April Picks: Spiritual Heroes

This month’s staff pick theme is Spiritual Heroes. Staff picked a book either by or about their spiritual heroes. This is what happened when we thought about our heroes:

Cindy’s Pick(s):

The Spirit of the Disciplines and Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard

WillardDallas

Cindy says: “The writings of Dallas Willard have greatly impacted my view of the spiritual life and opened my eyes to seeing that every moment of each day is a spiritual moment. How I live each moment–how I respond to people, how I respond to God’s calling–indelibly marks my life as a Christian. To live each of those moments for God requires the inclusion of the various spiritual disciplines into my daily routine–moments that allow me to draw closer to my Creator and Redeemer. I had the opportunity a few years ago to meet Dallas Willard when he was speaking at Wycliffe College. He did a book signing at Crux Books and we had the opportunity to have a quiet conversation. In that conversation I truly felt I was in the presence of a “man after God’s own heart.” He lived what he wrote about. I would recommend starting with his book The Spirit of the Disciplines, followed by Renovation of the Heart. Both books need to be read slowly and reflectively, taking time to journal thoughts, insights, and responses to questions raised by your reading.”

Sheila’s Pick:

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

boom

Sheila says: “To narrow down the choice to one book for this month’s theme, a spiritual hero, was more of a struggle than usual. This past weekend, I picked up Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place to remember again the courage  of Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their father, Casper who ran a watchmaker and repair shop in the Netherlands. All their lives, the Boom family had made a home for foster children and gave generously of what they had. Then the Nazis invaded Holland. And the family had to decide how to respond in the face a growing atrocity.

In The Hiding Place, we encounter a family of great courage, love, and wisdom.  When the Nazi occupying forces demanded that Jews wear the Star of David, Casper ten Boom wore one voluntarily.  For as long as they were able, they sheltered Jewish people and helped them to escape.  The family was itself sent to concentration camps.  After the war, Corrie, the only survivor, started a rehabilitation centre, became a public speaker, and wrote prolifically.
Why read this story? Because stories of great courage can inspire us, I hope, to ask God for valour in this present hour.  Or, as Corrie puts it: ‘This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.'”
Rev. Heather’s Pick:
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
long
Rev. Heather says: “I first encountered Dorothy Day in my grade 11 religion class at Archbishop Oscar Romero High School in Edmonton AB. Since then she has been a hero and companion of mine. She was an incredible woman whose love of literature opened her eyes to the beauty of the divine and lead her to despise the ugliness so much of humanity is consigned to. Her writings about the struggle to live a life that reflects one’s deeply held convictions are powerful must reads, especially for anyone exploring a vocation. I’d start with The Long Loneliness but I guarantee you’ll be moving on to Loaves and Fishes. And her letters. And On Pilgrimage. And then you will probably scour used bookstores for a copy of her out-of-print novel The Eleventh Virgin!

 

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