"Like the ancestors in many indigenous cultures," writes Tom Cowan, "the saints are among the revered dead who continue to help us reach our goals, whether that entails acquiring divine perfection or simply making a good life for ourselves. The saints have known both goals. They are our ancestral past, the rich reservoir of wisdom we tap into to make sense of our lives and to find the spiritual consolation for which we hunger."

In this unusual and practical volume, Cowan focuses on over 200 saints whose lives provide a model for the deepening and enrichment of our spirituality. He sees Martin of Tours, Rose of Lima, Julian of Norwich, Vincent de Paul, and others not only as our spiritual ancestors but as "walkers between the worlds." Like shamans, they possessed the ability to move through the mysteries with confidence.

The most fascinating aspect of this book on the way of the saints is Cowan's creation of devotional practices to be used with each reading. Here you will find journal exercises, visualizations, prayers, ethical suggestions, gift-giving ideas, and much more. An example: "When you take medicine or remedies for any head-related ailment, use a special spoon that you bless especially for that purpose. Each time you use it, let it remind you that others suffer greater pain, and offer up your suffering for them."

Try a Spiritual Practice on Enthusiasm