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How do the dark moments of suffering which we all encounter at some point in our lives connect with the divine? The words of Paul the Apostle offer an answer to this universal question in the vibrant figure and pattern of Jesus Christ, so eloquently expressed in the Philippians Christ Hymn. It is in moments of loss, moments of experience of creation and community, and moments of transformative unity with God that we discover our deep connectedness to God and one another. Laura Hogan weaves the truth of these three facets of divine-human relationship together with Paul's undivided trust in divine effectiveness; that is, that the paradox of the cross reveals that God, no matter how dire the circumstance, is supremely effective to accomplish his will. Paul's words encourage us to express the pattern of Jesus Christ in our words, actions, and very lives, a singular articulation of Christ in our time, place, identity, and circumstances. This daily living of the Christ pattern, which this book explores in lives past and present, gives rise to a true joy in God as we become increasingly aware of our relationship with the divine in all moments, from the darkest to the brightest. ""Laura Hogan unpacks Saint Paul's rich theology of transformation in Christ through the lens of his cross. Theologically sophisticated, it is also highly personal, drawing on her ability to see God working in the ordinary, the everyday, and especially the painful. But even in those more difficult moments we all experience, she finds joy in God's mysterious presence. A deeply Christian book."" --Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, Loyola Marymount University ""Hogan has written an eloquent yet intimate book--a call to become 'ordinary mystics' by embracing the challenging yet life-giving spirituality of the apostle Paul. Her description of Paul's paradoxical pattern of becoming like Christ is illustrated with real-life examples as well as insightful metaphors. The result is a moving invitation to a joyful life lived in God and for others--even in the midst of the many trials we all will face. --Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore ""In this inspiring text, Hogan articulates in an engaging way the life-giving, though paradoxical, insight of St. Paul--that joy can co-exist with suffering. . . . This book provides a message of hope and consolation for all of us as we confront the inevitable sufferings of human life."" --Wilkie Au, PhD, Author of The Enduring Heart: Spirituality for the Long Haul ""In clear and accessible language, Hogan presents a series of meditations on passages from the writings of St. Paul. . . . Taking the lines of St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians as her motto, 'I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me, ' she demonstrates how the passage has continuing relevance for our challenging and confused contemporary world. --Peter Tyler, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, London Laura R. Hogan holds a Master of Arts in theology from St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California. She is a Lay Carmelite, an attorney, and a poet. She lives in Southern California with her family and a hawk.
Laura Reece Hogan is the award-winning author of the poetry chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and the nonfiction spiritual theology book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock, 2017). She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and one of ten poets featured in the anthology In a Strange Land (Cascade Books, 2019). Her poems can be found in America, First Things, The Christian Century, The Cresset, The Windhover, Dappled Things, Anglican Theological Review, Whale Road Review, and other publications. Laura earned a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and an M.A. in theology from St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California. She is a professed Third Order Carmelite. She can be found online at www.laurareecehogan.com.