In this richly developed paperback, James Conlon takes a long and poetic look at our quest for intimacy and contemplation in a pluriverse of meanings. He is the director of the Sophia Center at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. He covers the longing for sacredness and depth through the experiences of:
• Soul, in those contemplative moments that touch the heart and prompt us to change and grow.
• Life, through opportunities to transcend anxiety and become liberated from everyday confusions, to embrace relationship and wisdom.
• Earth, in communion with creation as a source and sign of ecological harmony, balance and peace.
• Divine, as the vulnerable and receptive one, calling us into relationship and into the experience of contemplation, liberation and creation, inviting us to belong and instilling in us the courage to confront the challenge of the day.
Conlon alludes to the lineaments of a new mystical and engaged cosmology that recreates our society according the ideals of respecting differences, cherishing inwardness, and promoting community. He quotes Edward Schillebeeckx, OP, who said:
"Without mysticism, politics soon becomes cruel and barbaric; without political love, mysticism becomes sentimental or uncommitted interiority."
Sprinkled throughout the paperback are thoughtful passages about peace, gratitude, listening, nurturing, justice, grace, peace, hope, and transformation. Here is a concluding poem:
Blessed is Earth
It shall flourish with radiant beauty.
Blessed are the waters
They will flow with clarity and quench our thirst.
Blessed are the trees
They shall absorb toxins
and give us breath.
Blessed are the birds
They shall soar stately in the sky.
Blessed are those in pain
They shall discover radiance in the dark.
Blessed are those who despair
They shall be enveloped in hopeful peace.
Blessed is the fire
It shall melt all walls and separation
with the energies of love.
Blessed are they who live in the universe,
are inclusive of all and celebrate the
resacralization of the planet
They shall experience beauty in all that