Synopsis: The subtitle of Maggie Ross's new book captures its essence, for it is about silence and our need to behold God. Beholding is a notion that we are in danger of losing. It is often lost in translation, even by the NRSV and the Jerusalem Bible. Beholding needs to be recovered both in theology and practice. Ross is very aware of "poor talkative Christianity." There is a twofold plea to enter into silence--for lack of silence erodes our humanity--and to behold the radiance of God. This is a book full of deep questioning and the testing of our assumptions. Throughout there is a great love for the world and for our humanity, accompanied by sadness that we are so easily distracted . . . We are invited into a silence that is not necessarily an absence of noise, but is a limitless interior space. Ancient texts are used in new and exciting ways, and many of our worship practices are challenged. She is in no doubt that "the glory of the human being is the beholding of God." --adapted from a review in The Church Times (London) by Canon David Adam. Endorsements: "Maggie Ross has established a very distinctive voice in writing about the life of the spirit. Richly resourced from the historic tradition, but constantly pressing the most radical question of all, the question of how we can speak of a reality that requires us to let go of controls, images, systems, even--or especially--'spiritual experiences, ' this book is a welcome addition to a series of deeply focused and challenging works from a very serious and substantial thinker." --Rowan Williams, Cambridge University "I knew for years that silence would nourish my soul, but I never understood why until I actually made room for it. I still feel like a novice, but Writing the Icon of the Heart has injected passion into my heart as I behold the Lord in faithful silence. This is a beautiful book." --John H. Armstrong, President, ACT3 Network "This book in particular, and Maggie Ross in general, represent a much-needed locus and focus for spirituality: deep insight and living practice over mere theology, living fire more than sweet piety, naked seeking of God and love unhindered by churchiness or smallness." --Fr. Richard Rohr, Founding Director, Center for Action and Contemplation "I have often thought of Jesus as the Undistracted One who was always aware of his Father's presence in a way we seldom are. Maggie Ross lives that undistracted life better than anyone I know, and the eloquence of her words allows us a glimpse into that beholding that is the awareness of his presence." --James P. Danaher, author of Contemplative Prayer: A Theology for the Twenty-first Century "This collection of essays by Maggie Ross spirals around the themes of silence, beholding, and letting go. Examples are drawn from Ross's own life and from her extensive reading, including excerpts from seldom-quoted Syriac spiritual masters. For Ross, beholding is more than seeing. It is inward vision springing from the 'deep mind': non-linear, non-controlling, and self-emptying." --Fr. Charles Cummings, author of Monastic Practices Author Biography: Maggie Ross is the pseudonym of a professed Anglican solitary responsible to the Archbishop of Canterbury. After many years in Alaska, she is now based full-time in Oxford, England, where she researches and writes books, papers, and liturgies. She also preaches, lectures, leads retreats, and engages in pastoral care. Among her other books are The Fire of Your Life, Pillars of Flame, and The Fountain and the Furnace. She blogs at ravenwilderness.blogspot.com.
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.