Award-winning author and Benedictine oblate Paula Huston invites readers to de-clutter their minds, hearts, relationships, and souls in a book of daily Lenten practices woven from the gospels, the Desert Fathers, and the author’s own wealth of spiritual experience.
“What are you giving up for Lent this year?” It’s the expected question amongst Christian friends each spring. In Simplifying the Soul, Paula Huston asks her readers a deeper, alternative sort of question: “How will you rid your life of excess this Lent?” Huston encourages readers to see Lent as a time to seek out silence and free themselves of “stuff”; to de-clutter minds, hearts, and lives; and to acknowledge the connections between what they pray about and what they do.
With honesty, vulnerability, and grace, Huston challenges readers to move outward and act, showing them how everyday actions like cleaning out a junk drawer, giving away something no longer used, or spending fifteen minutes in silence can be surprisingly powerful ways of experiencing a more meaningful Lent and a simpler life. Whether cutting up a credit card, visiting someone at the hospital, or forgiving someone with whom they are angry, readers experience, under Huston’s gentle and expert care, how such practices lead to a more authentic Christian faith.
About Paula Huston
Paula Huston wrote literary fiction for twenty years before shifting her focus to spirituality. Since then, she has published the critically acclaimed Signatures of Grace, The Holy Way, By Way of Grace,and Forgiveness. A Camaldolese Benedictine oblate, Huston is married, has four grown children, and lives in central California.
“Too often thought of as simply a season of sacrifice, Lent is revealed here as something far richer–a privileged time to experience God in your everyday life, to open yourself to conversion, and to savor God’s transforming love.”–Rev. James Martin, S.J., Author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything
“This is the most moving, most appealing, and, at the same time, most practical book I have ever seen on Lenten practices.”–Phyllis Tickle, Author of The Great Emergence
“Huston offers herself as a lively companion in a Lenten practice stripped of cliches. Join her–it might be the simplest and liveliest Lent you have ever kept.”–Eugene Peterson, Author of Pastor: A Memoir
Book review: ‘Simplifying the Soul’ by Paula Huston
The Chicago Tribune Book Review – February 2, 2012 (Excerpt)
Back in 2007, as the housing market was plunging, writer Paula Huston and her husband, Mike, turned to their emergency plan to cover some sudden expenses: They sold off a house that they’d been using as a rental.
The problem was, it provided only temporary relief: Soon Huston was worrying again about their financial future.
At the same time she discovered something else, something far more positive: She was blessed.
Her daughter’s family had moved so they could all live close to one another in Central California, everyone was healthy, they still owned a lovely piece of rustic property, and they had wonderful neighbors.
“We might not have money in the bank,” she explains in “Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit,” “but we were knee-deep in blessings.”
What is this, blind optimism? A silly cliché? Hardly. The author has spent much of her adult life finding ways to incorporate monastic wisdom into our busy daily lives — that was the goal of her 2003 book “The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life,” which arose from her connections to a Big Sur monastic community. The housing crisis challenged Huston to take what she had studied and really put it into practice.
“Simplifying the Soul” is the result of that challenge — and it’s encouraging reading for people struggling with big challenges or the smaller daily distractions that upset our peace of mind. [Read the full article...]
QUEEN OF MISFORTUNE A Lady Jane Grey Novel by Peter Carroll
A Love Story of Shakespearean Dimension!
Queen Of Misfortune is the fictional story of Lady Jane Grey as told by her beloved tutor, John Aylmer. At the time of her execution a stranger is recorded to have assisted her when, blind folded, she lost her way upon the scaffold. Was it the same strange who was also recorded to have visited her when she was imprisoned in the Tower? Little is known of this unfortunate girl who was beheaded for treason in the 16th Century. She was only 16. She is omitted from the list of monarchs but was actually queen for nine days. Author Peter Carroll, in his novel, follows John Aylmer’s close relationship with Jane as her tutor and later, as she grows up, her lover. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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