Beguiled by Beauty
Cultivating a Life of Contemplation and Compassion
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Contemplative disciplines, such as centering prayer and meditation, have been part of Christian life for centuries. They seem hard to practice now, not simply because our distracted and hyperstimulated age makes them difficult but also because they can appear irrelevant to the needs of a fractured and ugly historical moment. Yet these practices are more essential now than ever, claims Wendy Farley.
These practices essentially awaken and attune us to the beauty both of the created order and of human relationships. Farley helps readers discover being made for both kinds of beauty, with contemplative disciplines immersing us in it.
Tying these disciplines with contemplation allows us to engage with the struggle for justice in an unjust society. Beguiled by Beauty includes practical advice for readers to learn several contemplative-meditation practices.
"Lots of books ask questions, but few of them put us in question. By doing the latter, this book helps to make us who we hope to become. Contemplation leads to compassion and Farley leads us toward both." – J. Aaron Simmons, Professor of Philosophy, Furman University
“Thomas Merton wrote that contemplation is the spiritual life ‘fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive.’ In Beguiled by Beauty, Wendy Farley develops a remarkable account of contemplation that demonstrates the truth of Merton’s insight. Drawing extensively on the historic wisdom of the world’s contemplative traditions, Farley describes the Christian contemplative life as one open and attuned to Divine beauty and immersed in everyday joy, sorrow, delight, suffering, and routine." -- Timothy H. Robinson, Lunger Associate Professor of Spiritual Resources and Disciplines, Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University