Irma Zaleski is the Canadian author of Living the Jesus Prayer. In this paperback, she ponders the Christian path in 46 essays divided into three sections: The Mystery of God, The Vision of Faith, and Conversion of the Heart. These two-page meditations convey the richness of the Christian tradition. In her introduction, the author states:
"To say 'I don't know' about the things that matter to us most is very frightening. It requires a patient, laborious, unceasing effort to let go of our illusions of wisdom and our pretenses of being knowledgeable about things we cannot know. It means being prepared to stand silent and unknowing before the Mystery of God and to place all our trust in his mercy and love. The knowledge of God to which we are called is not achieved through study and thought, but a vision given to the heart."
Zaleski believes that Moses confronting the burning bush (Exodus 3) is an example of the human encounter with the Mystery of God. Orthodox believers talk about the apophatic way, or "the way of negation." We cannot wrap our minds or adequately convey in words what God means but we can consider what he is not. The way to the Divine is the way of unknowing. This dashes the certainties which can give us security and opens us to the limitations of our own minds to comprehend the Holy One. Knowing God is a matter of the heart.
With commendable succinctness and clarity, the author shares her ideas about the bearing of doubt, the creed, the holy tradition, the paradoxes of faith, the narrow path, the prayer of the heart, silence before God, and remembering God. In one of the most important meditations, Zaleski writes about divinization, a term still used by the Eastern Fathers but avoided in the West:
"Whether we talk about divinization or about union with God, all Christians agree that transformation cannot be achieved by us alone, but only by God living and acting within our hearts. Through prayer and repentance, we can and must 'empty ourselves' in order to create a space for God to work in, but it is he who transforms us by his sovereign grace, by sharing his divine life with us. In other words, God makes us holy makes us 'whole' by completing with his own life and spirit all that is lacking in us, all that is not yet fully formed, all that has not yet grown to the full stature required of 'the children of God.' "