Saturday, June 25, 2011

50BC11 #5: Letters by a Modern Mystic

Letters by a Modern MysticLetters by a Modern Mystic by Frank C. Laubach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was skeptical going in when I ordered this book upon the recommendation of a friend. I was pleasantly surprised at Laubach's equanimity when it came to Islam v. Christianity. For example:

"A good Muslim would fill his life with God. I fear there are few good Muslims. But so would a real Christlike Christian speak to God every time he did anything--and I fear there are few good Christians. What right then have I or any other person to come here and change the name of these people from Muslim to Christian, unless I lead them to a life fuller of God than they have now? job here is not to go to the town plaza and make proselytes, it is to live wrapped in God, trembling to His thoughts..." (13)

I liked this idea of the reflective missionary--one who is as much on a mission for himself as looking to spread the Gospel. I used the book for my Lenten meditations and it worked very well for that. As for the "Game with Minutes," at the end? I didn't like it. I found the metaphor sort of silly and glib and it was a rather bizarre shift of tone from the letters, which are filled with the real anguished questioning and blissful moments of a true spiritual sojourn.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

50BC11 #4: Like The Flowing River

Like the Flowing River, Stories 1998-2005Like the Flowing River, Stories 1998-2005 by Paulo Coelho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book of meditations large and small in the form of stories and true vignettes from the life of the author. I recommend keeping it on your nightstand and reading just one or two stories before you go to bed--you'll sleep well. If you are familiar with Coelho's works, you'll recognize the "warrior of the light" and the reference to "personal legends" (see The Alchemist). The collection is a testament to Coelho's expansive horizon (see The Valkyries: An Encounter with Angels) and will likely inject you with little doses of inspiration for your personal legend.