Summer Reading List, Post 2: Sacred Rhythms
By Ruth Haley Barton
Review by: Major Lauren Hodgson
Teaser: We all long for more of Jesus. He has given us all there is of Himself, but are we sensitive to His work through the Holy Spirit? Sacred Rhythms, by Ruth Haley Barton helps us position ourselves for spiritual transformation.
Spiritual transformation is a two-way street. God, through His Holy Spirit is the Initiator and makes His transforming power available to us, but we have a part to play in this journey as well. We certainly cannot transform ourselves, or anyone else for that matter, but we each can create conditions that allow the Holy Spirit to grow and thrive within us.
In her book, Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton states “The journey begins as we learn to pay attention to our desire in God’s presence, allowing our desire to become the impetus for deepening our spiritual journey.” Just as a plant flourishes in hot house conditions, so too can our soul when we cultivate rhythms for spiritual transformation.
“The journey begins as we learn to pay attention to our desire in God’s presence, allowing our desire to become the impetus for deepening our spiritual journey.” – Ruth Haley Barton
There are long-tested spiritual habits and disciplines that create the desire within us to follow Christ more intimately. This way of life must be deliberate in order for our soul to grow strong and healthy in Him.
“In Christian tradition, this structured arrangement of spiritual practices is referred to as ‘a rule of life.’ A rule of life is a way of ordering our life around the values, practices and relationships that keep us open and available to God for the work of spiritual transformation that only God can bring about. Simply put, a rule of life provides structure and space for our growing.”
Barton shares from her own struggle with “Christian Fatigue Syndrome” and the victory that can be found in arranging structure and space in the life of a follower of Jesus.
This book is also in a six-session DVD study where Ruth provides guidance for you and/or your group to link disciplines to the Christian faith.
Session titles include:
- Desire: Longing for More in the Spiritual Life
- Solitude and Silence: Creating Space for God
- Lectio Divina: Encountering God in Scripture
- Honoring the Body: Flesh-and-Blood Spirituality
- The Examen: Bringing My Whole Self to God
- A Rule of Life: Cultivating Your Own Sacred Rhythm
Experience the book. . . . .experience the growth . . . .share it with others.
Other Recommended Reading for introduction to spiritual formation: