Great book about a great man! This traces Reagan from his birth and the great impact his faith in God had on his entire life. It covers his early life and the profound influence his mother and other mentors, both real and fictional, had in shaping him into the man destiny called him to be. It follows his acting and political careers and his use of the 'bully pulpit' of the Presidency. He deeply felt America had a unique role to play in the DP (Divine Plan) in bringing freedom to the Soviet Union. His survival of the assassination attempt made on him made him even more aware he wanted to be an instrument God could work through. No wonder the liberals hated him.
I also highly recommend Kregor's book God and George W. Bush, another great book about another great man. We need more men like them! God bless them both.
Everyone comes from different religious backgrounds. For those of you who have been with me since the start of this blog, you know that my particular religious background is that of a cradle-born Catholic, the daughter of two converts to the Catholic faith (one of whom has a Ph.D in Theology and has taught Theology in Catholic colleges since I was a baby); you know that my educational background has always steered toward the Catholic side, what with using Kolbe Academy as a high school program and having gone to the University of Saint Francis for my B.A.; you know that my life hasn't been a life devoid of guidance and growth in my spirituality.
This book taught me a lot.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl's Ways to Pray: Growing Closer to GOD is a good book for anybody in any walk of spiritual life. Don't be scared by the fact that this book taught a cradle Catholic with a very formative religious upbringing; whether you are like me and have been praying since you could talk, or whether you have never said a prayer in your life (or, at least, have said very few!), this book will offer you a Prayer 101 that meets you where you are.
How? How can a book meet people with very different experiences, in very different places in life and development, right where they are...right where they need to be met?
This is a beautifully written, comforting book. In it, Henri Nouwen answers a challenge posed by a young, secular Jewish friend of his: to write something spiritual that "secularists" could relate to. He set out to explore how we can learn to "live life as the Beloved" (of God) by finding meaning in being beloved, blessed, broken, and taken. The chapter on "Brokenness" was the one that resonated most with me -- about how in allowing ourselves to live in our moments of emotional brokenness we open ourselves up to eventual joy. I've found this to be true in my own life, although it doesn't mean that I welcome those painful experiences!
The book's set up as, essentially, an apologist love letter to his friend, drawing on their shared experiences and points of reference, makes it feel especially intimate. Unfortunately, his friend did not feel like it answered his need and that it was still geared too much toward those who "already spoke the language of spirituality." Luckily, a publisher saw its usefulness to to others and brought it to the rest of the world, an audience not intended but still grateful.