In the realm of the Spirit, and when dealing with our own souls and the souls of others, we are often at a loss for words. We have a sense, maybe even an image of what we want to share, ask, or communicate, but words are harder to find and express. Stories are the glue that hold us together in whatever groups we belong to, even if we only visit or find ourselves on the margins. In a sense, our God is a story being told and God is seeking for all of us to listen, to enter into the story and become one.
Megan McKenna uses images of Russian nesting dolls to illustrate the many layers of the stories that exist in each of our lives, particularly in relation to the Spirit. Stories are critical to living and are intertwined with truth in such a way that we can carry them with us, remember them and pass them along, sharing them as needed. We live inside a story. We live inside God.
About the Author
A well known workshop facilitator, retreat leader, and author of over 30 books, Megan McKenna received her doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. She has taught at many different schools, including Fordham University, the Washington Theological Union, and the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila. She also serves as an Ambassador of Peace for Pax Christi USA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Megan McKenna is a popular workshop facilitator, retreat leader, and author. In this book she uses images of Russian dolls and nesting baskets and boxes to show the relationship between stories and spirituality. She sees stories as critical to living, "intertwined with truth in such a way that we can carry them with us, remember them, and pass them along, sharing them as needed." The book opens with the story of the Trinity and goes on to creation, the Incarnation and Paschal Mystery, the Spirit and church in the world, the Spirit in our world, small communities, and the individual person. Each chapter contains stories, set off by a graphic of nesting dolls; a section of questions, activities, and prayers; and notes. The chapter on small communities, friends, and families connects "house" churches in the days of Jesus and his followers to those of modern times. At this level, McKenna explains, the imagined dolls, baskets, and boxes are among the smallest. "The dolls have to have room for others inside." She uses scripture stories showing Jesus' reaching out first to those related by blood and marriage, then to all who believed in him, "but especially to the poor, the outcast, the shunned, those others considered sinners, and those in need." She writes of the early churches of Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome as small groups "that became family and shared Baptism and the Spirit." Today's small Christian communities (SCCs) afford the opportunity for groups to listen and reflect together on scripture and "hold one another accountable for doing the works of mercy and justice." They are, today, a place where people come to rest, be listened to, pray with others, and "struggle to be the children of God in their neighborhood and families." These groups usually gather once or twice a month, often around a meal. Questions and activities for this chapter revolve around beginning and sustaining SCCs in the parish and neighborhood.