Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics by Carol L. Flinders

By Carol L. Flinders

Recognized to greater than 1000000 readers because the coauthor of the vintage vegetarian cookbook Laurel's Kitchen, Carol Lee Flinders seems to the starvation of the spirit in Enduring Grace. In those awesome and maintaining depictions of 7 striking ladies, Flinders brings to existence a refrain of knowledge from the prior that speaks with amazing relevance to our modern religious quests.

From Clare of Assisi within the center East to Thérèse of Lisieux within the overdue 19th century, Flinders's compelling and refreshingly casual photographs display a standard beginning of conviction, braveness, and serenity within the lives of those nice ecu Catholic mystics. Their especially girl voices increase their writings at the adventure of the interior global, the nourishing function of friendship and group in our lives, and on discovering our precise work.

At its center, Enduring Grace is a residing testomony to how we will be able to make peace with sorrow and sadness and convey pleasure and transcendence into our lives.

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Extra info for Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics

Sample text

To say of Francis and Clare that they were “in love” with each other in the ordinary sense is, I think, incorrect—inadequate—and I will try to explain why. But the courtly love elements in their story are not just a superficial overlay. They reflect accurately the enormous ten- 18 / Carol Lee Flinders sion between earthly and spiritual love that pervaded the early Middle Ages—tension between men and women, for that matter, and between what we now call the “masculine” and “feminine” in every psyche.

We find Teresa pondering long and hard on what real friendship means, and Mechthild nursing wounds received from people she had thought to be her friends but who had turned upon her without warning. Again, what I come away with is not so much definitive, once-and-for-all instruction, but rather, simple acknowledgment that while there is indeed a vital place in any spiritual quest for friendship, it will not always be clear to us what that place is. It is also encouraging to find that the sweetest friendships of all often lay between women and men—that in cultures where these friendships would have been otherwise impossible, so segregated were men from women, it was possible and even socially sanctioned when both parties were given over, body and soul, to the spiritual life.

Clare declared in response that if the brothers were not going to give the sisters the spiritual sustenance Francis had enjoined them to give, the sisters would not accept bread from them either. In the face of a virtual hunger strike, Gregory mitigated the prohibition. To understand why Clare clung so obstinately to the connections she believed Francis had forged between his first two orders, I find it helpful to look as closely as we can at the relationship between Clare and Francis themselves.

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