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This Lent, the people of Christ Church Cathedral and the larger city of Houston have a unique opportunity to learn from some extraordinary teachers and spiritual guides. Join us for special lectures, retreats, and opportunities to learn and engage through spiritual practice with distinguished professors, poets, and priests throughout this holy season.
Carmen Acevedo Butcher Sunday, March 26, 10 a.m., Reynolds Hall
Award-winning translator Carmen Acevedo Butcher has a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies. She teaches in the College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley. Her translation of Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence is called “the new standard.” Her Cloud of Unknowing translation received a 46th Georgia Author of the Year Award, and is a Shambhala Pocket Series book and Audible book.
Latino Ministry Lenten Retreat
Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., McGehee Conference Room
Members of the Latino congregation gather in prayer and reflection upon the spirituality of Lent, and Holy Scripture, connecting this sacred season to our inner life and everyday living. For more information, please contact Assistant to the Latino Ministry, Sylvia García at: [email protected].
Recommended Books for Lent
Three beautiful books by Martin Laird, considered by many to be one of the foremost scholars and teachers of Early Christianity and Ancient Christian Contemplative Practice in the world. Gary Jones says, “I try to read at least a couple of pages a day in these books. When I finish one, I go to the next. Then, I start all over. I’ve been doing this for years. The wisdom and insights here are lifesaving.”
Into the Silent Land: A beautiful book of poetic prose and deep wisdom for people who are new to Christian Contemplative Practice, as well as for people already on the path. Just reading the introduction and first couple of chapters is a profound experience. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams notes that Laird’s writing is a cut above other works on contemplative practice and calls this book, “A rare treasure.”
A Sunlit Absence: Addressed to both beginners and intermediates, the first part of this book gives a brief summary of the method of prayer that is taught in more detail in the first book, Into the Silent Land. But it also shows how, as our practice matures, so do the ways in which we meet inevitable trials, such as grief, anxiety, depression, arrogance, boredom, and more.
An Ocean of Light: This third book in the series takes us deeper still and is widely considered, like the other two, to be a modern classic. Sarah Coakley at Cambridge University says of this volume: “The section on prayer and depression, in particular, is unique in its wisdom and insight. This is a new modern classic, and will stand the test of time. To be read and savoured again and again."
Carmen Acevedo Butcher
Three books by author, teacher, poet, and award-winning translator of spiritual texts, Carmen Acevedo Butcher, a professor at University of California, Berkeley.
Practice of the Presence: Gary Jones says of this book, “I strongly recommend this classic for everyone. Carmen’s translation of Brother Lawrence’s work, Practice of the Presence, is disarming in its gentleness. As I read it, I began to feel as if Brother Lawrence was an intimate friend, and the practice he so lovingly explained felt both effortless and deeply profound. It feels as if Brother Lawrence is telling us something our souls have always known, and the feeling of joy and peace we sense is surely the feeling of our souls rejoicing that we have finally come home to Love.”
The Cloud of Unknowing: This 14th century classic by an anonymous author provides the foundation for what would become known as “Centering Prayer” for our own day. Carmen’s sensitive new translation brings home the modern readers some of the most profound spiritual truths. This volume is deeply beloved and highly praised by many, including Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Becky Zartman.
Following Christ: A wonderful Lenten devotional with short daily readings from the likes of Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, Benedict of Nursia, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and more. Carmen introduces sections of readings and recommends a way of reading that enriches the experience tremendously. If you’re looking for a daily discipline to take on, rather than just a luxury to give up, this might be just the thing.