In this book, Jean reprises two of my favorite stories:
1) Her first mystical experience as a young girl in her closet praying to the Blessed Virgin for relief from 200 million years in Purgatory. (Includes her father braying like a jackass in the middle of the holiest part of "Song Bernadette", "Hot Damn — that's Linda up there, Sugarpot, Linda Darnel — I told her she'd go far.")
2) Her didactic walks in Central Park with her old man, Mr. Thayer — Teilhard de Chardin. "Sniff — smell the air, Jeanne, same air breathed by Jesu Christ, by Jeanne d'Arc."
These stories merely bracket the heart of this book whose primary contribution is the exercises or processes laid out at the end of each chapter. The eleven processes cover the aspects of Jesus's life from the Christmas miracle to the resurrection. Gather up the appropriate music she suggests (everything from Christmas carols and Gregorian chants to Philip Glass), the various props (chalices, bread and wine for the Last Supper process), enough people (from half a dozen to a full hall), and begin. Each member will re-live one of the mysteries of Christ's life in the eternal present and come away with a deepened understanding of the inherent mystery of their own life.
If you are bored with dull repetitions of ancient scriptures that have lost all meaning to you, read this book and share the processes with a group of enlightened friends. Soon you will discover that "the kingdom of God is at hand" in your life, and it will become real for you in a new way. As much a handbook as a textbook, Jean Houston's wonderful production deserves to become a frequently used cookbook for the psyche, to create a wonderful abundance of sacred food for the soul.
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