04 April 2011

A Review of Pilgrimage of a Soul

“[Pilgrimage of a Soul] by Phileena Heuertz stands in the tradition of those books that struggle to bring together the “journey inward and journey outward” and it, too, may someday be considered a watershed and seminal offering.

Some of this raw and poignant meditation is a memoir, telling of her spiritual journey, her call to serve the poor, and a great section on her 33-day pilgrimage down the El Camino de Santiago. Besides Heuertz’ work with the amazing Word Made Flesh (her husband’s book about that extraordinary global work is called Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World) she has dug deeply into the important authors and directors in the contemplative tradition. Her work in global missions and “downward mobility” to serve is guided by her inner life of deep spirituality.

As one with ecumenical interests who has learned much from Catholic mystics, I am just floored (and so happy) that a solid evangelical publisher like IVP has an author so fluent in the writings of not only Henri Nouwen, but John Mains, Thomas Keating, Macrina Wiederkehr, Cynthia Bourgeault, Tilden Edwards, and obviously the important work of Ronald Rolheiser. From the important feminist theology of Carol Lakey Hess to the liberation themes of Jon Sobrino, to the self-awareness gleaned by books from the likes of David Benner, Heuertz has worked the literary field and picked the best fruits to bring to the table of this fine book. There is also poetry, moving charcoal sketches drawn by an artist friend, and great and honest reflections on how to keep God’s sustaining presence alive in your life.”

With endorsements from Franciscan Richard Rohr to Baptist Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, you should know that this book is being seen as a true gift, an amazing story, a reliable guidebook for the contemplative activist.