Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago Province of the Jesuits in the U.S. He has written a superb book filled with everyday practices to deepen and enrich Christian faith. He writes:
"Hanging in my aunt's kitchen is a handmade banner that reads: 'This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.' Growing up, I wondered what that meant. Be glad for what? Rejoice how? Then one day it hit me: Be glad to be alive, and rejoice by making the most of each day. 'That's right,' my aunt said, 'Every day is sacred.' "
Langford describes God as a gardener "who uses every moment and every event to plant something of spiritual significance in our lives." In the first section, he presents practices that are like seeds: doubt, seeking, feeding our deepest hunger, presence, solitude, friendship, and practice. In the second section, Langford emphasizes roots and covers prayer, thinking, living sacramentally, being fully alive, and spiritual direction. The third section on branches deals with practices that help put our faith into action vocation, community, letting go, celebration, virtue, mercy, and discipleship.
We were happy to see that doubt was saluted as a practice on the same level as presence and that Langford emphasizes the importance of a sacramental perspective. We also appreciated the quotations in the book by Richard Foster, Wayne Muller, Ronald Rohlheiser, and others on the spiritual life.