BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

The Mystery of Faith: Introducing Christian Belief, John-Francis Friendship, Canterbury Press, 2019, £12.99

This book draws on the depths of the Christian tradition to explore key beliefs and spiritual practices.  Taking the Apostles Creed as a framework it’s been written for the average reader who wants to explore Christian belief either as a newcomer to Faith or as someone who wants to find out more about its riches.

Rooted in the scriptures it addresses the most important insights of Christianity – our understanding of God, the Person of Christ, the work of the Spirit, Prayer, Worship, Mindfulness and Contemplation, Sacraments and Saints, Confession and our ongoing Life in Christ.  Each chapter includes reflective questions and the whole book is divided into sections designed to be of use to adult Baptism, Confirmation or Study Groups.

This is the second book written by John-Francis Friendship, author of the best-selling Enfolded in Christ – the Inner Life of a Priest published in 2018.

A leaflet can be found here.

Compassionate Mind, The; Paul Gilbert, London, Constable, 2009.
This is a best-selling book about developing ways of compassionate living written by the Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Director of the Mental Health Research Unit, Derbyshire Mental Health Trust.  It offers everyday wisdom when competitiveness, materialism and narcissism are rampant.  The book is down to earth and very accessible.

Compassion: A Reflection in the Christian Life; Henri Nouwen, Image Books, Revised ed. 2006.
Henri Nouwen shared the writing of this book with two others, Donald P. McNeill and Douglas A Morrison.  Together they explore what they speak of as this ‘least understood virtue’ and challenge themselves and us with these questions: Where do we place compassion in our lives? Is it enough to live a life in which we hurt one another as little as possible? Is our guiding ideal a life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain? Compassion answers no.

Drawing of this Love, The – Growing in faith with Julian of Norwich; Robert Fruehwirth,  London, Canterbury Press, 2016
The writer (a priest, former monk and Director of the Julian Centre in Norwich) draws on insights he found in Julia’s book, ‘Revelations of Divine Love, to shine a light on aspects of compassion.  Robert has led many retreats on the writings of Julian.

Evil: The Shadow Side of Reality; John A. Sanford, New York, Crossroad, 1988
Whilst not directly addressed to the subject of compassion this book, by the American Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst, John A Sanford, deals with the important question of the origin of evil and its relationship with God.  Morton Kelsey says: 'The problem of evil is one of the most complicated and difficult issues facing human beings.  Sanford looks at evil from many different perspectives and produces a rich, wise and practical book.'  A summary of it can be found here.