Wishing for the Sanctuary

Spiritual Practice Books

The last book in my little project pile is Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer.

I opened the book a bit hopefully. Such a beautiful cover, and I love the title. But I find myself feeling the opposite of when I started Ravished by Beauty.

After reading just the prologue of Ravished by Beauty I held my breath, hoping the book would continue in the promise it began: to be fresh, informative, lyrical, provoking. (It kept its promise.)

But on this quiet, foggy, silent morning—reading the introduction and the first chapter of Sanctuary—I am somehow feeling like I've gone to hear a church sermon, one that is tired and strung together by bible stories that should be powerful but somehow don't feel powerful at all.

Of course I am partial to Foster's observation that biblical meditation often included "silent reflection upon God's works in nature." And my favorite part of the chapter was a snippet that explains two Hebrew words: haga and stach. Our bibles, he notes, often translate these words as "meditate," but they are more nuanced than that, suggesting...

to mutter, to moan, to whisper, to reflect, to rehearse, to muse and even to coo like a dove. (Is. 59:11)

If the book delves more deeply into nuances like these as it goes along, I will perhaps, after all, find sanctuary in its words.

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Blogger Maureen said...

Isn't it wonderful to discover such meanings behind words?

I've enjoyed tagging along with you on this journey and look forward to learning what you find in this third book.

Blogger Cindee Snider Re said...

Your last few posts sold me. Just ordered Ravished by Beauty and wishing I'd done it earlier so I could take it with me to Banff, Canada later this week. Ah, well...perhaps it'll draw me back to those moments long after I'm home.

Blogger Nancy said...

I think I just want to meditate on those nuances today.


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