Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it?
Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God's transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a "rule of life" that allows for regular space for the practice of the spiritual disciplines, this book takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life. Each chapter includes exercises to help you begin the practices--individually and in a group context. The final chapter puts it all together in a way that will help you arrange your life for spiritual transformation.
The choice to establish your own sacred rhythm is the most important choice you can make with your life.
"Ruth Haley Barton offers much wise, sane, concrete help for people who are ready for the 'more' of God amidst their busy lives, and want a better way to arrange their lives to receive God's transforming presence. She clearly spells out an excellent rhythm of classical spiritual practices that can keep us open and available to God's transforming actions in and among us. She grounds these practices in our own deepest desires, connecting those desires with God's desire for our well-being. She shares some of her own personal experiences as a sometimes struggling Christian in an honest and inspiring way. She gives very helpful guidelines for using the book within a group of people who are seeking to create better conditions in their lives to receive God's transforming presence.
I think this book will be of enormous value to individuals and groups who are seeking to more fully ground all dimensions of their often fragmented and hectic daily lives in the liberating ground of God's transforming presence, with the help of a rhythm of vital spiritual practices that can keep us available to that loving presence."
"Our natural tendency is to push, work longer and strive. In a kind, compelling and beautiful voice Ruth Haley Barton invites us to listen to an inner pulse that can be heard only when we are quiet. The path is one that Ruth has walked with honesty and integrity. The fruit of her labor is a sweet call to know our lives need not be harried or harbor fruitless exhaustion."
"Ruth Barton confirms what you've suspected—there is more to life than what most of us are living. This volume serves as a great primer for helping us get in touch with and follow our longings—all the way to God!"
"Too many people are suffering with CFS (Christian Fatigue Syndrome). Ruth Haley Barton is herself a CFS survivor, and she shares here—in a warm and personal yet lucid and thoughtful writing style—how she has been restored to life's sacred rhythms. My experience mirrors hers, and I will enthusiastically recommend this book widely—both as preventative medicine and as needed therapy."
"Blessed is the person who has some voice in her or his life saying what Ruth Haley Barton says. Sacred Rhythms is a book I have treasured."
"[Barton] describes the practices with the gentle touch of an understanding and knowing mystic."
1. Longing for More: An Invitation to Spiritual Transformation
2. Solitude: Creating Space for God
3. Scripture: Encountering God Through Lectio Divina
4. Prayer: Deepening Our Intimacy with God
5. Honoring the Body: Flesh-and-Blood Spirituality
6. Self-Examination: Bringing My Whole Self Before God
7. Discernment: Recognizing and Responding to the Presence of God
8. Sabbath: Establishing Rhythms of Work and Rest
9. A Rule of Life: Cultivating Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation
A Note of Gratitude
Appendix A: Journeying Together
Appendix B: Leading a Group Experience
Appendix C: Choosing Spiritual Disciplines that Correspond to Our Needs