No matter our faith tradition, or whether we have something we would call a faith tradition, we all live informed by some degree of faith in what we cannot see, cannot reason, and cannot know. Brother David refers to faith as “courageous trust,” and believes that gratefulness is at the heart of all religions. The following are books which speak to us of that fundamental "courageous trust," or faith in life.
Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles’ Creed (2010)
by Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB with forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“I have always felt that in endorsing a book I was honoring the book and its author. Brother David’s Deeper Than Words, however, brought a new and startling sensation: I found myself sensing that the book was honoring me by allowing me to endorse it. Never before have I felt this way about a book… This book belongs on every pastor’s desk, and on the nightstand beside the bed of every Christian who is trying to deepen his or her spiritual life.” – Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions.
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Living Buddha, Living Christ (1997)
by Thich Nhat Hanh with foreword by Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB
Thich Nhat Hanh has no desire to downplay the venerable theological and ritual teachings that distinguish Buddhism and Christianity, but leads us to consider that beyond the letter of doctrine we can find a unity of truth.
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Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions (1995)
by Lex Hixon and Ken Wilber
A rapid guided tour of mysticism around the world, and through the ages. Hixon’s dizzying itinerary begins with Heidegger and ends with the Vedanta. It passes through St. Paul, Plotinus, the I Ching, Hasidic thought, Sufism, Zen, and a number of Eastern sages. Beneath this exotic diversity, Hixon finds an essential unifying feature: the experience of “primal harmony” or “our rootedness in the Divine.” All the “sacred traditions” lead us (ideally) to an ecstatic awareness that God (Allah, Christ, Tao, Turiya, etc.) is no remote, transcendent principle, but a name for the ultimate reality which dwells within us and of which we form a part.
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015)
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling author Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (2000)
by Pema Chödrön
How can we capture the fundamental happiness that’s always within our reach? With a universal touch, Tibetan Buddhist abbot Pema Chödrön writes about loneliness, death, and the love that will not die.
A Listening Heart: The Spirituality of Sacred Sensuousness (1999)
by Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB
Brother David writes that “any sensuous experience is at heart a spiritual one: a divine revelation.”
Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening (2008)
by Ken Wilber, Terry Patten, Adam Leonard and Marco Morelli
Over the last thirty-five years, Ken Wilber has developed an Integral “theory of everything” that makes sense of how all the world’s knowledge systems—East and West; ancient, modern, and postmodern—fit together and can elevate our awareness. Drawing on science, psychology, human development, spirituality, religion, and dozens of other fields, Integral Theory is a revolutionary framework for understanding ourselves and the world we live in. Now there is a way to not just think Integrally, but to embody an Integral worldview in your everyday life.
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (2012)
By Anne Lamott
New York Times-bestselling author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life. It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas.
The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding (2007)
by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner
As they each reveal their own prejudices and misconceptions after September 11, and share their own beliefs and life stories, the authors develop a deep interfaith friendship. Their book suggests ways to start your own interfaith conversations.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith (2000)
by Anne Lammott
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: “Help me, help me, help me” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is “Whatever,” and whose evening prayer is “Oh, well.”
The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine (2003)
by Marcia Prager
In the ancient language of the Jewish tradition and the modern language of feminine consciousness, creation theology, and psychology, The Path of Blessing brings the words of Hebrew invocation dramatically alive.
Benedict’s Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of Saint Benedict (2002)
by Norman Fisher et al; afterword by Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Rule—a set of guidelines that has governed Christian monastic life since the sixth century—continues to fascinate laypeople and monastics alike. Buddhist monks and nuns have been intrigued by Benedict’s insights into human nature and by the similarities between Christian and Buddhist traditions. Now, through personal anecdotes and thoughtful comparison, four prominent Buddhist scholars—including Joseph Goldstein and Yifa—reveal how the wisdom of each tradition can revitalize the other.
Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s Ordeals (2004)
by Thomas Moore
When it comes to spiritual growth, we humans are solar-seeking beings; eager for the bright lights of clarity and the bliss of illumination. Paradoxically, we all need to walk through the shadow of the dark night in order to discover a life worth living.
Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness (1984)
by Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB
Through emptiness as well as fullness, Brother David shows us the way to say “yes” to belonging.
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