I've been curled up on the couch with a Lewis's Letters to Malcolm book this week. He never wrote a book on prayer, because, well, who am I to tell one how to pray? but his personal field notes on prayer have left me reflective on my own spiritual life.
My patient parents put up with me reading The Great Divorce to them this week while they were visiting. Re-reading Lewis always brings fresh insights. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" was one of the books that helped me overcome my religiously inspired self-loathing and realize I wasn't doomed to go to the Mormon version of hell.
There is always a space between the ideal as taught by the gospel and where we are now. Some are more painfully aware of this gap than others. But it is in this space where grace operates.
My first book by Richard Rohr "Eager to Love" just happened to be about my favorite saint too, Saint Francis. I am drawn to Francis because he critiqued the Church while remaining a part of it, and he exemplified holy envy when encountering the Sultan. Rohr gets to Francis's central message: the centrality of love.
Brought back memories of filling out the Preach My Gospel Christlike attributes assessment and reaching the humility section. If I rank myself highly, I'm like the guy who says "I am the humblest person I know." But-- if I give myself all zeros, then I'm just doing it to prove I'm humble!
A book with a simple premise, but potentially controversial: Not all of the early apostles and gospel writers viewed Christ the same way. *Gasp!* Don't tell me there were differences of opinion! Say it isn't so!
"Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the law." In less than 70 pages, Bennion beautifully highlights Christ's divine mission and his commandment to love God and neighbor.
What I would give to have a Sunday School lesson taught by Lowell Bennion. Bennion refers to the OT as "the least known and least understood of the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints", and this is his attempt to help address that. My favorite part: the prophets' insistence on justice for the marginalized: "relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
What if the faith of others isn't a challenge to the legitimacy of your own, but an invitation for you to be a better Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc? In this wonderful book, Barbara Brown outlines how her faith has changed since stepping down from being an Episcopal priest to teach a world religions course.
Krister Stendahl, the former Lutheran bishop of Stockholm, Sweden performed an act of such grace to Latter-Day Saints during the dedication of the Stockholm temple. I think Latter-Day Saints could learn a lot in our approach to those from other faiths, and I would hope could also find moments of holy envy in our own lives.