The Healing Path: A Memoir and an Invitation
By: James Finley
"James Finley, author of The Healing Path, is a must. I’ve learned so much from him. I mean, I knew this about myself, but he helped me articulate that the conditions of my life don’t have the authority to name who I am.”--Naomi Judd , New York Times, 5/26/2023"The beauty and illumination of Jim’s language, whether he is writing about trauma or God’s presence, open the heart. To read this book is to be changed forever.”--Bonnie Badenoch, Author of The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships
"James Finley has pursued the contemplative life seriously—inside and outside of the monastery—and part of that through the healing of his own wounds. That combination allows him to bring a whole, wonderful balancing act to theology and spirituality. James Finley is a healer. I believe his poetic words will help many people on their healing journey."—Richard Rohr
This is a contemplative reflection on the spirituality of healing, the fruit of the author’s lifetime in conducting spiritual direction and psychotherapy, drawing on his lessons from Thomas Merton and study of the mystical path. It is largely written in the form of a memoir of his own recovery from the traumatic wounds of his early life (abusive father, abuse by his confessor in the monastery, a dysfunctional marriage, and his road to healing and wholeness. But it is not just about his story—it is an invitation to the reader to reflect and resonate with the lessons that apply to their own stories.
James Finley, a clinical psychologist and spiritual director, is one of the core faculty members of the Center for Contemplation and Action (with Richard Rohr). A former novice under Thomas Merton at the Abbey of Gethesmani, he is the author of a classic book on Merton, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere: A Search for God through Awareness of the True Self. He is host of the CAC’s podcast, “Turning to the Mystics.” Other books, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperOne, 2004); The Contemplative Heart (1999). For decades he has led workshops and retreats around the country; he is a leading figure in the integration of psychology and spiritual direction, drawing in particular from insights from the Christian mystics.