Life in Christ

Practicing Christian Spirituality

Julia Gatta

Jul/2018, 224 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819233110



Explore how Anglican traditions enrich Episcopal worship.

With its great heritage from English mystics, the Episcopal Church has been “spiritual” since before it was trendy, and modern Episcopalians have been in the forefront of exploring practices beyond Anglican boundaries. Yet, perhaps only rarely do they grasp the implications of the theology embedded in these practices or in the liturgies of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, which has shaped Episcopalians in this country with its emphasis on baptismal spirituality and the centrality of the Eucharist. Julia Gatta wants to change that with her book, Life in Christ.

Applying her years of experience as pastor and spiritual director combined with her study of the spiritual wisdom of the past, she explores common Christian practices and their underlying theology through an Episcopal lens. In the tradition of Esther de Waal, Martin Smith, and Martin Thornton, with particular reference to scripture, the Book of Common Prayer, and the wisdom of the Christian spiritual tradition, she illuminates methods readers may already be practicing and provides insight and guidance to ones that may be new to them.

Julia Gatta is Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology at the School of Theology at Sewanee. Her previous books include The Nearness of God: Parish Ministry as Spiritual Practice and, with Martin L. Smith, Go in Peace: The Art of Hearing Confessions. She is a spiritual director, retreat conductor, and Episcopal priest who served for 25 years in the Diocese of Connecticut. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School and doctoral degree in medieval studies from Cornell.

“This beautiful book will draw you into the spiritual depths of the sacraments. It will reveal Christ in the midst of your community. It will transform your experience of Sunday morning. A must-read.”—Margaret Benefiel, author, Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader“The thrust of this wonderful guide to spiritual formation is summed up in a favorite French word, approfondissement, ‘being taken deeper.’ Julia Gatta has a wealth of pastoral experience in leading people into the profound meaning of our sacramental life in community, and helping people become more ‘rooted and grounded in love’ through the patient exploration of prayer and tried and tested spiritual practices. She shares this experience with us seriously, without a trace of sentimentality, but with a joy she encourages us to expect as we experience more and more what we already have and who we already are as the baptized, ‘in the deep end’ with God.”—The Rev. Martin L. Smith, retreat leader and author

Life in Christ is a wonderful and wise introduction to the spirituality of worship, centered on the Paschal Mystery, our immersion in it in Baptism, and our week-by-week celebration of it at Eucharist throughout the liturgical year. Throughout, it examines the connection between the dominical sacraments and our spiritual lives as Christians.”—Juan M.C. Oliver, Custodian of the Book of Common Prayer

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