The Fire of Your Life

Maggie Ross

Jan/2007, 128 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781596270510



A life-professed solitary and mystic under vows to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ross writes with the wonder and energy of a spiritual poet. In this new edition of a spiritual classic, she shares one year of her solitude in seasonal meditations that include encounters with lynxes and coyotes, reflections on the summer solstice, and desire for union with God. An excellent source of sermon ideas.

In one essay, Ross reveals the two comments she receives most are "You don't look like a hermit," followed by "What do you do in solitude?" She answers, "I don't do, I be." Only an experienced mystic could put the emphasis on being and not doing. Being in solitude, Ross has plenty of time to savor the beauties and the bounties of the natural world and animals. She does both here. We were also impressed with pieces on the importance of an informing vision, the value of chastity, and the difficulty of intercessory prayer. We are always on the lookout for passages on unity and here is one we liked:

"It is that my sin and your sin consists not in isolated small or gross acts committed or omitted by our choices and actions, or in some vague, isolated theoretical attitude, but instead that we, you and I, by virtue of our common humanity, and in the solitude from which true relationship springs, come to realize that we are implicated in every sin.

"I am the pimp on 42nd Street, dealing in bodies. I am the pusher, selling drugs to an addict nodding and drooling in Needle Park. I am the employee ripping off my corporation. I am the industrialist pouring poison into the bodies and, by advertising, into the souls of my sisters and brothers. I am the driver of the military juggernaut, careening wildly out of control. I struggle impotently to express who I really am."

Maggie Ross is a writer and translator well known for her insights into ancient spiritual texts and practices. A professed solitary under vows to the Archbishop of Canterbury, she is the author of The Fire of Your Life and Seasons of Death and Life. She lives in Oxford, England.

"Breathtaking descriptions scattered throughout this classic ascetic theological work. This is a fine extended essay capable of inspiring ascetic theologians, monastics, and those undergoing intense spiritual transformations."—The Living Church

"This book represents a year's worth of meditations or rather a lifetime's work of reflection....It is full of vigor...and written with fierceness, humor, and beauty."—Rowan Williams

"Ross reminds us of Flannery O'Connor and Annie Dillard. All three have an abiding sense of the sacred amid the drift of contemporary life.... a delight to read."—Thomas Berry

"A fine book.... earthy mysticism at its best and most contemporary, poignant, honest, concrete, practical....cuts to the heart of the matter." —Tilden Edwards

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