When Gods Die: An Introduction to John of the Cross

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9780809131839: When Gods Die: An Introduction to John of the Cross

When Gods Die is a study that offers a unique insight for adult Christians seeking more substance in their spirituality. It provides an excellent summary of the major writings of St. John of the Cross: The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night, The Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love. Author John Welch offers stimulating reflection by referring to Carl Jung, Bernard Lonergan, and James Fowler for further insight on the teachings of John of the Cross.

In poetry and prose, John of the Cross, a 16th century Spanish Carmelite mystic, “articulates grief” in his expressions of loneliness, hurt, and the uncertainties of life. He writes of pain and confusion. He tells of times when he thought that even God had turned away. Yet, in his experience we find encouragement and acknowledgement-- we can learn how to live a more positive life with God at our center. But a true “life” only begins when our idols die.

John speaks to adults who have become so enmeshed in daily life that they are slaves to unimportant things. John does not present programs, methods, or doctrines for growth. He speaks simply of God’s healing presence in the midst of our sorrows. John encourages us to center our lives, let go of worldly idols, and free ourselves from this empty slavery. And, in the death of idolatry, our hearts will truly “live.” We will then slowly begin to mature as our trust and patience develops. In this process, we are transformed and we can begin to view life with a “sensitivity” that comes only from a God-centered life.

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Welch gives the mature Christian a model for continued growth and deeper spirituality through a discussion of John of the Cross and his writings. The book is especially helpful as it deals with feelings of pain, loneliness, and loss of meaning in the spiritual life. Dark experiences become invitations to let go of cherished idols and to live a deep symbolic life in response to God's loving pursuit of humanity and to the blessedness--hidden at times--of life itself. Highly recommended for public and seminary libraries.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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