SPIRITUAL PRACTICES & RESOURCES

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (Phyllis Tickle). This user-friendly resource is an excellent introduction to “praying the hours”: taking up the rhythm of setting aside time at the beginning, middle, and close of the day to pray the Psalms, and reflect on Scripture. Tickle draws from the best of various historic Christian prayerbooks to produce this easy-to-use volume.

The Daily Office App (Mission St. Clare). This an adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer daily “offices” - services of prayer - that places the daily Psalms, Scriptures, and prayers in an easy-to-navigate app format.

Being Christian (Rowan Williams). Rowan Williams is the former archbishop of Canterbury, and this slim volume is a sage introduction to core Christian practices: baptism, engaging Scripture, Holy Communion, and prayer. It’s simple without being simplistic; wise without being pretentious. 

CHRISTIAN GROWTH, FAITH, AND THEOLOGY

The Toughest People to Love (Chuck DeGroat). Chuck is a professor, pastor, and therapist who has been a close friend to me and to Liberti for several years. He wisely brings all three of those vocations to this book about how to navigate the most difficult relationships in your professional, personal, and family life - and even your relationship with yourself.

The Supper of the Lamb (Robert Farrar Capon). One thing my family prioritizes during the summer is sharing unhurried meals with people we love. The late Robert Capon, who was an Anglican priest, an author, and also a New York Times food critic, is equal parts theology, spiritual meditation, and cookbook, and has been a singular guide for me in the practices of Christian hospitality and savoring the gifts of food and drink.

Rejoicing in Lament (J. Todd Billings). Todd is a leading Reformed Christian theologian, someone with whom I’ve been fortunate to spend some time - and also has lived for the last few years with a rare and incurable kind of cancer. This book on lament, hope, and prayer is both deeply personal and profoundly theological. 

POETRY, FICTION, AND MEMIOR

Poems and Prose (Gerard Manley Hopkins). Spring and summer are the seasons in which the Christian family rejoices in Jesus’ resurrection and meditates on life in God’s world; in my opinion, no poet celebrates Christ more memorably and God’s world more vividly than Hopkins.

Godric (Frederich Buechner). “Godric” is a Pulitzer-nominated piece of historic fiction author and Presbyterian minister Frederich Buechner. Buechner imagines the life of this medieval Christian saint and creates a novel which is a powerful testament of humanity, shame, and redemption.

A Prayer Journal (Flannery O’Connor). If you’ve been around Liberti for a bit, you know that O’Connor, a Roman Catholic Christian and one of the greatest of the Southern Gothic writers, is a favorite of mine. This book publishes a recently-discovered prayer journal she kept as she began her life as a writer.

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