Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics
Astonishingly relevant portraits of the lives of seven women mystics
Known to more than a million readers as the coauthor of the classic vegetarian cookbook Laurel's Kitchen, Carol Lee Flinders looks to the hunger of the spirit in Enduring Grace. In these striking and sustaining depictions of seven remarkable women, Flinders brings to life a chorus of wisdom from the past that speaks with remarkable relevance to our contemporary spiritual quests.
From Clare of Assisi in the Middle East to Thérèse of Lisieux in the late nineteenth century, Flinders's compelling and refreshingly informal portraits reveal a common foundation of conviction, courage, and serenity in the lives of these great European Catholic mystics. Their distinctly female voices enrich their writings on the experience of the inner world, the nourishing role of friendship and community in our lives, and on finding our true work.
At its heart, Enduring Grace is a living testament to how we can make peace with sorrow and disappointment and bring joy and transcendence into our lives.
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I read these seven accounts, often with tears running down my face. Powerful portraits of women 'saints' who had such courage and so much strength. Their teachings were relevant to their followers then and they are relevant to us now, in these very troubled times. Having read detailed life stories of two of them before I read the book, I could see how the author built up the connection of their thinking to modern life. What struck me though was how close to each other's teachings the 7 accounts are. Just goes to prove that when you come down to it, there is only one path, that of rembrance, detachment and surrender to the Divine Will. If you read the life of Rabia, an Islamic mystic, it is also very similar. Hindu lore is also full of similar experiences and masters like Ramkrishna Paramhansa (Swami Vivekananda's Guru) all have the same story to tell and the same teachings to impart.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who is seriously searching for a spiritual path, and especially to women. Good book to read and to share.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
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Saint Teresa of Avila