cover image Spiritual Abundance: The Quest for the Presence of God in Daily Life

Spiritual Abundance: The Quest for the Presence of God in Daily Life

Robert Wise, Author Thomas Nelson Publishers $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7852-6798-0

""Once upon a time I lost my soul,"" writes Wise, a bishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches and author of 23 books. In this autobiographical call to spiritual renewal, he recounts that his problem began ""as a hunger, an emptiness, a haunting inner loneliness"" that couldn't be filled through any human relationship. Wise guides the reader along a journey that commences with the recognition that something is missing in life and ends at the hoped-for destination of spiritual abundance, which Wise defines as ""the recovery of the capacity to love... even people who have severely injured us."" He sparingly intersperses his own ruminations among the words of Christian forefathers to debunk the messages of ancient philosophers and New Age religions or to criticize the moral shortcomings of many contemporary films and television shows. In the last chapters Wise expounds on practical steps, which include developing discipline and advocating periods of silence, to help the reader develop a deeper relationship with God and promote spiritual abundance. Like an assembled jigsaw puzzle, the book combines quotes and vignettes of various writers and poets, each piece carefully chosen to reflect a simple truth that Wise believes will help lead people to spiritual abundance. These truths deserve to be savored individually with all sensory awareness, but they don't always connect seamlessly to one another; readers will have to work hard to overcome the book's disjointed nature. (Jan.)