"It is mortifying to admit that my own spiritual quest has been as mystical and experiential and emotional as any peasant woman's," writes Judith Bruder in Convergence: A Reconciliation of Judaism and Christianity in the Life of One Woman. In this memoir, published by Doubleday, the author recounts her childhood in a Jewish household. Bruder learned Hebrew and tried to be devout but never really felt a personal connection to God. She married a Jew, adopted a child, and earned a degree in English literature. Then her life was unhinged one day when God spoke to her at a stop sign, saying "You never have to be alone again. I will be with you always."

This mystical experience set Bruder off on a spiritual search. She picks up insights from readings in Zen, Thomas Merton, and C.S. Lewis's fantasy about Narnia. A vision of a woman in black who comforts her keeps Bruder open to new possibilities. A Catholic friend offers wise counsel. Then God speaks again, this time in Hebrew, telling the author, "Get up and go out." Bruder responds by going to Mass in a hospital chapel. For her, the marvel of Catholicism is the accent on God's unconditional love and forgiveness.

Now a chaplain at Fordham University, Bruder is still in of the moments of grace she has experienced. Convergence will help you understand the important role mystical experiences can play in determining the meaning of your spiritual journey.