For over thirty years, Joyce Rupp, O.S.M., has provided insightful, inspiring spiritual guidance through her writing, retreats, and conferences. Indeed, her lengthy list of bestselling books creates a testament to the lifetime Rupp has spent helping others seeking the Divine in their lives. Now, Kathy Reardon has compiled in Anchors for the Soul prayers, poems, blessings, and meditations drawn from Rupp’s works to create daily readings for inspiration and guidance.
This is the perfect book for both those familiar with Rupp and those just discovering her. For those who have already found comfort or inspiration in Rupp’s work, Anchors offers a daily way to pause for a moment and connect with the Source, all in a book small enough to carry in a purse or satchel. Reardon also thoughtfully included a subject matter index for those seeking direction or solace on a particular topic. Those new to Rupp will have the additional opportunity to discover her other works because each daily reading contains a citation to the book and page of Rupp’s work from which it was drawn. In sum, Anchors for the Soul is a wonderful find.
(Book provided for free by Ave Maria Press in exchange for a review.)
Joyce Rupp, a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community, has spent a lifetime providing spiritual guidance as a retreat director, conference speaker, and prolific author of over a dozen books which have sold more than a million copies. Nevertheless, Boundless Compassion seems to stand out as the pinnacle of her work, perhaps because, as she notes, the call to compassion has been with her since her early days as a young member of her community. Here, Rupp begins with basic instruction in compassion which she focuses first on the self. Working in increasingly larger circles over several weeks, Rupp extends compassion until it includes to every living thing. She concludes the six-week process with advice on sustaining compassion over the long term in the face of suffering. While Rupp roots Boundless Compassion in the Christian tradition, Rupp cites scientific, medical, theological, spiritual, sociological, and psychological sources to explain and support her direction. For use by either the individual or the group, Rupp’s Boundless Compassion provides the keys to a transformation that, if followed with sincere dedication, has the potential to change the world.
Prayers of Boundless Compassion is a companion volume to Rupp’s Boundless Compassion. Here she offers forty original prayers, blessing, and meditations. Rupp designed these prayers to correlate with each of the themes in her six-week course. However, this pocket-sized book can also stand alone and provide abundant material for spiritual contemplation and action. In either case, this small book cannot but help to solidly ground the reader seeking to live a compassionate life.
(I reviewed these book at the request of the publisher, who provided free review copies.)
“Rather, they point to what St. John of the Cross indicated as the most vital question at the end of our life: ‘Have you loved well? Was everything that was done, done for love’s sake?'”
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher and am in the process of reviewing it. However, this quote simply caught me off guard, and I had to note it.)
In Prayer Seeds, Sr. Joyce Rupp has created a beautiful resource for rediscovering and kindling the sacred fire within us all. Drawn from her workshops, retreats, conferences and weekly prayer group, her work is quite simply balm for the soul. Her lovely metaphors bring peace and solace to the readers, while challenging and energizing them to improve themselves and the world at large. Although this book may be best suited to communal prayer, much can be derived from Rupp’s carefully selected readings and her poems and prayers in solitary contemplation as well. Furthermore, her subject matter is wide ranging: Christmas, Lent, birthdays and anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the spring equinox, labyrinth prayer, the Eucharist, grief and loss, the song of a sparrow, a new year ritual for women, and transitioning to a nursing home are but a few. Something will prove meaningful to most everyone. Finally, Rupp thoughtfully provides a long list of her references for those who may wish to delve deeper into her resources. This book will prove a delightful addition to any spiritual library.
(Reviewed in exchange for a free copy of book through Netgalley.)