Ann Lynch, SSJ, Catholic Library World

January 2, 2022

Common Sense Spirituality offers a comprehensive review of David Steindl-Rast’s lifetime of rich writing which develops under three themes: our peak mystical experiences, the sacred traditions that are expressions of our spirituality, and our response to our spiritual experiences.

Each chapter begins with an editor’s summary. What follows is a vision of being fully alive in mind, body and spirit. As Joan Chittister observes in the introduction, ‘He simply takes us by the hand and invites us to rethink what the great thinkers of all time have posited in their own attempts to be their own, most human selves.’

Each meditation calls readers to be open and completely present to where they are because through inner attitude and deliberate living each experience is the greatest mystical experience.

In section one he explores art and the sacred as well as the sacramentality of seeing all with the eyes of the heart. Section Two explores religion, discovering the Sacred at the core of all things from ourselves to the cosmos. Section Three examines how we live our spirituality focusing on our growing and how we live and die each day. He notes that we belong to an ‘underdeveloped nation’ with regard to meaningful living. We fail to realize that ‘Love is our heart’s creative “yes” to the design of being to which we belong—a universal choreography, a dance . . . relationship.’

He also focuses on the price of peace and our failure to create a peaceful world, gratefulness for all things in life or learning to find the gift within every gift.

The book calls readers to find their sacred core and to be the mystics they are meant to be.”

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