RESTLESS IN CHRIST: Answering the Call to Spiritual Commitment
Sarah Stockton, . . Crossroad Carlisle, $16.95 (155pp) ISBN 978-0-8245-2253-7
At first glance, it's not easy to tell what this book is about. Is it a collection of reflections on spiritual restlessness, a call to faith commitment, a wisdom book for antsy Christians or perhaps a memoir? All of the above figure in Stockton's loose gathering of short essays, written while she was an intern in a three-year program on spiritual direction: "a discipline by which those who encounter God in the fabric of their daily lives act as an attentive presence for others seeking a similar encounter." The training program requires intense self-examination, and the book's 40 chapters often sound like journal entries as they explore Stockton's feelings on topics ranging as widely as insomnia, her father's spiritual journey, Harold the predatory music teacher, marginalization, Christ as a teacher who embodies the Buddha, divorce, children who can't focus, various books she has found valuable, pros and cons of being Catholic, singing, decision-making, loving, the primacy of feeling over intellect and what she is learning about herself as she prepares to be a spiritual director. Stockton, a writer, teacher and creative consultant, writes gracefully, and her home-grown illustrations are appealing. Her self-confessed restlessness is evident in the book's lack of focus, though readers already involved in giving or receiving spiritual direction may not mind her string-of-pearls approach.
Reviewed on: 06/14/2004