"For three decades and more, I have observed the choices she makes to cultivate life and this has been the hallmark of her story. This book is a deep and magnanimous invitation to live in such a way that the flourishing for which we are made can become our experience. Let the grounded welcome she extends and encourages lead us through the circus towards life itself." — Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary
"The most basic human question in daily living is not so much 'what?' but 'how?' Just check the magazine covers in the check-out line. Articles promise to tell us how to lose weight, how to get rich, how to be sexy. But what if you've lived enough to know that life is about more than health, wealth and a good time? This is a book for people who are interested in the how of a life that's really life. Would that it could be front-and-center in every check-out line." — Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Strangers at My Door
"Her contrast between circus and garden reveals deep truths about the overstimulation in our daily lives and Jesus' invitation to cultivate a restful and focused life rooted in him. Cultivation implies habits and discipline, and Susan winsomely invites us into new patterns of living. A garden implies lush green leaves and fruitful bounty, and Susan guides our paths into joy and rest. Come into the garden with Jesus and journey into abundant life." — Lynne M. Baab, author of The Power of Listening and Sabbath Keeping.
"Reading this insightful book and reflecting on its profound questions invite us to taste the life Susan Phillips lives. . . . When I reached the end of The Cultivated Life I returned to the beginning to soak in the words, insights and prayers that arose. Thank you, Susan, for giving us a glimpse of wholeness by offering gifts of spiritual direction through your writing." — Jeannette A. Bakke, author of Holy Invitations
"The Cultivated Life reads like the cool evening breeze at the end of a blazing hot day in the desert. . . . It is also a prophetic clarion call—a warning to a generation trapped in the meaningless rat-race of twenty-first-century existence, suffocated by the demands of addictive consumerism, obsessed with the lifeless toys of modernity, while the breath of heaven who is only a prayer away eagerly waits to share with us the real joys of living. This book is a timely gift to the community of faith to be treasured and shared. More than that, this is essential survival reading for every true pilgrim seeking after the pearl of great price." — Ivan Satyavrata, senior pastor, Assembly of God Church, Kolkata, India
"Her insightful and sophisticated analysis is able to synthesize both the theoretical and practical in profound and compelling ways. Her skills as a creative theologian and biblical interpreter, a wise and insightful spiritual director, and one grounded in the common-sense particularities and complexities of human experience and history makes her work an extraordinary contribution in so many arenas of pastoral and theological practice. The breadth of her sources and insights—from literature, psychology, philosophy, theology, ecumenical and religious history, and personal history, among others—make this a must-read for scholars, students and practitioners alike. Phillips's style is accessible, engaging and invitational. . . . I recommend Susan Phillips's book with great enthusiasm for all audiences—for all who are searching." — James A. Donahue, president, Saint Mary's College of California
"We all struggle in the circuslike culture of contemporary society, which often causes difficulties in attention and healthy attachment in the midst of yearning for the spiritual life. Susan Phillips provides us with ways to cultivate the contemplative life by examining spiritual practices within the Christian tradition such as spiritual direction, lectio divina, listening and friendship. I believe the author's use of stories— stories that have emerged from her practice of attentive listening—will affect readers deeply." — Jung Eun Sophia Park, assistant professor of religious studies and philosophy, Holy Names University
"If I were permitted only one book on spiritual direction, this would be it." — Eugene H. Peterson, author of The Message and Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
"but it is only recently that this function has come to be widely recognized in modern societies. As we grope toward understanding what spiritual direction might mean to us we badly need to know how it actually works today. Here Susan Phillips's book offers a signal contribution. She gives us not a 'how to' book but illustrations of spiritual direction in practice as no other book I know of does. By following the experiences of those she has directed over time and through deepening insight we get an understanding that no set of generalizations can provide. This moving book deserves close attention by all those concerned with retrieving the rich possibilities of spiritual direction today." — Robert N. Bellah, Professor of Sociology, emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of Habits of the Heart
"Reading Candlelight is like watching spiritual direction sessions through a two-way mirror while simultaneously privy to the thoughts and feelings of the author. Invaluable for people doing spiritual direction or contemplating it. Provides discerning insights into the difference in form and focus between psychotherapy and spiritual direction. Likely to be absorbing reading for Jungian or transpersonal psychologists." — Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Close to the Bone and Crossing to Avalon
"In this fine book Susan Phillips sheds the light of much wisdom that will encourage and inspire both the givers and the receivers of spiritual direction." — Richard Mouw, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
"The process comes to vivid life in her personal narratives of sessions with directees in God's presence. I was moved by the way Susan's insights grew in relationship with those she met with over months and years. I felt holiness creeping into my own life." — Luci Shaw, author, Breath for the Bones: Imagination, Art, & Spirit and Writer in Residence, Regent College.
" Patients in hospitals feel depersonalized, students suffer from inadequate attention, clients wonder if therapists really care about them, and parishioners feel unknown in their places of worship. Caregivers are rewarded for efficiency, technical skills, and measurable results, while their concern, attentiveness, and human engagement go unnoticed within their professional organizations and institutions. Arguing that moral judgment and human values must be restored to caregiving in order to revitalize our failing institutions, helping professionals and scholars join together in this volume to explore the ethic of care and the moral sources from which caregivers draw inspiration for their work. Contributors from the fields of medicine, nursing, teaching, ministry, sociology, psychotherapy, theology, and philosophy articulate their values, hopes, commitments, and practices both in theoretical essays and in narratives of caregiving that reveal the complexities of skillful practice. By combining stories of care, the reflections of caregiving practitioners, and interpretations of caregiving within a larger social and theoretical framework, The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions identifies the values and skills involved in quality caregiving at the individual level and affirms their importance for reshaping our public caregiving institutions." — Midwest Book Review
" 'Whether you can cure or not, you can care' and 'don't be ashamed of spirituality.' This book is a happy marriage between those two ideas in a way that is interdisciplinary and understands that ethical discrimination develops through practices as well as through adherence to principles. Narrative accounts make the book practical and readable." — C. Everett Koop, M.D., Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service, 1981-1989
"...their own lives in order to help us all better appreciate how substantive convictions can make a difference in our lives together. This is a wonderful book, and hopefully, it will be read widely, not only among so called professionals but as a resource for us all to know better how to live." —Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics, The Divinity School, Duke University
" this book meets a profound need for an interdisciplinary examination of the healing kind of caring to which the helping professions aspire. Weaving together personal narratives and philosophical deliberations, the authors manage to speak wisely to the heart and the head." — Angela Barron McBride, distinguished Professor and University Dean, School of Nursing, Indiana University
"The editors and authors—speaking for physicians, nurses, teachers, psychotherapists, pastors—challenge us to do no less than 'redesign the structures and processes of our public caregiving institutions.' They narrate the 'why,' prescribe some 'hows,' and leave the reader convinced that restoring caring practices in health care is both doable and urgently required." —Ernest L. Boyer, President, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching