed upon God in your life? If your experience of the Divine has become static and predictable, or if you have a relationship with God that is small and confined, Paul Coutinho invites you to believe that God is bigger-much bigger! How Big Is Your God? is Coutinho's challenge to every person to grow deeper and stronger in his or her faith by embracing a God whose love truly knows no bounds.
To help us rethink our limited ideas of God, Coutinho, a Jesuit and a native of India, introduces us to his Hindu friends who put him on the path to mysticism; to his Buddhist teachers who broke open his limited views of the Divine; to Viktor Frankl, Desmond Tutu, and other enlightened guides who led him to a far more meaningful spiritual life; and to St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose Spiritual Exercises continue to shape his reflection and prayer life.
As Fr. Coutinho encourages us to open our hearts and minds so that we can personally experience the infinite breadth of God, we begin to see that an ever-deepening relationship with the Divine is the true purpose of religion.

Deepen your experience of God by moving from religion to relationship

Do you have a relationship with God, or do you just have a religion? Do you know God, or do you just know about God? Do you believe in a God without limits, or have you placed God in a box and sealed the lid?
In How Big Is Your God? Indian Jesuit priest Paul Coutinho asks each of us to carefully consider questions such as these. With his warm sense of humor and a talent for telling just the right story to drive home a point, Coutinho guides us to reconsider who God is and how we can have fellowship with God beyond anything we have imagined.
The immensely powerful yet eminently readable wisdom in How Big Is Your God? will move us past religion as we know it and toward a relationship with God that can change the way we think, love, and live!

"Coutinho draws on Eastern religious traditions, blending them with his own Catholic practice to challenge and deepen readers' understandings of God."
Publishers Weekly

"If you have ever suspected that 'religion' is way too small a
container for the mystery we call God, this book is for you!"
Margaret Silf, author of Inner Compass


"Paul Coutinho, SJ, challenges and delights the reader in his ever provocative ways of inviting us into our religious experience."
David L. Fleming, SJ
author of Draw Me into Your Friendship
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Coutinho, a Jesuit priest who has lived much of his life in India, once was told by a theology teacher at an American university that he was a heretic. He had merely posed a "what if," asking what the man would do if scripture scholars should determine that Jesus never existed as a historical figure. The teacher said he would have to abandon his work as a priest because he could never base his life on a myth, but Coutinho countered that he would still die for the myth. Conversant with India's Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Coutinho effectively uses this story to illustrate the differences between the Western and Eastern understandings of truth (one, he writes, sees truth as a set of beliefs while the other views it as an experience). Throughout this volume of short essays, Coutinho draws on Eastern religious traditions, blending them with his own Catholic practice to challenge and deepen readers' understandings of God. Besides asking questions like "Can you be religious without knowing God?" and "Are you running for fun or for your life?" he offers practical advice as well, including a PQR (Pause Question Respond) formula for handling difficult situations and BAD (Basement Attic Disposal) days for helping Westerners get rid of consuming possessions. Readers who favor "spirituality" over religion will most enjoy this book. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780829429855
  • Publisher: Loyola Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 221,027
  • File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents


Introduction   Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM     xi
Author's Note     xv
How Big Is Your God?     1
Do You Have the Will to Experience a Big God?     3
Are You Ready?     8
The River of Life Is Free     12
God-an Experience, Not a Theology     14
Seeking Truth and Freedom     17
Can You Be Religious without Knowing God?     20
Moving from Charity to Compassion     26
Do You Have a Living Relationship with God, or Are You Just Practicing Religion?     29
Do You Want Peace...without Batting an Eye?     31
Four Ways of Relating with God     34
Pleasing God-the Priestly Experience     36
The God of Brokenness-the Yahwistic Experience     38
The God of Perfection-the Elohistic Experience     42
The Pathway of the Law-the Experience of Deuteronomy     45
Disposable Images of God     47
Transcending Your Images of God     51
Can You Have a God beyond Names?     56
The God Who Is a Projection of Our Father Image     60
Prayer, a Pathway to Freedom and Love     64
Having a Honeymoon with God     67
You Are Mine     73
Freedom inthe Midst of Suffering     76
Can You Experience the Freedom That Is Christ's Cross?     79
Are Your Possessions Enslaving or Freeing?     83
Lightening Our Load along the Journey     87
Are We Enslaved by Things We Do Not Fully Enjoy?     90
A Beginner's Mind     95
The Enslaving Illusion of Love     97
Original Sin, Reconsidered     102
Confession, Celebration of Divine Presence     105
Living in the Here and Now     107
Are You Part of a Vertical World or a Horizontal World?     111
The "Me" and the "I"     113
Our Stolen Search for Meaning     117
What Do You Want on Your Tombstone?     120
Life Does Not Owe Us Pleasure-It Offers Us Meaning     122
Do You React or Respond to Life?     124
So What Is a Belief?     127
Bible and Land     130
I Need the Love and Approval of Everyone-a Damaging Root Belief     132
Others Must Be Fair and Kind to Me-Another Root Belief     135
Life Must Make Things Easy for Me-a Third Harmful Root Belief     139
The Man and the Caterpillar     144
God Does Not Interfere     146
When Are You Going to Die?      148
The Breath of God     152
Are You Running for Fun or for Your Life?     154
I Hope You Make It, Kid     157
Acknowledgments     159
About the Author     161
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