Published in our August 2019 magazine.
Fifteen years ago a book by John Main started me on the path of contemplative prayer and an exciting new journey in faith. I had already encountered Brother Lawrence and read The Cloud of Unknowing. Later I read Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Margaret Silf and many more, who deepened my appreciation of the riches we have in our Christian tradition.
This is a fascinating book by an author new to me, whose experience echoes my own. I returned to living faith through the ministry of a charismatic church, so I appreciate the early chapters which highlight the strengths of the Evangelical and Charismatic strands Christianity in the UK. He alludes to the need for a growing maturity of faith, where we serve out of a place of rest in God.
Tony outlines a journey that many will recognise and clarifies six great practices for setting out on, maintaining and deepening our relationship with God. He introduces us to spiritual explorers down the centuries, from the 4th century desert fathers and mothers, to those of the present day. He gives the scriptural grounding of their exploration in the practice and experience of Jesus and the early church. The joy too is that, in the final pages, Tony sets out how the reader or small groups of interested people, might explore together those inner disciplines which lead us into new life; a gift indeed.