Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lessons of the Heart by Patricia H. Livingston

I had the pleasure of getting to listen to Pat Livingston speak at our Parish retreat this past Monday and Tuesday. Pat has a unique style of storytelling where she is able to bring spirituality together with real world experiences to give an uplifting message.

Lessons of the Heart was Patricia Livingston’s first book published in 1992. In this book, Ms. Livingston has several key points about spirituality that she outlines in eleven chapters and then fills the chapter with real-world experiences to prove the points. The points (chapters) include: Truths for Claiming Life, Life is Mixed, Our Gifts Don’t Belong to Us, Spirituality is Not Removed from Life, Sacrament Is God Revealed in Life, Mercy Is God’s Clearest Sign, Forgiveness Interweaves with Mercy, Suffering Can Lead to Life, We Need to Nurture Hope, The Hunger and the Feast, and Each Day is Grace.

I enjoyed the style of this book. It is written in a breezy style that made me think I was talking to a friend about spirituality, yet there was a deepness to it that conveyed some beautiful and heart-felt messages. The book made me think about several aspects of my own life and how to improve them for greater spiritual fulfillment and happiness. I loved how the book put a positive spin on life and spirituality.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Only life can teach us truth. Revelation happens in experience. Day to day we learn the lessons of the heart.”

“Our gifts do not belong to us. All we have and are flows out from God. The heart of faith is trusting that the central gift, our life in love, will never end.”

“Life is the meeting place. Spirituality is meeting God in all that life is.”

“In hard times we think that no good thing can happen out of all of the difficulty. But then, imperceptibly at first, some good makes a small beginning.”

The book was filled with such great gems about life and faith. I also enjoyed her discussion of books that she loved, including The Lord of the Rings. I have her next two books and I look forward to reading them.

Book Source: I bought this book earlier this week from the St. Catherine’s Book and Gift Store booth at our Holy Rosary retreat.

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