Ford, Michael: Spiritual Masters for all Seasons
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Every age needs figures of spiritual inspiration but, in times of recession and uncertainty, they are essential in helping us to rise above despair and to search for God deep within ourselves. In this new book, Michael Ford invites four spiritual masters onto the same stage for the first time and shows how they speak, not only to our own times, but for all seasons. Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Anthony de Mello and John O'Donohue all died suddenly at the height of their fame as spiritual masters but they continue to have immense followings. What was their secret and why do their legacies endure? Through unpublished interviews with some of the authors themselves, encounters with their friends and reflections from readers who have been inspired by their writings, Michael Ford journeys across the United States and Europe to assess their place in the world of contemporary spirituality. He goes behind the scenes of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky to hear at first hand from monks who were novices under Merton; visits Lambeth Palace in London to discover Merton's influence on the Archbishop of Canterbury; talks to people about how Nouwen, the proverbial wounded healer, helped them through depression because he had suffered himself; speaks to Jesuits who worked with de Mello in India and tries to find out how close the international storyteller came to Buddhism; and takes a walk with O'Donohue through landscapes in rural Ireland which feature in such books as Anam Cara and discusses the appeal of Celtic spirituality.