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Reflections on a Dying Life

Donald X. Burt, OSA

Reflections on a Dying Life is a series of reflections based on two common themes in Saint Augustine's Spirituality. Donald Burt OSA, explores Augustine’s recurrent idea that as human beings we are living in an Inn for Travelers—a hospice for those who are still on the road—as well as the idea that every moment of our existence is a movement towards death, the moment when we must "exit" this hospice to the life waiting for us beyond the doors. These ideas are developed in three sections; Part One: "Life in the Inn for Travelers," Part Two: "Death: the Door to Life," and Part Three: "Life After Death." In hopes that his reflections on these ideas will assist himself and his readers to be happy, Fr. Burt focuses on the support the Christian faith provides for those in transit. The Christian faith assures us that whatever happens to us in this life, we will never be without the presence of a loving God who guaranteed through God's own death that we can have perfect happiness on the other side of the door of death, and who in the meantime has promised that God will stay with us, supporting us along the way. A remarkable collection of essays that provides thoughtful rumination on our life now, our future death, and the life that awaits us thereafter, Reflections on a Dying Life is an excellent navigational tool for any thoughtful guest in this mostly pleasant Inn for Travelers. Donald X. Burt, OSA, PhD, is a member of the Augustinian Order. Recently retired as professor emeritus in philosophy at Villanova University, Father Burt has published twelve books and numerous articles on the thought of St. Augustine.

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I Was Ill and You Cared for Me

Biblical Reflections on Serving the Physically and Mentally Impaired

John F. Craghan

In I Was Ill and You Cared for Me, John F. Craghan offers readers a variety of biblical reflections to help family members, friends, and health care workers deal with the diminished physical and mental conditions of those they love and serve. These reflections will help these relationships become more meaningful, enriching, and helpful for all involved. They will also serve as an engaging invitation to further biblical study.John F. Craghan is professor emeritus of religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He is North American editor for Scripture in Church (Dominican Publications) and is the author of numerous books, including Psalms for All Seasons, And the Life of the World to Come: Reflections on the Biblical Notion of Heaven, and The Gospels of the Weekday Lectionary, all published by Liturgical Press.

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Dying with Jesus

Meditations for Those Who Are Terminally Ill, Their Families, and Their Caregivers

Angela M. Hibbard, IHM

Dying with Jesus is for people who are dying and for their caregivers, whether family members or pastoral-care professionals. Each page contains a Scripture passage with a brief commentary, a meditation intended to capture the thoughts and feelings of the dying person, and a response from Jesus. The booklet can be used as a single extended meditation or it can be read a page at a time in any sequence that is helpful. Page headings indicate the theme found in the meditation and can guide the user to the appropriate page for a given moment. The meditations, rooted in the experience of dying people, may help to identify and give words to many painful thoughts and feelings. By reading a given meditation together chaplains, family members, or the dying person may be able to initiate a difficult but necessary conversation. It is hoped that Dying with Jesus will reveal some of Jesus' human struggle and will make it accessible to all who are facing the same frightening reality. All who use it are especially encouraged to share the feelings and memories it calls forth. This gift of shared experience will enlighten those who accompany the dying and will create a bridge between the gospel story and those of us who hear it today. Chapters are "Diagnosis," "The Road," "Weakness," "Family," "Caregivers," "Isolation," "The Blind Ones," "Pain," "Stripped," "Inevitability," "Last Breath," "Emptiness," "Mystery," "Hope," and "Traditional Prayers." Angela M. Hibbard, IHM, is the adult faith formation coordinator at St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She teaches liturgy at Ecumenical Theological Seminary.

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Healing Takes Time

David P. Gallagher

Loss can occur in many forms, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or termination of a job. Healing Takes Time is filled with 52 meditations and reflections to help people experiencing loss start a journey of healing. This biblical resource draws on experiences from Gallagher’s life, and includes a theme, relevant Scripture passages, personal illustrations, and practical steps to take toward healing in each meditation. Just as a physical injury takes time to mend, emotional and spiritual anguish require time, patience, and faith to heal. Perspective is often lost during painful times, and the Scripture passages in this book are a fresh reminder of God’s love and faithfulness. Most people have heard about the stages of grief, but knowing the stages academically is quite different from knowing them in the heart. Healing Takes Time helps those suffering loss, loneliness, and sorrow prayerfully walk through the stages of grief step-by-step. Healing Takes Time is ideal for support groups or people working at their own pace. This short, practical, and focused book is a helpful companion for anyone experiencing emotional or spiritual distress. David P. Gallagher, D. Min., is retired senior pastor of the Palm West Community Church in Sun City West, Arizona. He has written several books and articles, including works for children and adult ministry. He is also the author of Senior Adult Ministry in the 21st Century.

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