cover image Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Ruth Haley Barton, . . InterVarsity, $16 (191pp) ISBN 978-0-8308-3333-7

Christian spiritual disciplines are all the rage, and joining the legions of "how-to" books reintroducing contemporary Christians to ancient practices is this offering by Barton, a spiritual director and retreat leader (Invitation to Solitude and Silence ). With elegant writing and a personal touch, she covers the basics handily—the role of desire and longing in relationship with God, praying with scripture, and the need for solitude, self-examination, discernment and Sabbath. She concludes with an exercise that helps one develop a "rule of life," or commitment to "structure and space for our growing." What makes Barton's handbook different from the rest is her personality; she describes the practices with the gentle touch of an understanding and knowing mystic, telling her own stories along the way. Barton recounts the time she and her bicycle were run over by a minivan (miraculously, she was not seriously hurt) and as she recuperated, she pondered whether this accident was a time to reconsider her need for Sabbath: "I did not want to acknowledge the possibility that it was that hard for God to get my attention." This book is a wonderful starting point for Christians eager to more deeply explore the life of the Spirit. (Mar. 30)