When I looked to get my next Blogging for Books book in December I came across "You Are The Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living" by Henri J.M. Nouwen. I thought this would be a perfect book to review for the beginning of the new year. Want to be up front- this post focuses on religion/faith and spiritual reading. If that isn't your cup of tea no offense taken if you want to pass this post up. Just as I don't want to offend someone with curse words, I also don't want to offend someone who has different views on religion/faith/spirituality.
Daily I enjoy some time focused on working on my spiritual life or what I like to call my faith journey. This may involve daily Bible reading or looking at a blog post or article in regards to spiritual/faith content. I saw this book and thought it would be a great addition to my daily work in progress on my faith journey. I have struggled to find a daily devotional that has fit me well. Either the devotional is to literal reading of the Bible, way to conservative and "law/judgment" focused or just not deep enough.
I really appreciated the introduction to this devotional. Henri's take on daily spiritual practice in regard to one's spiritual life seems to be realistic. In his book "Here and Now" Henri writes about the importance of reading as part of the spiritual journey one is on.
Spiritual reading is not only reading about spiritual people or spiritual things. It is also reading spiritually, that is, in a spiritual way! Reading in a spiritual way is reading with a desire to let God come closer to us.... The purpose of spiritual reading... is not to master knowledge or information but to let God's Spirit master us.
I have constant questions about God and religion and reading the above helps me see that I'm doing OK by continuing to work on answering those questions through reading. I don't need to "master knowledge or information", but allow God's Spirit to speak to me through that reading.
He goes on to write, "Spiritual reading is reading with an inner attentiveness to the movement of God's Spirit in our outer and inner lives. With that attentiveness we will allow God to read us and to explain to us what we are truly about."
I again feel like I'm on the right path with this book when I read January 1st entry called "A New Beginning!"...We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new. Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises."
Perfect! I like the ease of the daily reading. I like the message that the daily meditations bring into my life. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Would recommend anyone who likes daily devotions or wants to add daily devotions to their daily routine this would be a great addition.
I want to thank Blogging for Books for sending this book to me for this review.