My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Review: Introduction to the Spiritual Life: Walking the Path of Prayer with Jesus

Introduction to the Spiritual Life: Walking the Path of Prayer with Jesus Introduction to the Spiritual Life: Walking the Path of Prayer with Jesus by Brant Pitre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book springs from the author’s “transformative” experience from discovering and reading the “spiritual classics”, weaving quotes from them into each chapter. He opens with describing the three (3) types of prayer and stages of spiritual growth along with the “universal call to holiness” or spirituality in the Introduction before going more in depth on Prayer in the first section. The rest of the book is organized to look at the three (3) major temptations and their remedies, three (3) spirit exercises, seven (7) mortal sins and opposing virtues, and then it provides some guidance to keep you on the path.

Each chapter starts with a brief introduction of the topic with several illustrative quotes before looking at the Jewish roots of the topic, then how it was used/illustrated by Jesus before finishing with Christian tradition. As expected, each topic is well researched and supported, although not all chapters had the same impact on me (The author does emphasize that this is an introductory work, so parts of it might already be familiar depending on where you are on your path). Over all, I believe this to be something to come back to and reread, especially when I find myself struggling (Spiritual Dryness is discussed in Chapter 22).


Chapter 1: Vocal Prayer
Chapter 2: Meditation
Chapter 3: Contemplation

The Spiritual Path
Chapter 4: The First Step
Chapter 5: The Ten Commandments
Chapter 6: The Three Temptations
Chapter 7: Fasting
Chapter 8: Almsgiving
Chapter 9: The Lord’s Prayer

Vices and Virtues
Chapter 10: The Seven Sins
Chapter 11: Pride vs Humility
Chapter 12: Envy vs Mercy
Chapter 13: Anger vs Meekness
Chapter 14: Avarice vs Generosity
Chapter 15: Lust vs Chastity
Chapter 16: Gluttony vs Temperance
Chapter 17: Sloth vs Diligences
Chapter 18: Sorrow vs Patience

Making Progress
Chapter 19: Examination of Heart
Chapter 20: Lectio Divine and Jacob’s Ladder
Chapter 21: The Battle Prayer
Chapter 22: The Dark Night
Chapter 23: The Living Water

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#IntroductiontotheSpiritualLife #NetGalley.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.