1 June 2019

An ‘adult’ relationship with God

As Faith Matures
David Ahern

David Ahern

Current editor of The Majellan, David has spent more than 40 years as an editor/journalist

Life is full of ups and downs. There are the good times, then there are the bad times. We are all destined to go through difficult periods, whether it be with work or family and there is no escape. Nothing is more certain: a lot like death and taxes as the idiom goes.

In Faith Matures Beyond the Sunday God, by Mary Beth Werdel, every experience, she says, can be ‘God-like’. “We experience these situations so we can be closer to God and each experience from the deepest can be simple and life-altering,” she writes. “Life is filled with entryways to the sacred: a conversation with a child, recovery from illness, and the gentle embrace of a close friend.

“These moments are often doorways or an invitation into a more adult relationship with the God we encountered in our childhood or continue to encounter on Sundays.”

Mary Beth Werdel is an assistant professor of pastoral care and counselling in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University in New York. She has travelled extensively in Central America and has done volunteer work in Honduras.

Her book contains real-life stories that reveal the ‘sacred lies’ hidden in each one of us. In the foreword Robert J Wicks, himself an author, says,” When I read the poignant story found in the introduction that is both the centre and the impetus for this book, I was filled with awe.

“I leaned back, speechless, until I finally needed to get up, walk over to the window in my office, and looked out over the small lake below as I tried to absorb what I had just read. It was such an honestly written story of sudden loss, sadness, and surprising hope and love that I didn’t know what to think, so I finally stopped trying to make sense of it.

“Mary Beth Werdel has opened the door for those who wish to deepen their relationship with the sacred. Yet she recognises and acknowledges that how each person encounters his or her own spiritual journey is unique.”

The book has 14 chapters with such varied titles as Maintaining Spiritual Strength, Seeing Oneself Kindly, Preparing for Peace and Joy and Understandings in Suffering.

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