In 1524, Ignatius of Loyola, one of the notable spiritual writers of the Christian tradition, articulated a method for spiritual growth and development which integrated reflection on the the Bible, visualization, and self-examination. His, approach, captured in the book, The Spiritual Exercises, conveys the timeless model developed by Ignatius that continues to be the foundation for many people today who follow the path of Jesuit spirituality.
Using a model much like that of Ignatius, Betsy Otter Thompson, in her new book, Walking Through Illusion, engages the imagination of readers in considering characters from Biblical stories and their real life experience. Not settling for pious interpretations of the Biblical figures, Thompson considers practical implications in the lives of Biblical figures making them accessible for a contemporary spiritual journey. Through the use of inner dialogue and visualization, she explores the problems Thomas encountered in coming to faith, Matthew’s opinion of the Jesus who challenged social order, and the Aaron’s challenges living with a physical handicap. From these dialogues, Thompson not only relates the salient issues in the spiritual journey back to her own life but also provides readers with an opportunity to consider how faith, opinions, and limited abilities shape the reader’s life journey.
The significance of Thompson’s work is found in the questions which allow the reader to reflect on life experience to come to both new understandings and heart-felt change meant to support the spiritual journey. From this perspective, Walking Through Illusion draws the reader to take seriously the process of walking intentionally on a path of personal and spiritual growth.
For those who draw on Biblical imagery for personal and spiritual growth, Walking Through Illusion provides concrete guidance in moving toward the integration of faith in daily life.
Administrator’s note: Walking Through Illusion by Betsy Otter Thompson by O-Books, 2010, is available on Amazon.com or by special order at your local bookstore. Betsy Otter Thompson is a subscriber to emerging and maintains correspondence with Dr. Kavar.
© 2010, emerging by Lou Kavar, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.