Joyce Rupp excels in her ministry as a writer, spiritual "midwife," international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of numerous books including May I Have This Dance? and The Circle of Life. Rupp is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community and the codirector of the Institute of Compassionate Presence. She is featured on Spirituality & Practice as a Living Spiritual Teacher and can be visited online at www.joycerupp.com.
This superb daybook contains 365 meditations on God from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Native American sources. Rupp agrees with the theologian Dorothee Soelle who said: "There are never enough names and images for what we love." Here she includes different names of God used in the Psalms, the New Testament, the Qur'an, the words of Hindu poets, and the mystical insights of Sufi seers. Some of our favorite Names of God are Guiding Star, Lantern of Love, Laughing One, Beauty Giver, Filler of Hearts, Miracle Worker, Friend of the Poor, Lord of the Dance, Spirit of Justice, Mother of Mystery, and Lover of Life.
It is a truly enriching spiritual exercise to ponder what such a variety of names tell us about God and how people relate to the Divine. Many Muslims memorize the 99 Names of God (the two which are invoked most often are "Gracious or Compassionate" and "Merciful") and then try to put into practice these divine attributes. Rupp includes a statement, mantra, or affirmation to use as a reminder to embody the quality reflected by each day's name.
One of the best things about this resource is that it advances the cause of interspirituality — the sharing of ultimate experiences across religious traditions. In the introduction, Rupp states her hope for what this resource might do for readers:
"My expectation is that Fragments of Your Ancient Name will expand your sense of who divinity might be and allow for some movement beyond safe boundaries. I hope these reflections strengthen your faith by contributing to a vibrant relationship with the divine and that they increase your respect for those who see 'God' differently than you do. Through reflection on these names, may you find whatever it is you most need to be a person of great love."