BOOKS

Touched by God

Religion & Spirituality › Christianity › Worship & Devotion, 2018

Luigi Gioia's Say it to God was chosen for the 2018 Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book--no mean feat for a first time author. In this new book, Gioia moves on to show the art of contemplation. But he points out from the start that contemplation is not a more advanced way of praying but a greater awareness of the presence of God. The defining mark of this awareness is that we become more and more aware of God's presence, a unique kind of inner peace and joy which has been described by spiritual authors with a variety of arresting and often poetic images. What Gioia describes is not some kind of spiritual wonderland; for it does not dispense us from struggles and doubts and often the non-evidence of God. It brings a peace which coexists with doubt, a peace which can flourish in the middle of struggles, a joy that we can discover even in suffering.


Quotations

" ...Just as with any other friend, we become acquainted with God’s character by spending time with him in prayer. God too has personal defining features: a temperament, a sense of humour, longings and even weaknesses... "

" ...It is not challenging God that is blasphemous but ignoring him. … Suing God, challenging him, fighting against him, gives him the possibility of arguing back and bestowing on us his life-giving, hard-won blessing..."

Say it to God

Religion & Spirituality › Christianity › Worship & Devotion, 2017

In Say it to God Luigi Gioia provides a welcome encouragement to all those who feel the need to freshen their practice of prayer. For Gioia, prayer is not about methods or techniques, but trusting that God is truly interested in everything that happens to us and wants to hear about it. The book leads the reader into the theological aspects of prayer and how it relates to Christ, to the Holy Spirit and to the Church. This is done without using complex theological concepts but simply through scriptural quotations.


Quotations

" ... We should beware of our search for the best place, for the ideal conditions and for the perfect way to pray. This might lead us to forget a basic law of Christian prayer: prayer is always already there, already going on in our heart, wherever we are, whatever we do, whatever our feelings. The moment we realize this, we are praying ... "

" ... What if we could understand noise not as that despite which we pray, against which we pray, but that out of which we pray? What if anger, jealousy, frustration – all those feelings that overwhelm each one of us several times a day – what if such feelings not only ceased to be an obstacle to prayer but became the scraps of wood that feed our prayer, that keep the re of prayer burning? ... "



‘When it comes to prayer, keep it simple, keep it short, keep it real.’

SAY IT TO GOD