"Spiritual Labor - Spiritual Life" is a compilation of 52 spiritual reflections intended for the reader's own spiritual work. Each of the reflections deals with living as a spiritual person within ordinary daily relationships and encounters. The authors draw from their own experiences as spiritual leaders, learners, writers and sojourners. The reflections focus on a broad breadth of topics such as spiritual listening, holding on / letting go / forgiveness / life from the perspective of the elderly, parenting a parent, finding God in nature to name but a few. Some reflections expand the ordinary to bring the spiritual to life. Wind Chimes, quilting, moving, darkness and the dessert are a few topics presented leading the reader to discover the extraordinary Divine in the ordinary. Embedded throughout the book is the theme of peace and forgiveness. After every reflection, there is a "Looking Inward" section that invites the reader to his or her own personal reflections and soul searching. And while these reflections are primarily intended to help the reader with his or her personal prayer life, they can easily be used as guided meditations for groups at retreats or even in Spiritual Direction sessions. Finally, the authors draw on a wide variety of spiritual / religious orientations; Christian, Native American, Islamic, Judaism, Hindu and Buddhism. In this approach, wisdom and spiritual awareness garnered from writers, theologians, leaders and elders of many traditions seeking a relationship with God in however that is expressed is presented to enrich whatever orientation the reader enjoys and practices. This book is to help with the spiritual journey rather than limiting the reader to a theology of any one religion. The wisdom of the biblical writers is as important as the wisdom of the Lakota Leader, Black Elk, as it is to the teachings and examples of Gandhi, as it is to modern day mystics. The authors, having been world religion teachers and advocates, draw from the richness of a wide array of spiritual teachings. This allows the reader to reflect on his or her personal path, whether within the structure of a particular religion or not, with broader horizons and the awareness that "God is everywhere."
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About the Author
Thom is a Catholic Permanent Deacon, ordained in 1995. He has served as Pastoral Associate in several churches since his ordination. He is passionate about Social Justice and healing divisions among cultures and religions. He taught both Social Justice and World Religion for 10 years. He completed a 4 Unit Chaplain Residency accredited by ACPE at the local VA Hospital and believes that humble service to those in pain or in need offers us the best chance for peace. Beth has been in parish ministry for more than 20 years. She served as Pastoral Associate as well as Director of Religious Education in two different parishes. She has a passion for liturgy and social justice. She has organized several workshops and lenten series on Social Justice based on the tenants of Catholic Social Justice Teaching. She has written and presented a variety of retreats and workshops. She has also completed the Ignatian Spiritual Director's Retreat at Guelph University in Ontario Canada.. Thom and Beth have been married for 32 years, and together they have 8 children. Native American Spirituality is a part of their life as well. They have a Medicine Wheel on their land and do ceremonies there as well. Thom was given a Lakota name in 2005 that means "Bridge Builder." The name was selected by the Lakota Elders in acknowledgement of his work in bridging cultures and religious orientations, and efforts focused on understanding and healing divisions and acceptance of people who are different. You can find out more about this deacon couple by visiting their website: www.seventhdirection.com While you are there, you can sign-up for their FREE Weekly Reflection Service, and check-out Spiritual Direction, Native American Spirituality, and their on-line religion course intended to bring understanding and healing among the Jewish, Christian and Islamic people. They also provides Spiritual Direction. Information about Spiritual Direction is also on the website. You can contact Deacon Thom through e-mail – email@example.com