Spiritual Formation is the process of allowing our spirits to be transformed into the character of Christ through God’s grace and the working of the Holy Spirit. While we cannot by our own will power conform our spirits to Christ’s, we can make intentional choices that help us to open ourselves to this process.
The decision of a candidate for The Episcopal Community to study St. Benedict’s Toolbox by Jane Tomaine and to implement some of the “tools” recommended in each chapter (i.e., journaling, lectio divina, the daily office, creating a Rule of Life) is an example of an intentional decision to allow God’s spirit to work within.
There are many ways to continue our journeys of spiritual formation after Toolbox. One way we deepen our relationship with God is through study of spiritual writings, both individually and through our Circle groups or with other members of The Episcopal Community by telephone, Skype, email, or other online means.
This site provides recommendations of books, videos, and other resources to aid you on your journey. Links connect to study questions and other discussion and reflection aids.
An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
By Barbara Brown Taylor, Harper One ISBN 978-0061370472
Taylor shares how she learned to encounter God far beyond the walls of the church. She reveals meaningful ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working, and praying. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of meditation if we pay attention to what we are doing and take time to notice the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing ourselves to get lost leads to new discoveries. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover “altars” everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do. Through Taylor’s expert guidance, we learn to live with purpose, to pay attention, and to revere the world we live in.
Questions for reflection and discussion are written by The Rev. Rebecca Edwards. Click on the link in blue: An Altar in the World – A Geography of Faith – Barbara Brown Taylor
The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life
by Joan Chittister, Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN: 978-08028273
Using the Biblical story of Ruth, Chittister describes twelve moments in every woman’s life: loss, change, transformation, aging, independence, respect, recognition, insight, empowerment, self-definition, invisibility, and fulfillment. The Bible story of Ruth is a simple one and an old one, but Chittister uses her talent to make it a story for today applying to each one of us.
The study guide is adapted from questions written by the Rev. Rebecca Edwards, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego, CA; used with her permission with our many thanks. Click on the link in blue: The Story of Ruth – Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life
St. Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living by Jane Tomaine, Morehouse Publishing ISBN 978-0-8192-2152-0
This book is the foundational study for the discernment period for membership in The Episcopal Community. In modern language, with practical, insightful applications, it shows how The Rule of St. Benedict can be a guide for living a Christ centered life in the modern age. Designed to be read slowly and reflectively, each chapter presents a different aspect of the Rule. At the end of each chapter are several “tools” or applications, designed to assist in applying the spiritual concepts in everyday life. The author provides additional assistance in an online resource: www.stbenedictstoolbox.org
The Rule of The Episcopal Community and the Personal Rule of Life
Below are links to The Rule of the Community and Creating a Personal Rule of Life. May these enrich your journey with The Episcopal Community and your walk with Christ. Click on the links below: