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People have been asking Notker Wolf, "Why are you so happy?" So, in this book, he sets out to answer that question. A relationship with God, he explains, can change everything in our lives. It can be comforting, challenging, and exciting. God's love can make us feel like we did, as teenagers, with butterflies fluttering around in our stomachs, falling in love for the first time. Beauty, joy, belief, trust, and forgiveness are his subjects, all in an effort to show his readers how it is possible to have wings of faith - and fly!
Number of Pages: 200
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.38 (inches)|
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The book was prompted by a simple question asked of Wolf by a visitor: "Why do you look so happy?" His answerwhich grew out of his life experiences as a monk, abbot, and abbot primateeventually developed into this book which is readable, informal, and practical. The content is subdivided into four sections: I. Why Have Faith? II. FaithHow Does That Work? III. Life with God IV. Faith that Gives Us Wings. Each of these sections has several short essays, each of which can be read in a few minutesand pondered for an hour or a lifetime.
Wolf writes that our faith is shaped by mosaic stones entrusted to each of us in childhood. These stones, which are colored with hope, welcome, and care, will lay a foundation for prayer, music, witness, and community in our life. Faith is a gift that develops slowly within us day by day, through our varied experiences, where it is nurtured by love. He writes; "At the root of our monastic lives is the realization that we are deeply loved by God. But this truth is not only for monastics; everyone can experience it. Gods love does not waver and is never unfaithful" (9).
Her offers some ideas for developing our faith, suggesting that the first step is trust in God. This means much more than studying theology. It involves a commitment to set aside time daily to be with God, to read Gods word, to associate with Gods friends. God can also be discovered in what might be called unusual events and places, such as drama, art, music. As an example of Gods versatility of gifts and presence, Wolf enjoys playing both classical and contemporary music on his flute and also on an electric guitar in a rock band!
Throughout the book Wolf draws on the image of birds and butterflies, which are gifted with wings, but which are useless without courage. He concludes: "We must climb out of the nest life fledglings and dive off the cliffs like eagles, falling into the depths in order to discover the use of our wings….. We learn to be carried by our trust in Gods love, like butterflies drifting on the wind" (201).
Ruth M. Fox, O.S.B., Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton, ND, American Benedictine Review