Two Christian authors have fashioned idiosyncratic dictionaries and found receptive audiences for them: Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking (1973) led the way, and Kathleen Norris took up the challenge with Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith (1998). Susan Corso is an ordained omnifaith minister and spiritual counselor in New York City. She is also the founder of Sanctuary, an online spiritual community. In the introduction, Corso notes that after 23 years of counseling people, she has come to see herself as "a spiritual word detective — searching for clues in the words that my clients use to describe who they are and what they want to be, do and have."
The author's unusual take on 200 words frequently used by those on spiritual journeys will have a wide appeal and prove especially interesting to those who love to play with the etymologies of everyday terms. Naturally, we immediately checked out Corso's definitions of the alphabet of key words we discussed in our book Spiritual Literacy,, its companion Spiritual Rx, and this website — attention, enthusiasm, forgiveness, gratitude, imagination, joy, kindness, listening, mystery, peace, silence and transformation. We're happy to report that she managed to shed more light on quite a number of these.
We especially were drawn to her spiritual assessment of silence with its Latin root of "stopping." Corso writes: "We barrel through our lives, full-tilt boogie all the time and wonder why we're tired. It's from all the input. Silence is the best way to restore your energy and perspective." Be sure to check out the importance of "content" in the spiritual practice of contentment. Be forewarned that adding one letter to anger and you get danger. Realize that part of the process of enlightenment means "kindling your experience." Whenever you are tempted to be stubborn remember that the Anglo-Saxon root of the word is "like a block." God's Dictionary is a pleasure to read.