September Publishers Newsletter

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Dear Friends,

Do you have grandchildren? Are you a grandchild? If so Kathy Coffey’s new book A Generous Lap: A Spirituality of Grandparenting is for you or for someone you know. In her charming and inspiring reflections, Coffey reflects on how this station in life may expand our hearts, enlarge our humanity, put us in touch with fundamental aspects of our selves, and allow opportunities for a more generous and fruitful life. As a grandfather myself, I happily add my personal endorsement!

            If you are a man (or know one), I am also happy to recommend the new edition of Richard Rohr’s Soul Brothers; Men in the Bible Speak to Men Today. Rohr himself begins by saying that his book is “not just for men and not just for Christians,” but hopes “it will be helpful to anyone involved in the human struggle.” So it is. Each of the biblical figures  he profiles—including Abraham, David, Moses, John the Baptist, Peter—engaged in that struggle, shaped by their own complex personalities, as they responded to God’s call to be fully human.

            Cyprian Consiglio is a Camaldolese Benedictine monk, a musician, composer, and spiritual teacher. From a lifetime of immersion in scripture, the wisdom of the mystics, and the masters of contemplative practice, he has written Rediscovering the Divine: New Ways to Understand, Experience, and Express God. As he notes, “It appears that an island floats in the water, but actually every island is that tip of a mountain rooted deep in the ocean. Even more rooted in the fathomless depths are our names for God: they are merely the island we can perceive about the sea.” Adam Bucko says, “This is the best book on contemplative spirituality I’ve read in years.” (Check out this conversation I recently had with Fr. Consiglio.)

            For those who may have missed the hardcover (or were waiting for a paperback edition) Henri Nouwen’s Community, the paperback, is now available. . Drawn from talks and essays most of them previously unpublished, Community presents Nouwen’s thoughts on one of his constant themes, a subject on which his own thinking evolved and matured, especially after he joined the L’Arche Daybreak community in his final years. James Martin, SJ, describes these reflections as “by turns inspiring, challenging, and sometimes achingly human, on one of the most important topics of our age—by one of our age’s most important spiritual masters.”

            Finally, Theology in a Post-Traumatic Church, edited by John N. Sheveland also deals with one of the important—yet painful-- topics of our time: the wounds caused by the clergy sex abuse scandals in the Church. As Julia Feder notes, these essays by psychologists, ethicists, biblical scholars, and theologians (beginning with a powerful foreword by Hans Zollner, SJ), “offer concrete practical suggestions for ecclesial ministers and provoke big-picture, critical questions for those seeking to make sense of their own grief in a sinful church.” May this contribution advance the long journey to healing and wholeness.


Peace and blessings,

Robert Ellsberg




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