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A radical challenge to our understanding of love
Crossing the Inner Barrier to a Deeper Love
When life asked Paula D'Arcy to yield to immutable events she learned to listen to a quiet, guiding voice within. Heed your own inner wisdom, take courage, and be inspired by the experiences and insights of this beloved author.
These powerful stories invite us to reconsider the nature of love and to embrace the inner transformation that love demands. D'Arcy's experience with Morrie Schwartz, of Tuesdays with Morrie embodies this kind of tranformation.
D'Arcy, first as a therapist, then as a friend, came to know Morrie in the final eighteen months of his life. During that time the two forged a powerful bond, opening to a level of connection beyond what either of them had known. The story of their journey, among others in the book, encourages us to yield with grace and faith to the movement of our lives.
Reviews and endorsements
"In her eight previous books, Paula D’Arcy has used memoir, parables, fantasy, and meditations to convey the inimitable grace of God and the paths of personal transformation. In this wonderful volume, she gives us four stories about stepping across thresholds in the name of love. For D’Arcy, problems are not something to shrink our hopes or dash our dreams. They are a summons to take a hard look at ourselves and to probe beneath the surface. The idea that we can attain certainty and control in our lives is an illusion. She challenges us to 'live with mystery, which demands trust and great fidelity to deeper truths, not to external realities.' For D’Arcy, following all the rules can put a crimp on creativity. We need to move beyond the rules: 'Beyond the bounds of earthly love is where a greater love begins in earnest.'
In a story about her struggle to discern God’s plan, the author writes about leaving behind her old life in order to step into a new one. She has much to say about how we often sabotage the divine inner source of guidance. In a story about the time she spent with Morrie Schwarts, whose wisdom is chronicled in the bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie, D’Arcy explores the meanings that can accrue in the face of death. In the story of Julia, who fashions a new life after being in prison, the author examines the power of personal growth. The fourth story is about how she and a boy she counsels help each other during times of grief.
In a very important passage, D’Arcy proclaims: 'Don’t push the river says my friend Richard Rohr. Don’t get ahead of your soul. The goal isn’t to get somewhere. The goal isn’t about forcing something to happen. The goal is to be in harmony with the gifts that are already given. The goal is to fall into your life.' Easier said than done. But in Sacred Threshold, Paula D’Arcy gives us four chances to see afresh the path of surrender to the grace of God."
—Spirituality & Health Magazine
"In her openly personal manner, Paula D’Arcy helps us understand what it means to truly love, how to open our hearts to others and give what is most needed—our authentic selves. She describes her own tragic loss of husband and child in a drunken driving accident, her rise from the grief, and then tells the stories of three others with whom she shared deeply of life and death and grief. Among these were Julia, a young woman courageously trying to make a new life after a prison term, Scott, a teenager locked in feelings that he cannot deal with, and Morrie Schwartz (Tuesdays with Morrie), dying of ALS and searching for meaning in his life. By being completely authentic with them, she learns as much as she gives. 'Acceptance and healing had begun in earnest for me when I became willing to see beauty in exactly what I’d been given. As soon as I stopped holding onto memories, or even to the way I wanted my life to unfold I began taking in how it was unfolding.' The message of love permeates the memoir as we see these relationships develop and grow and become something life changing for each person, including the author. This growing knowledge of how to forgive and love moves Ms. D'Arcy to mend her broken relationship with her father and risk beginning a new life of discovery, leaving behind her home of many years and moving half way across the country to be near a friend who shares her desire to grow in spirit. Sacred Threshold is a little book with a big message—a very good read. "
—Marti White, Spirit & Life, 2005
“Paula captures with clarity the mysterious desire of our hearts— to love outside the walls of convention, and experience love’s miraculous transformation. A must read.”
—Carmen Renee Berry, coauthor of New York Times bestseller, Girlfriends
"I absolutely could not put this book down until I had savored every word. Paula D’Arcy continues to lift and inform my spirituality with her courageous words of wisdom. Her story telling skills reach a new height in this book as the real people she writes about come to life on the page to share the amazing ways lives intersect and the loving mysteries of grace. Paula is a woman who dares to live, who dares to love, who dares to write about an amazingly rich faith. Thank you so much, Paula, for continuing to share."
—Lyn Holley Doucet, spiritual director and author of A Healing Walk with St. Ignatius and coauthor of When Women Pray and When Wisdom Speaks
“In her stories Paula dares us to love actively when we most want to hide. Her stories make the unbearable bearable, and even lead us into a beauty and fulfillment we might never have otherwise known.”
—Gayle Delaney, Ph.D., author of Living Your Dreams and All About Dreams
"The voice of a tender heart sounds through this delicate story of surrender."
—Philip Dunn, author of The Illustrated Rumi and Promise of Dawn
"Paula D’Arcy has a magical way of sharing stories that reach into the core of one's being where transformation takes place. Her words sing with power because she has listened to the One who is listening to her. Read this book and you will be drawn into the listening, into the singing, into the story, across the threshold into the magic of love."
—Macrina Wiederkehr, author and spiritual guide
“D'Arcy writes with such a grace-filled honesty that you become convinced a deeper sense of love is entirely possible. And you feel your own strength and determination for achieving it welling up within you."
—Steve Kissing, author of Running from the Devil
"Something new and unanticipated happened when I read Paula's new book, Sacred Threshold. I liken it to open heart surgery. She not only brought me to the threshold with which I separate myself from God, she opened me up to the startling discovery of who I am. This book is a must-read for all who want to know the Genuine."
—Rev. John Blackwell, Ph.D., author of Noonday Demon
"I finished the book, but the book hasn't finished with me. I wasn't prepared for it. How could Paula’s 'little book' (to quote Morrie) hold anything of great significance for me. Oh well, I thought, at least I'll get to learn something about Paula, and I did. But of far greater significance was what she made me feel, what she made me confront and what continues to confront me, without letting go. To do the work of forgiveness, to love and allow oneself to be loved, these are 'works against [fallen] nature.' There is hope but I feel humbled by the Presence she caused me to encounter."
—Rev. C. Merton Bell, Ph.D., author of Discovering the Rich Heritage of Orthodoxy
"With her book Sacred Threshold, Paula D'Arcy not only compels us to pay attention, she reaches past our threshold of safety and straight into the heart. I felt like I was being dared to respond, dared to choose love, dared to choose life. I walked around in a daze afterward, only now beginning to absorb the implications of what it would mean to cross that sacred threshold from fear into trust, from doubt into grace."
—Sarah Stockton, author of Restless in Christ
“Simply put, I'll be able to sell Sacred Threshold!! I really loved Paula's writing. She involves you in the characters in a way that allows readers to experience empathy, without feeling manipulated by the writer. I wondered how see was going to transition from the compelling introduction, but she did a wonderful job of showing how she has grown with every risk she's taken and every boundary she's crossed.”
—Debi Echlin, owner of A Great Good Place for Books
"With each of her books Paula D'Arcy has crossed a threshold in her journey toward the sacred. In her latest, a memoir entitled just that, Sacred Threshold, she seems to have arrived at rarefied place where forgiveness blooms and detachment rules. One thing she hasn't had to give up, and that is her amiable narrative style. One thing she thought she had to give up but didn't really leave behind, and that was romance. Indeed this lovely work might well be subtitled Romance of a Soul."
—William Griffin, author