Joyce Rupp gives credit to Sister Jose Hobday for the catalyst to write this devotional resource, now being released in a twentieth anniversary edition with a new preface. At a retreat, Hobday challenged her listeners:
"Isn't it strange how easily we feed the hunger of our body but ignore the hunger of our spirit? I challenge you to spend as much time every day nourishing your inner self and your relationship with God as you spend feeding your body."
In twelve chapters, designated by months of the year, Rupp feeds our inner lives so that the yeast may rise in our bread. Here is an everyday spirituality that spurs us to new horizons with material on faith, growing through the hardships of life, little Easters, sharing God's promises and signs of hope, inviting Jesus' qualities into our lives, freeing our worries to enjoy life's goodness, following God's invitation to serve, surrendering to the power of the Spirit, struggling between generosity and self-centeredness, and preparing a dwelling place for the Lord. Each chapter includes a reflection, an essay, Scripture readings, and questions for journal keeping.
Rupp, as always, presents us with fresh and imaginative ways to activate our spirituality. In one exercise, she asks us to list the shepherds in our lives who have found us and brought us home to ourselves or to God. Then we are to reflect on their qualities of heart. In another chapter, she wants us to notice the "rainbow callers" people who announce hope to others. Savor this passage:
"The discovery of the little Easters came upon me one day in April as a woman told me how extremely discouraged she was because her days were just made up of 'little things,' that seemed so terribly insignificant and unimportant. During the next several weeks I began to notice all the 'insignificant or little things' in my days. As I did so, a quiet surprise happened inside me. I was amazed by all the little moments or little Easters, those feelings of joy, surprise, amazement, hope, newness, that get clouded by the tough stuff and the daily dyings."
Rupp identifies three things that keep hope alive in her heart and keep the rainbow vivid in her life: beauty moments, truth touches, and value bonds. You will find plenty of examples of these spiritual flowers on the pages of this wonderful book.